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Florida Key West Fishing Piers (Huge Guide!)

Key West fishing piers you can visit for free and catch fish all night long.

Key West is known for fishing, but offshore deep sea fishing mostly. Prices for chartered boat fishing tours have increased dramatically though with gas prices so high. Many anglers are choosing to save some money and are fishing from the piers and beaches this year.

The Edward Knight Fishing Pier is the biggest fishing pier in the Florida Keys, and really there are very few piers on the whole string of islands comprising the Keys.

When I first drove there, I figured there would be piers everywhere. That’s not the case!

The interesting thing is that four out of five piers are all located next to each other in Key West. Just part of the weirdness that is Key West, I guess?

4 Key West Fishing Piers

Let’s talk about the commonalities between the piers before we get into the individual differences of each fishing pier.

They’re all located on the south side of Key West, the westernmost key (island) in the chain of keys. All four piers are just east of the southernmost tip of the United States.

If you’re still unclear, Key West is about 130 miles southeast of Miami by plane and much longer by vehicle on the highway.

The fishing piers in Key West are pretty bare-bones basic. There are few extras. There might not be any. They are basically a piece of concrete out over the water. There’s no shade provided by roofs.

There’s no restaurants or bait shop on the piers. Restrooms are going to be a problem so you might bring an empty water bottle!

I can’t find any live cams covering any of the fishing piers. That’s too bad.

Piers are generally crowded during the summers because, well, Key West. The place was built around fishing and tourism makes up a huge part of their population at any time of the year.

What Fish Can You Catch in Key West from the Piers?

The deep sea fishing in Key West is legendary. Wahoo, Marlin, Grouper, Snapper… are all main targets of the fishing industry. From the piers it’s a little different, but there is a wide variety of potential fish species to catch.

Is it better in Key West than the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier? I don’t think so, but it’s the atmosphere. The adventure. The history of the place. The great restaurants.

Maybe also it’s the idea that you’re steps away from the southernmost spot in the entire USA.

Common Fish Caught at Key West Fishing Piers

When is the Best Time to Catch Fish on Piers in Key West?

Use the following Key West Pier Fishing Schedule as a starting point. Different weather changes mean you might have great fishing on a day that is marked as poor on the chart.

Fish catching schedule (chart) showing best months for fishing from piers in Key West for certain fish species.
The best time to catch 16 fish species from piers in Key West. ©Salty101.com

Rules / Regulations

Rules and restrictions are the same for each pier. I’ll post them below, then get into what each pier is like.

Prohibited List

  • Castnet throwing for baitfish
  • Tents
  • Fires, grill
  • glass bottles
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Music
  • Swimming around the Pier in the fishing section (there is a swimming section)
  • Smoking
  • Beach Umbrellas

Location of All Fishing Piers on the South Side of Key West

Four main fishing piers in Key West, Florida.
Red markers on the 4 Keywest Fishing Piers.

Ponce De Leon Fishing Pier

This is a very short pier that doesn’t have anyone fishing on it, but lots of foot traffic as people come for sunset.

This pier is also called the Emma Carrero Cates Pier.

Fishing Pier Length and Width

The length of the pier over water is 46 yards long (138 feet and 42 meters) and it is 6 yards wide (17 feet and 5 meters) wide the entire length of the pier. This fishing platform is not very wide, but good enough for fishing when the sunset crowds leave for the bars.

Hours?

This pier never closes. It’s on a small street at the end of Duval Street on the south side of the island. You can fish all night if you want to.

Fees to Fish?

No fee at all. Fish for free when you already have your license.

Is Florida Fishing License Covered by Fee?

NO. You need to buy a Florida Saltwater Fishing License to fish from Piers in Key West.

Bait Shop?

Key West Bait and Tackle is the only bait shop I could find in Key West. That is not close to the Ponce De Leon Fishing Pier and you’ll have a long walk or a short bike ride. It’s on the other side of the island. Here’s the address – 241 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040. Here is their phone number – +1 305-292-1961

Read about the first 15 reviews of the bait shop on Maps.google.com. There are some angry customers. I don’t know whether it’s just one or two people writing these bad reviews, or what is going on, but not everyone is satisfied with the place. That’s too bad because it’s the only decent sized bait shop on Key West!

Rental Fishing Rods and Reels?

At the bait shop I don’t see any mention of rentals, but you can buy rods/reels there.

Restroom?

There are some cafes close by the pier, so you could buy something there and use the restroom no problem.

Location?

The address of this pier is – Duval St. South, Key West, FL 33040.

The GPS coordinates of the building at the end of the pier are [24.54634305579511 N, -81.79564671968276 W]

There is no telephone number for this small pier.

Parking?

Parking is very convenient and right at the beach at the start of the pier on the streets leading up to the pier. There are signs around the area that say no parking from 11 pm. to 6 am. No overnight parking at all, your car will be towed.

Please check carefully whether your car is in one of these parking places if you plan on fishing during these hours.

Gazebo Fishing Pier

This hardly qualifies as a fishing pier, but I guess you can throw a line in and see what you get. It is in the middle of a housing area and there are no facilities or anything else to help qualify it as a fishing pier. It goes out over the water, and that’s about the extent of it!

Fishing Pier Length and Width

The length of the pier over water is 134 yards (403 feet and 123 meters). The last section is a boat dock that you can walk out on but it has very little space for fishing. You could actually fall in!

Hours?

The Gazebo Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day and you can fish there as long as you want. Even at night!

The problem is… there is a jet ski place right beside the pier and you’ll have to deal with that all day during daylight hours.

Better to make this a night time only stop, and only if you’re desperate for some reason because any of the other piers will be a far better fishing experience!

Fees to Fish?

No fee at all. Fish for free when you already have your license.

Is Florida Fishing License Covered by Fee?

NO. You need to buy a Florida Saltwater Fishing License to fish from Piers in Key West.

Bait Shop?

No, there is no bait shop here or at any of the piers. Key West Bait and Tackle is the only bait shop I could find in Key West. How odd is that? This bait shop is not near the White Street Pier at all.

It’s on the other side of the island. Here’s the address – 241 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040. Here is their phone number – +1 305-292-1961

Rental Fishing Rods and Reels?

At the bait shop I don’t see any mention of rentals, but you can buy rods/reels there.

Restroom?

None close by. Sorry!

Location?

The address of this pier is – 700 Seminole St, Key West, FL 33040.

The GPS coordinates of the building at the end of the pier are [24.546042109892984 N, -81.79176378899082 W]

There is no telephone number for this location.

Parking?

Parking is available on the street by the pier, but there are not very many spaces and it could get crowded considering that every building on Key West is used as a business too. Be careful as there are signs around the area that say no parking from 11 pm. to 6 am.

No overnight parking at all, your car will be towed. Please check carefully whether your car is in one of these parking places if you plan on fishing during late or early morning hours.

Higgs Beach Memorial Fishing Pier

The name of this pier is the Clarence S. Higgs Beach Memorial Fishing Pier. Quite a mouthful!

Fishing Pier Length and Width

The pier is 133 yards (400 feet and 122 meters) long and 9.5 feet wide. There is a lot of room to fish but as usual in Key West there are always tourists walking the piers to see the different view and taking photos. It’s probably going to be less frustrating to fish at night on this island for sure.

Note – there is no railing, so kids on the pier probably isn’t a great idea.

Hours?

The Higgs Fishing Pier is also open anytime you’re up for fishing, but seriously, consider after sunset and maybe the early morning hours when tourists are sleeping off their hangovers.

Fees to Fish?

No fee at all. Fish for free when you already have your license.

Is Florida Fishing License Covered by Fee?

NO. You need to buy a Florida Saltwater Fishing License to fish from Piers in Key West.

Bait Shop?

Key West Bait and Tackle is the only bait shop I could find in Key West. How odd is that? This bait shop is not near the White Street Pier at all. It’s on the other side of the island. Here’s the address – 241 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040. Here is their phone number – +1 305-292-1961

Rental Fishing Rods and Reels?

At the bait shop I don’t see any mention of rentals, but you can buy rods/reels there.

Restroom?

None close by. Sorry!

Location?

The address of this pier is – 1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040.

The GPS coordinates of the end of the pier are [24.5459355136267 N, -81.78814222777456 W]

Telephone number is (none).

Parking?

Parking is rather easy if it isn’t too crowded. There is a lot of street parking here. Beware, there are signs around the area that say no parking from 11 pm. to 6 am. No overnight parking at all, your car will be towed. Please check carefully whether your car is in one of these parking places if you plan on fishing during

Edward B. Knight Fishing Pier (White Street Pier)

This is the longest of the piers and probably the one you’ll want to fish from first.

Fishing Pier Length and Width

The length of the pier over water is 313 yards. The rectangular section at the end adds another 233 yards of space to fish. The pier is 62 feet wide (21 yards / 19 meters). That is a lot of space! They allow skating, cycling, and walking in addition to fishing.

Hours?

The White Street Pier is open 24 hours a day and you can fish there as long as you want – even all night!

Fees to Fish?

No fee at all. Fish for free when you already have your license.

Is Florida Fishing License Covered by Fee?

NO. You need to buy a Florida Saltwater Fishing License to fish from Piers in Key West.

Bait Shop?

Key West Bait and Tackle is the only bait shop I could find in Key West. How odd is that? This bait shop is not near the White Street Pier at all. It’s on the other side of the island. Here’s the address – 241 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040. Here is their phone number – +1 305-292-1961

Read about the first 15 reviews of the bait shop on Maps.google.com. There are some angry customers. I don’t know whether it’s just one or two people writing these bad reviews, or what is going on, but not everyone is satisfied with the place. That’s too bad because it’s the only decent sized bait shop on Key West!

Rental Fishing Rods and Reels?

At the bait shop I don’t see any mention of rentals, but you can buy rods/reels there.

Restroom?

None close by. Sorry!

Location?

The address of this pier is – White St, Key West, FL 33040.

The GPS coordinates of the building at the end of the pier are [24.545423090148553 N, -81.78341979797993 W]

Telephone number is – +1 305-809-3700

Parking?

Parking is very convenient and right at the beach at the start of the pier. It is free! There are signs around the area that say no parking from 11 pm. to 6 am. No overnight parking at all, your car will be towed. Please check carefully whether your car is in one of these parking places if you plan on fishing during these hours.

Activities?

Walking, skating, biking, and fishing.

Is Rental Gear (Rod and Reel) Available?

Cautions

Birds like pelicans and seagulls will take your bait or your caught fish when you aren’t looking. Also be careful that you don’t cast overhead, they are waiting for that because it provides a great opportunity to catch your bait (and get hooked) in the air.

Be very careful about this. Keep lids on your bait and coolers to help prevent birds from getting in on the action. Don’t feed the birds, manatees, sharks, or other fish or wildlife while in Florida, please!

If you’re planning on swimming or wading around in the water near the pier be careful of stingrays hidden just under the sand where they are nearly invisible. While fishing in Clearwater just north of here, I stepped on a stingray barb in the tail and it made for a horrible end to a day of fantastic fishing!

Pier Fishing the White Street Pier for Tarpon at Night (Video)

Key West White Street Pier - How To Tarpon

Key West Fishing Social Media

There are no good social media accounts for piers in Key West since they are unmanaged. Instead, I want to link you up with one guy’s fishing channel that focuses on this area. His videos are exceptional and full of tips to help you catch fish in the keys, and especially KW.

Where’s the Closest Fishing Pier to Me?

If you live in Florida there is probably a fishing pier close to you. The best pier may not be the one closest in miles so you should have a look at some of these pages and see if one might be better for you.

Some piers have restaurants on the piers. Others are just a slab of concrete over the water and very few extras. Our fishing pier guides are below, and we have guides for all the top gamefish.

[Image credits: Images not marked with credits taken from their official website, videos, and FB pages.]