Florida Keys Flats Fishing Charters
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Top Florida Keys Flats Fishing Destinations
Top Flats Fishing Charters in Florida Keys
Flats Fishing in Florida Keys
There’s nothing quite like a Florida Keys flats fishing experience. In water just several feet deep, you can land game fish both large and small. The most sought-after species are Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit, each with their special place on flats fishing bucket list.
Tarpon, the largest and hardest-fighting of this trio, can reach up to 200 lbs in the Keys. Bonefish are a favorite of fly fishermen, known for their speed and elusive nature. Still even harder to hook is the Permit, considered by many to be the “Holy Grail” of flats fishing. This fish typically weighs 15-20 lbs, though some can reach up to 40 lbs.
Catch all 3 of these glorious species and you’ll earn the bragging rights to a Florida Grand Slam, along with the respect of every local angler.
What to Catch and When to Target it
Throughout the year you’ll find many popular game fish on the flats of the Keys. Fall and winter are good times to fish for Redfish, Bonefish, Sharks, and perhaps even a Permit. Come spring, you’ll start to see more Speckled Trout, Snook, and Tarpon.
Fishing through summer will generally produce the most species and your best chance at landing a Florida Grand Slam, since these months are the peak season for Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit.
Florida Keys Flats Fishing Hot Spots
The Florida Keys span over 120 miles, and you’ll find plenty of flats to fish all along this thread of islands. While you’re likely to encounter many of the same species throughout the area, each part of the Keys has its specialty.
This portion of the Keys is known for the biggest Bonefish in Florida, as well as the usual assortment of Redfish, Snook, Speckled Trout, and Permit. These flats also boast spectacular Tarpon fishing. Many guides in the upper Keys fish the same spots, so you can count on a stellar experience everywhere between Key Largo and Islamorada.
Fishing out of Marathon gives you the option to head up to Islamorada or down toward Big Pine Key. In essence, you get the best of both worlds. Head south to the Seven Mile and Bahia Honda bridges to get in on some of the best Tarpon action around. The Marathon flats are also a great place to target baby Tarpon in the fall.
If you’re intent on landing a Florida Grand Slam, the flats of Big Pine and Cudjoe Key are the place to be. Here you’ll find hordes of Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon, ready to bite any number of baits you throw their way.
How to Fish
Need to Know
Fishing for Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit is strictly catch and release in Florida. Size and bag limits may apply to other species. You can stay up to date on local fishing regulations online.
Top Targeted Flats Fishing Species in Florida Keys
- Size 25 to 80lbs
- Food Value None
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 10 to 30lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Reef, Flats, Backcountry