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No fish tales here! Record fish frequently caught in Islamorada--Jewel of the Florida Keys

No fish tales here! Record fish frequently caught in Islamorada--Jewel of the Florida Keys
*Feature photo "Sailfish Catch" by photographer David Salas, Flickr 


The Florida Keys are home to an astounding variety of record-setting game fish as recorded by the International Game Fish Association. In fact, more world record fish have been caught from their waters than any other location on earth.

What makes Islamorada such a hot spot for fishing? It's all about the location. The Gulf Stream of the Atlantic Ocean, the Florida Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico surround the Florida Keys, a chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida. Every warm water gamefish that swims in our hemisphere can be found in these waters at one time of the year or another.


[above] Photo "Tarpon" by Dave Irving, Flickr


[above: Photo "Mahi Mahi", Pinterest, Random Pictures of the Day]

Here's a look at the Florida Saltwater Fishing Records, conventional tackle, July 1, 2015 (Wildlife Conservation Commission):

Amberjack, Greater
 Seriola dumerili
142 lb Islamorada 02-03-79 W. A. Colbert Jnr
Barjack 4 lb 2oz Key West 10-13-84 E. W. Herbert
Barracuda, Great
Sphyraena barracuda
67 lb Islamorada 01-29-49 H. K. Good
Black Sea Bass
Centropristis striata
5 lb 1 oz Panama City 07-21-58 R. H. Mar  Mrs
Striped Bass
Morone saxatilis
43 lb 9 oz Indian River 01-03-04  C. R. Jackson
Pomatomus saltatrix
22 lb 2 oz Jensen Beach 03-19-73 L. Yates
Blue Runner 7 lb Ft. Lauderdale 11-22-90 J. Krebs
Albula spp.
16 lb 3 oz Islamorada 03-99-07 R. Schroeder
Bonito, Atlantic
Sarda sarda
6 lb 8 oz Boca Raton 02-15-09 D. S. Jaradi
Catfish, Gafftopsail
Bagre marinus
8 lb 14 oz Titusville 09-21-96 L. C. Jones
Catfish, Hardhead
Arius felis
3 lb 5 oz Sebastian 04-18-98 A. A. Steel
Rachycentron canadum
130 lb 1 oz Destin 04-21-97  P. McCallester
Croaker, Atlantic
Micropogonias undulatus
4 lb 15 oz St. Lucie 12-15-02 A. de Foster
Coryphaena hippurus
81 lb 0 oz Lantana 06-09-07 R. Vail
Drum, Black
Pogonias cromis
96 lb Fernandina Beach 04-12-01 J. E. Cartwright
Drum, Red
Sciaenops ocellatus
52 lb 5 oz Cocoa Beach 02-24-96 G. E. Hogan
Bothidae or Pleuronectidae
20 lb 9 oz Nassau County 12-23-83 L. W. Mungin
Grouper, Black
Mycteroperca bonaci
113 lb 6 oz Dery Tortugas 01-27-90 D. W. Bone
Grouper, Gag
Mycteroperca microlepis
80 lb 6 oz Destin 10-14-93 B. Smith
Grouper, Goliath
Epinephelus itajara
680 lb Fernandina Beach 05-20-61 L. Joyner
Grouper, Nassau
Epinephelus striatus
9 lb 0 oz Marathon Key 11-16-84 B. Edward
Grouper, Red
Epinephelus morio
42 lb 4 oz St. Augustine Inlet 01-28-07 D. Wiseman Jnr
Grouper, Warsaw
Epinephelus nigritus
436 lb 12 oz Destin 12-22-85 S. Haeusler
Grouper, Yellowfin
Mycteroperca venenosa
34 lb 6 oz Key Largo 12-07-88 R. Hogrebe
Hind, Speckled
Epinephelus drummondhayi
52 lb 8 oz Destin 10-21-94 R. G. Perry
Lachnolaimus maximus
19 lb 8 oz Daytona 04-28-62 R. E. Bata
Jack, Almaco
Seriola rivoliana
Jack, Bar
Caranx hippos
7 lb 12 oz Miami 12-18-99 M. Arostequi
Jack, Crevalle
Caranx hippos
57 lb Jupiter 05-18-93 G. J. Wa
Jack, Horse-eye
Caranx latus
25 lb 12 oz Palm Beach 10-31-97 D. Leavitt
Jack, Yellow
Caranx bartholomaei
Elops saurus
6 lb 4 oz Cocoa Beach 08-02-05 L. Elliott
Mackerel, Cero
Scomberomorus regalis
17 lb 2oz Islamorada 04-05-86 G. M. Mills
Mackerel, King
Scomberomorus cavalla
90 lb Key West 02-16-76 N. I. Thor
Mackerel, Spanish
Scomberomorus maculatus
12 lb Ft. Pierce 11-17-84 J. F. Collig
Margate, Black
12 lb 12 oz Ft. Pierce 05-28-94 C. Napieral
Margate, White
Haemulon album
19 lb 8 oz Dry Tortugas 02-06-11 H. Vassallo
Marlin, Blue
Kajikia albida
1046 lb Panama City 06-14-85 C. E. Hawkins
Marlin, White
Kajikia albida
161 lb Miami Bch 03-20-38 L. F. Hooper
Trachinotus falcatus
56 lb 2 oz Ft. Lauderdale 07-14-01 T. Sebestyan
Pompano, African
Alectis ciliaris
50 lb 8 oz Daytona Beach 04-21-90 T. Sargent
Pompano, Florida
Trachinotus carolinus
8 lb 4 oz Port St. Joe 10-16-99 B. Huston
Runner, Rainbow
Elagatis bipinnulata
23 lb Boynton Beach 09-28-03 A. Richbell
Sailfish, Atlantic
Istiophorus platypterus
126 lb Big Pine Key 06-13-09 L. Maier
Sawfish 545 lb Naples 04-02-58 G. R. Maxwell
Mycteroperca phenax
28 lb 6 oz Mayport 04-03-02 B. D. Pursell
Seatrout, Spotted
Cynoscion nebulosus
17 lb 7 oz Ft. Pierce 05-11-95 C. F. Carso
Shark, Blacktip
Carcharhinus limbatus
152 lb Sebastian 10-29-87 D. Rees
Shark, Bull
Carcharhinus leucas
517 lb Panama City Beach 10-81 G. K. Bur
Shark, Duskey
Carcharhinus obscurus
764 lb Longboat Key 05-28-82 B. Dennis
Shark, Hammerhead
Sphyrna spp.
1060 lb Boca Grande 05-05-09 A. Ogle
Shark, Lemon
Negaprion brevirostris
397 lb Dunedin 04-29-77 R. M. Guc
Shark, Mako
Isurus spp.
911 lb 12 oz Palm Beach 04-09-62 A. Cohen
Shark, Spinner
Carcharhinus brevipinna
190 lb Flagler Beach 04-03-86 G. Pr
Shark, Thresher
Alopias spp.
544 lb 8 oz Destin 09-15-84 J. Weil
Shark, Tiger
Galeocerdo cuvier
1065 lb Pensacola 06-20-81 R. Baggs
Shark, White
Carcharodon carcharias
686 lb Key West 04-30-88 R. P. Dea
Archosargus probatocephalus
15 lb 2 oz Homosassa 01-29-81 E. Lechler
Snapper, Cubera
Lutjanus cyanopterus
116 lb Clearwater 07-26-79 B. Graham
Snapper, Gray
Lutjanus griseus
17 lb Pt. Canaveral 06-14-92 S. Maddox
Snapper, Lane
 Lutjanus synagris
6 lb 6 oz Pensacola 04-18-91 K. Jones
Snapper, Mutton
Lutjanus analis
30 lb 4 oz Dry Tortugas 09-29-98 R. Casey
Snapper, Red
Rhomboplites aurorubens
46 lb 8 oz Destin 10-01-85 L. Nichols
Snapper, Vermillion
Rhomboplites aurorubens
Snapper, Yellowtail
Ocyurus chrysurus
8 lb 9 oz Ft. Myers 07-24-92 W. M. Howard
Centropomus undecimalis
44 lb 3 oz Ft. Myers 09-13-96 R. D. Cosr
Spearfish, Longbill
Tetrapturus pfluegeri
61 lb 8 oz Islamorada 04-29-81 T. Damiano
Xiphias gladius
612 lb 12 oz  Key Largo 05-7-78 S. Stanfo
Megalops atlanticus
243 lb Key West 02-17-75 G. Bell
Triggerfish, Gray
Balistes capriscus
12lb 7oz Pensacola 07-15-01 K. Morris
Lobotes surinamensis
40 lb 13oz F. Pierce 03-04-98 T. D. Lewis
Tuna, Bigeye
Thunnus obesus
167 lb Miami Beach 01-18-57 J. Mills
Tuna, Blackfin
Thunnus atlanticus
45 lb 8oz Key West 05-04-96 S. J. Burnett
Tuna, Bluefin
Thunnus thynnus
Tuna, Skipjack
Euthynnus pelamis
33 lb 8 oz Islamorada 07-21-88 R. Lindquist
Tuna, Yellowfin
Thunnus albacares
240 lb Key West 12-05-02 M. Delph
Tunny, Little
Euthynnus alletteratus
27 lb Key Largo 04-20-76 W. E. Allison
Acanthocybium solandri
139 lb Marathon 05-18-60 G. Von Hof
Cynoscion regalis
10 lb Port Canaveral 12-30-87 G. R. Mize Jnr

Going for the Record 

Experienced fishermen know that there is no substitute for local knowledge, and this is why chartering a local captain and guide is a smart thing to do. Of course, no one can force the fish to bite, but simply being in the right place at the right time with the right tide and the right bait can make all the difference when it comes to catching the fish you've been dreaming about.

You'll find some of the best guides and charters in the world listed in our directory. Why not book your dream sporting trip today?




Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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