Within the last few weeks we have seen a major temperature drop here in the Florida Keys and Miami in general. No longer are we having to endure the relentless humidity, no wind, and scortching heat to bend a rod. Yes, fall has finally come and the fishing is getting better each and every day. The opportunity to land a coveted Grand Slam is right now so grab your gear and get on the water.
Over the last four days I have been out fishing the back country flats and islands of the lower keys and seen hundreds of Permit, Bonefish, and Juvenile Tarpon. Some of them even tailing as they scower the shallow flats eating crustaceans and other small baits along their way. Just like always they are up for eating shrimp, crabs, and even flies if presented in the right way. Which as any seasoned angler knows is very critical to keep from spooking these ultra sensitive fish. Just remember because the water is so clear down here these fish see everything. So be sure to present you bait or fly way out in front of him, not too close to seal the deal. If the wind happens to be up while you are fishing you can get away with putting it a little closer. But in reality, the only way you know is by trial and error so don’t get discouraged if you blow out a few schools of fish. Trust me when I say I have spooked every fish and hooked every tree a thousand times before I ever knew what was the right way of doing it.
The juvenile Tarpon fishing has been really good especially when trying to catch them on fly. These schools of fish (5-20) are residents along certain shorelines and can be found cruising and even rolling on calm days. But just remember Tarpon like it hot so if you have a cool morning you may want to save your tarpon fishing for later on in the day to let the temperatures warm a bit. The reason I say they are easier to catch on fly is simply because of the size of the fly (Small) and an anglers ability to cast it a long way. Light tackle spin fisherman find it harder to cast such a small shrimp a long way with no weight behind the bait. And if you put a lead weight with it you often end up spooking the whole school. So all you “Buggy Whippers” grab your 5-8 weight fly rods and give it a shot.
If anyone plans to come down to Key West be sure to keep in mind “Fantasy Fest” has started and will run till the end of the month. So if you are here to fish you may want to stay out of Key West and find something a little further up the keys chain.
Captain Rich Smith
(786) 299 – 4813