Gulf Shrimp Boats
Shrimp boats, you have seen their lights on the horizon as darkness falls over the water. Trawling nets through the night time hours gathering the Gulf’s “Pink Gold”. By mornings first light the crews, with their boats already at anchor have begun the arduous task of culling the prized shrimp from the hundreds of pounds of “by-catch” from their nets. In doing so, this by-catch is washed overboard, back to the gulf waters, consisting of magnum amounts of bait fish crabs and miscellaneous sea life. Naturally drifting away on the tide and currents this massive, very desirable “chum slick” immediately begins to draw several species of fish. Instantly these schools of fish search for the chum slicks source following the scent and forage back to the resting shrimp boat. As you can imagine, this enormous population of fish drawn into such close proximity of one another begin to aggressively compete, so begins a feeding frenzy.
As this has been taking place, the anglers have been making their way across the distant, mirrored waters of the gulf, navigating by radar locating these many quiet nomadic shrimp boats. Each boat now represents an individual chum slick with a populace of fishing trailing behind. As the anglers arrive, then creep to within casting range of the shrimp boats stern the guide free tosses live pilchards into the water. For a split second all seems quiet before the slashing and swirling fish rise up to meet them. Blackfin Tuna are a renowned regular at these shrimp boat buffets. Kingfish, Cobia, Permit, Bonita, giant Barracuda and of course sharks are all here in numbers, feeding! The action and vicious strikes are indescribable. Strike after strike, fish after fish you begin to realize, you cannot keep your lines in the water more than a mere second before being slammed, every single time!
This is the definitive action trip! Novice angler to seasoned pro, everybody comes home exhausted, arms feeling like rubber…have you ever cried….”Uncle”?
If you were to ask any knowledgeable angler for a list of the very best fishing locations in the world, Key West would surely be on that list. The waters surrounding our island are some of the most abundant and prolific fishing grounds on the planet.
Key West is blessed as the Atlantic Ocean with its Gulf Stream’s amazing currents carry Sailfish, Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo among many species of pelagic fish to our front door. The wondrous Gulf of Mexico resides on the opposite side of the island with its miles of pristine inshore waters creating our world famous flats and back country for the shallow water anglers as well as the countless ship wrecks and patch reefs further offshore. The Gulf of Mexico offers a vast diversity for every light tackle fishermen. Meanwhile the Florida Straits bring these two bodies of water together and collectively they become an angler’s paradise, unequalled anywhere in the world.
However, the ultimate fishing adventure in Key West may very well lie far offshore to the west, in the distant waters of the Gulf. Many of these remote and isolated locations do not appear on maps or charts. The few known areas are simply to challenging for less experienced guides. Still others are known only to our second and third generation guides having been past down from father to son over the years. Discovered long ago by commercial fishermen these distant fishing grounds are now available to you…if you’re ready for it!
Please Note: One especially important requirement to fish the Gulf Wrecks, past 9 miles from shore, is your guide needs to have the proper Federal fishing permits… More than 95% of the light tackle guides out of Key West DO NOT have these permits, as there was a moratorium on issuing any new permits, established in 2006, that severely limited the number of boats that can legally fish Federal waters. If you book with one of these guides, two things will happen, you will either fish closer in state waters, that everyone fishes, or you will illegally fish Federal waters. Our light tackle guides possess these permits, and can therefore take you to the best wrecks.
Specialty Trips – Shrimp Boats, Gulf Wrecks & Towers (Dec – July)
Light Tackle Boat – 1 to 4 guests – (Yellowfin, Conch, Contender)
Full Day $1800 (8 hours) Fuel Included