The fish you’re likely to encounter depends on the time of year and the particular wreck you’re fishing. Captain Pepe likes to use live bait when fishing the wrecks, but he’ll also use cut bait if he absolutely has to. Either way, you can rest assured he has the bait and knowledge you need to have the adventure of a lifetime fishing the numerous wrecks around Key West.
Fishing the Gulf of Mexico Wrecks
Going west from the Keys, you’ll discover wrecks that are populated with such fish species as sharks, cobia, king mackerel, tuna, and the vicious barracuda. Again, the best choice for fishing these wrecks is using live bait, with pilchards, herring, threadfins, crab, and pinfish standing as the avid angler’s favorites. Finding just the right to spot to drop anchor is key as well, something you’ll need an experienced guide like Captain Pepe to accomplish.
When you fish a wreck where you anchor can be key. You need the boat to be just up current from the wreck for the best results.
As you read up above, which species you’ll find lingering among the Gulf wrecks depends on the time of year, although grouper, snapper, and even barracuda can be found no matter the season.
The widest variety of fish seems to occur during the winter months.
While spring brings much sought after species like permit and cobia into these action-packed wreck areas. Kingfish typically prevail in the summer months, but it’s easy to see that there’s amazing fishing to be found near the Gulf wrecks year round.
Famous Gulf Wrecks
Not long after the start of the Second World War, the United States planted a web of minefields at the Gulf’s bottom to ward off invading German subs. While this practice did prove effective to a great extent, it also resulted in the sinking of a great many commercial vessels. This certainly wasn’t the only period when ships sank in the Gulf of Mexico, but the World War II era did produce some of the most famous wreck fishing spots.
A great variety of ships lies sunken at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, with many of them within 15-25 miles off the shores of Key West. These ships, which include everything from freighters and shrimp boats to huge World War II warships sunk by Allied mines or German torpedoes.
Some of the most famous and commonly fished wrecks on the Gulf side are the Edward Luckenbach, The Sturtevant, and the Bosilijka.
Although many of the smaller Gulf wrecks remain nameless, there are a few notable shrimp boats down there, all of which are surrounded by hungry fish waiting to be landed. A few of the best-known sunken Gulf shrimp boats are The Craig, Teaser, and the Cyclops. Stick with a guide like Captain Pepe to discover which is the best to explore while you’re on your personal fishing adventure.
Fishing Wrecks on the Atlantic Side
The deepwater wrecks on the Atlantic side of Key West are swarming with hungry, aggressive fish.
In the lowest depths, you’re likely to find hordes of snapper and grouper, while schools of the powerful amberjack tend to swim a bit higher up in the water column. At the middle depths, you’ll be able to land kingfish, mackerel, blackfin tuna, and Bonita. Up near the surface, some of the most aggressive species are ready to fight you tooth and nail to stay underwater, with cobia, permit, and several specials of the majestic shark most prominent among this veritable murderer’s row.
The wrecks on the Atlantic side are just as loaded with fish as those you’ll find on the bottom of the Gulf and Captain Pepe is familiar with them all. Choose an Atlantic wreck charter and you’ll fish wrecks like:
- The Vandenburg
- The USS Curb
- The Wilkes-Barre
- The Submarine
- The Airplane wreck
To sum up, it doesn’t matter which side you fish with Captain Pepe’s Key West Charters, especially if you’re exploring the bountiful shipwrecks that litter the floor of both the Gulf and the Atlantic. You’re guaranteed to be in the best of hands with Captain Pepe’s guidance. He has years and years of experience fishing these wrecks and there’s no better guide to them in all of Key West. Imagine the thrilling adventure you and your party will have as you wear out your wrists landing the most stunning array of deepsea fish you can imagine. Just be sure to book your charter early, because Captain Pepe and his crew are busy 12 months out of the year.
Type of Charters
Fish of Key West
Refund / Cancellation Policy
- A full refund of the 20% deposit will be returned if the guide cancels the trip for any reason.
- If the client cancels the trip 30 days in advance, a full refund of the deposit will be returned.
- If the client cancels the trip in under 30 days of the departure date or does not show up for the scheduled trip, the deposit will not be returned.