When visiting the Florida Keys, there are plenty of areas to fish that provide beautiful scenery and fauna that you won’t find elsewhere. Islamorada offers many renowned fishing spots that anglers can easily locate with a bit of local knowledge and strategic navigation, providing ample opportunities to catch a number of Florida sport fish. Here are seven of the best fishing spots in Islamorada worth checking out on your next visit.
Located on the Atlantic side of the Florida Keys, Pickles Reef is a unique combination of natural and artificial reef. It’s a hangout for many different types of fish, including barracuda, grouper, hogfish, blackfin tuna, and mangrove snapper. You’ll find Pickles Reef a few miles southeast of Key Largo. The name comes from the Pickle Barrel wreck, which is made up of cement-filled pickle barrels that were sunk in this location during the Civil War following shipwrecks.
Also located on the Atlantic side of Islamorada is Conch Reef, another mixture of both natural and artificial reefs within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. As the habitat is similar to that of Pickles Reef, you can expect to encounter the same game fish at each spot. The reef is southeast of Plantation Key, and features a “Research Only” zone in its center, along with a deep wall reef called Conch Wall that lies beyond this zone.
If you’re looking for a shipwreck to check out for your next fishing trip, Eagle Wreck is a great place to start. Sunk intentionally to create an artificial reef near Lower Matecumbe Key, the wreck formerly served the Eagle tire company, hence the name. Abundant baitfish school around the wreck, attracting many Florida game fish. Positioning your boat over the wreck allows anglers to target a variety of species including grouper, barracuda, shark, mahi-mahi, and even sailfish in the right conditions.
Spiegel Grove is another wreck that’s excellent for fishing, located off Key Largo. The USS Spiegel Grove was a dock landing ship that the United States Navy commissioned in the 1950s and decommissioned in the ‘80s. By 1998 it was sunk to create an artificial reef in the Keys, and has since been a hotspot for diving and fishing. The types of fish here include grouper and mahi-mahi, along with other common fish species you’ll find at other wrecks and reefs.
Sitting 130 feet below water off Key Largo is the USCG Bibb, a former vessel in service of the United States Coast Guard’s Treasure Class. It’s one of the most challenging dives in the Keys and is not for beginners, but in terms of fishing it’s a nice spot to find a wide variety of fish on a relaxing trip off the coast, including grouper and others. The Bibb’s sister ship, the USCG Duane, is situated nearby in shallower waters.
The Alexander Barge is another wreck worth visiting for diving and fishing in the Keys, located off the southeast side of Plantation Key. It’s served as an artificial reef since 1984 and is a great location to find larger fish including grouper and barracuda, along with lobsters. The Alexander Barge lies a mere 500 yards from Eagle Wreck.
If you don’t want to go out on the water, you can fish along the bridge connecting the Keys at nearly any spot. The bridge spans across the entirety of Islamorada and sits over waters populated with many assortments of fish. This is a nice alternative to fishing off the coast if you don’t want to venture too far to enjoy a great fishing experience.
Regardless of where you want to fish in the Keys, FishAnywhere can help you find a fishing charter anywhere in the area. We make it easy to locate, book, and get started on your next adventure. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran angler, you’ll find the perfect fishing trip for you.