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Top 6 Islamorada Fishing Charters That Offer Great Vacation Experience

best islamorada fishing charters

Islamorada fishing charters help retain the island’s “Sportfishing Capital of the World” title, as it caters to anglers of all skill levels. The town features a variety of fish species due to its access to gin-clear flats, pristine backcountry, and open ocean. 

All saltwater charters in Florida involve fishing licenses, and it’s crucial to understand that certain species can only be caught at particular times of the year. For the most up-to-date information on closed seasons and limits, anglers should consult their captains.

Fishing Regulations in Islamorada

In Islamorada, the most common type of fishing is inshore, followed by deep sea fishing, nearshore fishing, and flats fishing. The most popular species are tarpon, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, and mahi mahi. Live bait fishing, bottom fishing, and light tackle fishing are Islamorada’s most common fishing techniques, but artificial lure fishing and heavy tackle fishing are also popular. 

Spring is the ideal season for fishing in Islamorada, and most anglers plan their excursions more than a month in advance. You do not need to purchase additional licenses for yourself or other anglers aboard if you are fishing from a chartered saltwater boat in Florida that has a valid license. Freshwater anglers must still acquire a license.

You can get a license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Discover hidden-gem beaches,  explore the Florida Keys food scene, find the perfect accommodation, experience the Keys’ stunning waters, and much more.

6 Best Islamorada Fishing Charters

Islamorada fishing charters frequently depart from popular locations such as Bud N’ Mary’s and Robbie’s Marina. These marinas are centrally placed in Islamorada and provide easy access to some of the greatest fishing places in the area. We have listed the six best Islamorada fishing charters that can give you a great vacation experience.

Robbie’s Marina

robbies marina
  • Location: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
  • Website: robbies.com


Robbie’s Marina, located in the heart of Islamorada, provides the greatest Islamorada fishing you could want as a novice or an expert. The Islamorada fishing guides at Robbie’s have more than 250 years of combined experience effectively fishing the seas surrounding the Keys, and they are ready and happy to show you what world-class fishing is all about.

Thinking of the best things to do with kids? There are also other activities aside from the infamous tarpon feeding experience. Robbie’s has you covered, whether your hobby is backcountry fishing, flats fishing, amazing barrier reef, or offshore fishing. They can organize a split charter for you if you are interested in game fishing offshore. After a successful day of fishing in the Keys, the captain will clean your catch and prepare it for lunch or dinner at the infamous Hungry Tarpon restaurant!

Bud N' Mary's Marina

  • Location: 79851 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
  • Website: budnmarys.com


If you’re considering trying an Islamorada fishing charter activity, visit the gorgeous Florida Keys! Many world spin and fly tackle records have been set in the island chain. Many captains and guides that fish out of Bud N’ Marys have won world-class tournaments and perfected their art in lovely Islamorada.

Bud N’ Mary’s has been in operation since 1944, and many of the captains and guides are second and third-generation anglers, so when you book a charter with Bud N’ Mary’s, you won’t be fishing with an inexperienced guide. The captains and guides have been hand-picked and thoroughly tested. You can rest assured that you will be fishing with a pleasant local guide with the necessary knowledge to offer you the adventure of a lifetime.

The pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Florida Bay all meet in Islamorada, allowing fishermen to capture practically every fish that swims in the Atlantic Ocean. So, if you’re fishing in Florida, head down to the American Caribbean and find the true Sportfishing Capital of the World!

DirtyBoat Charters

Full Day Sailfish Charter in Islamorada by DirtyBoat Charters LLC

  • Location: 77522 Overseas Highway Charter Dock Slip 7, 4016, Islamorada, FL 33036
  • Website: dirtyboat.com


Do you have plans for your next family vacation? Getting the lads together for an out-of-this-world Boys on the Boat experience? Are you planning your next office team-building event? Are you going to spend some quality time on the water with your significant other? Come to the Florida Keys and experience some of the best deep-sea fishing in Key Largo and Islamorada.

Snorkel stunning, world-class reefs in shallow water just a few miles from the pier. Take a sunset sail with your loved ones in the peaceful bay waters. DirtyBoat 2.0 is a clean, comfortable air-conditioned 42-foot Liberty Express that is tournament-rigged and ready to ride with all of the modern amenities — a large deck with more than enough room for six people to fish comfortably; convenient seating for spectators to watch, take photos, and shoot a video; cockpit, salon, kitchen, shower, ice maker, refrigerator, and more. 

DirtyBoat offers a variety of trip formats and customizes each trip based on the species you want to catch. The normal half-day comprises four hours of fishing on deep sea wrecks or reefs, targeting the majority of the species for your dinner plate. Three-quarters of an hour, or 6 hours, gives you more time to put food in the box and catch some big ones – it’s known as the “Dinner and a Show” package. The entire day allows you to spend 8+ hours on the water and get the complete experience.

Whether you stay inshore to fish the wrecks and reefs or venture offshore to target Pelagic species such as Mahi-mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Marlin, Sailfish, and others, you’ll have much to speak about when you get home. DirtyBoat specializes in deep-sea light-tackle fishing using live bait for Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, Snapper, Grouper, and Mackerel, to mention a few.

A Lil' Tail Charters

a lil tail charters


The Florida Keys provide a unique world of fishing excursions, and A Lil’ Tail Charters provides personalized service in a safe and pleasant atmosphere. 

A Lil’ Tail Charters is all about fun, family, and fishing, and they cater to everyone from novice to expert fishermen. Their captain has over 15 years of expertise, so he knows where to go to get the best fishing experience. So gather the kids and go fishing for Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, Trout, Snappers, and other species. 

A Lil’ Tail Charters captain Jeremy Pfaffendorf understands how to put you on the fish. He works hard to ensure that everyone has a good time and enjoys sharing his fishing enthusiasm with locals and visitors! So, whether you’re a local or visiting the Florida Keys with your family, book your next private fishing charter for half-day (4-hour) or full-day (8-hour).

Fearless Fishing Charters

fearless fishing charters


Capt. Joe has spent his entire life fishing in the Florida Keys. He was born and reared in South Florida and began visiting Bud n Mary’s Marina when he was ten to learn the ins and outs of fishing. He worked on many charter boats out of the marina for seven years. Joe also fished around Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean on a private boat. In 2007, he took the plunge and purchased his dream boat, a Conch 27, to launch Fearless Fishing Charters.

The Conch 27 light tackle center console boat was specifically designed for fishing! It has 35-rod holders, a big coffin box, two 100-gallon live wells, a Simrad plotter and bottom machine, and a brand-new 2020 Yamaha 300 outboard motor. Fearless Fishing Charters can provide action-packed offshore and reef/wreck adventures at a fraction of the cost of larger boats. You can maneuver throughout the entire boat, creating a more level playing field and more action for everyone!

Skins and Fins Charters

best islamorada fishing charters


Skins and Fins Charters is a father-and-son fishing team. Captain Donnie is a second-generation captain from the Florida Keys. He caught his first fish when he was three years old, and it became his life obsession. Donnie received his first boat at age 15 after years of studying from his father and other captains in the Florida Keys and Everglades waterways. Every year since then, Donnie has been at the helm and on the pole of his very own boat.

Donnie has spent countless hours on the water perfecting his trade and pursuing fish around Florida’s bay. He has been a licensed Captain of his vessel for almost ten years. His expertise in water has increased over the last ten years. While on a charter with Capt. Donnie, you will not only experience a beautiful environment but also learn how to conserve it for future generations.

Find The Best Islamorada Fishing Charters

While Islamorada fishing excursions are a popular draw, you can do a lot of fun things to do in this Florida community. Swim with dolphins and sea lions at Theater of the Sea, or learn about the progression of underwater exploration at the History of Diving Museum. Rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys for a more active trip. 

If you want to spend the day relaxing, go to Anne’s Beach, a peaceful place with tranquil waves and lovely sand. Remember to try some fresh seafood at one of the best places to eat in Islamorada.

Best Islamorada Fishing Charters FAQs

Islamorada, located in the Florida Keys, is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. While fishing can be enjoyed throughout the year in Islamorada, certain months are considered more favorable due to specific fish species and weather conditions. 

The best month to fish in Islamorada largely depends on the type of fish you’re targeting. With Tarpon migrating through Islamorada, March through September are the busiest for Tarpon fishing.

The best time to charter fish in Florida depends on the specific region and your target type. Florida offers a variety of fishing opportunities throughout the year due to its diverse marine ecosystem.

Many fishermen love fishing in Florida from September to November. During this period, fish migrate to warmer waters in search of prey closer to shore. Anglers can easily catch trophy-size fish at this time of year.

Islamorada is often referred to as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World,” and it is indeed known for its exceptional fishing opportunities. The region’s location in the Florida Keys, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico, creates a unique ecosystem that attracts various fish species.

Anglers can target various sought-after species, such as sailfish, marlin, tarpon, mahi-mahi, bonefish, permit, snook, and more.

The cost of chartering a fishing boat in the Florida Keys can vary depending on several factors, including the type of boat, duration of the charter, the number of passengers, and the time of year. 

Prices can vary among different charter companies and captains. Additional costs may include gratuity for the crew, fishing licenses, bait, and any optional extras such as food and beverages.

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Author: Janelle

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