There are hundreds of species of sea creatures around the Florida Keys. Some of the species of fish are caught by those who are taken out on fishing trips. Many of them are good to eat although there are some that are not considered to be suitable.
By managing the fishing and having the marine park the number of fish has been maintained, and many species are able to do well. Even after surviving the powerful hurricane Irma the region is back to normal.
The Gulf Stream current flows nearby, and this brings the large game fish. These fish can be huge and attract game fishermen who look for the chance to catch one of the huge ones.
Below is a short list of some of the primary species of fish. There are many others that you may encounter in your time at the Florida Keys. If you go snorkeling, you may see some smaller reef fish, as well as the younger fish of some of these more abundant species. You will also see some of them if you go paddling in the mangroves.
Snapper (Yellowtail, Mangrove, and Mutton)
Snapper is a favorite fish that are exciting to see and good to eat. There are several different types of snapper in the Florida Keys from the mangroves to out on the reef. The yellowtail is the most popular to eat, and these are usually found out near the reef.
Grouper (Goliath, Red, and Black)
There are several different types of grouper found in the region, and the goliath grouper can be enormous. They are located in a range of areas and will often create their home near rocky areas, coral heads or wrecks. The more massive groupers are popular with divers as they are usually placid. It is said that the Goliath Grouper has been known to grow up to 8 feet.
Dolphinfish is a large fish with a big bulbous head that can grow up to 7 feet, although they are usually around 3 feet. People will sometimes eat the flesh of this fish as it provides significant boneless fillets. Many of them will be caught and released as well.
Tuna is a magnificent fish, and they can grow to quite large in size. Usually, you will find these away from the reef, and they move fast in the water. You are able to keep the blackfin tuna you catch, and they are a popular fish to eat with their flesh also prized for sushi and sashimi.
Wahoo is a large and long fish. Wahoo fish steaks are very popular on the BBQ. They are a natural fish to eat with flaky flesh and large bones. It is a very fast moving fish with silver patterns on its side and they offer some competition to fishermen.
Kingfish is a member of the mackerel family but grow larger than the other mackerels listed here. Fishermen tend to enjoy catching these fish. They are also popular to eat because of their size, making them easy to cut fillets and cook, with large bones. They are often found near the reef and wrecks and swim in large schools.
Barracuda is a thin silver fish that grow to a large size. You may see them when you are snorkeling as their silver skin reflects the sunlight. They are a predator and feed on reef fish. They have very sharp teeth that will cut through a line and although they are an excellent fish to catch they are not eaten as their flesh tends to smell and may contain a toxin.
There are several kinds of sharks in the region including black-tip sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, bonnethead sharks and sawtooth sharks. You may see black-tip and lemon sharks around the reef area. Bull sharks have been known to attack people and are a territorial shark. Sharks are not often eaten, and they are protected in many marine parks as some species are endangered. Most sharks will be caught and released.
Mackerel is a medium-sized fish with sharp teeth which can quickly cut through a fishing line. They are a silver fish with patterns on their sides and move quickly through the water. You see them swimming in schools when you are snorkeling. It is an oily fish which is good to eat when it is grilled.
Sailfish is a large pelagic fish with a bill, and it is considered to be one of the game fish. This means that if they are caught by a fisherman, they are usually released. The game fish tend not to be taken as they are an attractive catch for the games fishing industry which brings many travelers to the Florida Keys. Also, their flesh may contain a dangerous toxin.
There is a mixture of environments for the many species of fish, and in the marine park, they are protected. It indeed is a stunning experience to see just how many fish there are.
By spending the day on the water when you are in the keys, you will get a clearer understanding of the environment that draws many people for their holidays each year and keeps the locals living there. It is a genuinely spectacular marine environment offering fantastic weather, blue skies, warm water and an ever-changing palette of ocean colors ranging from lovely bright greens to incredible deep blues. There is also a marine environment that has fortunately been protected so that it still offers an opportunity to see the real beauty that lies under the surface.
A Day of Watersports
Go out for a day on the water and take advantage of a wide range of activities offered which include snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. You are under the careful guidance of the crew while on the cruise to ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment with the minimum of problems. This is a fun time day that should leave you exhausted, there are so many different things to do. You will also be provided with food and drinks to make sure that you do not fade away during the day.
A Shark Adventure
There is a local company that will take you on a unique excursion into the backwaters of the island where they will show you their skill and knowledge in luring out some of the more frightening predators of the region. There are different types of sharks for you to see which might include lemon sharks, bull sharks, black tip sharks and nurse sharks, as well as the opportunity to see some local rays, turtles and wild dolphins. The staff is able to provide a lot of information about the local environment and the creatures that exist there which will significantly add to your understanding and enjoyment. They will take you out into the backwaters of the island, and you will also have a chance to go exploring a little bit more out in the Gulf.
Going out Fishing
Fishing on the water for the day will undoubtedly come with its challenges. There are some big ocean fish out there, and if you take your fishing seriously, then you will want to hire one of the professional game fishing boats. Charters will take you out into the deep blue water to do some fishing for the massive fish in the gulf stream.
For those who might be a little less professional or knowledgeable about this type of fishing, there are local fishing companies who are offering a more appropriate alternative. You can even try the Party Fishing Charter where the crew will help you and all the others on board so that you all will be given a chance to have a line over the side of the boat to see if you are able to catch something.
Hiring a Boat
You could consider hiring your own boat for the day. If you have experience and know a little about the water, you could explore the region going snorkeling or fishing or diving where you choose. Of course, you will need to follow the rules regarding the marine parks, but there are plenty of places for you to safely explore. These are good quality boats, and they will be fully equipped with suitable working safety equipment to ensure that you are safe. They will even give you some additional on the water instructions if you need them to help you get back your sea legs.
Sailing on a Wooden Ship
There are day tours onboard wooden sailing schooners. They will take you out into the ocean so you can get a feel for how things used to be done with the ropes creaking under the strain as the sails fill with wind. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and you may even get the chance to steer the vessel across the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Now that might be a story to tell your friends. Other activities such as swimming and snorkeling will be available as well.
Do a One Day Scuba Course
You are able to do a scuba introduction course for a day. On this course, you will be introduced to diving initially in shallow water, and then you are taken out for an open water dive. It is a safe and straightforward course where you will learn some of the fundamentals of diving such as communication, breathing, and flotation. This gives you the chance to be swimming there right beside the sea life.
Go Sailing, Snorkeling, Kayaking, and Swimming
Sail into the Gulf of Mexico on a catamaran then have the chance to go kayaking on the ocean and in the mangroves, snorkeling on a coral reef, and swimming as you choose with lunch and breakfast provided to keep you fueled up.
There is a beautiful array of activities available for you to enjoy. Take advantage of what you think will suit you and enjoy your time at Key West. Whether you want to enjoy the environment, or if you feel like challenging yourself in some ways, there are activities available for you.
If you are heading to Key West, then you have decided to spend a little time in one of the most enjoyable places on this planet. The beach is an excellent place to relax and enjoy yourself for a while, but there is much more in this region to explore. The beautiful waters of the Gulf Of Mexico provide a genuinely fantastic opportunity to thoroughly enjoy yourself in a pristine natural environment. It is a paradise which offers you ample opportunity to be given a chance to have some fun while exploring the protected marine environment. There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself on the water at Key West, and a few of them are listed below.
SailingIf you are interested in the quieter and slower form of traveling on the water, then sailing is the sport you should consider. You can indeed enjoy the sense of being close to some very beautiful natural resources that we are lucky to have the chance to experience. Another advantage of sailing is that you do not have to paddle. You can sit back and enjoy the sun and the breeze in your hair. If you go on a private sailing excursion, you will be taken through the marine national park where you have the chance to see dolphins, manta rays, and even loggerhead turtles. You will be able to swim and snorkel, and the cruise will cater to what you want to see and do. There are several different cruises available, and if you choose to, you and the captain could be the only people on the boat. This might be an ideal way for you to take some time and relax.
If you are happy to commit to a bit of exercise, then a truly remarkable experience is taking a guided kayak tour, where you will be taken on a fascinating little adventure to explore and learn about the local coastal environment. You will be paddling through mangroves and creeks as well as along the coast. Or maybe you might even go paddling yourself to do a bit of exploring on one of the single or double kayaks that are available to hire. As you are paddling over the beds of seagrass, you might want to keep an eye out for the often elusive manatee. The water is clear and shallow so you will be able to see the creatures that live around the seagrass beds and spot many different kinds of sea life all through the mangroves.
The Gulf of Mexico has clear waters. Key West is an excellent place to do some exploring of the marine world. While out in the water you might even have the chance to see one of the more prominent sea creatures that are in this region. There are many different cruises and tours that will take you to some fantastic local places to go snorkeling and see all kinds of fish local to the keys. This could include snorkeling off the side of a sailing boat, or on a beautiful coral reef or in a remote protected marine zone that is carefully managed by the locals. You could combine your snorkeling with swimming and other water sports activities. Snorkeling is an activity that the family can do together and can be a great experience for younger children, giving them the chance to see sea creatures close up. The water is warm and calm, and you will be well supervised during your activity.
The dolphins are understandably famous. They indeed are magnificent creatures. You should be able to see bottle-nosed dolphin in their natural protected environment where they feed and may even put on a bit of A show jumping out of the water. They often will swim alongside the catamaran, and you will be able to see how they move so powerfully through the water. This is an exceptional activity, and if you have not seen dolphins in the wild before then, it is an exciting and enriching experience.
For those who enjoy a little bit more speed in their water sports experience the jet skis offer an exciting opportunity to have fun on the water. If you have not done it before then learning to ride will only take a few minutes. You can take a guided tour which will take you to the southernmost point of the continental United States where you will be able to stop and take photos. You may even spot some of the local sea life during your trip. You will be guided by an experienced jet ski rider during the activity so you can be confident that you will not get lost at sea.
There are a variety of water activities which should offer enough variety to find something that will appeal to everybody. There are the more peaceful activities of sailing and kayaking where you can be up close to the natural environment. The snorkeling is genuinely fantastic. If you want to combine water sports, then there are cruises that offer you multiple activities. There is even a party cruise. Enjoy your time in a natural paradise that gives you many different things to explore and do.