Frequently Asked Questions

sport fishing boat

Here are some Nuts and Bolts questions about Key West deep sea fishing. After 25 years of hooking visiting Key West anglers with amazing deep sea fishing charters we have heard many of the same questions over and over again. Here is a collection that I find beneficial. We are always open to suggestions for new and helpful ways to provide the best experience for our customers. 

Enjoy – Island Genn

Our deep sea fishing charters are located all over the island of Key West and Stock Island. Be assured they are all within a quick UBER ride or walking distance from any Key West accommodations. Key West is just 3 miles by 5 miles in size. 

IF the captain cancels your fishing charter due to bad weather there is no charge for the trip and we refund your deposit. Only the captain can cancel. 

If you cancel because you feel the weather is bad. There is a large chance you will be billed in full for your trip. 

Pro Tip: Some boats are more lenient than others on weather. Talk to US and then talk to your boat captain when you book to find out what the parameters are. 
Pro Tip: Duval flu (hangover) does not constitute bad weather.

We won’t know till we get you out there. People get affected by seasickness for many reasons and it is impossible for us to know if you will get sick.
Most of our boats that we work with will do a 4 hour minimum charter charge in case they need to bring you in for “health Reasons”. 

Pro Tip: Here is a great article about Seasickness on a fishing charter from The Key West Fishing Report.

A paid private charter allows for 6 passengers / souls on board not including the crew. In the case of deep sea fishing charter boats that will be two crew members (captain and a mate)

Pro Tip: Call us to see about possibility of boats that may cary more passengers on a private charter.. 1-305-292-7212

Pro Tip: Check out our Spilt or shared deep sea fishing charters. Where you only pay for the one of 6 seats you take. 

Depends on the boat that you chose and the location of that boat in relation to the fishing. A very legitimate question when booking your deep sea fishing boat.

The sport fishing boats we have listed run between 12 and 24 knots at cruising speed. 

Each boat listed has a cruising speed at which they can run to get to the fishing grounds on a particular day. Faster boat, shorter time to get to fishing. The sport fishing boats we have listed run between 12 and 24 knots at cruising speed. The Center consoles while lacking many amenities and can be crowded with 6 are the fastest with 30 -37 knot cruise speeds. 

Pro Tip: Summer requires longer runs. Sometimes 15-20 miles to the fish. The faster boats are an asset to get you more time fishing and less time running. Lines In equals better chance to catch fish.

Gratuity to the captain and crew is handled differently on every boat but is always customary. A general guide line is 15-20% gratuity.

Pro Tip: Communicate, ask the crew how tips work and who to give it to. This is a great way to start off the day on a positive note. The crew then knows you are thinking about them.

Pro Tip: Most anglers base gratuity amounts on preparedness, professionalism and effort. Fishing is fishing. Each one of the captains we work with are very good fishermen and sometimes mother nature can just be mean as hell. Does not mean the crew did not want to catch you fish. 

Sunglasses to serve as eye protection are required by most captains.  You may also want to bring a hat or a jacket depending on the weather conditions on a particular day. Sunscreen is a good idea; please make sure this is a lotion and not a spray as these are not environmentally friendly. In addition, bring anything you want to eat or drink such as sandwiches, sodas, or beer.

Pro Tip: See if there are any special provisions by calling your captain a day or two prior. 

Fishing license, fishing gear, bait, ice, and bottled waters are all provided.

That depends on the time of year and also the conditions. Check out our Key West fishing seasons page for what species we typically get into when you will be visiting.

It depends on what is caught. The captain will know the regulations on if a species is able to be kept, if it is edible, etc. Make sure that before you get underway you let the crew know your expectation on keeping fish for the day. 

At the end of your charter our captains and crew will filet your fish and put them in ziplock bags for you. From there you can either take your fish to a local “hook and Cook” to have them prepared (blackened, grilled, fried) to eat OR… You can give our friends at FINZ dive shop a ring. They offer a fish shipping service.. 

If I knew this answer I would be a mIllionaire. This comes down to weather conditions, anglers skills, and some luck. There are days when no fish are caught, although these days are few. Then there are days where you can do nothing wrong and fish are practically flying into the boat. Most days will be somewhere in between. But know that the crew wants to catch fish just as much if not more than you do so they will pull out all the stops to try and make that happen.

Key West Deep Sea Fishing

Property of The Keys To Key West, inc. Island Genn is your Key West connection. Check out her web site at 

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The Best Way To Book Fishing

Gennifer Lamp and her team at The Keys To Key West have been offering their personal touch in setting up fishing charters for their clients since 1998. 
Call us direct, speak to a real person. Go over all the options. Book your fishing with confidence.