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Glossary

Get useful information and tips about fishing terms and more on our Key West Fishing Glossary.

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Lobster Diving

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The waters around Key West are home to Florida Spiny Lobsters, or “bugs” as they are called locally. These are tropical lobsters that lack the large claws of the cold-water Maine Lobster, but have similarly delicious tail meat. Lobster diving involves diving down and searching for lobsters along underwater ledges or under coral heads in shallow […]

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Mutton Snapper Spawn

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Mutton Snapper are a fish species that arrive in Key West waters to spawn starting with the April full moon and continuing through May and June each year. One group of Muttons comes from the inshore patch reefs and Hawk’s Channel. Another population of fish comes up from the deep reefs and wrecks offshore in […]

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Northwest Channel

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The Northwest Channel is the deepwater gap between Key West and the shallow flats and islets beginning two miles to the west. The main channel is 5 miles from Key West and angles north to south from the Gulf to the Atlantic. It is large and deep and is used by commercial and fishing vessels, […]

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Patch Reef

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Patch reefs are isolated, relatively small growths of coral that typically occur on the bottoms of near-shore shallows around Key West. The majority of the patch reefs lie across the Hawk Channel and just inshore of the main living coral barrier reef that extends along the southern edge of the Keys. They are usually circular […]

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Reef Fishing

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Reef fishing is a type of bottom fishing that most commonly involves dropping live or dead bait down to catch the fish that live on or near a reef. Reef types can include rock reefs, coral reefs, or artificial reefs placed for the purpose of attracting and holding fish and other marine life. These artificial […]

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Shark Fishing

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If you love hard fights with big, strong gamefish, then Shark fishing is for you. Once fishermen hook and battle a 300lb adult Bull Shark, most quickly discover why Shark fishing is so addictive. In 3 feet of water on the flats, out on the reef, or deep down on a wreck in the Atlantic […]

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Shrimp Boats

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Gulf of Mexico shrimp boats work the waters off Key West through the night using large trawl nets to catch the prized Gulf pink shrimp. In the morning, the shrimp boat crews sort the shrimp out and dump the by-catch back in the water. The result is a chum slick consisting of hundreds of pounds […]

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The Florida Keys

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The Florida Keys are a string of islands formed from the remains of ancient coral reefs and lying off the tip of the Florida peninsula. The Keys begin at the southeastern tip of the peninsula about 15 miles south of Miami, and extend in an arc south-southwest and then westward to the last inhabited island […]

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What is a Split Charter?

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Split Charter refers to the practice of two or more unrelated individuals or parties sharing the cost of a single fishing charter. By splitting the overall cost of the charter in this way, each party saves money. For example, a captain who has only 4 people booked on a trip that can accommodate 6 may […]

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