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Spearfishing Set Up for Florida Keys

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 3, 2002
hello all,
i am going to the keys in march and would like to know a little background information before i go. what can i expect to spear down there in march? relating to the last question, do you think a 100cm RA with a single 20mm band will be enough gun? should i stay with a traditional float/floatline setup or should i rig up a break away system? any help would be greatly appreciated.
from what i saw you better be ready to put a break away system
you can find a barracudas long then 1.5M . big amber-jacks' .kink fish. wahoo and tuna to
de r a gun will be fine
good luck

If you are going to stick stricktly to the reef, the gun you have may suffice for certain fish such as hogfish, grouper and snappers. I would recommend to use a float and line, mainly in cases you need to release the gun and to keep other boats off you. Most of the guys down here use a 110 or larger, but a 100 may do the trick. In March, if you head to some wrecks out deep, or blue water, you may need a different set-up or longer gun. However, lots of guys down here have landed kingfish, Wahoo, and even Tuna with a ZA railgun. Send me your contact info via PM and I'll gladly give you additional points and some spots if you like. If I'm available, I'll gladly take you out as well.

Here's a list of the reef species you're likely to encounter. I suggest you look up some of the size regulations and bag limits. The "Force" in the keys are usually out in force.

Hogfish (12")
Red Grouper (20")
Black Grouper (24")
Mangrove Snapper (10")
School Master Snapper ("9")
Mutton Snapper ("16")
Triggerfish ("12")
Yellow Jack, Amberjack--No size limits
Cero, Spanish and King Mackeral

Good Luck!
Amberjacks are 28" limit/one per person. Yellow jacks have no size limit. Mackerels have their own limits.
Definetely "know the regs before you go". Ignorance is no excuse. Rolo knows that the FWC will pull out their rulers to measure your fish :D .

Go to this website and read Florida's fishing regulations (http://myfwc.com/marine/regulation.htm).
Most important are 'Spearing' and 'Summerized Recreational Regulations'. On top of our many size and bag limits, there are also many species of fish we are not allowed to spear in Florida.

Hope this helps.

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Angelos thanks for the correction.

Mr. Turgeon is correct. I should have known that a School master snapper is 10" and an Amberjack 28". Sorry, I was one inch off one and forgot to list the other. I listed the mackerals without size limits, because I just wanted to list possible fish he can spear. My post was not intended to give mis-information.
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Sturgeon school master snapper I believe are 10" min (but used to be 8" yrs ago). Mangroves are 10" muttons are 16" lanes are 8" and reds are 16" in the gulf and 20" everywhere else all others (snapper) are 12". The best way to know is to look at the site as you pointed out. As far as mackarel most of the ones you see will be legal in the keys but I believe spanish and cero are 12" to fork and kings are 24". Why are you jumping all over Rolando? His post was meant to inform the original poster of the species available and offer some constructive information about his gun choices for the Keys. As I see it his post certainly gave more pertinent information as to the original question. As far as the omission of the size restriction on AJ's the guy is human so I don;t see why you saw it fit to rake him over the coals aver a simple mistake. Take it easy there punchy...we are all here in pursuit of a hobby not to troll for honest mistakes and pretend we are infalible. Rolando is a great diver and one hell of a nice guy... notice how he even extended a invitation to a person he doesn't know. If you hadn't purposefully insulted him in a open forum you may have another dive buddy....now instead you have someone pissed at you....and rightfully so.
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guys..chill out..this is strating to look like spearboard.com (not that there is anything wrong with it, specially the bikini picture thread :p )
c'mon we've all been there, i know i have, many many many times. its so easy to get personal and get carried away. lets just calm down and take a breather.
So Rolando made a mistake, he got corrected. end of story. no need to take it to the next level and get personal.

back to the original question.
local anglers can give info on what species you are likely to encounter. also make sure you check with fish&game for seasonal restrictions and bag limits. always carry a float with a flag when in the Keys (lots of boat traffic) and a whistle, preferably something that is fail proof such as the Fox 40. also, makes sure you have a fishing permitt. as mentioned previously by Frogman, ignorance is not an excuse.

also in the keys if you decide to do any wrecks be ready to encounter jewfish, aka goliath groupers. they will readily charge you and take your catch, they are illegal to spear (so far) and will easily make puree out of your shaft, so take a few extra.

hope this helps
Not to drag up dead issues but this isnt the first time around for some of these allegations. I for one got caught up in the hype of events that I wasnt even part of. It was easy to jump on the "bash em up" bandwagon while in reality I had no leg to stand on.

I am glad Scott and Rolo worked this out quickly this time around.
I have edited and deleted some of my posts. This issue is best resolved in the private manner as opposed to a public forum, besides, it's not fair to Heebes to stray away from his original topic. Chiledog, thanks for the words; the issue has been resolved.

Scott and I are meeting at High-Noon and are going to draw our spearguns after ten paces :ko The setting will be at the OK Marina, behind the Cobia Corral. Scott's camo wetsuit offers him a big advantage, but I have youth in my corner :D I've been told the promotor will be Don Kingfish and Mills Lane Snapper will referee. The winner will get a nice juicy 9" Schoolmaster :king
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I have modified my original post and removed the rest. I agreed with Rolando that this was probably the best thing to do (plus, after his were gone it looked funny - like I was replying to myself).

PS - Thanks Rig.

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