Skip navigation

Key West Fishing:
Inshore, Backcountry and the Great Blue Florida Straits

Fish a Florida Keys Tournament
Key West fishing

Located closer to Cuba than to Miami, Key West is Florida's independent and irreverent southernmost subtropical paradise.

A unique confluence of history, climate, natural beauty, cultural diversity, architecture and unabashed romantic appeal make the island a destination far removed from the everyday world.

For anglers, billfish beyond the reef, tuna, permit and tarpon on the flats are just a few of the local game fish that offer challenging displays of strength.

Ernest Hemingway, who lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s, immersed himself in Florida Keys game fishing and did much to popularize it among fellow writers, readers and sportsmen.

Key West fishing
Key West fishing

Hemingway plied the waters between Key West and Cuba aboard his 38-foot fishing boat, Pilar. Encounters with finned prey found their way into his books from "To Have and Have Not," set in Depression-era Key West, to the Nobel Prize-winning "The Old Man and the Sea."

Highly-skilled offshore captains are eager to show you the Florida Straits, a 90-mile-wide trough of deep water beyond our reef that Hemingway dubbed "the Great Blue River."

Key West charter guides specialize in catching snappers and groupers that inhabit our shipwrecks, reefs, inshore channels and uninhabited mangrove islands of our backcountry.

Flats & Backcountry Charter GuidesLight Tackle Charter Guides

Offshore Charter GuidesParty Boats


Fish Rules


Back to Florida Keys Fishing