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When it comes to fishing in Key West, Florida, there are few experiences more enjoyable than casting a line off one of the town's picturesque piers. These iconic structures dot the coastline and offer locals and visitors alike a chance to reel in a variety of fish species while taking in the breathtaking ocean views.

Fishing from dock

Whether you're an experienced angler or a casual fishing enthusiast, there's something special about spending a lazy afternoon trying to hook the catch of the day from one of Key West's many piers. So grab your tackle box, a cold drink, and settle in for a relaxing day of fishing in one of Florida's most charming seaside towns.

Here are the best fishing piers in the Key West area:

The White Street Pier:

The White Street Pier is a popular destination located at the end of White Street. It extends out into the ocean and offers stunning views of the surrounding waters and sunsets. The pier is named after its location on White Street and has been a popular spot for locals and tourists alike since its construction in 1967.

The White Street Pier is a great place for fishing, walking, or just enjoying the scenery. It is open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The pier is also wheelchair accessible, making it an inclusive destination for all visitors.

One of the highlights of the White Street Pier is the incredible marine life that can be seen in the surrounding waters. The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility, making it possible to spot a variety of fish, turtles, and even dolphins. For anglers, this means water clear and relatively shallow water makes White Street Pier a hotspot for sight fishing. Sight fishing involves casting to fish that are visible in the water, which can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

there are a variety of fish species that can be caught there depending on the season and time of day. Some of the common fish that can be caught at the White Street Pier include snapper (Yellowtail, Mutton, and Mangrove are all common), tarpon, permit, grouper (red and black), barracuda, and jacks (yellow jacks, amberjack, and jack crevalle).

In addition to the natural beauty of the area and top-tier fishing, the White Street Pier also offers amenities such as benches, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. There is plenty of parking available nearby, making it easy to access the pier. Grab the whole fam and head to the pier for some fun!

Overall, the White Street Pier is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Key West. Whether you're interested in fishing, photography, or just soaking up the sun, this pier offers something for everyone.

The Outer Mole Pier

The Outer Mole Pier in Key West is a historic pier located at the entrance to the Key West Harbor in Florida. The pier was built in 1912 by the U.S. Navy as a docking station for naval vessels during World War I and World War II.

After the war, the pier was used for commercial purposes and as a cruise ship terminal. It was also a popular spot for fishing and sightseeing. In the 1980s, the pier was expanded to accommodate larger cruise ships.

Today, the Outer Mole Pier is still used as a cruise ship terminal and is also a popular spot for diving, sunset viewing, and most notably—fishing.

When it comes to fishing here, there’s no shortage of action. The Outer Mole Pier is known for its variety of species that can be caught, including tarpon, barracuda, snapper, grouper, mackerel, and jack crevalle. Tarpon are a popular target, especially during the summer months when they migrate to the area. Barracuda are also abundant and can be caught using live bait or lures. Snapper and grouper are bottom-dwelling fish that can be caught using cut bait or jigs.

The best spot to cast from is the end of the pier where the water is deeper. This is where larger fish tend to swim, such as tarpon and barracuda. However, you can also try casting from the sides of the pier where there may be some structure, such as rocks or pilings, that can attract smaller fish like snapper or grunt.

Outer Mole Pier offers stunning views of the Key West Harbor and the surrounding islands, and is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Key West.

The Edward B. Knight Pier

The Edward B. Knight Pier, more commonly known as the Key West Pier, is a popular landmark located in the heart of Key West. It’s named after Edward B. Knight, who was a prominent figure in the development of the city in the early 1900s.

The pier was originally constructed in the late 1800s as a shipping dock and was later transformed into a fishing pier and tourist attraction. Today, the pier is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands, as well as top notch fishing. When fishing from the Key West Pier, you can expect to catch a variety of saltwater fish species. Some of the most common catches include snapper, grouper, tarpon, barracuda, and jacks. Anglers can also try their luck at catching various types of reef fish such as yellowtail and mangrove snapper.

The best spots for fishing on the pier depend on the season and the type of fish you're targeting. Generally, the deeper areas near the end of the pier tend to hold larger fish, while shallower areas closer to the shore are better for catching smaller fish.

the Key West Pier is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops, as well as several Keys charter boat captains that offer fishing and snorkeling tours. Visitors can often see pelicans and other marine life swimming in the water below the pier, making it a great spot for birdwatching and nature observation.

Overall, the Edward B. Knight Pier is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Key West, offering a unique glimpse into the city's history and culture while providing stunning views and plenty of entertainment options.

The Southernmost Point Pier

The Southernmost Point Pier in Key West is a famous landmark located in the southernmost point of the continental United States. The pier is located at the intersection of South Street and Whitehead Street, just a few blocks away from the famous Duval Street.

The Southernmost Point Pier is known for its large, colorful buoy that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. The buoy is painted in bright colors and features the words "90 miles to Cuba." It has become a popular tourist attraction and a popular spot for taking photos.

The pier itself is a small wooden structure that extends out into the water. From the pier, visitors can enjoy views of the ocean and the nearby Key West Lighthouse. It is also a popular spot for fishing and watching the sunset.

Beyond the picturesque views is the action packed fishing scene. When fishing from the pier, you should look for a spot where there is deeper water and structure, such as rocks or pilings, which can attract fish. You can also look for signs of fish activity, such as jumping or splashing in the water. It's a good idea to ask other anglers or locals for advice on the best fishing spots and techniques.

As for what you can catch at the Southernmost Point Pier, there are a variety of species that can be targeted, depending on the time of year and conditions. Some common fish species caught from the pier include snapper, grouper, tarpon, barracuda, jacks, and sharks. Other species that may be caught include mackerel, permit, and bonefish. It's important to note that some species may be protected or have specific regulations, so it's important to check with local authorities before fishing.

The Key West Harbor Pier

Last but certainly not least is the Key West Harbor Pier, also known as the Navy Mole, located in the port of Key West, Florida. The pier was originally built in the early 1900s as a naval base for the U.S. Navy, and was later converted to a commercial pier.

Today, the Key West Harbor Pier is a popular tourist attraction, offering stunning views of the ocean and surrounding areas. Visitors can walk along the pier and enjoy the sights, or take a fishing charter or boat tour from the pier.

The pier is also home to several restaurants and bars, offering fresh seafood and tropical cocktails. At the end of the pier, visitors can find the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden, which features several sculptures and memorials honoring the military history of the pier and Key West.

When it comes to fishing at Navy Mole, you can catch a variety of fish species, including tarpon, snapper, grouper, jacks, barracuda, and more. The types of fish you can catch depend on the time of year and the weather conditions. When fishing from the pier, it's recommended to use live or fresh bait, such as shrimp or squid, and to fish at different depths to increase your chances of catching a variety of fish.

The Key West Harbor Pier is easily accessible and offers a convenient location for fishing. There is no need for a boat or expensive equipment, and anglers can fish at any time of day or night.

Overall, the Key West Harbor Pier is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Key West, offering a unique blend of history, natural beauty, modern amenities, and action packed fishing.

Fishing from a charter boat vs a pier in Key West

While fishing from a pier can be easy to access, affordable, and convenient for the whole family, fishing on a charter boat with a captain can be a much better experience than fishing from a pier on your own for several reasons:

Expertise and knowledge: A professional captain has years of experience and expertise in fishing, and they know the best spots, techniques, and equipment needed to catch fish. They can also share their knowledge with you and teach you new techniques to improve your fishing skills.

Quality equipment: Charter boats typically come equipped with high-quality fishing gear, which is regularly maintained and updated. This means that you will have access to the best equipment available, which can increase your chances of catching fish.

Safety: Fishing on a charter boat is generally safer than fishing from a pier on your own, as the captain is responsible for the safety of all passengers. They will have all the necessary safety equipment on board, and they will know how to handle any emergency situations that may arise.

Comfort and amenities: Charter boats are often equipped with amenities such as a restroom, seating areas, and even a kitchenette or grill, making your fishing experience much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Variety of fish: Charter boats can take you to different locations where you can fish for a wider variety of fish than you would find on a pier. This can make for a more exciting and diverse fishing experience.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. But, more often than not, you’ll maximize your chances at a record day of fishing out on the water with a seasoned guide.