Key West Kayak Fishing | Detailed Guide

Key West Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing in Key West is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. With its crystal clear, calm waters and abundant fish species, the area offers an ideal setting for anglers of all experience levels. Whether you are new to kayak fishing or have been at it for years, there are plenty of opportunities for a successful outing.

The first step to planning your kayak fishing trip in Key West is to decide on the fish species you would like to target. Tarpon and redfish are two of the most popular game fish in the area, as well as snook, permit bonefish, and others. Be sure to check local regulations for size and bag limits before you go out fishing.

Once you have chosen the species, it’s time to start gathering your gear. There are many kayak rentals available in Key West, so you won’t need to bring your own. However, it is important to make sure that the kayak is equipped with everything you need for a safe and successful outing. This includes a paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), fishing rod holders, bait containers, and other accessories.

Done in shallow, clear waters, kayak fishing in Key West offers the perfect opportunity to get close to the fish. With the right bait and techniques, anglers can easily catch their dinner with just a few casts. Live or cut bait is best since it mimics what the fish normally feed on.

Understanding Kayak Fishing in Key West

Florida keys are not just about big game fishing. It is also an ideal spot for kayak fishing, which can be a great way to experience the area and its stunning beauty. Kayaks allow you to get close to fish and explore areas that are not accessible from larger boats.

The most common type of fishing used for kayak fishing in the Keys is flats fishing. This involves targeting fish in shallow waters, usually in areas that have grassy or sandy bottoms. Redfish, tarpon, permit, and bonefish are just some of the species targeted while kayak fishing.

Several guided kayak tours are available in Key West, which can be a great way to learn about the area and kayak fishing for beginners. These tours usually include an experienced guide who will teach you proper technique and provide tips on where to find the best spots.

Kayak fishing in Key West is unique because of the shallow, clear waters that offer anglers an up-close experience. To ensure success, anglers should be familiar with the different techniques for kayak fishing.

One popular technique is sight fishing, which means looking for fish near the surface and casting accordingly. This type of fishing requires a keen eye and good casting ability. It is also important to consider the time of day, as some species are more active during certain times.

Another technique that can be used in Key West is live-bait fishing. This involves using bait such as shrimp or crabs to attract fish in shallow waters. The key here is to present the bait slowly and precisely, as this will help to increase your chances of a successful catch.

Finally, jigging is another effective technique for kayak fishing in Key West. This involves using heavy lures or jigs to target deeper water species such as snapper and grouper. Jigging requires some patience, as it is not always an immediate success, but can be rewarding if done correctly.

Overall, kayak fishing in Key West offers anglers some of the best opportunities to catch a variety of fish and experience this beautiful part of the Florida Keys. With the right preparation and techniques, anglers can have a successful day on the water.

Top Species you can find Kayaking in Kew West

Kayak fishing in Key West is a great way to experience the stunning beauty of this part of Florida. With its shallow, clear waters and abundant fish species, anglers can have a successful day on the water with just a few casts. Here are five of the top species you can find while kayaking in Key West:

1. Tarpon – Known for their impressive size and fighting ability, the tarpon is one of the most sought-after gamefish in Key West. They can be found near mangroves or around structures such as bridges and piers during certain times of the year.

2. Redfish – Another popular gamefish in Key West is redfish, which are known for their hard-fighting nature and delicious taste when cooked. They typically inhabit shallow areas such as flats or oyster bars where they feed on bait fish and crabs.

3. Snook – The snook is another prized catch among anglers due to its large size and powerful fight when hooked onto a line. In addition to being good eating, snook also make excellent sport fishing targets because they put up an incredible battle once hooked onto your line!

4. Permit – A highly sought-after inshore gamefish, the permit can be found in shallow waters near structures such as bridges, wrecks, and piers. They are highly prized for their delicious flavor when cooked.

5. Bonefish – Known for their lightning-fast runs and powerful tail kicks when hooked onto a line, bonefish are the ultimate prize among anglers in Key West. They can be found in shallow waters near grass flats, sandy bottoms, or oyster bars.

Best Places for Kayak Fishing in Key West

The Lower Keys of Key West provide anglers with some of the best kayak fishing opportunities in the Florida Keys. With its crystal clear waters and abundance of fish species, it is no surprise that this area has become a popular spot for anglers looking to reel in some impressive catches. Here, anglers can find a variety of gamefish such as tarpon, redfish, snook, permit, and bonefish.

The shallow waters of the Lower Keys are ideal for kayaking, allowing anglers to get up close and personal with the fish without worrying about running aground. Plus, there are plenty of mangrove islands that offer shelter from the wind and wave action. With its abundant marine life and crystal clear waters, the Lower Keys is definitely one of the best places for kayak fishing in Key West.

Key Largo in the upper Florida Keys is also an excellent destination for kayak fishing. With its protected bays and channels, it offers anglers the opportunity to fish in calm waters as well as explore islands and backcountry areas. Plus, there are plenty of flats that hold great numbers of bonefish and permit, making Key Largo one of the premier destinations for kayaking anglers in the Keys.

Choosing the Right Guide

Kayak fishing in Key West can be an incredible experience, but it is important to choose a guide who knows the area and can help you find the best spots for catching fish. A knowledgeable kayaking guide will be able to provide advice on the best lures and techniques for catching different species as well as point out areas where certain kinds of fish can be found. With the right guide, you can have an unforgettable day fishing in Key West!

These guides have incredible knowledge and experience of the local waters, so you can be sure to get the most out of your kayak fishing experience. With their help, you can make the most out of your time on the water and catch some impressive gamefish in Key West!

With its shallow, clear waters and abundant fish species, Key West is an ideal spot for kayakers looking to get the most out of their fishing experiences. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, don’t hesitate to book one of these knowledgeable guides and enjoy an unforgettable kayak fishing experience on Key West’s waters!

Preparing for your Kayak Fishing in Key West

When embarking on a kayak fishing trip in Key West, it’s important to come prepared. Of course, the obvious items such as fishing tackle and bait are essential, but there are other items that can help make the experience more enjoyable and successful. For example, polarized sunglasses are a must-have item for any angler, as they help reduce glare and make it easier to spot fish in the water. Additionally, having a first aid kit is always a good idea in case of any accidents or emergencies.

It’s also important to bring plenty of drinking water and snacks on your trip. It can get hot out on the water, so staying hydrated is essential for maintaining energy levels. Additionally, a packed lunch or snacks will help fuel you throughout the day. Finally, make sure to bring along a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Taking these steps to prepare for your kayak fishing trip in Key West can help ensure an enjoyable experience out on the water

Remember to dress for the weather, too. A hat and sun protection are essential, as well as comfortable clothes that will allow you to move around freely. Having the right clothing can make a huge difference when fishing from a kayak, so don’t forget to pack accordingly!

A good understanding of fishing regulations in Key West is also important for a successful kayak fishing trip. Knowing where you can and cannot fish, as well as the size limits for certain species is essential for staying within the law and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience out on the water.


Kayak fishing in Keys is an affordable and enjoyable way to explore the waters and catch some of Key West’s abundant fish species. With proper preparation and a knowledgeable guide, anyone can have an unforgettable experience while fishing in the Keys! So don’t hesitate—book a kayak fishing trip today and get ready for a day full of adventure on the water.