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Florida Keys Fishing Tips On
Knots, Tackle, Regulations & Bait

Taking advantage of good Florida Keys fishing tips can make all the difference in how your fishing trip turns out.

You'll need to know where to go for best Florida Keys fishing results, and what fishing tackle to use, so you'll have the highest level of success on your fishing expedition.

You also need to know that fish are affected by water temperature, so both the predator fish and the fish they're after are always on the move.

Florida Keys fishing tips are many, but one of the most obvious, and sometimes overlooked fishing tip is communication.

To be successful, you have to be on top of where the fish are, and what they're feeding on at that particular time. The best way to keep abreast of where to go, and what to use, is to talk with other sport fishermen.

You can also ask questions at bait shops and they'll tell you what they've heard reported by others who've been fishing in the Florida Keys.

Another helpful fishing tip is to read local Florida Keys fishing reports. They carry the current fishing information on what's biting, where to go for best fishing results, and what fishing bait to use.

You also need to know what bait fish these saltwater fish eat and how to catch them. By using the bait fish your targeted saltwater fish has for dinner, means you'll significantly up the percentage of success you'll have fishing Florida Keys.

Another important fishing tip that's so obvious it can easily be overlooked, is that any of the Florida Keys fishing charters will know where the best fishing action is that day. They know which fish are in season and so they're able to use the right fishing equipment and go to the best places so your fishing trip is productive.

Not only do they know what to fish for and where to fish, they understand the impact that weather and water have on fishing trips. These 2 factors can make a big difference in determining what's biting and where to go. Whether your fishing trip should be out in the Atlantic, inshore, or Gulf side.

Due to the various conditions and elements that combine to create either a successful or unproductive day fishing, it's often advisable to plan a fishing trip, your first or even second time, with a fishing charter company or a qualified fishing guide.

Not only do they have the knowledge and the right fishing equipment for where you want to fish, they carry the necessary fishing licenses so you don't have to. They are also well versed in the fishing regulations mandated by the State of Florida. They know what species are protected, bag limits, length and size requirements and other restrictions so no legal issues arise as a result of your saltwater fishing trip.

In the box below you'll find Florida Keys fishing charters broken down by area. You can click on any image or name to see a preview of various charters in that area.

You'll also be able to click on the Check Rates Button so you can see what the different charters cost, and also find out more about where they fish, what they fish for, what fishing equipment they use, boat specifications and options that are available to you, including days they are available for trips.

Remember this is the Florida Keys, the fishing capital of the world, and charters, especially during peak season can book up fast. If you're planning a Florida Keys fishing trip you'll want to book your fishing charter as soon as you can, so you're able to go with the fishing guide you want, on the day or days that are best for you.

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Florida Keys Fishing Charters By Area

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Another important fishing tip to remember is that if you're going Florida Keys fishing on your own, you will need proper fishing licenses and permits.

It's also essential that you're fully familiar with the various fishing regulations so you can stay compliant and still have fun.

Florida Keys Fishing Lures, Knots and Rods

One of the best Florida Keys fishing tips you can get is to make sure you have good fishing equipment. Your saltwater fishing tackle must be in proper working order, and ideally geared up specifically for the saltwater fish you're targeting.

Obviously every sport fisherman's goal is the same. Catch the legal limit of Florida fish and hook as many big ones as possible.

However to do this you must have strong fishing hooks and highly effective lures that will consistently entice the saltwater fish to bite.

You'll also need to use the best saltwater bait for the species you're targeting. You'll find that it's not always possible to have live fishing bait, or you may run out, so it's critical to carry a good supply of the best artificial saltwater fishing bait in your fishing gear.

Another useful fishing tip is making sure to select the right type of line, as this enhances your level of success in bringing that fish in. Always factor in the species of fish your targeting, plus the depth you'll be fishing at, so you can make sure your line is heavy enough.

Braided line is also much stronger and less likely to fray or snap. Saltwater braided fishing lines are especially good under hard fighting conditions and are essential in you successfully bringing that fish to the boat.

You also need to have quality saltwater fishing rods and reels that will handle the weight and hold up to the strenuous battle of fishing the Florida Keys.

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There is also a mantra that should be repeated often and it's that your fishing line is only as good as the knot you use.

If it's not, disaster usually strikes. The excitement of catching a prized saltwater fish quickly disappears when it suddenly breaks off your line and swims away.

It's also important to remember that you're fishing the Florida Keys, and many saltwater fish have notoriously sharp teeth. They'll bite through a line fast, so you need to be prepared. Quality saltwater fishing line, and top notch knots will save the day - if you remember to use them.

Most fishermen have a favorite knot, they typically opt for something fast and simple like these 2 all around fishing knots.

Blood Knot

Tied Blood Knot

To tie the blood knot:
1. Overlap the ends of the lines to be joined, then twist one around the other 5 times
2. Bring tag end back between the two lines
3. Repeat with the other end, wrapping in the opposite direction 5 times
4. Slowly pull lines in opposite directions. As you pull, the wrapped turns will gather and tighten
5. Finish by clipping any loose ends close to the knot

Dropper Loop Being Formed

Dropper Loop Being Formed

To tie the dropper loop you:
1. Gather a loop, then twist it around the overlap a few times
2.Then form the loop and use a matchstick to twist up the overlap
3. Finally drop the loop through the central twist

Dropper Loop Knot

Dropper Loop Knot Tied

I use the perfection loop when tying my monofilament leader to a swivel snap hook. It's fast, easy and very strong.

To attach a hook to your line, the improved clinch knot is also a very strong knot that's easy to do, even under challenging circumstances at sea.

Both of these YouTube videos are courtesy of the WhyKnot Channel

These fishing knots will get you through most situations but it's often handy to have a variety of knot tying tools to make the process faster, easier and less dangerous when working with sharp hooks in the dark or on a rough sea.

Florida Keys Weather

Perhaps the most important of all Florida Keys fishing tips is a cautionary warning about lightning.

Contrary to popular opinion Florida is not the lightning capital of the world. However, Florida is third in the nation for most lightning strikes and first for the greatest number of deaths and injuries.

The summer months are in the rainy season, and this is when the thunderstorms build every afternoon. Florida Keys weather advisories are only as accurate as mother nature allows, and so it's important to keep a watchful eye to the sky. If you see dark clouds building and anvil shaped clouds forming, you'd best head for shore and fast.

Boats are not the safest place to be when an electrical storm is building. Even boats that are equipped with lightning protection systems are not necessarily safe.

If you can't get to shore before the storm hits, then get inside the boat so you're under cover. Don't touch anything metal, and don't touch any 2 pieces of equipment that may be tied into the same operating system.

It's best to assume a crouching position with your arms wrapped around your legs. As room allows, also try to space yourself as far apart from anyone else in the boat with you.

You need to remember that lightning can strike one mile ahead of the storm so when you see or hear lightning off in the distance, take cover or get to shore immediately.

Handy Florida Keys Fishing Tips

Other good Florida Keys fishing tips involve your personal fishing gear accessories. Just like the fish, the sun is always in-season so you need to wear lots of sunscreen and a hat.

It's important to wash sunscreen off your hands before handling your bait as the smell of sunscreen can turn off fish and reduce your changes of catching one. You'll quickly learn that you burn faster on the water because there's no shade and the sun reflects off everything. So make sure you have a durable, high SPF sunscreen with you.

Hats are critical when on the water. They help keep the sun off you and keep your head cool. There are a variety of saltwater fishing hats available, it just depends on what works best for you.

A lot of men and women also wear saltwater fishing face masks and bandanas. I find the breathable face mask a life saver when on the water for long periods of time. It helps against wind and sunburn and is lightweight and comfortable even for long periods of time.

Also, no true fisherman or fisherwoman goes out without SPF fishing clothing on. If you fish on a regular basis, you'll find that the sun's intensity is just too much, and you need to protect your skin. Lightweight, and breathable, saltwater fishing shirts, with or without hoods and lightweight saltwater fishing pants with handy pockets are essential fishing gear.

Florida Keys fishing tips include making sure you can see what's going on when you're out on the water. You need to prevent the glare that builds up on the gin clear water of the flats, or anywhere else in the Keys. Plus every seasoned fisherman knows you have to be able to see INTO the water, not just on top of it.

You want to see where you're going and you must be able to see the fish. The sun's always shining, so polarized sunglasses are an integral part of your personal fishing gear.

Amber, smoke, or brown shaded polarized glasses work the best - they'll cut the glare and allow you to see the fish below the surface.

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You'll find that there are lots of great Florida Keys fishing tips. For example, a good saltwater fisherman's favorite tip is to keep baby powder on hand. If you put baby powder in one of your tackle box compartments, it'll absorb the moisture and prevent your tackle from rusting.

It's also is convenient to have fisherman hand wipes in your tackle box. Particularly handy when you want to wipe off sunscreen, bait smell or blood from a fish. The key is to have the right sized tackle box that can handle your fishing gear and be easily accessible.

Fishing Tackle Check and Review

Florida Keys fishing tips include monitoring the fishing tackle you use. To fish the Florida Keys you need heavy line and heavy equipment.

Your rod has to be able to handle the stress of a big hit. Your reel has to be able to crank down hard when it needs to, and your line has to be strong enough to stay in tact.

People often use a line that is too light, or one that is old and worn. Fishing line is susceptible to sunlight and other elements such as car exhaust and heat. Plus, if it's been on the reel more than a year, you should replace it.

If it kinks or looks chalky then it most likely will not stand up to the strain of a big fish taking the bait. If it snaps - you loose your fish, it's just that simple.

Every sport fisherman will have a good story and tip to share, but once you've wet your line, and brought in your first big fish, you'll have a good head start on your own Florida Keys fishing tips and tales.

Good luck, keep your lines tight, and happy fishing!

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Local Weather Zip Codes

Key Largo - 33037
Marathon - 33050
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