Beneath the offshore waters around the island of Key West lie hundreds of old shipwrecks and several miles of natural reefs, year round home to the strongest fighters, pound for pound in salt water.
The remote and isolated deep water wrecks, miles of natural reef and isolated "patch reefs" of the Atlantic hold huge populations of Snapper and Grouper patrolling the bottom and ruling the structure with an aggressive attitude. Slightly higher in the water column the brutish Amberjack cruise. Amberjacks can dislocate your shoulders during the typical battle! Amberjacks can grow beyond 100 pounds in these waters and my friends, there isn't just one of them! Slightly higher, nearer the middle of the water column travel schools of pelagic species such as Kingfish, sought after for their amazing tenacity and speed when hooked. Blackfin Tuna and Bonita, Spanish and Cero Mackerel are all here, renowned for their feeding frenzied, speed and aggression. Nearer the surface, groups of marauding Cobia and Permit take command until the always present and awe-inspiring sharks arrive. From the common Lemon ranging to eight feet in length to the super aggressive Bull Shark capable of reaching ten feet and easily weighing in at three to four hundred pounds to the apex predator in our waters at anytime…the Hammerhead. Hammerhead sharks can exceed fourteen feet and who knows or cares where they tip the scales. These behemoth sharks are aggressive, opportunistic feeders and simply put…are the thugs in saltwater! This is THE fishing that put Key West on every serious angler's radar many years ago...
The Gulf of Mexico waters not surprisingly are an entirely different fishery from the Atlantic. The numerous Gulf wreck sites lie from 15 to 35 miles offshore and only the most experienced professional guides know many. These wrecks or sunken ships range from small wooden sailing vessels of a by-gone era to commercial boats to massive WW II war ships!
Traveling due west from the Key West harbor, you encounter countless seldom-fished smaller "patch-reefs" near fabled areas such as the Marquesas Keys, Rebecca Shoal and New Ground, until you ultimately reach the legendary Dry Tortugas 70 miles out which is the last of the Florida Keys…end of the road!.
Again, the population of the Snapper family and Grouper family, Cobia, Barracuda and Shark is seemingly endless along with the constant coming and going of several pelagic species. However, during a short and magical time each year, one of the most prized and elusive sport fish anywhere in tropical waters, migrate away from the shallow haunts and near-shore to these distant locations to spawn typically during mid-summer June-July into August. The Permit, the fish of dreams for many anglers, congregates in unimaginably, massive schools with fish ranging in weight from 12 pounds to 40 pounds plus! The Permit is one of those very special species of fish that become an obsession for many anglers. A 1000 pound Blue Marlin to the offshore angler is the 40 pound Permit to the light tackle angler. These very isolated fishing grounds holding Permit, when discovered are akin to "striking the mother load". A large Permit is on every serious anglers "bucket list".
Reef and Wreck fishing in general is celebrated for fast paced and constant action for every angler from novice to seasoned "old salts". With simple and easily mastered fishing equipment and techniques, this is ideal fishing for groups, family outings and the hard-core fishermen as well. Most species on the reef and wrecks are easily hooked but provide an exceptional challenge to land. Best of all attributes for reef & wreck fishing is that nearly every species found there is wonderful as table fare…
If you have but one day to fish, this is your "can't miss trip" with Key West Pro Guides.