Book Now

Key Largo, FL Fishing: The Dive Capital of the World

Key Largo, FL Fishing: The Dive Capital of the World
Published: Sunday, July 18th, 2021
Updated on: Friday, July 30th, 2021

The paradise island of Key Largo is located at the uppermost part of the renowned Florida Keys. At thirty-three miles long, it is the longest and the biggest island in the archipelago. It is often called the Gateway to the Keys as it’s the first in the chain of islands and connected to the mainland via the Overseas Highway and Card Sound Bridge. Both are connected to the island via the city of Homestead in south mainland Florida. 

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, it has some of the most spectacular views on land, on water, and underwater. On land, locals and tourists can enjoy the coastal views as turquoise waters surround it on both sides. There are also white sand beaches and state botanical parks around the island for nature lovers. Underwater, Key Largo boasts of the only living coral reef in continental America - not to mention the artificial reefs that feature an abundance of corals, fish, and other marine life - which is why it’s known as “The Dive Capital of the World.”

Because of its proximity to the Everglades National Park (just a few miles to the west), Key Largo visitors can also enjoy a nature trip in one of the most incredible ecosystems in the country. Vast wetlands, marshes, and mangrove forests that support a wide array of wildlife including crocodiles, manatees, sea turtles, and hundreds of bird and fish species, are just some of the sights one can expect in this natural wonder.

Aside from its natural beauty, Key Largo also offers some of the best accommodations in the region, with small vacation homes, condominiums, hotels, and resorts scattered around the island. And with shops and restaurants that cater to a wide array of customers, Key Largo truly is one of the best vacation spots in the country. 

Key Largo Fishing

As “The Dive Capital of the World,” the waters around Key Largo offer healthy ecosystems for a lot of fish species—about six hundred species of fish in fact. This only means that recreational fishing is quite amazing here as well. On the western side, Florida Bay and the Everglades feature both saltwater and brackish water that carry an abundance of fish, including tarpon, snook, bonefish, redfish, permit, grouper, snapper, and a lot more. On the other side of the island, anglers have the whole Atlantic Ocean to fish in, where one can catch some deep-sea giants, including wahoo, cobia, kingfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, sailfish, and sharks. It really doesn’t matter where you decide to cast your line—whether along the miles of flats in Florida Bay, on the coral reefs near eastern shores, or if you head out into the open ocean—Key Largo offers plenty of opportunities to fish for all types of anglers.

Planning to book a fishing trip in Key Largo? The best way to go about it is through fishing charters or fishing guides. If you’re a beginner or if you haven’t tried fishing in Key Largo before, a fishing charter or a guide can show you where you can catch some of the best fish in these waters. Not only that, the men and women who man these fishing boats are expert anglers themselves, which means that they can teach you all the tricks of the trade to help you land some trophy fish. And if you don’t have your own fishing gear, they also often rent out all the appropriate equipment you will need to catch any fish you want to target. 


Top Ten Fish Species in Key Largo, FL

The top ten fish species you can catch in Key Largo, FL is permit, snook, grouper, bonefish, redfish, tarpon, blackfin tuna, blue marlin, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.  

Key Largo, FL Fishing: The Dive Capital of the World Fish species
Wahoo  fish

Habitat: Nearshore, Offshore, Reef

Weight: 15 - 35 Pounds

Length: 8" - 100"

Bonefish  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Muddy Flats

Weight: 4 - 16 Pounds

Length: 16" - 41"

Snook  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 12 - 29 Pounds

Length: 16" - 50"

Common Dolphinfish
Common Dolphinfish fish

Habitat: Offshore

Weight: 15 - 30 Pounds

Length: 40" - 83"

Shortfin Mako Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark fish

Habitat: Offshore

Weight: 150 - 300 Pounds

Length: 72" - 150"

Tarpon  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 25 - 63 Pounds

Length: 48" - 96"

Cobia fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 10 - 80 Pounds

Length: 24" - 79"

Redfish fish