Seasons of Fishing here in the Florida Keys
Throughout the year, the Lower Florida Keys create different opportunities for numerous inshore species. Here is what's available at its best times of the year to fish.
Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing
Tarpon " The Sliver King " is one of the most sought after sportfish to pursue with a fly rod or live bait. Tarpon are known for aerobatic jumps, drag screaming, hard fighting fish. The best times to fish for tarpon are March thru the month of July for big Tarpon. The month of March may be early, but can be good. There can be days late in the summer in early morning and late afternoon where the fishing can be good with shrimp hatches that occur in the months of September and October where the fishing can be on fire!
Juvenile Tarpon can be found most of the year as long as the water temperature doesn't drop drastically from a cold front. These fish are great target for any first time saltwater fly fishing trip.
Florida Keys Bonefish
Bonefish " The Grey Ghost " can be at times tough to see unless if u have the right conditions and a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Spin tackle and a live shrimp is the best choice for going after these fish although they are caught on fly regularly. Bonefish can be caught most of the year unless if the water temps are too cold. best months are typically March through November. In July, August, September getting out early may be the best bet before it gets too hot in the afternoon. Big schools of bonefish can be present if you time the moon phase correctly. This is one of my favorites to pursue on the flats.
Permit Fishing in the Florida Keys
Permit is by far one of the most challenging fish to catch on the flats! But given the right situation there is a good chance of catching one of the greatest gamefish that considered the holy grail of flats fishing especially when it comes to trying to catch on fly! For spin tackle blue crabs are often best for these fish but they can be caught on shrimp as well. What are the expectations may you ask? Sometimes you could only get one shot at a fish all day! Other days you may get 2 to 3 shots which is considered an average to a great day if you catch one. Then there can be days where you may get multiple shots at big schools of Permit or catch 2 which is a excellent day for Permit fishing. February though March is the early springtime primetime months as in April, May, and June are Spawning months where fish tend to make their way offshore on spawning sites. Permit can still be found in April, May, and June in a few select inshore areas. July and August can be a great time of year for tailing fish around the sunrise and sunset periods. September through December is a great time of year to go after them as there maybe less pressure on the water!
Seatrout fishing in the Florida Keys
Sea Trout are one of our winter backcountry species that are really popular in the state of Florida. Good months to find these fish are November thru February. They can be caught using shrimp, plastic shrimp tails with jig heads, or possibly mirrolures. Along with mangrove snapper they make a great table fair and a great target for the kids to catch.
Seatrout Fishing in the Florida Keys
Redfish are considered as the iconic sport fish of the State of Florida. With the help of multiple conservation agencies, these fish are very abundant throughout the State. In the lower keys, fishing for redfish can be great at certain times of the year. Winter months have been productive but, in my opinion, the best months have been March, April, and May in the late afternoons. These fish make a great target on fly and will take most crab patterns and shrimp patterns too. Light tackle spinning are great too with live shrimp. If you want more details or information on scheduling a trip for redfish feel free to contact me. You can find my contact info at the Home page.
Barracuda Fishing in the Florida Keys
Barracudas are known for their big teeth, drag screaming runs, and very quick and strikes at a lure or a fly. In the colder winter months of the year, Barracudas like pour onto the flats which makes them a great target species!!! Best times to fish them are December thru March is when you get the bigger fish.
Snook Fishing in the Florida Keys
The Snook are making a great comeback after the 2010 freeze that occurred in South Florida and killed most of the population from the water temperature dropping below 50 degrees. With the right bait, these fish can be targeted from September through February. These fish are considered a special backcountry sport fish as snook seasons remain closed throughout the year. Down here in the Lower Keys area it is very difficult to get a snook to eat a fly.
Shark Fishing in the Florida Keys
Lemons and Black Tip Sharks are around all year long and kids like to catch them as well. Shark fishing at times is overlooked but can provide rod bending, drag screaming action!!!
Other species that are available in the backcountry are: Mangrove Snapper - available most of the year, Mutton Snapper - are spotty, Spanish Mackerel - in the winter, Cobia - are going to be late winter and early spring, and occasionally you might catch a legal sized Grouper and keep it, as long as it's 'in' season. All of these species of fish make a great table fair.