“It’s simply some of the best fishing in the entire world,” says Dan Stack, a fishing expert who spends two weeks fishing in the Keys every year. He says the area is a rare spot since it provides so many different types of fishing experiences.
Pro Angler and Team Toyota athlete Terry Scroggins, who’s known for bass fishing and his culinary skills, agrees.
“The magic of Islamorada is that you’ve got the Atlantic on one side, and the Gulf on the other side,” says Scroggins, a Florida native, whose nickname is Big Show. “The prime location lends for an endless list of species to fish – and you also have the diversity of fishing on either shallow flats, or in deep blue water, offshore.”
Before you grab your fishing pole, make sure you’re in-the-know.
“Visitors need to know that rules for fishing the Atlantic may very well be different than rules for fishing Gulf waters,” says Scroggins, urging would-be fishers to study the most current fishing regulations and realize policies change annually, especially when fishing for snapper and grouper.
Timing is another consideration for fishing. Stack’s advice? “Avoid the crazy times: spring break, mini lobster season and fantasy fest,” he says, reminding visitors and locals to check fishing forecast and weather, noting late spring and early fall have the best seas.
“All fishing in the Keys is seasonal so making sure you know what you would like to catch is important,” says Sheldon Suga, managing partner of Hawks Cay Resort, located in Marathon, about 30 minutes south of Islamorada.
Fishing in the Keys, including Islamorada, can be challenging though.
“If you don’t know how to get around and where to go, it’s highly recommended to hire a seasoned guide to put you on the fish,” says Suga.
While getting in and out of the area isn’t always easy. “When you’re there, it’s paradise,” says Scroggins.
From hogfish and grouper to snapper and tuna, here’s a look at 11 types of fish you can reel in during your time in paradise.