Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter
Go on the ultimate sportfishing safari with a Fish Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter and experience some of the most thrilling fishing in Key West.
- Fish schools of big sportfish that follow shrimp boats
- Test your arm strength on big, hard-fighting Tuna
- Catch everything from Barracuda to Bottom Fish
- Go out with an expert captain on a Coast Guard-inspected vessel
- Enjoy top-quality fishing tackle plus free bait, ice, and license
Key West Gulf shrimp boat fishing is famous among Key West fishing insiders as one of the most intense, action-packed experiences on the water. Even charter captains who fish for a living and veteran sportfishermen with hundreds of offshore trips under their hulls are awestruck as the water around the fishing boat boils with multiple species of gamefish and Sharks thrashing in a wild feeding frenzy. It’s an unforgettable fishing bucket-list item, and our Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter gets you out there and into the action.
Every evening, Gulf of Mexico shrimp boats based in the Keys and along Florida’s Gulf Coast depart their home ports to trawl the waters north of Key West for the prized pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum). Known as “Pink Gold” for the value of the catch, and a traditional favorite on Key West raw bars, pink shrimp are active and schooling at night. The brightly-lit shrimp trawlers can often be seen on the horizon as they tow their arrays of bag-like trawl nets along the bottom.
As dawn nears, the shrimp nets are lifted and their contents dumped on deck for sorting. A massive amount of bycatch comes up with the shrimp, often as much as 10 pounds for every pound of shrimp. As the shrimp are sorted into the live well, hundreds of pounds of dead and dying baitfish, squid, crabs, and shrimp scraps are dumped overboard, creating a huge breakfast buffet for schools of ravenous sportfish and sharks. Large schools of gamefish – Bonito, Blackfin Tuna, Amberjack, Kingfish, Cobia and more – gather to feed behind the boats, creating a unique fishing opportunity.
Our Fish Key West charter captains know where to find the shrimp boats. They know how to cut deals with the shrimping crews and trade sodas, beer, and other treats for bushels of bycatch to use as chum. Pulling the fishing boat up to within yards of the shrimp trawler, your captain tosses out chum to bring the fish in close and the fishing soon gets as hot as you will ever see it.
Hundreds of big fish appear at and near the surface, driven into a feeding frenzy by the massive volume of bait. Down below, swarms of Grouper, Mutton Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper and other bottom-dwelling species wait for falling morsels. Fishing with bait, lures, jigs, or flies, hits come within seconds on every cast and Tuna often leap to take baits from the air. Sometimes the Sharks become so numerous and dominant that the captain has to motor off and try another shrimp boat. As the morning goes on, you fight fish until your arms ache.
It usually takes a long run out to get to the shrimp boats, and the day starts before dawn and ends near dusk. It’s a full day on the water, but by the time it’s over, every fisherman in the party will be blown away by the sight of swarms of fish attacking every bait in sight. So many fish that a line is often cut when a hooked fish drags it across the back of another fish. Everyone will have caught more fish than they ever imagined – big fish, because the Blackfins and others that follow the shrimp boats tend to be the larger members of their species.
Fish the way you want to on your own private charter boat. Collect the fishing story of a lifetime on a trip where catching 200 fish in a few hours is common. Watch Sharks slashing through bait on the surface while big Tuna leap in the air right next to the boat. Get into some of the most intense flyfishing action in the world. Your Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter is just a few clicks away here at Fish Key West. Book your boat now and get ready for some next-level fishing!
- 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: 2 hours (approx.)
- Check-in time: Please check in 30 minutes before the activity start time.
- Fishing licenses, bait, ice, bottled water, fuel
- Gratuities (Optional)
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.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
Still have questions?
We’re here to help.
Call (305) 901-4600 to speak with the Captain's shore team.
Product code: C-283793
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