Trips start at $100.00
Trips start at $200.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $250.00
Max guests: 5
Upper Keys, FL
Trips start at $1100.00
Max guests: 6
Upper Keys, FL
Trips start at $450.00
Max guests: 3
Trips start at $400.00
Max guests: 4
Nearing the end of the Florida Keys is a stretch of relatively long and narrow islands. It starts with Big Pine Key and ends at Key West. Cudjoe Key is neither long nor narrow but does have a tail of sorts on the south end of the island.
The southern end of the island is where the development is. North of US Highway 1 is mostly grass, trees and wildlife. In terms of family vacation spots, Cudjoe Key makes a great base of operations. Tourist attractions are much more plentiful a short drive down the road on Key West. For the angler, it’s hard to beat Cudjoe Key as the place to stay and launch fishing excursions.
On the south end where the homes are, the canals are dredged, providing deeper water for fish to run to when the tide goes out. Channels on each side of the island are two more places the fish go when the water levels are low.
The Florida Keys are world-famous, and deservedly so, for the fishing experiences available here. From shallow-water stalks with a fly rod on hyper-alert bonefish to chasing 1,000-pound marlins in the blue waters of the Atlantic, the Keys set the standard for all saltwater fishing. Sportfishing Magazine has a fish for every month. Many of these are year-round fish.
Snappers are the main inshore fish in this part of the Sunshine State. Mangrove snappers are the most common with lane snapper turning in a respectable second place. The easiest way to catch these fish is to throw smaller live bait like bull minnows, small pinfish or small menhaden. Hook one in the back, toss it into the mangroves and hang on. Jigs, artificial shrimp, swimbaits with a paddle or curled tail, and crankbaits also pull in fish.
Speckled trout are regular here, especially in the grass flats where they look for small crabs, baitfish and shrimp. The same lures that work on inshore snapper work on these fish. If the water is deep enough, in the channels usually, throw bait or artificial shrimp under a popping cork.
The shallows and flats here are also home to barracuda, a fish normally found in deeper waters in most of Florida. Cudas shred live bait and hammer big plugs. Giant tube lures, a tube with a cable and hooks in it, is something these teeth with attitude just can’t resist. Wade fishing for them is very popular.
Cannot forget the fly rod ultimate saltwater slam. Uncountable bonefish, permit and tarpon cruise these waters. Getting one to the boat or a landing net is another matter. Bones are among the most wary of fish. Your stalk has to be perfect, presentation spot on and the retrieve to the fish just right. Even then, only the fish knows if it will bite. Permit are a bit easier, but still spook at the least provocation. Throw shrimp and crab patterns. If those fail, switch to a baitfish pattern. Eight-weight and nine-weight rods are usually enough.
Tarpon are harder to startle, but also much harder to land. Their hard mouths mean you must sink the hook in the corner of the mouth. Once you do that, the work is just beginning. Fighting one down can take more than an hour. Some guides say bring as much as a 12-weight rod and a reel with at least 200 yards of backing and 300 yards preferred.
If you are fishing shallow waters and want some heart-pounding excitement, try topwater lures. Just wait until the fish pulls to set the hook. If you jerk when the fish explodes on the lure, you’ll snatch it away. Everything in the shallows, including sharks, will attack topwater lures.
In this part of the keys, offshore fishing means hitting The Humps. These seamounts rise from the ocean floor and are pretty much fish condos. More snapper, amberjack, tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, cobia, mahi mahi, sailfish and several species of grouper live here.
Most Cudjoe Key fishing charters are going to troll out to The Humps and then troll around them. Outriggers pull surface spreads or side planers. A downrigger gets a bait deep and an offshore deep planer board covers the mid-depths. This setup can catch just about anything in the water.
Once over The Humps or other structure, drop lines straight down with live or cut bait. Jigging is another popular method, but requires work. You have to keep that lure moving to draw strikes.
Cudjoe Key fishing charters are a fishing bonanza. From battling 100-pound tarpon in water shallow enough to wade in to fighting giant amberjack 600 feet down, Cudjoe Key has your fishing trip. Book your adventure today!