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Fishing, spearfishing, diving, snorkeling - so many choices in the Florida Keys to enjoy the spectacular reefs and shipwreck, all just minutes from shore. Your choices are endless and so are the fish you can catch. The Florida Keys have many marine habitats that include fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, hard bottom regions, as well as patch and bank reefs. You can fish for big game fish on the Atlantic Ocean side or fish the flats and back country islands of Florida Bay. Shipwrecks are numerous in this area with Shipwreck Alley being a popular destination for both anglers and divers. With the warm Gulf Stream running by The Keys just offshore, numerous fishing tournaments and fishing charters frequent this blue water area on the edge of the Gulf Stream for some excellent deep sea fishing for big game fish.

star icon represents webpage Charts & Maps of The Florida Keys and FKNMS pdf iconNew! Buy our handy PDF file loaded with 78 Florida Keys diagrams

Florida park pavillion Shipwreck on a reef gps coordinates for charlotte, lee and collier county collier county gps coordinates for reefs middle keys gps coordinates for reefs Upper Keys Gps coordinates for reefs
People walking on a beach Fishing Pier Directory Boat launch ramp

 

chart showing the regions of the keys, upper, middle, lower, marquasis, tortugas

The Florida Keys is a 158 mile long string of islands extending south and west of the Florida mainland from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas. The Florida Keys are within Monroe County and include Florida Bay and the southern tip of the Florida peninsula that is mostly Everglades National Park. The Keys are divided by both geography and demography into three distinct units: Upper Keys, Middle Keys, and Lower Keys. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) was created in 1990 to oversee the 2,900 square nautical miles on both sides of the Florida Keys. Management in these state and federal waters is achieved through a cooperative agreement with the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fishing opportunities in The Keys include fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, hard bottom regions, as well as patch and bank reefs. You can fish for big game fish on the Atlantic Ocean side or fish the flats and back country islands of Florida Bay. Shipwrecks are numerous in this area with Shipwreck Alley being a popular destination for both anglers and divers. With the warm Gulf Stream running by The Keys just offshore, numerous fishing tournaments and fishing charts frequent this blue water area on the edge of the Gulf Stream for some excellent deep sea fishing for big game fish. For the shore angler there are hundreds of bridges, beaches, piers sprinkled through out the 1,700 islands that make up The Florida Keys. For the freshwater angler the Everglades and National Parks offers limitless fresh and brackish fishing.

star icon Read about the Reef Formations in the Keys

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) includes all of the Florida Keys and a portion east of Key Biscayne near Pacific Reef. Fishing and Lobstering in the sanctuary is allowed except for distinctly marked marine protected areas throughout The Keys.

Map of the FL Keys showing marine zones

Except for catch and release fishing by trolling in the Conch Reef, Alligator Reef, Sombrero Reef, and Sand Key SPAs, fishing by any means is prohibited within marked areas. However, gear capable of harvesting fish may be aboard a vessel in an Ecological Reserve or Sanctuary Preservation Area, provided such gear is not available for immediate use when entering and during transit through such Ecological Reserve or Sanctuary Preservation Area, and no presumption of fishing activity shall be drawn therefrom.

Fishing the Reefs of The Keys

Watch this video from SpanishFlyTV's Jose Wejebe that describes the different type of reefs in The Keys.

There are so many fishing tournaments in the Florida Keys Monroe County Commission put together a guide with contact information if you are interested in joining one of their annual tournaments. Icon indicating document is PDFFishing Tournament Guide

Keys Islands

The Florida Keys islands are divided into 3 regions - Upper , Middle, and Lower:

Upper Middle Lower
Key Largo Craig Key Pigeon Key Park Key
Tavernier Fiesta Key Money Key Lower Sugarloaf Key
Plantation Key Long Key Little Duck Key Saddlebunch Keys
Windley Key City of Layton Missouri Key Shark Key
Upper Matecumbe Key Conch Key Ohio Key Geiger Key
Tea Table Key Little Conch Key Sunshine Key Big Coppitt Key
Indian Key Duck Key Bahia Honda Key East Rockland Key
Lignumvitae Key Grassy Key Spanish Harbor Key Rockland Key
Lower Matecumbe Key Crawl Key Scout Key (West Summerland Key) Boca Chica Key
Village of Islamorada Long Point Key No Name Key Stock Island
  Fat Deer Key Big Pine Key Key West
  Key Vaca Little Torch Key Sigsbee Park
  City of Marathon Middle Torch Key Fleming Key
  City of Key Colony Beach Big Torch Key Sunset Key
  Boot Key Ramrod Key Wisteria Island
  Knight's Key Summerland Key Mule Keys
    Knockemdown Key Marquesas Keys
    Cudjoe Key Dry Tortugas
    Sugarloaf Key Tortugas Bank

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