Types of Fish that may be caught off Key West

Key West has a large variety of fish & fishing areas. Some type of fish are always biting! Generally there is somewhere to fish in most any weather. Because of the geography, Key West has almost weatherproof fishing.
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OFFSHORE AND IN THE GULF STREAM
(Good All Year )
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  7' Susie Hassinger & Steve Coons--released 3 sailfish and caught a 30 lb. wahoo
SAILFISH

Caught all year, best months are late October, November, & early December, late April & May. Summer Sailfish are found scattered all over the blue water from 100' out to 2,000'+ depending on availability of bait fish to forage on. Average length 6 to 7 ft.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  7' Sailfish release, David Jenkins, Paulie Jenkins, Donnie McEnery
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  25lb Blackfin Tuna, Dean & Richard Beeson
BLACKFIN TUNA

Best in the fall, winter, & early spring. Average weight 16 - 25 lbs. Largest up to 42 lbs.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  24.5 lb. & 22.5 lb. Blackfin Tunas, 14 lb. Cobia, released 12 Little Tunnys and 3 Sharks, Kathy and Danny Lewis
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL Capt. Dave Lewis hefts a 35 lb. Dolphin or Mahi-Mahi
DOLPHIN (the fish, not the mammal, also called MAHI MAHI or DORADO)

Average 5-15 lbs. 20+lbs. large. Largest up to 87 lbs. Best in spring & summer but caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  54 lb.Dolphin or Mahi-Mahi
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  30 lb Wahoo, Susie Hassinger & Steve Coons--also released 3 sailfish that day.
WAHOO

Best fall, winter & spring but caught all year. Average 15-35 lbs. 45+ lbs. Large, Largest up to 155+ lbs..
Louise Rozario with large Wahoo, one of four caught that day.
images/marlin4.gif
BLUE MARLIN

Common at 200 lbs. Largest 5-600+ lbs. Best months are October & November and again in May & June, but caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Estimated 300 lb. Blue Marlin makes one of many jumps and breaks the leader. Chip Faust of Baton Rouge fought the marlin for about 20 minutes in about 2000 ft. of water out past the continental shelf drop off.
Nice Yellowfin Tuna caught by Capt. Dave Lewis
YELLOWFIN TUNA

Largest up to 388+ lbs. Best months are September, October, November, December, and again in February and March.

CORAL REEFS &WRECK FISHING
(Good All Year)
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  2 each 12 lb Mutton Snapper, 25 lb Blackfin Tuna, small Kingfish, Tom & Evelyn Bolan
MUTTON SNAPPER

Average 5-15 lbs. Largest 28+ lbs. Best in winter & spring.
MANGROVE OR GRAY SNAPPER

Average 1-3 lbs. Large 8+ lbs. Largest up to 17 lbs. Caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  6 lb Mangrove or Gray Snapper
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Capt. Dave Lewis with a couple of nice Yellowtail  Snapper
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER

Average 1-2 lbs. Largest 8+ lbs. Best in winter & spring.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Capt. Dave Lewis with a nice Snowy Grouper
SNOWY GROUPER

Average 5-10 lbs. Large 30+ lbs. Largest 50+ lbs. Caught all year.

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Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Snowy Grouper caught in 210' of water, Gertie and Tom Eriksson Key West, FL  Vaughan Spencer with Snowy grouper of 30 lbs and 16 lbs, plus tile fish and rose fish
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  24 lb African Pompano, Tom Archer, Jacqueline Archer, David Jenkins
AFRICAN POMPANO

Average 15-20 lbs. Largest 50+ lbs. Catch a few all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Barracuda release
BARRACUDA

Caught all year, Barracuda Average 5-15 lbs. Largest up to 85 lbs. They make a great mount for the wall.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Sometimes the predator becomes the prey. A large shark cut this barracuda off behind the head. Just the head weighed about 15 lbs. Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Barracuda release
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Donnie McEnery & Nathan Osborne with a 20 lb. cobia
COBIA

Cobia Average 10-30 lbs. Large 50-60 lbs. Largest up to 135 lbs. Best in winter, but caught most of the year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  A nice cobia for this group of guys
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Jeff Juden and Elaine Burns with a catch of Amberjack, Blackfin Tuna, & Little Tunny
AMBERJACK

Amberjack Common at 20-30 lbs. Largest 155+ lbs. Best in spring but caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Silas, Joe, Nathan, and Lisa DeRoma with 14 lb. Kingfish
KING MACKEREL OR KINGFISH

King Mackerel Common10-20 lbs. Largest up to 90 lbs. Best in fall, winter & early spring.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Edwardo Gongora, Josefina Reif, & Fred Freese with a 30 lb. Kingfish
CERO MACKEREL

Cero Mackerel Average 2-5 lbs. Largest 17+ lbs. Best in fall & winter.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Capt. Dave Lewis and Ed Mensh with a pair of Cero Mackerels. Photo by Admiral Busby.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Rene Cruz with a Red Grouper and a Hogfish
RED GROUPER

Red Grouper Average 3-5 lbs. Largest 35+ lbs. Best in winter & spring.
BLACK GROUPER

Black Grouper Average 5-20 lbs. Largest 110+ lbs. Best in winter & spring.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Capt. Dave Lewis holds a 25 lb. Black Grouper that bit a live ballyhoo on a gulf shipwreck. Photo by Admiral Busby.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  14 lb. Gag Grouper, Joe Dubisky
GAG GROUPER

Gag Grouper Average 5-20 lbs. Largest 80+ lbs. Best in winter & spring
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Red Grouper and Gag Grouper
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Robert Reinert of Bethesda, MD released this estimated 100 lb. Goliath Grouper  in Key West Harbor
GOLIATH GROUPER, FORMERLY JEWFISH

Goliath Grouper Average 75-150 lbs. Largest 680+ lbs. Caught all year, mostly on wrecks. Protected species, must be released.

SPECIALTY FISHING IN PROTECTED AREAS
(Good All Year)
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Capt. Dave Lewis releases a 100+ lb. Tarpon, photo by Bart Arntz Coral Reefer - Key West, FL Capt. Dave Lewis holds Rich Newman's approx.50 lb.Tarpon before  release.  Photo by George Pfeifer
TARPON

Average 20-75 lbs. Large 100-150 lbs. Largest 283+ lbs. Best from Late February to September but can be caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Capt. Dave Lewis releases a 100+ lb. Tarpon for 16 year old Colin Walker. Photo by Colin's dad, Eben T. Walker Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Walter Duke approx. 50 lb. Tarpon Release. Photo by Capt. Dave Lewis
shark2.gif Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Bonnethead Shark ready for release by Terry
SHARK, many different kinds

Small ones 5-10 lbs. Common up to 100-200+ lbs. Large up to 500+ lbs. Best in winter & Spring. Good all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Blacktip Shark 100+ lbs. ready for release for Greg Brackenridge from Zimbabwe, Africa shark7.gif
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL  Release of a 35 lb. Permit
PERMIT

Permit Average 10-30 lbs. Large 40 lbs. Largest 53+ lbs. Best spring & summer, but can be caught all year.
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Louise Rozario with an 8 lb. Hogfish or Hog Snapper, although it is not really in the true snapper family but in the wrasse family.  The other one is a 2 lb. Schoolmaster Snapper.
HOGFISH and LOBSTER

Spearfishing for Hogfish and catching Lobsters with a net and tickle stick from August 6 thru March 31
Coral Reefer - Key West, FL,  Capt. Dave Lewis with a 12 lb. Hogfish and a 12 lb. Spiny Lobster


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