Nearest Fishing Charters

1.95 miles away

Marathon, FL

Gatling Guide Service – Florida Keys

Trips start at $500.00

Max guests: 4

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2.04 miles away

Marathon, FL

Fishon Charters

Trips start at $600.00

Max guests: 4

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2.07 miles away

Marathon, FL

Shark River Charters

Trips start at $450.00

Max guests: 4

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5 miles away

Layton, FL

Ocean Charters

Trips start at $500.00

Max guests: 6

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7.95 miles away

Marathon, FL

Flat Out Sportfishing

Trips start at $650.00

Max guests: 4

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8.12 miles away

Marathon, FL

Two Conchs Charters

Trips start at $900.00

Max guests: 6

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See All Duck Key Charters

Duck Key Fishing Charters

For many fly fishermen, the trip and goal of a lifetime is to get a saltwater grand slam, a permit, a bonefish and a tarpon, all in the same day. Duck Key fishing charters can make this happen.

Located about halfway through the Florida Keys, fishing guides in Duck Key make this lifetime trip happen regularly. The combination of warm waters filled with plenty of prey, extensive shallows and all three fish in abundant numbers make this any angler’s destination of choice.

So how can you put your name on the grand slam list at Duck Key? Prepare. Be ready to spend all day on the water, sunup to sundown unless you get very lucky. The fishing is in shallower water and your guide is likely going to pole the boat through the water looking for fish. When they spot a target, listen closely to what they have to say.

Going after the big one, tarpon, means having a fly rod capable of handling big flies and a reel with plenty of backing. You are going after a fish that can get over 100 pounds easily. The silver kings will run and run when hooked. Most anglers like an 8-weight or 9-weight rod with at least 200 yards of backing. Flies need to be large. Streamer patterns work very well, especially with the addition of eyespots. Other top producers are crab and baitfish patterns. Tarpon have hard, bony mouths. Your hook’s point needs to be as sharp as possible to get a hook set.

Permit are in the middle of the pack both in terms of size and your ability to catch one. They are not quite as easy to hook as a tarpon, but easier to connect with than a bonefish. While the 8-weight rod and reel works just as well for permit, you can back off to a 5-weight or a 7-weight. One hundred to 200 yards of backing is still a good idea. Permit and bonefish flies are the same patterns and the same size. Crab and shrimp are the best bait as this is the primary food source for these fish. Permit are not as wary as a bone, but it is close. Your cast has to be precise. Too close and the fish spooks. Too far away and you may not be able to get the permit’s attention with the fly. Permit are also the best fish to eat in the grand slam trio.

The hardest fish to catch on the fly is the bonefish. The fish flee at the slightest provocation. That means you have to be quiet and slow on your approach to them. Precision casting is vital here. Get too close and you’ll never see that fish again. Too far and you may have to work the fly entirely too much to get it close, meaning the bone will disappear.

Duck Key Inshore Fishing

Duck Key has inshore fishing on all sides. Bull reds and snook, depending on the time of the year and the tides are in the shallow flats or the channels. Live shrimp and baitfish like menhaden or pilchards are the most effective way to catch these fish. If you throw artificial lures, jigs and grubs work well on both species. The same lures that catch freshwater largemouth bass also work equally well on snook.

Mutton snapper is Florida’s most common snapper and one of the easiest to catch. These fish are frequently found in depths of less than 20 feet. The Keys also have yellowtail snapper. The same techniques for the mutton snapper work on the yellowtail.

Sharks are a mainstay. They are found in shallow waters, all the way out into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean at every possible depth. If you are sight fishing, you may be able to get a shark to come after your artificial lure. Topwater noise makers, like poppers, attract their attention. Otherwise, use live or cut bait. Cut bait is often better because it creates a chum slick the fish follow to the bait.

Duck Key Offshore Fishing

Head into the Atlantic and troll to find swordfish, sailfish, marlin, tuna, wahoo, king mackerel and mahi mahi. The mahi mahi are found around stuff at the surface, like grass mats and debris. When you find one, more will be very close by. It’s easy to catch a limit of these fish once you find them.

Go deep for grouper, hogfish, amberjack and snappers. You need live and cut bait for these fish, dropped all the watt to the bottom. Duck Key fishing charter guides have the honey holes in their GPS and will put you on fish.

Book a Duck Key Fishing Charter

Fishing Duck Key is a must-do excursion for any local or tourist in the area. The professional captains will get you hooked up in no time at all and you’ll be telling fish stories for quite a while. To start your adventure check out the local Duck Key fishing guides, found here.