Far from being limited to deep sea fishing and charter tours, the Keys offers a host of land-based options, including bridge fishing. The more than 40 bridges that span the Keys are ideal for fishing a suitable distance from the shore, yet without the hassle of taking out a boat. Near Key West, the Boca Chica Channel Bridge is one of the most popular with locals, as it has reliable current flow and abundant fish, from mangrove snapper to tarpon, in its relatively deep waters.
Strategies for fishing these areas include using line bait that mimics minnows and shrimp as they get carried in the current. Bridge pilings and seawalls are hangouts for snappers and groupers, with “stink baits” in general more effective than cut sardines and live crustaceans.