This is a 2-HOUR Fishing Charter Experience
Gulf Shrimp Boat Charter
My customers often tell me fishing behind the shrimp boats is like fishing in your own aquarium. The water is normally crystal clear and fish boil around the boat. The best of the shrimp boat fishing is normally about 25 to 65 miles out from Key West so you have to pick your days. But when it is the right time of year and the weather is right, I can't wait to go. A typical trip starts early in the morning because we have to run out there and meet the shrimp boats on the grounds before they dump all their bycatch for the morning. You see in the keys the shrimp boats drag nets all night long and then sleep during the day.
While dragging nets the shrimp boats not only catch shrimp but all kinds of other fish called bycatch. Normally they just sort out the shrimp and dump the rest overboard. The fish aren't dumb - they follow the sound of the shrimp boats for a free meal and just wait for them to dump the bycatch. Well what we do is show up at the grounds between 6 am and 7 am when they are getting ready to dump their bycatch and we become the food source. It is amazing to watch a five hundred fish boil next to the boat.
The water just comes alive with boils as we throw the shrimp trash in the water, everything from bonitas, blackfin tuna, sharks, cobias and mackerel. Don't forget all the fish on the bottom sitting down there waiting fro their free morsel to drop from the surface, mutton snappers, groupers and all kinds of bottom fish. To catch the tunas often you don't even put the bait in the water you hold it out above the water and make them jump for it, like a puppy jumping for a treat. It is probably the best fly fishing opportunity in the entire keys and that is saying something. I had a trip out to the shrimp boats where my anglers caught 200 fish on fly in one day, everything from barracudas to blackfin tuna, sharks, cobia, amberjack, bonitas and even permit. It is one of my favorite fisheries and customers are often so dumb founded they just sit and feed the fish after they are too tired to catch any more.
It's a long run, but it is a lot of fun.