Key West, Florida is one of the top destinations for world class backcountry angling. Your guide will show you the beautiful backcountry of the Florida Keys and what it has to offer. There are many different species of fish out on the flats. These include tarpon, permit, bonefish, barracuda and sharks, to name a few. Each trip is designed around the angler’s request and dependent on fishing conditions.
What to expect!Depending on the time of year, your trip could start as early as 5 AM or you can choose to do an afternoon trip. Trip times can be 4, 6, or 8hrs in length. All spin or fly tackle will be provided. Fishing license, cooler, ice and fowl weather jackets are included. What to bring? Anglers should bring whatever they want to eat and drink. They should also bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera.
Backcountry fishing offers different types of fishing appropriate for all levels, beginner to expert. Anglers can choose to sight-cast for fish with fly or spin tackle, or drift fishing for tarpon, jacks, trout, and snapper. The trip may also include anchoring for sharks.
Permit are my favorite fish to target as they are great for showing themselves. They are known to tail or make a push in shallow water, which provides a view for the angler. Yet, they are very “spooky” and that makes them a great challenge. Permit feed on small crustaceans like crab and shrimp, which is the main bait used with spin tackle. Anglers can also catch these magnificent fish on fly. Permit can be caught year-round in the keys, but the optimal time to catch these fish would be during the summer and fall months.
Tarpon, also known as the “Silver Kings,” are one of the most sought after fish here in the Keys. Whether casting live baits with light tackle or hooking laid up tarpon with flies, tarpon can bring the angler and tackle to the limits! Tarpon migrate from south of Florida to the Carolinas around February or March, and “resident” and “baby tarpon” can be found year-round in the Keys, as well. The Florida record is 243 lb which was caught in Key West! The optimal time to catch these fish is during the spring and summer months.
Bonefish or the “Grey Ghost” come on to the flats looking for small crustaceans. Like permit, bonefish tail and make small subtle “pushes” throught the water. They are hard to spot, hence the nickname “Grey Ghost”. These fish can rip out 100′s of yards of line in a matter of seconds. Bonefish usually show up in the hottest months. Anglers can have “shots” at single fish or can see schools of 30 or more fish.