Our Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter gets you out on some of the world’s best sportfishing water in the place where saltwater light tackle fishing was born. Experts and beginners alike can have a great time with multi-species action fishing on responsive light tackle—the kind of inshore sportfishing excitement Key West is legendary for. Pro guides, performance boats, and top-quality gear make these trips something really special.
- Go out with an expert local guide to maximize seasonal fishing opportunities
- Take kids and new fishermen out for the time of their lives
- Get into multi-species action, fill the cooler for dinner, maybe even catch sharks
- Enjoy clean restrooms, comfortable seating, & cooler space for your snacks and beverages
- Try out pro-quality fishing tackle—all tackle, bait, & ice included free
When the conditions are right and the bite is on, the waters off Key West offer some of the world’s best multi-species saltwater light tackle fishing. Let the fishing fanatics here at Fish Key West tell you how it works:
On a typical morning, your captain might pull up on the GPS coordinates of a favorite wreck, or anchor over a productive piece of structure out along the reef edge. While the chum slick is spreading and the mate preps the rods, you look over the side and down through the clear water to see a swarm of fish gathering in a feeding frenzy. Colorful Snappers hit small chunks of the bait, silver flashes indicate the high-speed passes of Barracuda or Cero Mackerel, and large, shadowy shapes circle gracefully below in the deeper water. Massive Amberjack, big Permit, Goliath Grouper, definitely Sharks – it could be anything down there and you are about to find out what.
Your pulse quickens as you take the rod, flip the reel to free spool, and let the bait head for the bottom. The mate is starting you out with a little heavier gear, more weight, and a nice fat chunk of bait so you can get down past the milling mass of Snapper and other small table fish to where the real predators are waiting for their chance to eat something big. Sure enough, the bait doesn't even hit bottom before the rod bends almost double and the drag starts screaming. Fish on!
In freshwater, the short definition of light fishing tackle is simply spin-casting or fly-fishing gear. Rod type and line strength are primary factors in establishing whether a particular set up is medium-heavy, light, or super light. Saltwater light tackle angling evolved from freshwater fishing, where ultra-light to medium-heavy spinning and bait casting gear is used to throw artificial lures or bait at species like Bass, Walleye Pike, Trout, Perch, Sunfish and others. When some of the same gear was taken offshore and used on ocean gamefish like Bonefish, Permit, Redfish, Striped Bass, Sea Trout, Snook, and Tarpon, fisherman realized that light tackle made the fishing far more challenging, exciting, and sporting.
Manufacturers now use the latest in advanced technology to produce specialty salt water light tackle. This modern gear can stand up to the tough conditions and hard-fighting fish found offshore while still providing the angler with excellent sensitivity and the ability to cast lighter lures and baits when needed. Saltwater light tackle fishing is about mastering the art of balancing a minimalist high-performance tackle set-up against the type and size of fish you are most likely to hook. The Fish Key West light tackle fishing guides use experience and skill to carefully match light tackle rigs to water conditions, target species, and fishing style. On a Fish Key West charter, you will fish with a professional-grade rods that combine light weight and extreme sensitivity with powerful backbone and fast action. This makes landing smaller fish fun while still allowing you to make long, accurate casts and successfully fight bigger gamefish to the boat within a reasonable amount of time.
A great feature of Key West light tackle fishing is getting the opportunity to use a wide variety of fishing styles to target many different sportfish species in several types of water. Key West inshore waters like the Flats and Backcountry have always attracted light tackle fishermen. Now, advances in rod and line technology put that light gear on open ocean boats. You may be drift-fishing for Mahi-Mahi, Sailfish, Shark, Tuna, and Wahoo, dropping live bait or jigs on the reefs and wrecks for fast action on Amberjack, Cobia, Grouper, and Snapper, or surface fishing the waters above a wreck with live bait or lures to draw awesome top-water strikes from Barracuda, Bonita, and Kingfish.
Fish Key West, the number 1 Key West online charter fishing booking service, offers insider access to light tackle trips led by local expert captains and guides in a network built up over decades of delivering legendary Key West sportfishing adventures to thousands of island visitors. These ultimate fishermen, in many cases second and third generation charter fishing captains, are masters of the Key West waters. Deep experience lets them pull together time, location, technology, and technique to get you on the fish. Their light tackle boats are top-of-the-line high-performance craft with powerful, quiet motors, modern fishing and communication electronics, cabins or T-Tops for shade, comfortable seating, clean bathrooms, and coolers for snacks, drinks, and fish.
On a Fish Key West light tackle charter, all necessary bait and tackle are provided free. Top quality, well-maintained, professional-level fishing equipment is standard on every Fish Key West light tackle boat. Try out gear built by manufacturers like Abaco, Blackfin, Crowder, Diawa, Ilander, Penn International, and Shimano, all set up by pros who haul fish out of Key West waters for a living. And of course, experienced fishermen are always welcome to bring their favorite personal rod and reel.
Whether your party includes expert fishermen or kids going out for the first time, on a Fish Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter, everything is set up for you personally and no one will be going home disappointed. Key West is the birthplace of saltwater light tackle fishing, and the majority of world record fish recorded in the Keys are caught on light tackle. Contact Fish Key West today to begin planning the hunt for your own world record on the custom saltwater light tackle fishing trip of your dreams.
- Reservations are REQUIRED for all bookings
- Book Your Package On-Line and Receive Your Confirmation
- Departure point: Detailed check-in instructions - including address, Google map, and parking information - will be included in your final confirmation email.
- Duration: 4, 6 or 8 Hours
- Check-in time: Please check in 30 minutes before the activity start time.
- Charter for up to 6
- All Licenses Bait and Tackle Ice
What To Bring
- Confirmation Voucher (printed or mobile)
- Any required or suggested items listed on your confirmation email.
- A Smile!
Likely To Sell Out
Spaces are extremely limited this time of year so book early to ensure the date you want.
Voucher Confirmation Info
This tour accepts both printed and electronic vouchers (e-vouchers). You can either print the voucher and present a paper copy on the day of travel. Or, if you travel with a mobile device, simply show your Photo ID and present your voucher on your Smartphone or tablet on the day of travel.
Local Operator Information
Complete operator information, including local telephone number, will be included on your Confirmation Voucher.
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
- For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
- If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
- Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
- Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
- This charter requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given to customers' questions.
Will I get seasick on Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter?
If you have any doubts about becoming seasick on the water, we recommend taking a Dramamine® Motion Sickness Relief tablet the night before your trip. Some people recommend taking it the night before your cruise and then again that morning so you will not feel so drowsy.
Where is the meeting point for this activity?
Detailed check-in instructions – including meeting point address, Google map, and parking information – for Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter will be included in your confirmation email from Fish Key West. Please be sure to double and triple check your email address is correct at checkout so this important email makes its way to you!
Where can I park my car?
If required, parking instructions for the Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter will be included in your confirmation email.
What kind of fish do you catch?
Since we are bottom fishing, you will catch grunts, porgies, yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, hogfish, red/black grouper, mackerel, and shark. There is also a variety of exotic reef fish that we have been known to catch. Grouper fishing is closed from Jan 1 – May 1 every year.
What is the weather cancellation policy?
If the Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter must be canceled due to bad weather, and you cannot go on another day or time, you will be issued a refund by Fish Key West.
What fishing experience level is necessary?
Our Key West Light Tackle Fishing Charter Guides and Captains can provide fun fishing for every angler from first-timer to expert. Whether you are a veteran sport fisherman looking to fine-tune your game to Key West waters or a beginner just learning how to use a rod and reel, the professional fishing guides of Fish Key West are ready with friendly, patient advice and support.
What can I do with the fish after I catch it?
A majority of the local restaurants will cook your fish for you. Prices vary. Ask your crew what they recommend. You can also ship your frozen fish to any US address. Supplies are available at all major grocery stores and shipping through FedEx, UPS or USPS.
What are we going to be fishing for on a deep sea charter in Key West?
January — Kingfish, Mackerel, Shark, Some Sailfish, Bonito, Snapper, Tuna
February — Kingfish, Mackerel, Shark, Tuna, Bonito, Snapper, Grouper
March — Kingfish, Mackerel, Shark, Tarpon, Spring Run of Sailfish Begins, Bonito, Cobia, Snapper
April — Sailfish, Cobia, Shark, Tarpon, Bonito, Tuna, Spring Run of Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) Begins, Snapper
May — Some Sailfish, Large Dolphin, Cobia, Shark, Tarpon, Snapper
June — Some Marlin, Some Sailfish, Tarpon, Dolpin, Small Wahoo, Snapper, Some Marlin, Dolphin, Snapper, Bonito, Tarpon
July — Some Marlin, Dolphin, Snapper, Bonito, Tarpon
August — Dolphin, Snapper, Tarpon, Bonito, Shark
September — Fall Run of Sailfish Begins, Tuna, Snapper, Shark
November — Sailfish, Tuna, Shark, Mackerel, Snapper, Wahoo
December — Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, Mackerel, Kingfish
Is bait provided?
Yes. Whatever the fishing calls for: live bait, frozen bait, cut bait, or chum, our Charter Captains will have plentiful supplies on hand. The same thing goes for artificial bait such as lures, flies, or plugs.
How long are your fishing charters?
1/2 Day Trips = 4 Hours
3/4 Day Trips = 6 Hours
Full-Day Trips = 8 Hours
Trips usually go out at 8 am & 1 pm.
Please note, on some days we offer extended 10 & 12-hour trips, and we seasonally run night charters. The exact current availability will be shown in the book now widget after you select your date.
Do I need to buy a fishing license?
No you do not. We have the required Florida Wildlife Commission charter licenses that cover all anglers fishing on our boats.
Are alcoholic beverages allowed on board?
Yes, mild alcoholic beverages like Beer, Cider, Hard Lemonade, Wine, and Wine Coolers are allowed. However, for everyone’s safety, NO GLASS CONTAINERS are allowed on board – metal or plastic containers only, please.
Average 4.94 out of 5 stars based on 31 verified reviews from Fish Key West and TripAdvisor
Still have questions?
We’re here to help.
Call (305) 901-4600 to speak with the Captain's shore team.
Product code: C-283964
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