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Reef Fishing

Overview

Published: 01/18/2014

Photos

As the United States’ own tropical paradise, the Florida Keys are home to the only living coral reef in North America, appropriately known as the Great Florida Reef.  In fact, many of our Keys are actually remnants of ancient reefs that dried up and became islands, while other parts of the reef remained thriving underwater just a short distance away from our shores.  Other artificial reefs have been created to provide food and shelter for tropical fishes, as well as to increase tourism, but no other natural, living coral reef is accessible without a passport and a plane ticket.


One of the reason coral reefs make such great locations for snorkeling and fishing is that they are home to an unrivaled abundance of biodiversity.  Sometimes called the “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs have a very delicate, warm climate but manage to support thousands of species of coral, fish, and other animals.  Our Great Florida Reef is home to nearly 1,400 known species, and many other species migrate in to take shelter during the cold winter months.


That diversity is both what makes expert fishers call the reef a “sure thing” year round and what makes fishing here challenging.  On the one hand, chumming the reef never fails to turn up dozens or even hundreds of hungry fish just waiting for a bite, making it the perfect place to take beginners or wintertime vacationers.  On the other hand, it takes a unique technique to land each species of fish, so you will need some help from an experienced guide if you actually want to land all the catches you see.


Reef fishing is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with your family.  Because there are so many different fish to see—and because the shallow waters over the reef make them easy to spot, reef fishing adventures are fun even for non-fishers.  Give your children the opportunity to see more bright, beautiful fish in their natural environment than they could ever see at an aquarium while you wear yourself out reeling in catch after catch, then go back to shore to have one of our local restaurants prepare your haul for a delicious dinner.

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