Florida keys

Shark Fishing in Key West

There’s nothing in the world quite like the experience of shark fishing in Key West.  This overview will give you a little taste of the incredible action.

Make no mistake about it– shark fishing is exactly as awesome as it sounds. This is especially true in Key West, which is home to an abundance of these magnificent creatures. Shark fishing is something you have to experience firsthand to understand completely. Read on to find out what to expect.

An Overview of Shark Fishing in Key West

Although you’re quite right to think that shark fishing will give you the rush of a lifetime, the image you have of it might be a little off-base. When most people think of shark fishing, a scene from a movie usually comes to mind. If it’s not a scene from Jaws, then it’s at least a vision of terror and backbreaking labor. But this isn’t how shark fishing actually plays out. Yes, there’s a lot of action involved– sharks are definitely fighters– but the experience is safe, fun, and very rewarding.

You will need the right guide, however. You’ll need a guide like one of the captains at KW Fishing Link. They have the experience, patience, and knowledge to get you to just the right spots. Their shark charters also include all the equipment and bait you’ll need to land one of these beautiful monsters. They offer a variety of shark fishing charters, but all of them include guaranteed action.

A day on a Key West Fishing Link charter will show you what shark fishing is really all about. Depending on the species, the weather, and the time of year, you can find sharks at many different depths of water. But generally speaking, Key West sharks usually gather at depths of under 20 feet. This means you’ll often be able to see the sharks swimming around the boat. That’s when your serene ocean adventure takes a slightly more thrilling turn.

Hooking a shark is just the beginning. Though Key West sharks come in a wide variety of sizes, none of them are going to jump onto your boat without a fight. The Key West Fishing Link captains will guide you through the process, but you’ll definitely have a challenge on your hands.

It’s not uncommon to land a shark weighing upwards of 100-200 pounds. Once you hook a shark, they’ll usually make a powerful beeline away from the boat. It will take endurance, patience, and coaching to reel them back in, but the reward is in the fight itself, as well as in the pride you’ll feel taking a photo of your catch before releasing it.

A Closer Look

Here is a list of some of the most commonly found shark species in Key West:

  • Bull Shark
  • Lemon Shark
  • Black Tip Shark
  • Hammerhead Shark
  • Tiger Sharks
  • Brown Sharks

There’s a lot of great information on shark fishing to be found at FKF Charters Website. In addition to details about the enormous variety of shark species swimming near Key West, the site is also packed with information about various kinds of charters.

Trusting your guide is the best way to land a Key West shark.  Contact the great people at Key West Fishing Link or The FKF Charters Website today to book the ocean adventure of a lifetime.

Lobstering in the Florida Keys

Lobstering is one of the many popular water activities in Key West. How many places are there where you can jump in shallow, warm and clear water and swim around and catch lobster for dinner? Not very many in the United States.

What are the Regulations?

Lobstering in Key West is seasonal. There is a open season on lobsters and it runs from Aug. 6 – March 31st every year. In this time period you can take 6 lobsters a day per licensed person. You have to have a fishing license with a lobster stamp in order to take lobsters. The fines are pretty high so make sure you know all the rules.

What is Lobster Mini Season?

Before regular season starts there is a mini sport season. This is two days where only recreational divers can catch lobsters. It’s before the lobster traps go into the water so the lobsters have had all the closed season to stack up. This is when lobstering is easiest and everyone can catch lobsters.

This is also when some people go overboard and don’t follow the rules and take more lobster then they are supposed to. The marine patrol knows this and they are out in force on those two days checking people’s licenses and to see if they have too many lobsters.

You also must keep your lobster whole until you get to the shore. Taking the tail off a lobster is a big fine as well. You will also have to look out for egg bearing females. These need to be released immediately.

How About Chartering a Boat for Lobster Mini Season?

Many people bring their own boats down for the two days, but there are also many lobster charters available by local captains. The advantage in this, is that these guys live here and will often know right where to go to the get lobsters and no wandering around.

Pretty much all the dive boats and many of the fishing boats will do lobster charters that time of year. But keep in mind there is a huge influx of visitors trying to get lobsters on sport season so it still might be hard to find a boat.

What’s the Right Gear for Lobstering?

Most of these boats will have nets and tickle sticks for you to use. If you are bringing your own boat you will need to purchase this stuff on your own. Even if you go on a charter I recommend you buy your own mask and fins. Getting a mask that fits right will make or break your day. Getting comfortable fins is like getting comfortable shoes. Sure you can wear uncomfortable shoes but you are not going to want to walk far in them. Same holds true in swimming and fins.

Lobsters have to be 3 inches long on the back of their shell. There will be many lobsters out there that will be a quarter inch too short. You MUST have a lobster gauge and measure your lobsters in the water when you catch them. These gauges will be sold to you along with your net and tickle stick. Make sure you have the gauge with you. Like I said earlier marine patrol is out in force when the lobster diving is hot.

Ben Shep

Key West Spearfishing – Benjamin Shepardson