Snapper, Tuna and Lobsters, Oh My! Check Out a True Seafood Splendor in Marathon

Marathon is a seafood haven!


Think lobster, snapper, tuna and lots of other delicious fish.

It’s no wonder every March the city hosts the Original Marathon Seafood Festival, a two-day event attended by over 21,000 people celebrating the best seafood in the area. Think lobster, snapper, tuna and lots of other delicious fish.

Marathon, which has a rich fishing history, is one of the most marine-friendly cities in the Florida Keys. They have almost 1,200 wet slips and 1,200 dry slips.

There are regular fishing tournaments in Marathon, making the fishing here even more interesting and competitive too. Two to check out: the Tarponoian Tournament in May and the Bonefish Tournament in September.

If you’re fishing here, expect to have fun! It’s best to hire a charter boat and crew to guide you through your fishing adventures in Marathon. You still need a license but the good time and the bragging rights are free.

Make sure you’re in-the-know about latest fishing regulations. Get the Fish Rules app which tells you things like which fish are in season and how many you can keep.

Even if you’re not into catching your own dinner, Marathon is the place to be for a fine seafood feast. Many local restaurants, from smaller casual eateries to fine dining venues, serve up all your fish favorites as appetizers and entrees. So go on, dream about lobster tail and the catch of the day.

From grouper to yellowtail and other seafood delights, here’s a look at some of the tasty catches in Marathon.


Tarpon, an endurance fish, is known as the “silver king.” Fish for tarpon on the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge as well as the Bahia Honda Bridge. There are more tarpon fishing opportunities at Long Key Bridge and both bridges at Toms Harbor.

Eat it in Marathon: Head to Lazy Days South where the chef will cook what you’ve caught! Your choices: grilled, fried, blackened or broiled.

Dolphin Fish



Catch dolphin fish during the summer, as well as other Gulfstream pelagics like sailfish and wahoo.

Eat it in Marathon: Have the fried dolphin wrap at Island Fish Company.

Reef Fish

reef fish


Marathon has gorgeous coral reefs and lots of oceanside artificial reefs too. Head out to the reefs and wrecks to snag mutton snapper, yellowtail, mangrove, and barracuda, as well as grouper and mackerel.

Eat it in Marathon: Butterfly Cafe at Tranquility Bay serves up fresh seafood like yellowtail snapper. 7 Mile Grill offers fried, grilled or blackened grouper. 




Fish in Marathon for gamefish including amberjack, sharks, blue and white marlin and blackfin tuna. The prime location for catching these gamefish: the Marathon West Hump, which rises from depths of 1,100 feet to a peak of 480 feet.

Eat it in Marathon: Tuna Sesame is on the menu at Keys Fisheries Market & Marina




Lobster season, which runs August 6 through March 31, has a bag limit of six lobster per person. Here’s a list of regulations for catching lobster in Marathon and nearby areas.


Eat it in Marathon: Florida Keys Steak and Lobster serves broiled and coconut lobster tail.