Dolphins Plus Blog

Welcome to the Dolphins Plus blog! Check in here for articles and updates regarding our marine family and the current happenings here at Dolphins Plus.

A Dolphins Plus Adventure Plus the Best Sport Fishing in the Florida Keys

January 19, 2023 / Florida Keys Adventures

As home to the only living coral barrier reef in the United States, the waters surrounding the Florida Keys feature one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the country. Guests flock from all over the world to enjoy everything from incredible scuba diving adventures to the best fishing in the Florida Keys.

Here at Dolphins Plus Bayside, we offer guests the dolphin encounter of a lifetime. You’ll get expert insights on dolphin psychology and marine conservation before taking to the water to interact with dolphins through one of our unforgettable interactive programs. 

Make Memories That Last a Lifetime at Dolphins Plus Bayside

Dolphins Plus Bayside offers several opportunities to get up close and personal with our dolphin family.  From Dolphin Dockside programs to Shallow Water Encounters and Signature Swim programs there is something for everyone! 

Our Shallow Water Encounter is a very intimate program designed for guests to play and interact with the dolphins while standing comfortably in shallow water.  Guests will learn what dolphins feel like with behaviors such as belly rubs and kisses.  They may even get to experience a dolphin hug! 

After getting to know the dolphins in the shallow water, Signature Swim participants will be invited into the deep water to experience the dolphins  power and grace with a couple of faster paced behaviors before completing their encounter back in shallow water.   

Enjoy the best of both offers when you choose our new Premier Family Dolphin Experience! You and your family will enjoy private access to our facilities for a full magical morning of fun.  Not only will you enjoy private briefings and tours from our resident trainers, but also the chance to interact with dolphins in multiple lagoons. Designed for groups of four to eight guests, the Premier Family experience is a great choice if your group has swimmers of different levels.

No matter which experience you choose, you’ll be assisted by our highly-skilled trainers as you enjoy dolphin kisses, handshakes, belly rubs, and more.  Our trainers will curate the perfect experience for every member of your party as you interact with our gentle marine mammals. We’re here to help you design an unforgettable adventure in the Florida Keys and are happy to provide info on other activities to explore throughout your trip!

Looking to do some fishing on your vacation? We’ll be happy to point you in the direction of some of the best fishing in the Keys!

Enjoy the Best Sport Fishing in the Florida Keys

Sport fishing, which is also simply called recreational fishing, is incredibly popular among guests and locals alike. Surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys are home to over 600 different species of fish!

It’s no surprise that the Keys host dozens of fishing tournaments, including the epic eight-month-long Key West Fishing Tournament.

Whether you want to try your hand at fishing for your dinner or to catch and release, you’ll enjoy your choice of a wide variety of different fishing styles. Choose from options including:

  • Deep sea fishing
  • Reef fishing
  • Light tackle fishing
  • Tarpon fishing
  • Back Country fishing
  • Bridge fishing
  • Boat fishing


4 Great Fishing Spots in the Keys

As many locals will attest, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to finding a great fishing spot throughout the islands. Let’s take a look at several of the most popular and what each has to offer.

1. Key Largo

Home to some of the largest populations of tropical and subtropical fish in the region, Key Largo is a great choice if you’re looking for diversity.  Enjoy fishing for freshwater and saltwater catches alike in the Everglades National Park or wreck fishing at popular sites like Bibb and Duane. Or enjoy one of a number of great fishing adventures available through top local charters such as Westward Expeditions or Mahi Mania Fishing Charters.

2. Islamorada

Known as the “sport fishing capital of the world,” Islamorada offers pretty much every type of fishing under the sun. From saltwater and backcountry fishing to reef fishing and bottom fishing, Islamorada is home to hundreds of great charters that offer top-tier fishing excursions. For a dose of local celebrity check out Captain Matt Bellinger owner and operator of Bamboo Charters and in the words of Matt "Get Out on the Water"! 

3. Key West

Among the world’s most renowned fishing destinations, Key West offers deep sea fishing, light tackle fishing, and everything in between. Cast your line from Knight’s Pier, which is the longest in Key West, or enjoy a day of deep-sea fishing with Key West Wreck Fishing.

4. Marathon

With depths of up to 1,000 feet, the Marathon Hump is a great choice for deep sea fishers looking for truly unique catches. Marathon also has several great spots, like Bahia Honda Park and Sombrero Beach, which offer fishing and plenty of other fun activities for the whole family.

Best Fish to Catch in the Florida Keys

Some might argue, what kind of fish can’t you catch in the Keys? A huge variety of local indigenous fish is one of the reasons that sport fishing in the Florida Keys has become so popular.

You’ll have the chance to catch plenty of species of fish no matter what time of the year you choose to visit! Here are some of the most popular types of fish you can expect to catch year-round.

Yellowtail Snappers

Yellowtails are one of the most popular fish in the Keys due to the fact that they make an excellent meal. Look for them near reefs at depths of anywhere from 20 – 220 feet. While available year-round, they are a particularly popular catch during the fall and winter months.


A fierce looking fighting fish, the barracuda can be found both inshore and offshore. They often lurk near reefs, shipwrecks, or flats and can be captured with almost any lure.


One of the fastest fish you’ll find in the Keys, this cousin of the King Mackerel can swim at up to 60 -70 mph! A favorite catch of deep-sea fishing fans, Wahoo are incredibly fun to catch, especially if you set out with a charter specifically dedicated to hooking them.


Tarpon, also known as “Silver Kings,” are another incredibly popular local catch. They can usually be found in shallow waters, making them perfect for backcountry flats fishing.

For information on the best fishing in the Keys based on season, check out this great fishing calendar guide by Key West Fishing Charters.


Sailfish draw in anglers from all over the world. They are beautiful and exciting to catch, and fishing techniques vary seasonally but can be different from other species since it is primarily live bait fishing.

This is without a doubt one of the most appealing and captivating fish to pursue in the Florida Keys. Their massive, dark steel blue sail fin, which frequently stands upright along its back, and their long, pointed spear-like bill, which is a portion of their upper jaw, are two of their most distinctive features.

Start Your Florida Keys Adventure at Dolphins Plus

Ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime? Book your swim with Dolphins Plus Bayside today! From prime fishing spots to the top charters, our expert staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have about the best fishing in the Keys. Contact us for help planning an incredible adventure in the Florida Keys.



New call-to-action
How well do you know dolphins? DOWNLOAD NOW

Receive Special Offers

Recent Posts

How well do you know dolphins? DOWNLOAD NOW