Here in Key West, we experience relatively mild weather patterns. Clothing in the spring and summer months usually consists of shorts, light shirt, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. In the fall and winter months, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a light jacket and hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Our Florida Keys weather is usually sunny and warm, but because of our tropical location, it is possible to experience a brief rain shower from time to time. It is advised that you check the local weather before your trip and plan accordingly. It is recommended that you bring a light rain jacket if rain is in the forecast.
Fishing Trip Times and Lengths
All morning charters depart the dock at 8:00 AM, afternoon charters depart at 1:00pm, unless an alternate departure time is has been established previously.
The ½ day trips are 4 hours, the 5/8 trips are 5 hours, the ¾ day trips are 6 hours, the full day trips are 8 hours and the extended day trips are 10 hours, dock to dock.
Reconfirming your trip and arriving at the dock
At Key West Pro Guides we request every guest to place a quick call to their guide after 5:00pm the evening before their scheduled charter date. This is to address any last minute trip details, possible weather concerns and to more importantly, establish a game plan for the following day's trip.
You should arrive at the dock 15 minutes before your scheduled take off time. This gives us a chance to ice down your drinks and gather any last minute items for an "on time" departure.
Communication with your guide
Communication is essential between guest and guide so we may provide the perfect day on the water. We urge our guests to defer to the recommendations and suggestions offered by our guide team.
We appreciate that some guests have interest in pursuing certain species or particular fishing techniques and/or locations during their time on the water. We strive to provide exactly the fishing experience you seek however several variable conditions can and do affect fishing in Key West. For example our tropical weather, winds, tide tables and water conditions do play a major part in the final outcome of every charter. For this reason, understand the Key West Pro Guides team always "fishes to the conditions of the day" to provide the best possible action and overall experience for our guests.
Fishing Instruction/Necessary experience
All of our guides are experts in teaching you the 'feel of the bite'. You do not need to be a pro to hook and land quality size fish. Many of our anglers have never fished in saltwater some may have never fished before. Our guides will instruct you how to operate the rods and reels and explain what to feel for when the fish strikes. Whether you prefer fly, spinning or conventional gear, our guides are experts in instructional methods, very patient and will have you catching fish in no time.
Departing Marina Services
If your trip departs from either Hurricane Hole, Sunset Marina or Garrison Bight Marina, there are ship stores on premises that offer everything from drinks, snacks, sunscreen, hats and lots more for your convenience.
For sandwiches the day of your trip, we recommend stopping by Publix deli at 3316 N Roosevelt Blvd Key West FL. to order awesome, freshly made Deli sandwiches. They open at 7:00am daily.
Cruise Ship Pick-ups
For charters guests arriving on a cruise ship, your charter will depart from the beautiful Westin Resort & Marina. Key West has three cruise ship piers. During your reservation, we will confirm the pier where your ship will berth and provide simple directions to the Westin Resort & Marina.
Mounting your Trophy
Here at Key West Pro Guides we use one of the best replica mounting agents in the world, Grays Taxidermy. Take the memory home with you with a stunning replica mount and brag to all of your friends and family for years on end. Please let us know if you would like to mount a fish and we'll take care of everything. Remember, all billfish are release mounts only.
It is often asked how much of a gratuity is considered customary to tip your captain for great service. The answer is similar to a restaurant gratuity, 15-20% of the trip.
Keeping your catch
Here at Key West Pro Guides, we practice catch and release on many of our species. For the fish that are considered good eating, you are certainly more than welcome to take your legal limit of fish home with you. Our guides will happily fillet your fish, please remember to take care of them for this service.
Cook Your Catch
Hurricane Hole Marina has an outstanding restaurant and bar to cook up your catch when you get back to the dock. The food is excellent and the beer ice cold. There is no better way to eat fish than fresh from the boat. Please click this link to print out your 'Hook & Cook' voucher, good at Hurricane Hole restaurant.
Payment for your trip
To settle the balance of your trip after a great day on the water, we accept; Cash, personal & travelers checks and last but not least, Visa or MasterCard. If using a credit card, you must present the card in person after the trip for settlement. We cannot use the credit card information used to reserve your charter for final payment, without that card being present. Credit card transactions will be subject to a 3% convenience fee. This fee helps to recouping costs incurred with processing credit card transactions. All checks must be drawn on a U.S. bank.
Key West Pro Guides operates year round with a group of professional full time fishing guides. When scheduling a fishing trip with one of us, we ask that you please try to avoid rescheduling or canceling your fishing trip as this creates booking and scheduling conflicts within the guide service. Below is our deposit and cancellation policy. This policy reflects the rights of Key West Pro Guides and applies to all of our fishing trips.
A 20% deposit is required for all fishing trips. We accept both checks and credit cards. If sending a check, please make it payable to: Key West Pro Guides, 5130 U.S. Highway 1, Key West, FL. 33040
If you wish to pay your deposit with a credit card, we accept American Express, Visa or MasterCard. A deposit of 20% will be applied at the time of your booking reservation. This deposit reserves your guide for a specified trip length on a particular day. A confirmation will then be faxed, emailed or mailed to you confirming your trip with Key West Pro Guides. The remaining balance will be due in full at the end of your trip. All credit card deposits appear as TailChaser Charters Inc., Key West on your credit card statement.
Cancellation/Refund of Deposit policy
Here at Key West Pro Guides, we are an elite team of owner-operator guides that are in very high demand. We understand that unforeseen situations may arise beyond anyone's control that affect travel plans. We believe in a fair approach to cancellations, our cancellation policy is such that it both protects the livelihoods of our guides in the unfortunate event that a scheduled charter must be cancelled and in some situations allows you to apply deposits from cancelled trips towards future bookings.
This policy reflects the rights and position of Key West Pro Guides and therefore applies to all of our fishing charters.
Only your Captain may cancel your charter within 24 hours of
scheduled charter date due to weather or mechanical breakdown
without potential penalty or forfeiture of deposit. Should your captain
cancel the charter you will be issued a "Charter Cancellation Number".
This number is unique to your reservation.
Notification of cancellation outside of 48 hours of your charter date must be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 305-296-6602.
Notification of cancellation inside of 48 hours of your charter date must be made directly with the captain. Captains' cell phone numbers are stated on your confirmation letter.
We retain all correspondence and document all phone calls as part of the reservation/cancellation process. When contacting us regarding a cancellation, be certain you receive and then retain a "Charter Cancellation Number" from our agent as this may be required at a later time. This number is unique to your reservation.
Charter(s) cancelled prior to 15 days minimum of scheduled charter date:
Your Deposit will be 100% refunded.
Charter(s) cancelled 14 days to within 48 hours prior to scheduled charter date:
Result in loss of Deposit* and a $200.00 Cancellation Fee to offset expenses and loss of opportunity for Captain(s) affected**.
Charter(s) cancelled with less than "48 hours" or in the event of a "No-Show" for scheduled charter date:
Result in forfeiture of Deposit plus remaining "Charter Balance" to offset expenses occurred and loss of opportunity for Captain(s) affected.
Any and all subsequent charters that are cancelled will be subject to our cancellation policy as stated above.
* We will retain your deposit however, verses a forfeiture of the deposit due to your charter cancellation, we will honor the deposit amount making it available for your use on a future charter for a period of one year. Deposits held in this manner are non-transferrable and must be applied to like charter reservation.
We believe this to be a fair and reasonable gesture on our part, proving once again customer service is our highest priority. Our hopes are you will have an opportunity to experience our services at a future date. You will receive an email confirming the credit with a cancellation number for future reference. We trust you find this an equitable resolution for all parties concerned in this unfortunate situation.
** We immediately attempt to reschedule the affected captain(s) with the highest priority. In the event we successfully reschedule the affected captain(s) "Cancellation Fees" are refunded. Mr. Mike Bender, General Manager of Hurricane Hole Marina, as an informed third party will provide proof of affected Captain(s) schedule for day(s) in issue via email upon request.
Seasickness (motion discomfort) may or may not affect people differently. We do not want this to happen to you, so we advise to take precautions!
If you are planning an inshore trip, seasickness is very unlikely. However, if you are going offshore, you should definitely consider some form of medication, patch and/or wrist band to help prevent seasickness. The most common motion sickness products are Bonine (preferred by most guests) and Dramamine. We have found that taking a dose before the evening before your charter and a dose first thing in the morning helps tremendously.
The evening before your charter, take it easy! Key West is known for being a party town. Save the celebration for the night after your charter. Avoid excessive drinking and staying up late, we see this as the #1 cause of seasickness.
Should your charter ask to return early because of seasickness, you will be responsible for full payment of your reserved charter, regardless of length of time spent on the water or remaining on the charter. There will be no refund of the charter deposit due to a trip being terminated early due to seasickness.
Inclement Weather Policy
Our Florida Keys weather can be a real challenge to forecast. TV forecasts generated from Miami are often misleading and incorrect for our area and waters. We rely on the official NOAA marine forecast that can differ greatly from land-based forecast. The daily 5pm NOAA Marine forecast is generally quite accurate however, all weather decisions are made solely by the captain on the morning of the charter.
Our policy reads should the wind at Sand Key Lighthouse, sanf1, exceed 25 knots sustained or in the event your captain determines the weather is unsuitable for your day on the water (i.e. numerous thunderstorms or tropical advisories for our area), they reserve the right to postpone or cancel the trip. Should this be the case you will receive a full refund of your deposit. If your trip is cancelled due to inclement weather, you must have a Charter Cancellation Number in order to request a full refund. This number can only be issued by Key West Pro Guides and is unique to your reservation.
Weather cancellations are determined by the Captain. We do not cancel charters due to light rain. Daily light rains are common place throughout the tropics. Captains always take this into consideration planning your day around potential adverse locations. Best advice is to plan accordingly, bring a light rain jacket.
In the rare case that the guide and/or boat you have been scheduled with is unable or unavailable to run your trip, Key west Pro Guides reserves the right to assign a similar boat and/or Captain to run your charter. If this is the case, you will be notified as soon as possible via e-mail or the contact number provided by you to inform you of the change. We make every possible effort to make sure this doesn't happen and rest assured that whomever you are rescheduled with is a member of the Pro Guides and an outstanding captain.
Personal Items liability
Baggage, personal items and personal equipment are the sole responsibility of their owners at all times. Boats are inherently wet; items that you wish to keep from getting wet should be placed in a dry storage bag or container. We highly recommend not bringing any unnecessary items. Key West Pro Guides and its affiliates shall not be liable or responsible for any loss, expense, damage, or inconvenience which results directly or indirectly from any act or failure to act whether negligent or otherwise relating to any activity offered by Key West Pro Guides and its affiliates.
Additional Trip Information:
- All rates quoted are for your group and your captain.
- All trips are private charter. Sorry, we do not offer split or shared trips.
- Light Tackle boats may take up to four guests. (Vessels that comfortably accommodate up to 6 people are limited in availability)
- Flats and Backcountry boat capacities vary by captain.
- Alcohol is allowed on your charter, please limit it to beer or wine in reasonable quantities. No hard liquor please.
- All trips include bait, tackle, rods, licenses and a cooler with ice.
- Please, no coolers. Our boats have coolers built in for your refreshments.
- Fish cleaning is available, as is short-term freezer storage.
Items you should bring:
- Drinks, plenty of liquids (Gatorade, Powerade, sodas, etc.)
- Lunch or snacks if you're on a ¾ or full day charter.
- Sunscreen (please, no aerosols), sunglasses and a hat.
- CAMERA!! Take lots of pics and send to us so we can proudly post to our Facebook page
Items you should not bring:
- Illegal drugs of any kind. Please do not put our captains at risk.
- Aerosol sunscreen. This stuff goes everywhere and makes the decks slippery. It is also not nearly as effective as a good high SPF lotion.
- Hard liquor