Reef Fishing

Reef fishing in Islamorada is a great way to spend a day on the water. We fish the reef year round in the Florida Keys, but the offshore charter boats primarily focus on it from October – April. The reef line runs parallel with the Keys and is an average distance of 4 miles off shore. The reef drops from an average depth of 60’ on top to 90’ on the bottom. We use all sorts of fishing techniques while on the reef, so don’t think it’s strictly bottom fishing! Charter boats use all sorts of fishing methods including bottom fishing, trolling, kite fishing, drift fishing, and sight fishing. Common reef fish are sailfish, snapper, grouper, barracuda, cobia, mackerel, shark, African pompano, wahoo, etc. We also catch the occasional mahi and tuna while fishing with live baits, so you have to be ready for everything! Usually they are further offshore but they can be a nice surprise. Many of the fish we catch while reef fishing make good table fare too! So whether you bring some home or just take a bag of fresh fish to a local restaurant, you’ll enjoy your catch! There’s also quite a few “wrecks” just out side the reef which we fish around too. They’re anywhere from 100′ – 200′ of water and our captains know some well known ones as well as some secret ones! Wreck fishing is grouped under our “reef fishing” category and many days fishing the wrecks are the way to go!

Most days we start out by catching live bait and then go from there. A full day is always recommended for the best fishing experience, but if a ½ day charter is all you think you can handle or have time for, give the reef a shot! The average travel time in and out is only 20 minutes each way, so you’ll have plenty of fishing time! Florida Keys Reef Fishing is a great option for the whole family! If a private charter is not in the budget our Miss Islamorada Party boat (head boat) fishes the reef too and is an affordable way to get out and catch a few fish for dinner.

Fishing Reports

Mid April Report – Broad Minded Strikes Again!

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5 star rating“Trent is the Best!” Absolutely best fishing guide!!! Trent was extremely patient and helpful with my son. He put us on... read more
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James B Avatar
James B
2/17/2024
4 star ratingBud and Mary's is one of my favorite things about the keys. The atmosphere is great and the people are SUPER nice. What more can you ask for than a day on the water and great people? I went with the whole family, and when I say the whole family I mean the WHOLE family!!! Brothers, nieces, nephews, parents, you name it they were there and everyone had a great time. Other than a little seasickness and that's the ocean's fault! We couldn't have asked for better day together. My brother heads down regularly and I can't wait to head back and join him.
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Charlene D. Avatar
Charlene D.
6/20/2014
4 star ratingA Great Place for Anglers A great spot for anglers. We fished for five days and, with one exception, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The offshore boats were serviceable, if not spotless, and the skiffs were all very nice. We stayed right at the marina in dated but clean rooms, and there's a great restaurant (Lazy Daze) next door (but the on-site cafe is poor). Everything is on island time so don't expect efficiency, but that's part of the charm. We would absolutely come again.
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Poochkin Avatar
Poochkin
5/14/2023