Reef Charter Fishing Trips From Islamorada

Our Islamorada reef fishing charters are the best in the business. There are more than 125 miles if reef along the Florida Keys. That’s a lot of water to cover. The captains at the Florida Keys Fishing Company know exactly what parts of this expansive reef are producing fish.

Islamorada Reef Fishing

The Florida Keys is home to one of the most awe inspiring reefs in the world. The only living barrier reef in U.S. waters, it runs over 125 miles along the Florida Keys. This living reef is positioned roughly 5 miles off shore, and it is teaming with life. It supports the most diverse range of aquatic species in the world. Of course, this diversity also includes many game fish species.

The reef off Islamorada and throughout the Florida Keys contains Yellowtail Snappers, Mutton Snappers, Red Snappers, and Mangrove Snappers. It is also home to multiple species of Grouper such as Black Grouper, Red Grouper, and Gag Grouper, and we cannot forget Goliath Grouper. The reef will also present opportunities to catch Barracuda and multiple species of shark. It all comes down to technique.

When reef fishing in 30-100 ft of water, we will typically anchor up and establish a chum slick. Yellowtail Snapper rise up into the middle or top of the water column, and they are typically found in schools of hundreds or sometimes even thousands of fish. These fish are caught by free lining or drifting small pieces of cut bait through the chum slick slowly sinking towards the bottom.

Mutton and Mangrove Snapper, as well as all species of the shallow water Grouper complex, are living on or very near the bottom. These fish are targeted by using live, dead, or artificial baits on a fluorocarbon leader. Barracuda and many species of shark will present themselves when they move in to take part in the feeding frenzy. It doesn’t matter what flavor of fishing you prefer, there is something for everyone.

Fishing the reef off the shores of the Florida Keys is filled with excitement and variety. You will never be bored. Of course, it is important to hire the right fishing charter. The fishing charters of the Florida Keys Fishing Company are the very best in the business. Our boats are fully equipped with the very best gear, and our captains have decades of experience between them. We will put you on the fish every time!

What types of fish are found on reefs in the Florida Keys?

The reefs of the Florida Keys contain some of the most diverse aquatic life in the world. Some of the game fish species found on these reefs include Yellowtail Snappers, Red Snappers, Mutton Snappers, and Mangrove Snappers. We will also find Black Groupers, Red Groupers, Gag Groupers, and Goliath Groupers. The reef is also home to Barracuda, Amberjack, Wahoo, King Mackerel, and multiple species of sharks. 

Fish Found off the Reef in Islamorada


Greater Amberjacks usually weigh less than 50 pounds but the Florida record is 142 pounds. If you hook into one over 100 pounds, expect a hell of a fight. Lesser Amberjacks are usually not much over 10 pounds. Amberjacks can be found reef & wreck fishing as well.

Description: Amberjacks have a dark stripe (variably present) which extends from nose to in front of dorsal fin and “lights up” when fish is in feeding mode; no scutes; soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base.

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: OFFSHORE species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 – 240 feet of water; sometimes caught NEARSHORE in south Florida; juveniles associated with floating objects and may occur in water less than 30 feet deep.

Size: common to 40 pounds.

*Florida Record: 142 lbs.

Remarks: largest of the jacks; thought to spawn OFFSHORE throughout most of the year; feeds on squid, fish, and crustaceans.

Yellowtail Snapper

Description: Yellowtail –Snapper’s back and upper sides are olive to bluish with yellow spots; lower sides and belly with alternating narrow, longitudinal pink and yellow stripes; prominent mid-lateral yellow stripe begins at mouth and runs to tail, broadening as it passes the dorsal fins; caudal fin yellow and deeply forked; no dark lateral spot.

Similar Fish: none.

Where found: juveniles INSHORE on grass-beds and back reefs; adults NEARSHORE or OFFSHORE over sandy areas near reefs.

Size: common to 3 pounds.

*Florida Record: 7 lbs., 5 ozs.

Remarks: found mainly in tropical waters; spawns in midsummer; rarely exceeds 30 inches and 5 pounds in size; feeds on small fish and invertebrates.

Our Reef Fishing Charter Boats in Islamorada

Reef fishing in the blue waters off the Florida Keys has a lot to offer. That is what makes fishing Islamorada an unforgettable experience! Whether you want to target Snappers, Groupers, Wahoo, King Mackerel, Amber Jack, Barracuda, or even sharks, the FLORIDA KEYS FISHING COMPANY’s reef fishing charters will give you an experience of a lifetime!

Catchalottafish w/ Captain Ross

Capt. Ross is considered a “Captain’s Captain”. He spent over 10 years working and running boats out of Bud n’ Mary’s marina. He has built a strong reputation for himself amongst the local fleet. Captain Ross was also featured on the TV show “Reel Rivals”. Since joining us, he has proven to consistently put our clients on fish. The bottom line is you get a professional yet personable captain every time! 

All Lit Up w/ Captain Kiki

Capt. Kiki has been fishing the Keys all his life & is an accomplished tournament captain, and he has won many sailfish and Dolphin tournaments throughout the Florida Keys. He has an exceptional passion for teaching anglers of all skill levels how it is done. His passion is evident as soon as our clients step on the boat as he has a genuine desire to make your experience the best possible.

Some Fishing Methods We Use

Our charter captains will usually anchor up and begin producing a chum slick. We use a combination of chumming, live bait, dead bait, and artificial lures to bring in the many different species of fish found on the reef. For example, Yellowtail Snapper rise up into the middle or top of the water column, and they are normally found in large groups of hundreds of fish. These fish are caught by free lining or drifting small pieces of cut bait through the chum slick slowly allowing it to sink down towards the bottom. What ever the species, our captains know the best technique.

Check out our other charter trips like reef fishing, wreck fishing, Tarpon fishing, tournament fishing, etc…

Fishing Charters in Islamorada | Florida Keys Fishing Company