Patch Reef Fishing

The winter and early spring provide excellent patch reef fishing. A good option for days when we cannot travel outside the reef due to unfavorable sea conditions is to fish inside of the reefs. The outer reefs in the Florida Keys act like the Great Barrier Reef sheltering the inner reefs from the full force of ocean conditions. These inner “Patch Reefs” are referred to as the “Patches.”

The “Patches” are isolated coral heads, rubble and rock piles located in depths of 10-30ft. Clients have the opportunity to catch several different fish species on patch reef fishing trips, including famous “keys scallywags” (throwback inedible fish or undersize fish) that are fun to catch on light tackle, photograph and release.

If you are looking to catch a prized Bonefish I have the spots for getting them on light tackle in the winter months on the patch reefs. The Bonefish (Grey Ghost) is highly sought after for a catch and release photo, just to say you caught one!

Below is a list of fish species that we may catch on the Patch Reefs.  Check out our Florida Keys Fish Seasons calendar page.

  • Mangrove Snapper
  • Mutton Snapper
  • Cobia
  • Porgy
  • Sharks
  • Small Grouper
  • Hog Fish
  • Bonefish (winter)