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Florida Keys Spearfishing Can Be 
A Dangerous Eco-Friendly Sport

When scuba diving Florida Keys spearfishing is a complimentary yet dangerous addition, to this underwater sport.

Spearfishing is considered dangerous, because it's the most "up-close-and-personal" form of Florida Keys fishing there is.

Plus enthusiasts often choose to go freediving, which makes spearfishing even more challenging.

Spearing at times may seem like mortal hand to hand combat.

Picture yourself with a speared large grouper fighting you all the way to the surface, and you can't grab your kill knife.

You don't want to let go, and you can't get dragged back to the bottom because you're running low on air.

Shark and Spearfishing Diver


Diver Spearfishing in Florida Comes Up Against a Shark
Florida Keys Public Libraries, Don DeMaria Collection, Flickr


Spearfishing is almost primitive in it's theme, as man struggles to overcome angry fish in their very battle for life.

Unlike other forms of fishing in Florida where you're safely removed from sharp teeth, and dangerous fish, spearfishing takes you directly into the environs of your prey.

Now you have become the hunter. You stealthily seek out and stalk your intended target. You attack quickly and viciously. Your kill is swift and clean. That at least is your intended outcome, it just doesn't always work that way.

September 11, 2006, "The Houston Chronicle" wrote an unfortunate fishing report about a man who was killed off the Florida Keys when spearfishing. He'd targeted a large Goliath grouper that ended up tangling the spear line around the wrist of the Florida fisherman.

Spearfishing for grouper


Spearfishing For Grouper
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection


Grouper are hard diving freight trains and this grouper quickly descended into it's rocky lair. Once a grouper gets back into it's den, they become like dead weight and are immovable. This grouper held his position, effectively pinning the man to the ocean floor until he ran out of air and died.

Scuba diving Florida Keys spearfishing has also taken on a new facet, by becoming 'eco-friendly.' It's the most effective method currently being employed to help eliminate the growing population of the non-native, and venomous lionfish.

In fact, prize awarding spearfishing tournaments are now held annually to help eradicate this invasive species of fish. These spearfishing tournaments help to increase the awareness of this problematic species, and spread interest in the sport of spearfishing.

Lionfish in Florida Keys


The Lionfish Population is Exploding
www.noa.gov


Since the best and largest fish are found in deeper water, you'll most likely be scuba diving spearfishing instead of snorkeling. Knowing that the water offshore of the Keys is quite shallow, you'll have to plan on going further out.

You'll also need the right spearfishing gear so you're not only successful on the hunt, but so you can remain safe.

Over and above the appropriate spearfishing equipment, you'll need a sharp knife and a good underwater flashlight so you can look into nooks and crannies without risking injury to yourself.

Another fun accessory you may want to have with you is an underwater camera, because you never know exactly what you'll find 'down there'. Sometimes capturing unusual moments or creatures of the dark with a camera is the better, fun way to go.






Of course, if you're planning on spear fishing Key West, the water gets deeper faster so you won't have quite as far to go. However, no matter what your plans are, you'll definitely need a boat. You may find it easier and more productive to go with any of the spearfishing charters, especially if this is your first time spearfishing in the Florida Keys.

Below is a preview of several Florida Keys spearfishing charter companies. You'll note that they provide a wide array of fishing options, but they do also include spearfishing on their fishing charter trips.

You'll notice that there's also a Check Rate Button for each listing. When you click on that Button it will take you to their landing page where you can get more detailed information on fishing equipment, the boat, the Captain, current rates and availability for trips.

You'll also see other fishing charters identified and you can browse through those to see if any of them have something else you'd like to see included.

FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Charisma Sportfishing
Captain Chris Dillon
38' Stolper refurbished in 2012, 2 370 hp Cummings engines, 6 person capacity
Key Largo Departure
Payment 20% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Numerous species of most popular offshore and reef and wreck fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup not included
Fishing Trip Destinations
Offshore Fishing     Inshore Fishing     Reef Fishing     Wreck Fishing     Night Fishing
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle     Bottom Fishing     Kite Fishing     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Charisma Sportfishing, one of the finest Key Largo charter fishing boats, has a maximum cruising speed of 25 knots. Elegant and recently equipped with the latest in fishing equipment and technology, the Charisma also sports a customized tuna tower to sight for fish, and allow you to have an even more spectacular view. Not only is the boat one of the finest, Captain Dillon and his crew have years of experience under their belt. They also like to maximize your fishing experience to the fullest, so they specialize in using light tackle and live bait. You'll find the fish bite faster, and the fight will be even more exhilarating!



FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Upper Keys Sportfishing
Captain Jorge Piñero
36' HydraSports Center console, refurbished in 2015, 2015 2 300 hp Yamaha V6 Offshore engines, 4 person capacity
Islamorada Departure
Payment 30% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Bank Transfer, PayPal
Numerous species of most popular offshore fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup included in price
Fishing Trip Destinations
Offshore Fishing    
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle     Bottom Fishing     Trolling     Spinning
Jigging     Popping     Fly Fishing     Kite Fishing     Handline     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Upper Keys Sportfishing with a maximum cruising speed of 55 knots is a boat equipped with a vast array of fishing technology to make sure the job gets done. Not only has the Habanero received several top charter fishing awards, Captain Jorge and his crew have been featured in numerous respected fishing magazines and have received various awards as well as being acknowledged as one of the top 60 Captains in the United States by Sportfishing Magazine. The combination of equipment, and know how, especially when it comes to finding and bringing in the biggest fighters such as marlin, sailfish and wahoo, are reasons why this is one of the most popular fishing charter companies in the Florida Keys.



FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Team Nauti Charters
Captain Paulette Barrett & Captain Ben Braun
35' Sea Hunter Center console, 2 300 hp Yamaha engines, 6 person capacity
Key West Departure
Payment 30% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal
Numerous species of offshore and nearshore fish targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup not included
Fishing Trip Destinations
Offshore Fishing     Reef Fishing     Wreck Fishing     Destinations can exceed 70 miles
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle     Bottom Fishing
Jigging     Kite Fishing     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Team Nauti Charters has one of the faster boats with a maximum cruising speed of 60 knots. Her speed makes it possible for greater distance fishing trips to get to where the REALLY big fish are. Loaded with amenities, Miss Nauti is also equipped with the latest in fishing technology along with other extras such as electric reels for pulling in the big grouper or swordfish you'll find in the deepest of water.



FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Fish N Therapy
Captain Phil Leonard
38' Topaz Offshore sport fishing, 2 375 hp Caterpiller engines, 6 person capacity
Islamorada Departure
Payment 20% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, Checks, Bank Transfer, American Express
Numerous species of most popular offshore and reef and wreck fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup agreed upon reservation
Fishing Trip Destinations
Nearshore Fishing     Offshore Fishing     Reef Fishing     Wreck Fishing
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle     Bottom Fishing     Trolling
Spinning     Jigging     Popping     Kite Fishing     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Fish N Therapy with a maximum cruising speed of 27 knots is a well equipped fishing charter boat, that is also loaded with numerous amenities to enhance your level of comfort on your fishing trip. Specializing in a wide array of fishing techniques, Captain Leonard can take you out to the deep blue to fish for the large pelagic species such as marlin, sailfish and wahoo. He can take out to the numerous reefs and wrecks off the coast of Islamorada to fish for snapper, grouper and other hard hitting fish. No matter your level of fishing expertise, Fish N Therapy can make your Islamorada fishing trip one of your best memories yet!



FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Florida Straits Sportfishing
Captain John Hiers
32' Stamas Center console, 2 450 hp Yamaha engines, 6 person capacity
Marathon Departure
Payment 15% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, Checks
Numerous species of most popular offshore and reef and wreck fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup agreed upon reservation
Fishing Trip Destinations
Inshore Fishing     Nearshore Fishing     Offshore Fishing
Reef Fishing     Wreck Fishing     Flats Fishing
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle     Bottom Fishing     Trolling     Spinning
Jigging     Popping     Drift Fishing     Kite Fishing     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Florida Straits Sportfishing with a maximum cruising speed of 42 knots is one of the faster Florida Keys fishing charter boats. Roomy and fast, this comfortable boat is able to get out to deep water fast for targeting sailfish, wahoo and mahi mahi. The boat is also equipped with a variety of fishing gear and live bait, so if you are wanting to go reef or wreck fishing Captain John Hiers and his crew are able to easily accommodate. Professional, well versed in the art of fishing, your fishing charter trip with Florida Straits Sportfishing can be designed to suit your exact tastes and style of fishing.



FISHING CHARTER COMPANY
Round Up Fishing Charters
Captain Steven Ianni
34' Hatteras Offshore sport fishing boat, refurbished in 2012, 2 330HP Cummins 5.9 engines, 6 person capacity
Key Largo Departure
Payment 10% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Numerous species of most popular offshore and reef and wreck fishing targeted, child friendly, deposit non-refundable, pickup agreed upon reservation
Fishing Trip Destinations
Nearshore Fishing     Offshore Fishing     Reef Fishing     Wreck Fishing
Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle     Heavy Tackle    Trolling
Drift Fishing     Kite Fishing     Spearfishing
Fishing Trip Description
Round Up Fishing Charters has a maximum cruising speed of 22 knots and specializes in sport fishing. Whether you're wanting to target mahi mahi, sailfish or marlin, Captain Ianni has the knowledge, boat, and fishing equipment you need to go after the big boys. If you're looking for serious saltwater fishing fun, or are a diver wanting to go spearfishing, this Key Largo fishing charter has everything you need to make your Florida Keys fishing vacation more than memorable.






Spearfishing Regulations
For Monroe County

In regard to spearfishing regulations, Monroe County has determined where you can fish and what you can target. This is in response to other complications that arise from this sport, which includes nicking or missing your target completely, which are common.

Before spending a day out spearing, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the Florida fishing regulations that cover spearfishing in Monroe County. These numerous fishing regulations are implemented to help protect the fish, the marine environment, and the people around you, who are in or near the water's edge.

First, Florida Keys spearfishing is not allowed in any freshwater areas. Nor is it allowed in the Everglades National Park, the Dry Tortugas National Park or any of the State Parks.

When spearfishing Florida, it's allowed in saltwater regions but with a number of obvious exceptions. No use of spears is permitted within 100 yards of any public or commercial fishing bridge or pier. No use of this spearfishing equipment is allowed within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary areas.

This spearfishing regulation is designed to protect not just the fish inhabiting the water, but the delicate coral reef from being damaged. Also, since the coral reefs attract a lot of people Florida Keys diving and snorkeling, it also protects them from being injured by any wayward spear or lance.


Lionfish Dispersal
Courtesy of YouTube and AcuSpear


When spearfishing Florida, you can go in any State water south of Long Key that's not within any National Marine Sanctuary area. To get a quick snapshot idea of where Florida Keys spearfishing is allowed, you can visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website.

To keep it simple, if you plan on going to the Middle Keys or south of that point, and you pay attention to the zone restrictions, you'll have plenty of opportunity for spearfishing in Florida Keys.

Those who are Florida Keys snorkeling or diving must remember to use the divers down flag and display it visibly. 12 x 12 flags are required for buoys and floats, while 20 x 24 flags are required to be displayed at the highest point on boats.

There are certain other Florida fishing regulations that apply for anyone spearfishing in the Florida Keys. Of course you'll need to have a Florida State Saltwater Fishing License. Bag limits also cannot be combined between Federal and State quotas.

The following rule of thumb will help you determine if you're in State or Federal water. If you're on the Atlantic side, State water is saltwater that extends out 3 nautical miles from the nearest point of land. If you're on the Gulf side, State water is saltwater that extends out 9 nautical miles from the nearest point of land.

There are also Florida fishing regulations regarding equipment. Bangsticks, powerheads and rebreathers are strictly prohibited in any of the waters surrounding the Florida Keys.

Even though there are numerous Florida fishing regulations, Florida Keys spearfishing presents the diver-fishermen with an up close opportunity to be passionate about this thrilling underwater sport.

With an abundance of Florida saltwater fish to target, and beautiful clear waters to explore, many exciting challenges and fishing adventures await next time you're Florida Keys scuba diving and spearfishing.








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