If you are looking for the ultimate fishing adventure, then we highly recommend that you book a fishing charter in Islamorada, Florida. With Key Largo located to the north and Marathon located to the south, Islamorada is the second of the five main districts in the Florida Keys. Islamorada has been nicknamed the “sport fishing capital of the world” because it is home to a number of record setting catches and world class fishing guides.

Islamorada’s waters have a healthy population of diverse wildlife, so anglers can catch a number of prized fish on the Atlantic (eastern) side and Gulf (western) side of the island. The Atlantic side definitely has a bigger variety of fish in comparison to the Gulf side, but the Gulf side is coveted for its prized backcountry fish.

Fishing on the Atlantic side

Not sure whether you want to fish on the Gulf or the Atlantic? We recommend trying a fishing charter on each side, but that’s just because we like both styles of fishing. However, here are a couple of the differences when fishing on each side.

If you fish on the Atlantic side of Islamorada, there are two types of fishing available, bottom fishing, a.k.a reef or wreck fishing, or deep-sea fishing, a.k.a offshore fishing. Bottom fishing is fishing on the bottom of the ocean floor, and in the Florida Keys, that means fishing on or around the coral reef. Some people like bottom fishing because they don’t have to go too far off-shore, only about five miles, so the trips don’t have to be as long. Fish commonly caught when bottom fishing include Amberjack, various types of snapper, grouper and hogfish.

As the name implies, deep-sea fishing is fishing that takes place in deep water, and in the Florida Keys, that is water that is about 1,000 feet deep. From Islmorada, it is about 15-30 miles offshore to get to water that deep.

Fishing on the Gulf side

Typically charters fishing on the Gulf side of the Florida Keys and Islamorada consist of flats and backcountry fishing. This type of fishing is much different than fishing on the Atlantic side, because it consists of fishing around mangroves and in shallow flats. The type of fish targeted when fishing on the Gulf in the Florida Keys are tarpon, bonefish, red fish, snook and permit. Some of the most coveted fish to catch on the flats are tarpon, permit and bonefish, and if an angler catches all three species in one day, then it is called a “Grand Slam,” and it is a notable angling accomplishment.

Don’t Forget to Feed the Tarpon

There are a couple “must see” fishing landmarks in Islamorada. Located at mile marker (MM) 77.5 is Robbie’s Marina, which is famous for its tarpon feeding. Everyday children and adults alike go to Robbie’s Marina to buy a bucket of bait fish and feed them to the massive tarpon that patrol the docks. To take it even further, a lot of guests have gotten brave enough to lay down on the dock and dangle the bait fish just above the water to get the tarpon to jump out of the water to grab the baitfish from their hands.

Ready to find your fishing guide in Islamorada? You can easily book a fishing charter in Islamorada with GuideGuru.

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