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Key West Fish Species

Planning to fish in Key West? Get information here about fish species you can see during a Key West fishing charter with Fish Key West. For more info on what’s biting during your visit, be sure to check out our Key West Fishing Season Guide.

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Fishing for African Pompano in Key West

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The dramatic-looking African Pompano is a hard-fighting fish and is considered to be one of the strongest of the Jack family. In Key West, they are often caught around deep wrecks and rocky outcroppings. If you are lucky enough to hook an African Pompano and have the tackle need to keep it on, expect an […]

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Fishing for Almaco Jack in Key West

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Almaco Jacks are strong fighters and very good to eat, so they are always a welcome catch among Key West sport fishermen. In fact, mariculture operations in Hawaii raise a fish known as Kampachi that is genetically identical to wild Seriola rivoliana and is prized in Japan and around the world for its flavor and […]

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Fishing for Amberjack in Key West

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Two types of Amberjack are found in Key West waters – the Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) and the Lesser Amberjack (Seriola fasciata). Greater Amberjack are by far the larger of the two and are the most commonly targeted by sportfishermen. Up to 5 feet long and nearly 200lbs, massive size combined with brutal fighting strength […]

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Fishing for Atlantic Bonito in Key West

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The Atlantic Bonito, also called True Bonito and Northern Bonito, is a fast-swimming open-water gamefish from the Tuna family. When fishing in Key West, Atlantic Bonito are most commonly found when trolling for big gamefish in the coastal offshore Atlantic waters. They exciting to encounter, often seen in large schools working balls of baitfish under […]

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Fishing for Atlantic Tarpon in Key West

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The Key West fishing season is headlined by the migration of the legendary Atlantic Tarpon, the giant Florida Keys gamefish also known as the Silver King. The waters around Key West are world renowned for a huge population of big Tarpon, and fishermen come from all over to fish the main run from January to […]

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Fishing for Barracuda in Key West

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There are 28 recognized species of Barracuda found worldwide, and the two most commonly caught while fishing in Key West are the Southern Sennet (Sphyraena picudilla) and the Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda), the largest of all Barracuda species. Like most members of the genus Sphyraena, Key West Barracuda are predators with an aggressive attitude that […]

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Fishing for Black Grouper in Key West

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Second in line behind the giant Goliath Grouper as the largest Grouper species in the Keys, the Black Grouper is one of the most popular targets for Grouper fishing in Key West. Powerful fighting strength, large size and weight, and delicious eating in a wide variety of recipes make the Black Grouper a welcome addition […]

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Fishing for Blackfin Tuna in Key West

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The Blackfin Tuna is an excellent light tackle species, with good speed and endurance in the fight and high-quality meat. Blackfin Tuna (Mycteroperca bonaci) The Blackfin Tuna is the smallest of the tuna species. It grows to a maximum of about 46 pounds and 42 inches long. The body of the Blackfin is oval-shaped, with […]

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Fishing for Blacktip Shark in Key West

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Blacktip Sharks are numerous around Key West and are fun because they fight hard and sometimes leap out of the water when hooked. Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) (Florida Record 152lbs.) Blacktip Sharks are related to the Blue Shark, Bull Shark, and Tiger Shark.

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Fishing for Blue Marlin in Key West

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Legendary as one of the world’s greatest game fishes, Blue Marlin are also among the largest fish in the world with some females running well over 1,000 pounds. Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) (Florida Record 1046lbs.) The Blue Marlin is a large pelagic billfish that is named for the cobalt blue to blue-black color of its […]

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Fishing for Bluefish in Key West

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Bluefish offer anglers many chances for fun, as they may be caught from boat or shore and they fight well when hooked. Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) The Bluefish is a migratory pelagic fish that is widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters around the world. It is a uniformly proportioned fish with greenish-blue coloration on the […]

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Fishing for Bonefish in Key West

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Fishing for Bonefish on the shallow water Flats is one of the classic angling experiences of Key West and the tropics. Bonefish (Alectis ciliaris) Introduction (Florida Record 16lb. 3oz.) Bonefish inhabit tropical and temperate waters worldwide. The Bonefish is a slender and round fish, with large specimens being more compressed in shape.

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Fishing for Bull Shark in Key West

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The Bull Shark is a big, strong dangerous-looking Shark that is often found over the deep wrecks and sometimes in the shallows around Key West. Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) (Florida Record 517lbs.) The Bull Shark gets its name from its heavy, thick body, broad, flat snout, and unpredictable aggressive behavior. They have grey coloration on […]

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Fishing for Cero Mackerel in Key West

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Cero Mackerel are fun sportfish. They are good fighters and fast swimmers that can quickly take out more than 100 yards of line when hooked up on light tackle. The Cero’s runs are exciting, and the fish occasionally jumps, showing its bright silver sides. They are a delicious food fish whether broiled, baked, pan-fried, or […]

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Fishing for Cobia in Key West

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The Cobia is prized by Key West fishermen for its large size, fighting ability, and firm, delicious meat. It is a curious and aggressive fish so it bites readily when found. It has a shark-like profile and can grow to 6 feet in length. To give an idea of the usual size of this big […]

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