For fishing rates for All Water Charters, go to the BOOKINGS tab to see current rates. This page is designed to help you see the cost for all types of fishing charters that Key West has to offer.
Cost of Key West Fishing Charters
Are you coming to Key West and want to know how much it will cost to go out fishing? Look no further! Here we will give you an estimated range of all types of Key West fishing rates. In some aspects you get what you pay for, but why pay for something that may not fit into your wants and needs for the day? We will go in the order from the least expensive to most expensive, while giving a small description of each.
- Most all of private charters include tackle, fishing licensing, iced down water, instruction, and bait in the price.
- Tips are never included in the trip rate unless you ask for it to be added in beforehand. Tips are customary in any service industry, including charter fishing. It is customary to tip 15-20% of the trip rate if you had a good time.
- Tips are usually handed to the mates working on the charter boat, and handed directly to the captain if there is no mate working for him. This is a little different with party boat fishing where there are a bunch of deck hands, as they may have a tip jar.
- Deep sea and light tackle fishing boats sometimes have rates that do not include fuel. Please check with your captain before booking your trip to make sure there aren’t any extra fuel costs, taxes, and about who gets what fish at the end of the day. Most Key West fishing charters charge a small fee if you are paying with a credit card
Head Boat/Party Boat Fishing
Fishing on a head boat is the easiest and cheapest way to get out on the water. With a couple boats to choose from, you can get out fishing usually with short notice. These are the boats that are a little bigger, maybe up to 70ft in length. You will be on the boat with about 20-30 other people. They typically have bench seating that goes around the perimeter of the boat, as well as bathrooms inside. These types of boats go out to the reefs and anchor up, allowing everyone to bottom fish independently. The types of species you’ll get into varies on the conditions and where they go that day, but I’ve seen yellow tail snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, grunts, mackerel, grouper, sharks, and jacks. These trips are about $60 per adult, and usually a little cheaper for kids. These boats can be rented out as private but the normal trip is not a private fishing trip.
Flats fishing is a private charter that will get you out into the backcountry, to do some shallow water sight fishing. Flats fishing is also a pretty intense sport for some, who come back year and year to go after their illusive species of fish. The types of boats you will be on are small flats boats ranging from 16-20ft in length, and usually take no more than 2 people. Flats fishing can be tough some days, because the angler needs to have a decent level of fishing skills to be able to make precision casts. Flats fishing species include permit, bonefish, tarpon, barracudas, and sharks. Fly fishing anglers like to go out on flats boats because fly fishing is already a solo sport in itself, and they can be guided to fish on the flats they only they will make casts to. Flats fishing is definitely for someone who is a little more intermediate in fishing, someone who wants to cast to fish on the flats with a fly rod, or an angler who wants to sight fish all day. Flats fishing rates are roughly $500-$600 for a half a day (4 hours) and go up from there with added hours.
Backcountry fishing in Key West is definitely a favorite among many travelers. It is a private charter that is done either on a flats boat (described above), or on a bay boat. Bay boats can handle up to 4 anglers, and are usually 20-25ft in length. Bay boats are designed to be a little more comfortable, while being able to get out in the flats and backcountry waters. These boats can also sometimes push out to one of the nearshore reefs, while not becoming uncomfortable. Bay boats have a little big bigger bows and are just more roomy overall. Backcountry fishing from a bay boat is the favorite among many because of the amount of action and species that are caught. Anglers have caught up to 15 different species in one day on a backcountry fishing trip. Bay boats can still get to some of those flats species (not as shallow), and can fish the channels a lot easier for tarpon. Fishing from a bay boat will make you feel a little more comfortable, as you do not feel like you will fall right out of the boat. Some bay boats have shade and a portable toilet, but most do not. Rates for a backcountry fishing charter start around $650-$750 for a half day (4 hours) with up to 4 persons.
Light Tackle Reef Fishing
Light tackle reef fishing is the type of trip where you would go out to the reef and sometimes anchor up to bottom fish. This seems similar to the party boat and head boat fishing doesn’t it? Well, it is totally different in many ways. Light tackle boats are center console boats typically with 2 outboard engines. They can take up to 6 people on a private charter. Light tackle reef fishing on one of these boats is a lot more enjoyable, because you do not have to share the boat with 20 other people. On this private charter, you will get to fish for all sorts of reef fish and sometimes pelagic species. Since it is a private charter, the angler typically has somewhat of a say in what they’d like to do for the day. You will cover more ground and go to better spots in one of these boats versus a head boat. Amberjacks, kingfish, sailfish, tuna, snapper, grouper, and sharks are all species that you can expect to catch on a light tackle boat. Depending on who you go with, rates start around $900 for a half day (4 hours) fishing trip.
Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea fishing is one of the most popular type of fishing trips in the continent. Deep sea fishing is primarily trolling baits in the deeper blue water for pelagic species. These species include wahoo, sailfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, kingfish, and more! Deep sea fishing is good for up to 6 people, and they sometimes offer split charters (two separate groups of people) when available. Deep sea fishing is a private charter, unless you do go on a split charter with another group. Trolling is the primary style of fishing on a deep sea boat, and is good for people who just want to sit back and relax and wait for a fish to get on. Deep sea fishing is not for someone who is a hands on kind of angler, who likes to be in the center of the action all day. Deep sea fishing is though, one of the best ways to go after these pelagic species. The fishing guides in Key West who fish offshore daily know where the best places are to up your chances of a catch. Deep sea fishing boats have rates starting around $1000 for a half day (4 hours).