Inshore To Offshore At Big Pine Key

Photo courtesy of Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge

By Capt. Nate Wheeler

Fishing in the Big Pine Key area can be the experience of a lifetime. The areas around Big Pine Key have a deep history that includes a large range of visits by famous explorers, pirates and American industrialists. Hundreds of years ago Native American tribes made frequent visits to harvest the Florida Keys’ rich abundance of seafood the area provided. Now many years later and well into the 21st century the combination of flowing Gulf Stream waters, coral reefs, lush mangrove islands, shallow flats and a complex interconnection of deep channels make this area unlike anywhere else in the world.

Due to the ability to easily access both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the variety of fishing is absolutely endless.


Photo by Michael Worden on Unsplash


Directly offshore is the famous Looe Key Reef. Tournament sport fishing boats often travel many miles to target a great sailfish bite off these reefs. Other pelagic gamefish such as black fin tuna, dolphin and speedy/yummy wahoo can also be targeted. Big schools of the very tasty reef fish such as mutton, mangrove, lane and yellowtail snappers are plentiful in these areas. Between May 1 and Dec. 31, grouper is open to harvest. Very nice black, gag, and red groupers can be caught around all sorts of bottom ranging from inshore patches close to shore all the way to the outer reef.

If the inshore gamefish are your preference, there may be no better location in the world than Big Pine Key area. Close proximity to the famous Bahia Honda Bridge provides some of the best live bait tarpon action in all of the Keys. The shorelines, channels and bays in the area provide some of the very best habitat there is to target these giants with a fly rod. Endless amounts of shallow flats in close proximity to deep channels provide miles and miles of habitat for much sought after permit and bonefish.

You could fish a lifetime in the area and only discover half of what the region is capable of providing. No matter what style of fishing you prefer, no matter what time of year, Big Pine Key is an incredible area capable of catering to both the diehard enthusiast and the casual recreational angler!

Contact Capt. Nate Wheeler and Waypoint Fishing Charters at 305-394-2177 or, and see the website at

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