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Middle Keys Reefs & Shipwrecks

Locations >The Keys > Middle Keys Reefs & Shipwrecks

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mooring buoy in water Long Key to Marathon between Longitude 80? 45 and 81? 09

Shipwrecks, reefs, and wrecks in The Middle Florida Keys have less restriction than the Upper Keys allowing spearfishing in Fishing & Dive Sites memory card from florida go fishingboth state and federal waters. There are Wildlife Management Areas, Existing Management Areas and some Sanctuary Preserve Areas that restrict fishing, spearing and Lobstering and we indicate these areas on the diagrams below.

FKNMS provides mooring buoys at popular diving & fishing areas throughout the Keys to prevent anchor damage to reefs. If mooring buoys are present you must use them. If none are available and you cannot find another angler to tie up to, only anchor in a sandy area away from the reef. Some mooring buoys may be designated "fishing" buoys or "dive boat" buoys; it is proper courtesy to comply with these designations.

Lobstering is not allowed in State waters on artificial reefs or artificial structures and may or may not be indicated on our charts, just remember no Lobstering in state waters on artificial anything! We have done the research for you and indicate on the below charts where you can and cannot fish, lobster and spearfish. Most sites where you can hook & line fish you can lobster - if Lobstering is not allowed we indicate it. icon webpageLobstering Brochure

icon mooring buoy ok to fish = Mooring Buoy(s) - OK to fish when tied to buoy icon mooring buoy no fishing = Mooring Buoy(s) - No Fishing when tied to buoy
Spearfishing OK at this site Spearfishing OK at this site No Spearfishing in this area = No Spearfishing icon represents no lobstering at this site = No Lobstering icon webpage Symbol Index ? Click Diagrams to Enlarge

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Tennessee Reef diagram

The Tennessee Reef is a off-limits research area 4 nautical miles south of Long Key with a deep spur-and-groove system with unique deepwater, slow-growth corals and sponges.

Adelaide Baker wreck diagram

star icon represents webpageThe Adelaide Baker

Coffins Patch diagram

Ok to spear outside of SPA areas. Be sure to anchor in the sand.

Thunderbolt ship diagram

iconThe Thunderbolt
Marker 48 reef diagram North American wreck diagram No Lobstering at the North American because this is an artificial reef in state waters.
star icon represents webpage North America

Diagram Sombrero Key
You can spearfish outside of the SPA area. Be sure to only anchor in sandy areas. This is a great snorkeling reef with nurse sharks.



The above diagrams are courtesy of FKNMS. Florida Go Fishing created helpful icons and added site details to each diagram with rules.


Spearfishing is allowed in state & federal waters south (west) of the Long Key Bridge, north of LK Bridge and south of Rodriguez Key you must be three miles offshore from the nearest point of land. We indicate on our site diagrams where spearfishing IS allowed. Remember, it's irresponsible to spearfish anytime recreational divers are present, so use good judgement when hunting. After spearfishing, if you will be traveling through any no-take zones (SPA's, EMA's, ER's, ROA's, state and national parks) you must remain in continuous transit (do not stop) when returning to port with gear broken down and stowed away.

On the bay side of the middle Keys is the Great White Heron WMA which prohibits spearfishing. For more details visit our Keys Parks & Preserves page. There is no spearing in State Parks.

star icon represents webpage FWC's Spearfishing Regulations for rules & species restrictions and icon pdf Spearfishing Regulations in Monroe County


Thunderbolt icon mooring buoy ok to fishSpearfishing OK at this site

Thunderbolt ship drawing underwaterThis 188-foot military ship is the jewel of the Marathon wreck fleet. Sunk intentionally as a dive attraction in March 1986, she now sits perfectly upright in 115 feet of water offering 45 feet of relief. Originally named the USS Randolph, she was built for the U.S. Army as a cable laying boat. She later served FP&L as a research ship to attract and study lightning, hence her name "Thunderbolt". After sinking at the dock in Miami, she was later purchased by a group of Keys divers in 1986, prepped as an artificial reef, and scuttled for her destiny as an artificial reef.?

Her superstructure is now coated with colorful sponge, coral, and hydroid, providing refuge and sustenance to large angelfish, jacks, and a variety of deep-water pelagic creatures. Divers will want to investigate the huge twin propellers and descend into the engine compartment beneath large arches in the main deck. Her bow is dominated by a huge horizontal cable reel. Dropping over the stern of the vessel divers can examine huge twin props. Large hatches off the main deck open into the engine compartments where it is possible to descend into the hull to 110 feet. star icon represents webpage The Thunderbolt Shipwreck Trail icon magnafier Thunderbolt Site Diagram


star icon represents webpage Lower star icon represents webpage Upper icon webpage Symbol Index star icon represents webpage GPS Coordinates star icon represents webpage Charts of The Florida Keys and FKNMS

Multiple resources were used to create our Florida GPS Coordinates Reef Charts. This data is provided as a tool to increase your fishing and/or diving enjoyment and is not intended to be used for navigational purposes. This information is provided only as a courtesy and there are NO guaranties, warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Florida Go Fishing assumes NO liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information contained here AND is not responsible for location changes or inaccuracies of rules, bouys, hazards or markers. If you find an error or omission in the data, please feel free to contact us with the correct information and we will verify and correct it as soon as possible.