Key West Flats Fishing

Key west flats fishing tipsThere’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting on a boat with your line cast, waiting for a bite. It’s a strange combination of both relaxation and excitement. It gives you time to think, reflecting on life and nature. One of the best spots for this leisurely activity is the Key West Flats in Florida.

The Types of Key West Flats Fishing

If you decide to embark on an angling adventure in the Flats, you’ll have two options. The first is traditional tackle fishing. You can use a traditional bob or sinker, casting your line and leaving it rest in the water until you get a nibble. You may choose, however, to experience the thrill of fly fishing, as well.

Fly fishing is best suited for snook fish, but they can also be caught with traditional tackle fishing equipment. In some cases, you may also be able to catch bonefish, redfish or even speckled trout. These are not the standard trout you can find in the northern parts of the US. (If you are interested in those you can learn trout fishing tips here). These saltwater flats fish can be caught with fly fishing techniques and lures, they are certainly the most fun to catch with fly fishing gear.

It’s possible to fish by standing on the shore and casting your line. If you’re fly fishing, you’ll want to don your waders and actually get out into the shallow water. It’s very likely, though, that you’ll want to charter a boat, if you can afford it. Depending on the size of your group and the exact details of your trip it will cost you from $150 to $2500. It’s best to book your charter trip at least several weeks in advance, but you may be able to find some available at the last minute.

The Different Types of Key West Flats Fish

Florida redfish on the flyrodThere are three types of fish that anglers visiting the flats like to catch: redfish, bonefish, and snook fish. Each is rather different in the methods used to catch them, and most trips are best suited for that specific type of fish.

The common snook is a fish that tends to live in deeper waters. It’s possible, but unlikely, that you’ll be able to catch them while fishing inland. There have been several notable fly-fishing catches of common snook, though, including a specimen weighing over thirty pounds. It’s best to charter a fishing vessel if you want to catch snook, because you may have to go several miles offshore to catch them. Working with a captain who knows where they tend to gather also increases the odds of a successful trip.

Bonefish are one of the most popular species for fly fishing enthusiasts. They can weigh as much as nineteen pounds and are revered for the vigorous fight they put up once on the hook. While they can be eaten, many people find their meat somewhat unpalatable. They are primarily fished for sport and then released.

Finally, the redfish, which is also known as the red drum, is a popular species for anglers. They put up a good fight and can be caught in various sizes. Smaller fish of ten pounds or less are said to have the best flavor. Larger fish are protected by law and are typically found to be rather unpalatable. Anglers seek out larger specimens because for sport and release them upon captcher.