Trips start at $650.00
Max guests: 2
Trips start at $450.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $350.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $500.00
Max guests: 4
Trips start at $800.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $400.00
Max guests: 5
One of the most prized fish for an angler’s trophy wall is the sailfish. Best known for the iconic and huge dorsal fin, these fish are also appreciated for the acrobatics they display when hooked.
The sailfish is one of the smallest of the billfish species, but do not let that fool you. On the right tackle, a sailfish can leave even the most durable angler exhausted at the end of the fight. They are the fastest fish in the sea, outrunning tuna.
If you are after sailfish, then an Islamorada Fishing charter is the way to get one on the line. Islamorada is the world’s best location to catch a sailfish.
Thanks to today’s camera gear, a sailfish can be brought to the boat, well-photographed from multiple angles, and measured by length and girth. This information is handed over to a skilled taxidermist to make a full-size, true-color mount for your wall. You get all the joy from the fish and the trophy, and it lives to fight again.
When you are headed to the Sunshine State for fish, be sure to check the current regulations for seasons and bag limits. Your charter captain already knows this information. You need to know so you can plan your trip around the kind of fish you are allowed to catch and bring home.
Offshore fishing is where Islamorada really shines. The Humps, as they are called, are a series of seamounts, think mountains under the water. These mountains create an upswell of deep, deep water that brings all kinds of nutrients close to the surface. This attracts baitfish which then bring in the predators.
Within minutes of leaving the marina, you are in hundreds of feet of water with seamounts rising from even deeper water. This is the playground for sailfish, marlin, blackfin tuna and the dolphin fish, also known as dorado or mahi mahi. All four are good eating, with the dolphin and the tuna being the best. Most charters recommend catch-and-release for the billfish unless it looks like a potential International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record. Islamorada is home to plenty of IGFA records. Maybe your name can go in the record book too.
Celebrated American author Ernest Hemingway loved to run between the Florida Keys and Cuba. On the way, he connected with the blue water giants repeatedly.
If you are after these tackle-testing bruisers, your Islamorada Fishing Charter captain will troll likely areas where he’s made hookups before. These big fish chase the schools of baitfish which in turn chase the deepwater blooms rising to the surface. Squid rigs on outriggers will draw the fish in for a strike. Once a fish is spotted, the captain will likely order all but one or two lines be pulled in. The idea is with the rest of the “bait” gone, the fish will center his attention on the remaining lures that actually have hooks.
Understand this kind of fishing is not for the weak. All except the dorado can easily go over 300 pounds and will fight for hours.
On the west side of Islamorada, the water is shallower and is full of shallow-water species. Top targets are tarpon which is a catch-and-release only fishery, reds, snook, shark and plenty of snappers. Thanks to Florida’s redfish slot size regulations, big reds are more common than they have been in decades. Your chance of connecting with a double-digit-pound red is excellent. Snappers make some of the best table fare you can find.
For many who come to the keys for the flats fishing, there are two main targets, the permit and bonefish. Both are prized fish for flyfishing anglers.
For many who chase fish with a fly, a bonefish is both a bucket-list fish and a major trophy. These easily spooked fish love nosing around the shallows for crabs, shrimp and squid. You’ll need to make long casts to get your fly well ahead of and past the fish. Work it into his line of sight. When he takes the fly, hod the rod as high as you can. The bonefish is likely to work his nose into the sand to try and fray the line in two. By holding him off the bottom, you increase your chances of landing one.
If you are after fillets, then look at the “unregulated” species. The whiting, or white grunt, is a top fish to go after. They eagerly hit bits of cut bait on small hooks. Often overlooked, except by locals, the gafftopsail catfish, not be confused with the hardhead catfish, can surprise the palate of many anglers who have disregarded its food quality. The hardhead catfish however is, frankly, terrible on the plate. With a 100-pound limit on these fish and no size restrictions on many of these fish, you can take home plenty.
If you are really in the mood for a back-straining and arm-cramping fight, then plan an Islamorada Fishing Charter to go after a Goliath grouper. Unlike its smaller cousins, the goliath generally is a solitary fish except in spawning season. That does not matter because these fish find a place and make it their home. They are also hungry which means these giants are often caught and released many times. As reported in the Sun-Sentinel, one goliath brought to a boat gunwale “had six different leaders hanging out of its mouth, from real light line to heavier line from someone who was actually trying to catch it.”
Visit the Sportfishing Capital of the World and have the fishing adventure of a lifetime. Islamorada charters fish twelve months of the year – so book your trip today. Find a professional and experienced Islamorada charter here.