Flats Fishing Season Begins
April 23rd 2016 – The last few weeks of April always get me in a shallow water state of mind. Since 1994 I have geared my entire year around the seasons and the tides and this month marks the beginning of the “flats fishing” season in my mind here in the Florida Keys. The winds of March have typically slowed, water temps have been steady in the high 70s, water clarity and quality has improved, the permit are back from their yearly spawning migration out to the reef and the bonefish have arrived on the flats with huge monster groups of tarpon that will be showing up along our Atlantic facing beaches. Its all a set up for our amazing Florida Keys flats fishing.
Once the tarpon migration gets started May is a busy month for most of the flats fishing guides here. Day in and day out 2 trips a day we are out there with our anglers casting flys, chucking baits or tossing artificial lures at them as they parade by us in orderly fashion. Its an obsession that is not easily explained to someone that has not been a part of it. I really enjoy fishing for tarpon early then heading to the shallows for a May permit or shot at a bonefish with the lighter traffic while the rest are focused on tarpon.
Through June the tarpon migration will stay strong but the crowds wain. Seems that after Memorial Day all the “part timers” head home back to Montana or Wyoming and allow us local full time guides to fish our home turf for the rest of the year, where things really get good. June is hot but man is it amazing. take your pick of the big three and go for it. The winds start to slick out and the fish get up on the deck and start doing their thing that makes anglers week at the knees.
July through mid October is absolutely my favorite time for flats fishing. The Florida Keys turn into a ghost town and the flats fishing gets epic. The heat and slick calm conditions of summer meet fish on the flats you can see for hundreds of yards away. The excitement seems to never stop for a hunting angler. Truly the SLAM season here focusing on Tarpon, permit and bonefish. Drink lots of water and stay covered up to hide from the sun.
So, my point is.. Nows the time to start thinking about your day or days in the shallows.
New to Flats fishing? Thats awesome! welcome to the most addictive fishing ever. Fishing the flats is a catch and release mix of hunting for a spooky game, shooting skeet and fishing with the frustration of golf all mixed into one glorious package. The flats are the shallow waters that lie between the expansive islands of the Florida Keys on the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay side of US1 the overseas highway. We use special boats to get us into the shallows to sight fish for some of the most sought after fish on anyones bucket list. The fish we hunt are on the flats feeding on crustaceans and bait fish. As an angler you will be instructed by your professional fishing guide when and where to cast and make it all happen. Sound Fun? It is..
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