Are you ready to take your spearfishing skills to the next level? Look no further than the Florida Keys! With its crystal clear waters, diverse marine life, and world-class spearfishing locations, the Florida Keys offer an unforgettable adventure for fishermen of all skill levels. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the best spots, gear, and tips for successful spearfishing in the Florida Keys. Whether you’re a seasoned spearfisherman or a beginner, get ready to dive in and discover the ultimate spearfishing destination!
Best Places for Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
The Florida Keys offer numerous fantastic spearfishing spots. Here are some of the best places for spearfishing in Florida Keys:
- Marathon Humps – This underwater peak in the Middle Keys is a popular spot for experienced spearfishers. It attracts a variety of game fish, such as tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi.
- Islamorada Humps – Another popular spot for catching game fish, this location in the Upper Keys is similar to the Marathon Humps. It’s especially popular during the winter months when sailfish and kingfish are abundant.
- Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary – Located about five miles off Big Pine Key, this protected marine sanctuary is home to various fish species, including grouper, snapper, and hogfish. It’s an excellent spot for both beginners and experienced spearfishers.
- Alligator Reef – Located off Islamorada, this spot is known for its stunning coral formations and is a popular spot for catching grouper, snapper, and hogfish.
- Key West Wrecks – This spot is perfect for those who enjoy wreck diving and spearfishing. The area around the sunken ships is teeming with fish, including amberjack, grouper, and snapper.
- Coffins Patch – This patch reef is located off Marathon and is a popular spot for catching yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, and grouper.
- Western Dry Rocks – Located off Key West, this shallow reef system is home to a variety of fish species, such as hogfish, grouper, and snapper.
- Delta Shoals – This underwater ridge system is located off the Lower Keys and is known for its abundant population of hogfish.
- Bahia Honda Bridge – This historic bridge is located off Bahia Honda Key and offers excellent opportunities for catching permit, snapper, and grouper.
- Nine Foot Stake – Located off Key West, this spot is known for its abundance of cobia, permit, and snapper.
These are just some of the many excellent spearfishing locations that can be found throughout the beautiful Florida Keys. Whether you are an experienced spearfisher or a beginner, the Keys offer a variety of options for everyone to enjoy.
Species of Fish Can You Catch While Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
The Florida Keys offer a wide variety of fish species that can be caught while spearfishing. Some of the most common species include:
- Hogfish – This is a popular target for spearfishers and is known for its delicious taste.
- Grouper – These large fish can be found in a variety of habitats, such as reefs and wrecks.
- Snapper – There are many different types of snapper found in the Florida Keys, including yellowtail, mutton, and mangrove snapper.
- Permit – This prized fish can be found near the flats and is a challenging catch for spearfishers.
- Cobia – These fish are often found near wrecks and can weigh up to 100 pounds.
- Mahi-Mahi – These fast-swimming fish are known for their vibrant colors and are often found near floating debris or weed lines.
- Tuna – There are several different species of tuna found in the Florida Keys, including blackfin and yellowfin.
- Wahoo – This fast-swimming fish is prized for its firm white flesh and can often be found near deepwater wrecks.
- Amberjack – These strong-swimming fish are often found near wrecks and reefs and can put up a good fight for spearfishers.
It’s important to check local regulations and guidelines to ensure that you are targeting only legal and sustainable fish species while spearfishing in the Florida Keys.
Best Time of Day and Year for Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
If you’re planning a spearfishing trip to the Florida Keys, it’s important to know when the best time is to catch your desired species. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Best time of day: The early morning or late afternoon is the best time for spearfishing in the Florida Keys, as this is when fish are most active and feeding.
- Best time of year: The best time of year for spearfishing in the Florida Keys can vary depending on the species you’re targeting.
- Winter months: December to February are ideal for catching sailfish, kingfish, and wahoo.
- Spring and summer months: March to August are ideal for catching mahi-mahi, grouper, and snapper.
- Year-round: Some species such as hogfish can be caught year-round.
- Weather conditions: Weather conditions can play a significant role in the success of your spearfishing trip. Calm seas and good visibility are ideal.
Planning your spearfishing trip to the Florida Keys with these key factors in mind can help increase your chances of a successful catch.
Best Spearfishing Gear for Florida Keys Florida
Having the right gear is essential for a successful and safe spearfishing trip in the Florida Keys. Here are some key pieces of gear to consider:
- Spearfishing wetsuit: A spearfishing wetsuit will keep you warm and protect you from jellyfish stings and other hazards.
- Fins: Fins are essential for maneuvering underwater and conserving energy while diving.
- Mask and snorkel: A good mask and snorkel are necessary for clear vision and comfortable breathing while diving.
- Spearfishing gun: A spearfishing gun is the primary tool used to catch fish while diving.
- Float and flag: A float and flag system will mark your position in the water and signal to boats that divers are present.
- Dive knife: A dive knife is essential for cutting through fishing lines and freeing yourself or others from entanglement.
- Weight belt: A weight belt will help you maintain neutral buoyancy underwater and conserve energy.
It’s important to invest in high-quality gear that is specifically designed for spearfishing and suited to the conditions in the Florida Keys. Additionally, proper maintenance and care of your gear can extend its lifespan and ensure safe and enjoyable spearfishing trips for years to come.
Best Local Spearfishing Resources in Florida Keys Florida
If you’re looking for local resources to help plan your spearfishing trip in the Florida Keys, here are some options to consider:
- Local dive shops: Local dive shops can provide gear rentals, air fills, and advice on the best dive sites and conditions in the area.
- Spearfishing charters: Spearfishing charters offer guided trips with experienced captains who know the best spots for spearfishing in the Florida Keys.
- Spearfishing clubs and organizations: Joining a spearfishing club or organization can provide access to local knowledge, resources, and a community of fellow spearfishers.
- Online forums and groups: There are many online forums and social media groups dedicated to spearfishing in the Florida Keys, where you can connect with other divers and get advice on dive sites, conditions, and gear.
- Local regulations and guidelines: It’s important to familiarize yourself with local regulations and guidelines for spearfishing in the Florida Keys to ensure a safe and responsible experience.
By utilizing these local resources, you can optimize your spearfishing experience in the Florida Keys and connect with a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for the sport.
Best Spearfishing Charters in Florida Keys Florida
Booking a spearfishing charter is a great way to experience the best of spearfishing in the Florida Keys. Here are some top spearfishing charters in the area:
- Key West Pro Guides: Key West Pro Guides offers customized private spearfishing charters that cater to all skill levels. They provide all the necessary gear and equipment, and their experienced guides know the best spots to find trophy fish.
- Flats HQ Fishing Charters: Flats HQ Fishing Charters offers half-day and full-day spearfishing charters with knowledgeable guides who provide instruction and assistance as needed. Their charters include all necessary equipment and can accommodate groups of up to six people.
- SeaSquared Charters: SeaSquared Charters offers private spearfishing charters that can be customized to fit your skill level and interests. Their knowledgeable guides will take you to the best spots in the Florida Keys to catch a variety of fish.
- Island Lure Charters: Island Lure Charters offers half-day and full-day spearfishing charters that are tailored to your skill level and interests. Their experienced guides will take you to the best spots to catch fish and provide all necessary equipment and instruction.
- Fishing with T.J.: Fishing with T.J. offers customized spearfishing charters that cater to all skill levels. Their knowledgeable guides will take you to the best spots in the Florida Keys to catch a variety of fish and provide all necessary equipment and instruction.
By booking a spearfishing charter with one of these top companies, you can experience the best of spearfishing in the Florida Keys with the guidance and expertise of experienced professionals.
Regulations and Licenses for Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
Before you go spearfishing in the Florida Keys, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations and licensing requirements in the area. Here are some key regulations and licenses to keep in mind:
- Fishing licenses: All individuals over the age of 16 must have a valid Florida fishing license to spearfish in the Florida Keys.
- Bag limits and size restrictions: There are bag limits and size restrictions on many species of fish in the Florida Keys. It’s important to check the regulations for each species you plan to target.
- Permit requirements: Some areas in the Florida Keys require permits to spearfish, such as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Be sure to check the regulations for the specific area you plan to fish.
- Protected species: Some species of fish are protected in the Florida Keys, such as Nassau grouper, goliath grouper, and sawfish. It is illegal to take these species.
- Spearfishing gear restrictions: There are restrictions on the types of gear that can be used for spearfishing in the Florida Keys. It is illegal to use powerheads, bang sticks, and certain types of spear guns.
By following these regulations and licensing requirements, you can help protect the environment and ensure a safe and responsible spearfishing experience in the Florida Keys.
Where to Stay While Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
The Florida Keys offer a variety of accommodations for visitors, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. Here are some options for where to stay while spearfishing in the Florida Keys:
- Hawks Cay Resort: Located on Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort offers luxurious accommodations and easy access to some of the best spearfishing spots in the Florida Keys.
- Cheeca Lodge and Spa: Cheeca Lodge and Spa is a top-rated resort in Islamorada with a private beach, spa, and access to world-class fishing and spearfishing.
- Pelican RV Resort and Marina: Pelican RV Resort and Marina is a waterfront resort in Marathon with RV sites, vacation rentals, and boat slips. It offers easy access to fishing and spearfishing opportunities in the area.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Marathon: Located in Marathon, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites offers comfortable accommodations and easy access to nearby fishing and spearfishing spots.
- Bahia Honda State Park Campgrounds: Bahia Honda State Park offers campsites and cabins for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Florida Keys while enjoying spearfishing opportunities nearby.
These are just a few options for where to stay while spearfishing in the Florida Keys. Be sure to research and book accommodations in advance to ensure availability and the best rates.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Spearfishing in Florida Keys Florida
Spearfishing in the Florida Keys can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and preparation. Here are some tips and tricks to help you have a successful spearfishing trip in the Florida Keys:
- Know the regulations: Before you go spearfishing, familiarize yourself with the regulations and licensing requirements in the area. This includes bag limits, size restrictions, and protected species.
- Choose the right gear: The right gear can make all the difference in successful spearfishing. Make sure you have a quality spear gun, wetsuit, fins, and mask that are appropriate for the conditions and species you plan to target.
- Scout out the best spots: The Florida Keys offer a variety of spearfishing spots, from shallow reefs to deep wrecks. Research the area and talk to local fishermen to find the best spots for your skill level and target species.
- Practice good diving techniques: Proper diving techniques are essential for successful spearfishing. Practice good buoyancy control, breath-holding, and swimming techniques to increase your chances of success.
- Be patient: Spearfishing requires patience and persistence. Take your time and observe the environment to increase your chances of spotting and successfully targeting your desired species.
By following these tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable spearfishing experience in the Florida Keys.
The Florida Keys offer some of the best spearfishing opportunities in the world, with a wide variety of species, locations, and accommodations to choose from. Whether you are a seasoned spearfisherman or a beginner, the Florida Keys provide a unique and exciting experience for all skill levels. By following the tips and tricks in this guide, you can increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable spearfishing trip in the Florida Keys. So pack your gear, book your accommodations, and get ready for an unforgettable spearfishing adventure in the beautiful and vibrant waters of the Florida Keys.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.