If you’ve dreamed of stalking quietly through shallow crystal clear water, hunting big fish to cast to, endless turtle grass flats, white sandy edges, mangrove islands, tidal creeks, coral heads, sponges, and most of all sight casting to adrenaline-filled fish and watching them inhale your fly or bait then the Florida Keys Flats it where you want to fish!
Flats Fishing is a combination of hunting and fishing that puts anglers of every age and experience level to the ultimate test. Whether it’s hitting that 60 foot fly cast onto a dinner plate in the Permits feeding zone, making out the grey shadow of the Bonefish as it approaches or bowing to a 100+ LBS Tarpon as it shows of its aerobatics and line pulling capabilities, the gamefish of the Florida Keys Flats offer excitement incomparable to most.
The flats can be challenging and take a lot of patients and focus to find the fish, get into position and make a quality cast. But once you’ve put in your time and make the proper presentation to the fish it’s extremely rewarding.
Along with the target species swimming the flats, it’s common to spot a variety of Sea Turtles, Sting Rays, Crabs, Sharks, Snapper, Baitfish, Dolphins and Birds feeding on the flats. So if your traveling partner isn’t as excited about fishing as you, it can be very relaxing for them to sit back read a book, soak up the sun and take in some of Mother Natures’ beauty as you hunt for a fish of a lifetime.
Depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and anglers’ preference, we will utilize our expertise to suggest the best available options and work with you to customize your trip and create the best possible experience on the water!
Chasing gamefish offshore and on deep wrecks requires favorable weather, seaworthy anglers, and patience. To target specific species such as mahi, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, swordfish, etc., plan to book your trip during the appropriate season:
(Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, Swordfish, etc)
Reef fishing offers multiple different species of all sizes. Fishing the reef is a shorter boat ride and a great way to catch a mixed bag of quality eating fish. (Grouper, Snapper, Mackerel, Sharks, Baracuda, Cobia etc)
Light tackle reef, patch reef, backcountry basin, channels and shallow wreck fishing offer great options to stay protected from rough seas, catch a lot of fish, find multiple species and stay comfortable in calmer water without a long run in open ocean. (Sea Trout, Jacks, Sharks, Cuda, Snapper, Ladyfish, Grouper, Cobia, etc.)
Night Tarpon Fishing
The Night Time is The Right Time!
If you’ve ever shinned a light in the water near a tarpon feeding area at the correct tide and seen how many glowing red eyes are lurking near the surface, you’ve quickly realized that Tarpon are night feeders. Whether it sounds like your getting bombed with bowling balls as the Tarpon and Snook are busting Shrimp on the surface or bait showers of Mullet are splashing near the boat, it’s a magical sound when the Tarpon are in a feeding frenzy within a fly line away.
I’ve put countless hours on the water after the sun goes down perfecting the art of Night Fishing for Tarpon. Once you’ve located where the tarpon are feeding and what tide phase they’re feeding on, it’s just a matter of getting out there and casting the rod. As long as the water temps are good and the wind is less than 20 knots, it’s almost a sure thing to put multiple tarpon in the air in a short period of time. On top of the great Tarpon action, we hit Super Sized Snapper as well as Snook during our night trips.
Once you’ve located where the tarpon are feeding and what tide phase they’re feeding on, it’s just a matter of getting out there and casting the rod
The Fish, Gear and Seasons
During the winter months, we are usually targeting the Resident Juvenile fish (ranging from 10-50 lbs, but it’s not uncommon to hit fish over 60lbs) and use Ten Weight Fly Rods with floating or sinking lines, depending on the conditions and Medium Heavy Spinning Rods. The larger Migratory Tarpon (60-150lbs) start showing up late Feb and March depending on the weather and as we start hitting larger fish we bump are arsenal to Twelve Weight Fly Rods and Heavy Spinning or Baitcasting Rods.
Twelve Weight Fly Rods and Heavy Spinning or Baitcasting Rods. The food source is constantly changing from spot to spot and different times of year. We throw primarily Shrimp, Deceiver, and Top Water Gurgler Flies. We cast a number of different shallow water diver, top water and soft plastic artificial lures. Pinfish, Crabs, Shrimp, and Mullet are the preferred live baits.
Night Tarpon Trips usually last around 4 hours or when the fish stop biting. We start our night trips anywhere from shortly before dusk until a couple hours before sun up and sometimes fish into the morning. Start times depend entirely on the tide phase and certain dates/tides are better than others, so let us know if you’re interested in checking out the Night Tarpon Game and we’ll fill you in on the best dates and times to book your trip. The Peak Night dates/tides fill up quickly, so be sure to call ahead and book your trip.