Types Of Fish In Florida Keys: A Comprehensive Guide

Quick Read show Introduction The Different Types of Fish in Florida Keys Bonefish Tarpon Permit Redfish Snook Mahi-mahi Sailfish Preparing for Your Fishing Trip FAQs

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Introduction

Salam, Sobat Penurut! Are you planning a fishing trip to Florida Keys? If so, you’re in for a treat. Florida Keys is home to some of the most diverse and abundant fish species in the world. With over 1,700 islands stretching over 120 miles, there’s a lot of water to explore. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the different types of fish you can catch in Florida Keys.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about what makes Florida Keys such a great place for fishing. The warm, clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean provide a perfect habitat for a wide range of fish species. The abundance of sea grass beds, mangrove islands, and coral reefs offer shelter and food for a diverse ecosystem of fish and other marine life. Florida Keys is also home to some of the best fishing charters and guides in the world, who can help you navigate the waters and find the best spots to catch your desired fish.

In this guide, we will cover the different types of fish you can catch in Florida Keys, their habitat, behavior, and the best techniques to catch them. We’ll also provide you with some tips on how to prepare for your fishing trip and answer some frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!

The Different Types of Fish in Florida Keys

Florida Keys is home to over 500 species of fish, but we’ll focus on the most popular and sought-after ones. Here are the different types of fish you can catch in Florida Keys:

Fish Type Scientific Name Habitat
Bonefish Albula vulpes Shallow flats, mangrove shorelines
Tarpon Megalops atlanticus Shallow flats, bridges, channels
Permit Trachinotus falcatus Shallow flats, wrecks, reefs
Redfish Sciaenops ocellatus Grass flats, mangrove islands
Snook Centropomus undecimalis Shallow flats, mangrove islands, bridges
Mahi-mahi Coryphaena hippurus Offshore waters, weed lines, floating debris
Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus Offshore waters, weed lines, drop-offs

Bonefish

Bonefish is a popular game fish in Florida Keys, known for its speed and agility. It’s a light-colored fish that can grow up to 30 inches long and weigh up to 14 pounds. Bonefish is found in shallow flats and mangrove shorelines, where they feed on small crustaceans and mollusks. They’re known for their elusive nature, making them a challenging catch for anglers. The best time to catch bonefish is during the incoming tide, when they move onto the flats to feed.

Here are some tips for catching bonefish:

  • Use light tackle and a small hook
  • Cast your bait ahead of the fish and let it drift naturally
  • Use live shrimp, crabs, or small baitfish as bait
  • Be patient and wait for the fish to take the bait before setting the hook

Tarpon

Tarpon is another popular game fish in Florida Keys, known for its acrobatic jumps and strong runs. It’s a silver-colored fish that can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 280 pounds. Tarpon is found in shallow flats, bridges, and channels, where they feed on small fish and crustaceans. They’re known for their aggressive nature, making them a thrilling catch for anglers. The best time to catch tarpon is during the outgoing tide, when they move into the channels to feed.

Here are some tips for catching tarpon:

  • Use heavy tackle and a large hook
  • Cast your bait near the fish and let it sink to the bottom
  • Use live bait or artificial lures that mimic small fish or crustaceans
  • Be prepared for a long fight, as tarpon can take up to an hour to land

Permit

Permit is a prized game fish in Florida Keys, known for its strength and intelligence. It’s a silver-colored fish that can grow up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 40 pounds. Permit is found in shallow flats, wrecks, and reefs, where they feed on crustaceans and mollusks. They’re known for their skittish nature, making them a challenging catch for anglers. The best time to catch permit is during the incoming tide, when they move onto the flats to feed.

Here are some tips for catching permit:

  • Use light tackle and a small hook
  • Cast your bait ahead of the fish and let it drift naturally
  • Use live crabs, shrimp, or small baitfish as bait
  • Be patient and wait for the fish to take the bait before setting the hook

Redfish

Redfish is a popular game fish in Florida Keys, known for its mild flavor and firm texture. It’s a reddish-colored fish that can grow up to 40 inches long and weigh up to 50 pounds. Redfish is found in grass flats and mangrove islands, where they feed on crustaceans and small fish. They’re known for their aggressive nature, making them a fun catch for anglers. The best time to catch redfish is during the incoming tide, when they move onto the flats to feed.

Here are some tips for catching redfish:

  • Use light to medium tackle and a small hook
  • Cast your bait near the mangroves or grass flats
  • Use live shrimp, crabs, or small baitfish as bait
  • Be patient and wait for the fish to take the bait before setting the hook

Snook

Snook is a prized game fish in Florida Keys, known for its aggressive strikes and strong runs. It’s a silver-colored fish that can grow up to 48 inches long and weigh up to 50 pounds. Snook is found in shallow flats, mangrove islands, and bridges, where they feed on small fish and crustaceans. They’re known for their elusive nature, making them a challenging catch for anglers. The best time to catch snook is during the outgoing tide, when they move into the channels to feed.

Here are some tips for catching snook:

  • Use light to medium tackle and a small hook
  • Cast your bait near the mangroves or bridges
  • Use live bait or artificial lures that mimic small fish or crustaceans
  • Be patient and wait for the fish to take the bait before setting the hook

Mahi-mahi

Mahi-mahi, also known as dorado or dolphin fish, is a popular offshore game fish in Florida Keys, known for its bright colors and delicious taste. It’s a green and yellow-colored fish that can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 90 pounds. Mahi-mahi is found in offshore waters, weed lines, and floating debris, where they feed on small fish and squid. They’re known for their fast and acrobatic runs, making them a thrilling catch for anglers.

Here are some tips for catching mahi-mahi:

  • Use medium to heavy tackle and a large hook
  • Cast your bait near the weed lines or floating debris
  • Use live bait or artificial lures that mimic small fish or squid
  • Be prepared for a fast and acrobatic fight, as mahi-mahi can jump out of the water

Sailfish

Sailfish is a prized game fish in Florida Keys, known for its speed and agility. It’s a silver and blue-colored fish that can grow up to 11 feet long and weigh up to 220 pounds. Sailfish is found in offshore waters, weed lines, and drop-offs, where they feed on small fish and squid. They’re known for their fast and powerful runs, making them a thrilling catch for anglers.

Here are some tips for catching sailfish:

  • Use heavy tackle and a large hook
  • Cast your bait near the weed lines or drop-offs
  • Use live bait or artificial lures that mimic small fish or squid
  • Be prepared for a fast and powerful fight, as sailfish can swim up to 68 miles per hour

Preparing for Your Fishing Trip

Before you embark on your fishing trip to Florida Keys, there are a few things you should prepare for:

  • Research the best time of year to catch your desired fish species, as different fish have different peak seasons
  • Book a fishing charter or guide in advance, as they can help you navigate the waters and find the best spots to catch fish
  • Make sure you have the right gear and equipment for your desired fish species, as different fish require different tackle and bait
  • Check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing and gear, as Florida Keys can be hot and humid
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized during your fishing trip

FAQs

1. Do I need a fishing license to fish in Florida Keys?

Yes, you need a fishing license to fish in Florida Keys if you’re over the age of 16. You can purchase a fishing license online or at a local tackle shop.

2. What is the best time of year to fish in Florida Keys?

The best time of year to fish in Florida Keys depends on the species you’re targeting. Generally, the winter months (December to February) are the best time to catch sailfish, while the spring and summer months (March to August) are the best time to catch mahi-mahi and other offshore species. The fall months (September to November) are the best time to catch snook and other inshore species.

3. What gear do I need to fish in Florida Keys?

The gear you need to fish in Florida Keys depends on the species you’re targeting. Generally, you’ll need a medium to heavy spinning or conventional rod and reel, a variety of hooks and lures, and live bait or frozen bait. You’ll also need appropriate clothing and gear, such as sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

4. What should I do if I catch a fish I want to release?

If you catch a fish you want to release, handle it gently and quickly to minimize stress and injury. Use a de-hooker or pliers to remove the hook, and release the fish back into the water as soon as possible. If the fish is tired or injured, revive it by holding it in the water and moving it back and forth until it swims away on its own.

5. Can I fish from shore in Florida Keys?

Yes, you can fish from shore in Florida Keys, but your options may be limited depending on the species you’re targeting. Some popular spots for shore fishing include Long Key State Park, Bahia Honda State Park, and the Seven Mile Bridge. Make sure you have a valid fishing license and follow all local regulations.

6. What should I do if I get seasick?

If you get seasick during your fishing trip, there are a few things you can do to alleviate symptoms. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and focus on a fixed point on the horizon to help stabilize your balance. You can also take over-the-counter medications or wear acupressure bands to help relieve nausea.

7. What should I do if I catch a fish that’s too small?

If you catch a fish that’s too small to keep, release it back into the water as soon as possible. Handle it gently and quickly to minimize stress and injury, and use a de-hooker or pliers to remove

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