The Atltantic Sailfish is probably the best known gamefish in the Florida
Keys. This fighter can reach a weight of 100 pounds but the average is
around 50. The sailfish is usually found in deep water of over six fathoms.
Fall and winter are the best times of year to tangle with a sailfish, but they are
The Blue Marlin is found in the Gulfstream and in the open ocean. The
Florida record for this gamefish is 980 lbs., 8 ozs! They average 150-250
lbs. Spring and summer are the best time to hook up with one and be ready
for a battle.
The White Marlin is brother to the blue marlin and is also found in the
gulfstream or open ocean. They can reach weights of up to 170 pounds but
they average around 85 lbs. The Florida record for White Marlin is 161 lbs. A
great jumper and fighter, its edibility is only good and so it is not often eaten.
The King Mackerel travel in schools and average 12-20 lbs but can exceed 50
lbs. The Florida record is 90 lbs. The king are caught in waters offshore and
are excellent to eat and considered by some as the best for smoking. Winter
is the best time to catch a king.
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) are also a schooling fish. The dolphin is found in all
warm waters usually 250 feet or deeper. Caught all year in the keys, summer
is the best, and it is not unusual to catch a dozen 10 - 12 pounders, and a
good 35 - 50 lb. bull. A great eater.
“SILVER KING” TARPON
The Silver King Tarpon live in the Keys waters year round but around the end
of February the larger migrating tarpon show up to spawn in our Gulf waters.
These fish are coming and going throughout the Keys until late June. Tarpon
can be caught year round but summer is the best time of year to catch the big
ones by casting on the shallow flats. Tarpon that weigh over 200 pounds
have been caught at this time of the year. They are not good to eat.
Primarily found in the back country and flats fishing, this fish inhabits the
shallow waters of the Florida Keys - often in waters less than 1 foot deep,
usually over lush grass flats but occasionally over white sand. The Bonefish,
also called banana fish, phantom and gray ghost, is considered too bony for
the average eater.
The Snook is the finest eating fish you will find in saltwater. Snook fishing is
best September till April. They are also found in sheltered waters and
occasionally fresh water.
This edible delight is found all year round mostly inshore or around reefs.
Averaging 1 to 4 pounds, they can be found in holes, channels, bridges, pier
areas, mangroves and shorelines.