The Florida Keys is home to the only coral reef in the United States and is home to arguably some of the best free dive spearfishing in the country.
There is diving wherever there is an ocean, but the Keys have a great mix of warm water and good visibility. That in addition to the mild weather give the Keys the most accessible diving of anywhere in the United States.
On all but the worst days, you can get out, and get wet and get dinner if you are in the Keys. There are just so many options and so many places to dive.
These conditions actually make it the best place to get started on this exciting sport. You can bring your own boat or there are numerous spearfishing charters available in the Florida Keys. However, not all of them will have all the equipment you need for a day of diving. This may require you to rent equipment from a third party, which is totally possible.
If you are totally new to the sport, a charter may be the best route because they should be able to instruct you on the gear and what fish you should take. At lease I hope they would.
Diving From Shore
You can also dive from the shore in some areas of the Keys but remember you cannot dive near a fishing pier. Also you will want to bring a float and dive flag with you if you are going to be by any channels or where there is boat traffic.
Inshore patch reefs are a favorite spot for people new to the sport. These are basically little gardens of coral located in the shallows close to the mangrove islands. These mini reefs will be home to numerous fish and lobster. The most commonly targeted fish in these areas are the hogfish, but don’t overlook the fish species here such as porgies. They are a little harder to shoot but taste just as good.
When lobster season hits you will need a tickle stick and net, or a lobster snare. You cannot shoot lobsters in the keys like you can in the Bahamas. These items may available to you if you take a charter but if not you can purchase them for pretty cheap at any of the local dive shops.
Know the Law
On that note you should get a copy of the fish regulations if you are new to the area before you head out. Be responsible and know the law, and obey the proper bag and size limits while visiting. You also need a fishing license to fish in the ocean in Florida, which may be different then where you are from so make sure you get a fishing license.