Sportfishing in Islamorada & the Florida Keys
Here you will find details about many of the common game fish you can catch in Islamorada and around the Florida Keys. You can see a name, picture, and details for the fish displayed. Some are known by different names like Mahi-Mahi aslo known as Dolphin or Dolphinfish. Some of these are caught offshore while deep-sea fishing, while some are caught reef fishing or wreck fishing. No matter what type of fishing you are doing, booking a charter fishing trip with us at Catchalottafish will certainly be exciting and memorable. Check out the game fish below and give us a call to discuss what you are most interested in.
Science Name: Coryphaena hippurus
Other Names: Dorado; Dolphin; Dolphinfish
Ideal Temp: 70 to 80
World Record: 88 lbs. Exuma, Bahamas Environment: offshore Techniques: trolling, casting, fly
Science Name: Acanthocybium solandri Other Names: ono, oahu fish, Pacific kingfish, ocean barracuda Ideal Temp: 70 to 80
World Record: 158 lbs. 8 oz, Mexico Environment: offshore
Techniques: heavy tackle, trolling
Science Name: Thunnus atlanticus
Other Names: blackfin Ideal Temp: 65 to 75
World Record: 49 lbs. 8 ounces, Marathon, Florida Keys.
Techniques: medium tackle, trolling, live baiting
Description: back and upper sides 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.
Description: color dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in form of spear; first dorsal greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black spots, its front squared off, highest at its midpoint; pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus; body covered with embedded scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved above pectoral, then straight to base of tail.
Where found: OFFSHORE species, in south Florida associated with waters near the Gulf Stream; off the Panhandle near the 100 foot fathom line.
Size: common to 7 feet.
*Florida Record: 116 lbs.
Remarks: Sailfish are rapid growing species, reaching 4 to 5 feet in a single year; swims at speeds up to 50 knots; feeds on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller pelagic fishes and squid.
Description: dark stripe (variably present) 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.
Science Name: Mycteroperca bonaci Other Names: Rock Grouper
World Record: 114 lbs. Texas and Florid Environment: reef
Techniques: drift, bottom fishing, trolling
Description: color of back iridescent bluish green; sides silvery, streamlined body with tapered head; no black pigment on front of dorsal fin; lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin; young fish often have yellow spots like those of the Spanish mackerel. Similar Fish: cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus.
Other names: King Mackerel
Where found: NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, occasionally taken from piers running into deep water.
Size: common to 20 pounds.
*Florida Record: 90 lbs.
Remarks: schooling fish that migrates fom south Florida waters in winter to more northerly waters in spring; Gulf population thought to be separate from Atlantic population, with considerable mixing in winter from Cape Canaveral past Key West; spawns in midsummer OFFSHORE; feeds on small fish and squid.
Science Name: Megalops atlanticus
Other Names: poons, silver king, sabalo
Ideal Temp: 75 to 90
World Record: 283 lbs. Venezuela Environment: inshore, coastal
Techniques: medium tackle, casting, heavy tackle fly
Remarks: Whether Tarpon fishing around the bridges, on the flats, or anywhere else, you are in for a fight. If you are lucky, you may even get to witness a hammerhead shark chasing and feeding on ‘your’ Tarpon while you are trying to get it to the boat.
Description: color olive green on back and upper sides, all fins below the lateral line having reddish tinge; bright blue line below eye, following contour of operculum; anal fin pointed; small black spot below dorsal fin; V-shaped tooth patch on Similar Fish: lane snapper, L. synagris (anal fin pointed in mutton snapper, rounded in lane).
Where found: an INSHORE species associated with grassbeds, mangroves, and canals; larger adults occasionally found on OFFSHORE reefs.
Size: common to 15 pounds.
*Florida Record: 27 lbs., 6 ozs.
Remarks: spawns in July and August; feeds on fish, crustaceans, and snails.