5 Secrets of Kayak Fishing in The Florida Keys

Adventurous people love kayak fishing in the Florida Keys. Therefore, this article is going to amaze your next kayak fishing trip in the Florida Keys. So many different fish! So many places to explore. This vacation will shore leave any worries that might be gnawing at you for durability, safety, or expense.

The Florida Keys has a long history of adventure. It’s easily locatable as it’s the southernmost part of Florida. Before the modern era, the Florida Keys were inhabited by some Native American indigenous communities. You can have a look at the history of kayaking from here.

I couldn’t pick just one coastal activity for this article, so I decided to mention a few of the many beautiful recreation opportunities! Having multiple state parks with activities like hiking, wildlife, and kayak camping, the Keys are always amazing for entertainment and adventure.

Kayak Fishing In Florida Keys
Kayak Fishing In The Florida Keys

The Keys are really great for kayaking and fishing. I recommend you enjoy the warm and salty coastal waters, take your kayak out on the ocean, and hook the best one!

In this article, we outline all the facts and secrets that you to get the most out of Florida Keys kayak fishing.

A simple brief to the Keys,

Kayak Fishing In Florida Keys, History Of Florida Keys
Kayak Fishing In Florida Keys

The 180 miles long Florida Keys, was first discovered in 1513. And Ponce De Leon has the credit of discovering the Keys. And it’s quite hard to figure out the total number of Keys in Florida. Here’s the entire history of kayaking.

But there are around 1700 islands in the Florida Keys. Above all, the Florida Keys are great for every short of outings. Most importantly, kayak fishing is very much preferable in the Keys. There are tons of spots and places for different types of kayak fishing in the Florida Keys.

Besides, the Florida Keys have the best places for kayaking with manatees. And there are a bunch of spots where anyone can enjoy swimming and kayaking with the dolphins. Some of the institutions provide services for discovering dolphins and other activities. And the services are more pleasing for adventures.

Especially, Key Largo, Islamorada, Duck Key, and the Key West have amazing opportunities for swimming and kayaking with dolphins. Including swimming, diving, and snorkeling experiences with dolphins are something that you can never forget.

The secrets will help you enjoy the best flavor of kayak fishing in the Florida Keys. And, if you haven’t experienced kayak fishing in the Keys yet, the facts will be a booster for the adventure.

Let’s do a warm-up with the following questions;

Where can I kayak in the Florida Keys?

Simply, Florida Keys has great opportunities for kayaking and boating purposes. There’re a lot of places for kayaking. You can kayak almost everywhere in the Florida Keys. Besides the State Parks, resorts, and kayak launch offers some extra facilities for kayaking. There’re a lot of boat rentals that provide boating facilities in the Keys.
Above all, by the end of the article, we’ll present a complete map. Including all the major boat ramps, fishing spots, lunch points, and state parks the map will assist you in enjoying the best adventures in the Florida Keys.

What is the best time to fish in the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys has year-wide fishing opportunities. But when it comes to the best fishing time, we should focus on comfort. Hurricanes and temperatures are two important factors for Florida Keys fishing. Generally, the hurricane season predominates from June to November. On the other hand, the temperatures remain hot between May to October. Between these months, the temperatures go higher than 30 C.
So I will prefer kayak fishing between November to April. During the fishing season, we can fish Tuna, Kingfish, Grouper, Mutton Snapper, yellowtail, and lots more.
In fact, we’ve made a kayak fishing calendar for the Florida Keys. The fishing calendar will provide essential information for Florida Keys fishing.

Which Florida Key is best for fishing?

The Florida Keys is like a heaven for fishing purposes. And there you would find a huge diversification in the species of fish. And it’s hard to point out a single Key where dozens of Keys have amazing fishing experience.
Especially, Key Largo, Siesta Key, Big Pine Key, Duck Key, Upper, and Lower Matecumbe Key, Key West, Key Lido have great kayak fishing opportunities.
But if someone is going for the first time fishing in the Keys, I would recommend Key Largo. Because there are more than 600 species of fish. And Key Largo has different fishing opportunities for beginners to advanced-level fishers. Besides, as it’s the largest part of Florida Keys, there are a lot of opportunities for recreation, entertainment.

Do you need a fishing license in Key West?

Fishing and hunting are some of the most popular hobbies in Florida. For fishing in the Florida Keys, a saltwater fishing license is essential. You will need a fishing license if you are between 16 to 65 pages. And you wouldn’t need the license if you are physically challenged. Florida’s fishing and hunting laws have different sections. Above all, the license is compulsory for taking away the fish.
By the way, there are special saltwater fishing days in Florida. And you won’t need a license for fishing these days.
You can learn more about the license policy from the Fish and Wildlife Commission of Florida.

Kayak Fishing in The Florida Keys: The 5 Secrets

Florida has great fishing experiences. It’s an all-time favorite activity in the Keys. We all love going through divine nature. There’s a bunch of secrets. And these are interesting. Besides, secrets are important for complete enjoyment. We’ve prepared a list of 5 important secrets. These will help you increase your enjoyment. And make your kayak fishing easy. For proper enjoyment, we need to know these facts. Sharks are dangerous for paddlers. Sometimes they are so aggressive. The great white shark is one of them. It’s known as a killing machine.

Let’s go through the secrets;

The Returning of Ironbound In The Florida Keys

Simply, the Ironbound Shark is like a killing machine. It can take up to 30 pounds in a single bite. And the worst part is, they don’t hesitate to attack humans for food.

In other names, Ironbound Sharks are known as The Great White Shark, White Pointer. According to CNN, they are back again in the Florida Keys. And they can be one of the biggest dangers for deep ocean kayak fishing.

Though they are rare now they are still found in the deep ocean of Florida Keys. They are one of the biggest factors for adventures in the Keys. Especially, for fishing with kayaks, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling the ironbound sharks are a big challenge. There are also bull sharks, blacktip sharks, tiger and nurse sharks in the Florida Keys.

But the thing is, they love moving deeper in the anticyclonic area of the Atlantics. And hardly comes to the offshore areas. Lastly, proper planning is mandatory for deep-sea adventures in the Florida Keys. Maintaining the safeties carefully. And don’t hesitate to kayak fishing in the Florida Keys.

The Fishing Paradise With 600 Species

The Florida Keys are well known for fishing purposes. It’s called the fishing paradise as it has a huge collection of fish species. Researchers have found that the Florida Keys are feeding more than 600 fish species. Among them, grouper, bluefish, snapper, mahi-mahi, tarpon, tuna, bluefish, permit, little tunny are good for advanced kayak fishing. It’s quite easy to fish in the Florida Keys if you have already experienced kayak fishing.


The Florida Keys have different species of snappers. And the Keys are known as the best place for fishing snappers. Including mutton snapper, there are red snapper, yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, lane snapper, and some others. In fact, among the fishers, Florida Keys are popular as the Capital of Snappers. And Key West has the best opportunities for fishing mutton snappers.  


The Florida Keys have more than 20 species of grouper. Black grouper, yellowfin grouper, tiger grouper, red grouper, gag grouper, scamp grouper are easily found in the Florida Keys. Besides, the great grouper, giant grouper, red hind (sandwich grouper) are in a huge number in the Keys. Groupers are good in taste and people love fishing groupers in the Keys.     

On the other hand, some of the species of groupers are now hard to find like; Goliath Grouper. Overall, Florida Keys is one of the best destinations for fishing groupers. 

Australian Saltwater Crocodile In Florida Keys

For a long time, Florida Keys have crocodiles. There are both freshwater and saltwater crocs in Florida. There are mainly two saltwater crocodiles in the Keys; The American Crocs and The Australian Saltwater Crocodile. Between these two, the Australian saltwater crocodile is more aggressive to humans. Here we’ve guidelines on freshwater fishing.

Kayak fishing can be endangered if you go fishing in their territory. Generally, crocodiles are found in Blue Hole, Big Pine Key, Key West, Key Largo, and some others. For kayak fishing in the Keys, first, learn about the destination that you are going for fishing. 

There is only one recommendation! If you subconsciously go inside their territory, just try to paddle calmly. And pause your fishing for a bit. Try to keep yourself away without disturbing them.


In short, American crocodiles are not that dangerous to humans. But the Australian saltwater crocodiles are aggressive generally when they feel troubled. Study about the location. Get local information. And try not to disturb them. Follow these simple steps. This will help you out the situation.     

Live Shrimp For Yellowtail Snapper

Fishing yellowtail snapper is an all-time favorite adventure in the Keys. In fact, the fish is much popular in the Florida Keys. Larger than 18 inches yellowtail snappers are known as Flag. Key West has a lot of flags, which means the bigger yellowtail snappers. And warmer months are good for catching the yellowtails.

For fishing yellowtail snappers, you can use sardines, frozen minnow, squid, and some other small baitfish. But using live shrimp is much more effective for catching them easily. Mostly, big yellowtail snappers are caught easily with live shrimp.

Bahia Honda Offers Everything

Bahia Honda is located between Big Pine Key and Marathon. And the Bahia Honda Keys is just 37 miles away from the Key West. The meaning of the name Bahia Honda is “Deep Bay” and the island was entrenched in 1961. The experiences and amenities of the lower Florida Key offer a great combination of adventures.

In season Bahia Honda is great for fishing barracuda, tuna, mutton snapper, and yellow snapper. During the tarpon season, the island offers one of the best tarpon fishing. Fishing in Bahia Honda requires a saltwater fishing license.

Besides, the island is great for other adventures like snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, geo-seeking, bird observing, camping, swimming, boating and etc.   

Bahia Honda State Park has focused on some individual regulations. Fishing and boating are permitted in particular places. And the authority has inhabitation on hunting. On the other hand, they appreciate adventures with pets.

Florida Keys Kayak Fishing Tips

Along with the Florida Keys kayak fishing secrets and facts there we’ve prepared a short compilation of tips. The guide and tips will accelerate your enjoyment. Have a look;

Florida Keys Kayak Fishing Tips
Florida Keys Kayak Fishing Tips
  • The right kayak will is the first and foremost factor for making the adventure more enjoyable. Most importantly, this depends on you. If you are going to the boat rentals, then go with your choice. Make sure the watercraft ensures your comfort. On the other hand, focus on the space. Because fishing needs some rooms. And the sit on top is really good for fishing. This are more friendly for kayak fishing. But if you are much comfortable with sit-inside kayaks, go with your choice. But both of these require practice. Lastly, choose the best kayak according to your plan.
  • The Florida Keys are like heaven for adventure lovers. Fishing is the most popular activity in the Florida Keys. There are huge fishing opportunities in the Keys. First, determine what type of fishing you are going to enjoy. Then practice a few sessions before you are going deep in the sea. Actually, beginners need a little practicing before they are going for mastering the Keys adventure.
  • Concentrate on the adjustments. In fact, these can make your kayaking best or worst. For enjoying the adventure in the best way, you need to make the most comfortable adjustments of your kayak and fishing set up. This is a vital fact. Without ensuring the perfect you may spoil your adventure. Back support, foot support, fishing pole holder, and other things are important here. Always concentrate on the adjustments, other things come after this.
  • If you haven’t experienced the deep ocean fishing yet, then try to make your Florida Keys fishing easy. There are a few different factors of ocean kayak fishing. Know the map and try out “Neighboring to Shore” fishing spots first. In the offshore areas, you will be amazed by the different species of fish. Try offshore fishing first then you will be prepared for going deep in the Keys. Moreover, there’s a guide for making kayaking easy. You can grab the amazing tips in just 5 munites.   
  • Bait is another important factor. If you are going for some specific fishing, then concentrate on the baits. For example, live shrimp for fishing yellowtails works amazing. Do a study on it. This works great.
  • There are crocodiles in the Florida Keys. But you needn’t get tensed. Most of them are the American crocodiles and they are calm in nature. If you spot any of them, try to paddle calmly. There are also the Australian saltwater crocodiles in the Florida Keys. Sometimes they are aggressive to humans. Make sure you don’t create any disturbance for them. Get away as sooner as you can.
  • Know the weather forecast for enjoying the kayak fishing in the best way. Hurricanes are one of the biggest dangers for kayaking and kayak fishing in the Florida Keys. Generally, the Hurricane season is from June to November.
  • Value safety equipment in order to enjoy the best kayak fishing. It’s probably the precious thing here. The perfect safety accessories are like the lifesaver. Don’t compromise with the safety equipment.  
  • Try to keep a camera with you. Because you would not find the beauties of Florida Keys anywhere.

Florida Keys Kayak Fishing Seasons: A Fishing Calendar

Basically, Florida Keys is such a great place. Where you can enjoy fishing all over the year. Besides, the huge species of fish make the adventure amazing for fishing lovers. We can go for fishing yellowtails, sailfish, tuna, mutton snappers, and etc. anytime we want.

The following calendar will be helpful for having the best fishing in the Florida Keys;

Florida Keys Fishing Calendar
Fishing Calendar in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys Kayak Fishing Laws and Regulations

Kayak fishing in the Florida Keys is well maintained by the laws and regulations. Above all, the regulations are similar to the Florida Fishing Laws. These are under the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Since 1999 the government agency has been performing its best to maintain Florida’s fish and wildlife.

For having the best kayak fishing in the Florida Keys follow the laws;

  • A saltwater fishing license is essential for fishing in the Keys. So that don’t miss it. Especially, when you want a hassle-free fishing here.
  • Light and whistle are required for night kayaking.
  • Some of the regions have different regulations for fishing. As there size restrictions and restrictions over some species.
  • Your motorized kayak will need registration in Florida. Make sure you have the motor license for you kayak before going for the adventure.   

Florida Keys Kayak Fishing: Make It Best

Fishing in the Florida Keys is such an amazing experience that we would hardly find anywhere in the world. The Florida Keys have every type of fishing opportunity. From offshore to the deep sea we can experience fishing however we want. The southernmost part of the United States has always been on the top for different adventures and fishing.

In this brief, we are presenting the most preferable destinations for kayak fishing in the Florida Keys;

Key Largo Kayak Fishing

Key Largo is one of the best places for entertainment and recreation. It’s located in the Upper Part of the Florida Keys. Key Largo is well known as the “Diving Capital of The World”. Overall, 33 miles long island is such a great destination for ecotourism, kayaking, fishing, and kayak fishing.   

Kayak fishing in Key Largo has amazing experiences. In fact, the 600 species of fish take the experience to another level of pleasure. Key Largo is such a great place for fishing Tarpon, Grouper, Redfish, etc. Besides, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park will accelerate the enjoyment of combined recreations. Because it’s the first underwater park in the United States. You will also love exploring the Everglades National Park as it has a great grouping of wetlands and forests.

Key Largo is good for big fishing like flats, bonefish, and mahi-mahi. For kayak fishing, try to explore the shore areas first. There you would find grouper, tarpon, redfish, and lots more. Above all, do not miss the plates of seafood if you are planning to make it memorable.

Concerning the Florida Keys fishing season, we’ve prepared a fishing calendar. That would make your fishing easier in the Key Largo.

Islamorada Kayak Fishing

Islamorada is one of the populous places of Florida Keys. And it’s a beautiful village for adventures and recreation. Islamorada is just 1 and a half hours away from Miami. The name has a beautiful meaning in Spanish as The Purple Island. Therefore, the 18 kilometers Islamorada has a lot of opportunities for kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, flippers, and other recreations.

You can fish tuna, yellowtail, mutton snapper, tarpon, and tuna every time in Islamorada. Although, you would find sailfish, wahoo, and other species year-wide. The resorts and kayak rentals offer extra facilities for complete recreation. Besides, the kinds of seafood on the beach points will make your Islamorada kayaking more amusing.

There are dozens of kayak fishing spots in Islamorada. Besides, catching dozens of fish species in Islamorada is just a matter of experience. 

Above all, we’ve prepared a map for making your Islamorada kayak fishing easy. And it will assist you in selecting the perfect spot for your Islamorada kayak fishing. You will find our custom map by the end of the article.

Key West Kayak Fishing

Having around 11 kilometers of land, Key West is the southernmost city of the U.S. The island is well known for its adventures. Fishing, diving, snorkeling, marinas, kayaking, and other boating are very much popular in the Key West.

Key West is like a heaven for fishing purposes as it offers almost every type of fishing. For both offshore and deep-sea fishing, the island is the most preferable among fishing lovers. In fact, the fishing and carter service will be amusing if you need so.

Key West kayak fishing is really amazing as you will find the diversifications in the species of fish. And you would hardly find any other place offering such fishing opportunities as Key West. Fishing experiences go greater for casting jack crevalle, redfish, grouper, tarpon, snapper, snook, permits, mahi-mahi, kingfish, and lots more.    

The important thing is, to maintain safety instructions properly. Set up your plan in order to make your kayak fishing remarkable in the Key West. Determine your fishing goals before going for deep-sea fishing. Because you will find different species of sharks in the Key West. The bull shark, blacktip shark, bonnet-headed shark, nurse, lemon sharks. As well as there are other sharks are in the sea.   

For seasonal kayak fishing, just have a look at our kayak fishing calendar and the custom map. These two will assist in increasing the enjoyment of your kayak fishing in the Key West.

Learn about the history, geography, and climates of the Keys West from Wikipedia.

For family outings including camping, boating, and kayak fishing the Florida Keys is such a great adventure. Still, some of us have no idea how beautiful swimming with dolphins is! It’s like heavenly fun in pure nature. Overall, Florida is such a best place for adventures. Kayaking in Florida is an all-time favorite activity. It would be amazing if you have experienced Florida Kayaking before you are going for the bigger adventure. However, you can explore the best Florida kayaking destinations from this blog post.

Lastly, kayak fishing in the Florida Keys is one of the best adventurous activities of all time. Especially, nowadays it’s becoming more popular for various recreational opportunities. The beach, wildlife, bird viewing is so amazing. Besides, the mangroves kayaking, fishing, camping, other boating, and everything makes a great combination of adventure and enjoyment. Besides, you would like our tips for Whitewater kayaking.

After all, if you haven’t experienced fishing and kayaking in the Florida Keys, just don’t wait anymore. Prepare your checklist and go for the adventurous kayak fishing in the Florida Keys.