For a Key West fishing trip that is truly bucket list material, go out on the ultimate sportfishing safari with a Fish Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter. Experience some of the most thrilling fishing in Key West as swarms of predators gather for a feeding frenzy when the shrimp nets are hauled in and the leftovers are dumped into the water. The sportfishing action is beyond belief and beyond compare.
- Fish from dawn till dusk with an expert captain on a Coast Guard-inspected vessel
- Enjoy top-quality fishing tackle plus free licenses, bait, and ice
- Pull right up behind the shrimp boats where the water boils with feeding fish
- Test your arms against big predators like Tuna, Amberjack, and Sharks
- Catch everything from Barracuda to bottom fish in a day you will never forget
Have you run across fantastic-sounding stories of Key West fishing trips where anglers battled crazed packs of big fish until everyone on the boat was exhausted? These are Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter trips, and the stories are all true. 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. Fishing the shrimp boats is something that has to be experienced to be believed.
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. There is no other type of action fishing that compares, and the shrimp boats have been called the best fly-fishing opportunity in the Florida Keys. A Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter from Fish Key West gets you out there and into the action zone where boating over 100 big fish in a day is common.
A Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter fishing trip involves running far offshore to fish behind the shrimp boats as they clean their catch and discard the leftovers. 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 their value as a catch, and a traditional favorite on Key West raw bars, pink shrimp are active and schooling at night. From the north shore of Key West, 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 a sorting table on deck. A massive amount of bycatch comes up along 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, Permit, Great Barracuda and more—gather to feed behind the boats, creating a unique fishing opportunity as excited fish literally make the water boil with their frenzied competitive feeding.
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 wild 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. Do you want to fight some Sharks? They are always on hand, and sometimes these big predators become so numerous and dominant that you can’t get a fish to the boat in one piece and the captain has to motor off to try another shrimp boat. As the day goes on, you fight fish until your arms ache.
It usually takes a long run out to get to the shrimp boats, and the trip 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 other fish 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 but you need to plan ahead. Book your boat now and get ready for some real 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: 12 hours (approx.)
- Check-in time: Please check in 30 minutes before the activity start time.
- Fishing licenses, bait, ice, bottled water, fuel
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.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given to anglers by the Fish Key West customer support team.
Where is the meeting point for this activity?
Detailed check-in instructions – including meeting point address, Google map, and parking information – for Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat 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 Private Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter will be included in your confirmation email.
What is the weather cancellation policy?
If the Key West Private Gulf Shrimp Boat 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.
Key West, Florida
Detailed check-in instructions – including meeting point address, Google map, and parking information – for will be included in your final 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 it way to you!
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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