Stalking the shallow waters of the Fl. Keys in a 16’ flats skiff, with one or two anglers, fly rods and light tackle spin are the rods of choice………. The ultimate, in fish hunting!
Read more about our target species below...
Target Species for Flats Fishing in the Florida Keys
- Bonefish – Keys bonefish are large compared to some of the other destinations. You can expect to cast at fish that are 5 to 10 lbs. and larger.
- Permit – The permit is the trophy of the flats. Keys permit are also large, commonly weighing 15 to 30 lbs. and we catch a few fish every year that go about 40 lbs. Lenny believe that the permit fishing in the Keys is the best in the world.
- Small Tarpon – These fish are available all year when conditions are right, they average between 15 to 30 lbs. and are a lot of fun on light tackle.
- Big Tarpon – The Keys is one of the few places in world where you can sight fish for tarpon weighting 70 to 150 lbs. in 3 to 5’ of water. Fly rods work best on the flats but there is good spin action in the bridge channels, cuts and drop offs. This fishing is at its best in April, May and June.
- Barracuda – This fish are great sight fishing sport with lures or flys, and are commonly 3 to 5’long. If you think that pike fishing is fun you should try this.
- Sharks – Black Tip, Lemon and Bull sharks are great sport on the flats. Sight fish to sharks in 3’ of water that are 20 to 200 lbs. pretty exciting stuff.
Important Note: All the fish listed above require a water temperature of at least 70 degrees to find them in shallow water, and sometimes 72 degrees or more to get them to bite. I know that’s not what people want to hear but I like to be honest but not to worry, all the fish listed below don’t mind the colder water and there are lots of them through the winter months and they are not shy about hitting a jig, lure or fly.
Blue fish – Yes there are blue fish in the Keys, they patrol the drop offs on the edge of the flats, not as big as big as the fish up north but 5 to 8 lbs. and a lot of fun.
Lady fish – These fish are often called poor man’s tarpon. They get pretty big in the lower Keys, 20 to 30 inches long, they’re tough and they jump.
Jacks – there are many different Jacks that live in the Keys, they are all hard fighting but the one that is most common around the flats is the Jack Crevalle
Seatrout – this is the cousin of the northern weakfish and found in pockets throughout the Keys
Mackerel – there are 3 different species of mackerel found in the Keys, Kings, Spanish and Ceros. The species that are found just off the flats or in the channels and cuts are the Spanish and Ceros. These fish fight hard and make super-fast runs.