February, March, April
As spring approaches, consistent
stretches of warm days and increased periods of sun encourage
fish to feed in the shallows. Permit are one of the primary
species to make their way onto the flats as it warms, and
multiple shots can be expected in a day, with fish in excess of
30 pounds not uncommon.
Tarpon make their way into the
backcountry as well. These giant’s will move in and out of the
backcountry as the weather fluctuates with the remaining cold
fronts. The tarpon fishing this time of year can be the best all
season. These early season fish are relaxed and often very
large, and a well placed fly almost always fools them.
Permit are one of the primary species to make their way onto the
flats as water temperatures warm up.
Bonefish also begin to show more
consistently as the water warms. Barracudas and Jack Cravelles
also frequent the flats during this time. These fish are
surprisingly underrated, despite the aggressive bites, hard runs
and jumps. They offer numerous shots and consistent
opportunities even in inclement or cold weather and are an
outstanding opportunity for anglers to polish up on their
casting and fish-fighting skills.
April, May, June, early July
This time of year in the Florida
Keys is known worldwide for the best tarpon sight-fishing in
existence. Despite the thousands of large tarpon that migrate
through Keys waters, an experienced guide is still required for
consistent, quality shots at the silver king. Quality guides are
booked solid then, but anglers who develop a relationship with
top guides are often able to secure dates during these prime
Thousands of large tarpon migrate into the Keys
Bonefish, Permit, Redfish, Snook,
and other species are found in abundance on the flats during
this season, yet attention is focused on tarpon, so superb flats
are full of willing, unpressured fish.
July, August, September, October
No other season of the year offers
better overall fishing than the summer season. Deciding what to
pursue is often the toughest choice. This is the time of year
when catching a Grand Slam (Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit in a
single day) is most likely. It is a great challenge and thrill
to coordinate the day in order to be at the right place and time
to achieve the Slam.
Bonefishing is at its peak this time of year
Tarpon of all sizes still frequent
the backcountry, with small/medium tarpon (between 5 and 50
pounds) in greatest abundance. Often more willing than their
larger cousins, "baby" tarpon offer the new and experienced
angler alike tremendous sight fishing opportunities. Large
"resident" fish can still reward the patient angler all summer
into fall as well.
Bonefishing is at its peak this time of year with great numbers
of fish on the flats. Permit have returned from
offshore spawning grounds and flood the flats in great numbers.
Snook and Redfish are at their peak as well.
Captain Scott considers this the best overall flats fishing of
the year. Not only are multiple species available, but most are
at their peak. These are tropical, warm water species and are in
their element during these warm months. Afternoons can be “too
hot” for angler and fish alike, so we are often on the water
early before extreme temperatures force fish off the flats. On
most days, however, the combination of light breezes, great
tides, and as fall approaches, milder weather combines to offer
fantastic fishing all day long.
October, November, December
As days get shorter and nights
cooler, Keys water temperatures fall slightly and fish change
into fall patterns.
These slightly cooler temperatures
bring the giant Keys Bonefish onto the flats to feed. It’s not
uncommon to have daily shots at Bonefish 10 pounds and larger.
This is prime time to pursue the largest bonefish in the world.
A bonefish of 9 or 10 pounds is a great thrill, one 12 pounds or
more is a world class experience.
warm December evening 11# Bonefish
Permit are fairly temperature tolerant, so they are still
heavily pursued during this time, especially on the better
Snook, Redfish, Jacks,
Barracudas, and Sharks are still plentiful in the shallows as
December, January, February
Cooler water temperatures and cold
fronts and are common. Large Barracudas, Jack Crevalles, and
Sharks frequent the flats and offer great fishing. When there
are warm days between cold fronts, water temperatures rise and
offer windows to pursue the "glamour" species of the shallows.
In fact, fishing can be quite phenomenal for large Tarpon “laid
up” in the backcountry, Bonefish, Permit, Snook, and Redfish.
All will feed aggressively on the flats until the next front
Snook will feed aggressively on the flats until the next front
These cooler months also bring a huge influx of other species
into the inshore waters of the Keys. A wide variety of species
such as Speckled Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Ladyfish,
Snapper, Jacks, and Sharks are common and can be fished with
both light spinning and fly tackle. Fishing is done in the
slightly deeper waters of the backcountry. It’s a great time to
have some fun with a lot of rod-bending action.