Sailfish Caught Offshore
Sailfish Caught Offshore

Florida Keys Deep Sea Fishing Charters

Florida Keys Offshore Fishing ChartersThe Florida Keys are one of the most desirable deep sea fishing charter destinations in the world. Most islands in the Florida Keys have access to a wide variety of fish species with much less travel time compared to other parts of the country. That combined with year-round warm weather and a relaxing tropical setting makes the Keys a great place to vacation. In Marathon, Florida our fishing vessels reach depths of 250ft only 10 miles offshore. At 20 miles offshore we reach 650 ft and at 30 miles we can fish in depths over 1,000ft deep!

Main Attraction offers offshore fishing trips to the Marathon Hump which is a fantastic fishery that almost always holds Blackfin Tuna. From May-August calmer seas allow our Captains to head further offshore to the hump to target Blackfin, Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi), Sailfish, Wahoo and the occasional Marlin. Trips to the Hump cost our regular offshore rate plus $100 for the extra fuel to go 30+ miles out. We are less inclined to reef fish this time of year because the fishing is so good offshore. The exception to this is the Mangrove Snapper spawn on the reef in June and July, which is a fantastic way to get some meat in the box quickly before heading offshore. During the Mangrove Snapper spawn a Combo trip (Reef and Offshore) is a great idea.

Queen Snapper

Mark Busch with a gorgeous Queen Snapper caught in deep water using an electric reel.

Deep Dropping

If you are going out on a full day and the weather is calm, ask your Captain about deep dropping with electric reels in depths of 640-1000 Ft. This style of fishing can yield highly desired eating fish such as Snowy Grouper, Yellowedge Grouper, Tilefish, Barrelfish, Queen Snapper and more! When the conditions are right, Swordfish and Marlin are also possible targets. Many factors affect what species of fish a charter Captain should be targeting on any given day, so always let your Captain make suggestions on what to do. Sometimes the fishing conditions will be good for multiple types of fishing and in that case, the Captain will ask you what you prefer to do. Besides the time of year, weather, current, etc the length of the trip you book is also a factor that your Captain must consider when recommending a plan of action.

Offshore Charter Fishing Trips

Offshore Charters generally describe fishing off anchor with the motors running. This typically involves hunting for pelagic fish that are often on the move. Offshore fishing charters are very popular in the Florida Keys since fish caught offshore are generally bigger than on the reef. When Billfish or Mahi are hooked, you often get to witness some exciting acrobatics. A large school of fish behind the boat can make for some chaotic but very fun moments. The season and weather dictate what Offshore fishing techniques the Main Attraction Team utilizes throughout the year.

Mahi Charters in the FL Keys

In the Florida Keys, we catch Dolphin Fish a.k.a Mahi Mahi throughout the spring and summer.

Our Captains use tall towers to sight-fish for species that are often on or near the water’s surface such as Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi), Sailfish, Cobia, Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, Marlin. These towers are often referred to as tuna towers and they not only help our Captain’s see fish, but they also help them see weed lines and floating objects that can hold bait and attract fish. At the Main Attraction we have gone out of our way to retrofit extra-tall towers on our boats to give us even more of an edge.

From October – February the baitfish that are often found further offshore are now closer to land, near or on the edge of the reef. This creates exciting opportunities to catch offshore fish without having to go as far out. Having offshore fish closer to land works out great in the wintertime, as winds are usually higher and the waves are a bit larger. Higher winds and a disturbed surface on the water can work fish into a frenzy!

When the conditions are good for it, our crews also utilize these winds to fly kites on the reef and catch a multitude of offshore fish while actually on anchor or live bait bump trolling just a few miles out. Sailfish, Kingfish (King Mackerel), Cero Mackerel and other species are often caught from our kites during the fall and winter months. Fortunately, the winds often come from the North this time of year, allowing your Captains to use the island as a barrier if the wind picks up during your trip.

Because of these reasons October – February is a fantastic time of year to combo your offshore experience with reef fishing. Catch your delicious reef fish and then head offshore to look for Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, and Cobia.

Florida Keys Offshore Fishing Charters

Sailfish can be caught throughout the year in the Florida Keys, but we target them mostly from December through May.

Wreck Fishing Trips

Wreck fishing is a fun way to get on some big fish action without having to go very far. A quick ride from the dock gets you in depths of water from 130-300 feet deep. In these depths, we know the locations of all sorts of interesting structures that hold large fish.

Wreck fishing involves dropping baits near the bottom and drifting those baits across the underwater structure. Wreck fishing is considered an offshore activity as it does not involve using an anchor and the motors are continuously running throughout this process.

These wrecks harbor some very large fish that we target including Amberjack over 100lbs, Mutton Snapper from 15-20lbs, Black Grouper 20-40lbs, African Pompano 40-50lbs, and Permit 10-25lbs.

Also on the wrecks, we occasionally hook into huge Sharks that weigh hundreds of pounds and the occasional Goliath grouper that can reach up to 800lbs!

Wreck fishing can be done year-round for different species but it only works great when the conditions are right for it. Always let your Captain advise you if it is a good idea to Wreck fish on the day of your trip.

For more information on how we fish the wrecks in the Florida Keys, see our Springtime Wreck Fishing Article and our Winter Wreck Fishing Blog Article.

Mahi, Mutton, Amberjack

Wreck fishing can yield a variety of large fish including Amberjack and Mutton Snapper.

Wreck fishing can offer some pretty amazing catches such as Permit and African Pompano (pictured above).

swordfishing marathon floridaSwordfish Trips

Swordfish is the ultimate in deep sea fishing charters as it involves fishing in depths of 1500 feet or more. If you are looking for a memorable once in a lifetime experience you should consider a 10 hour swordfish trip with the Main Attraction Fishing Team. Our crews have the skill and equipment required to successfully target and land large broadbills.

Swordfish trips are usually most successful on calmer days which is often during the summer months, but can be accomplished year round when the conditions are right. With more than 30 miles of travelling before reaching the Swordfishing grounds there is plenty of water to look for other species such as Tuna, Mahi, Tripletail and Wahoo.

A big part of the fun of swordfishing is when you are dropping large baits into the deep you never know what you are going to hook! The long fight that ensues gives you plenty of time to guess and anticipate what it is. More often than not it ends up being a swordfish anywhere from 100-500lbs. Sometimes it is a large swordfish over 500lbs, a Mako shark, a thresher, queen snapper, pomfret and more!

If you wish to learn more about our daytime Swordfish trips visit our Swordfish blog article  or contact us.

Florida Swordfish Charters

Swordfish is considered the ultimate in deep sea fishing charters!