July 26th 2015 – Flats fishing one of my favorite subjects here talking about Key West fishing. July has been an amazing month for us here in Key West on the flats and one that twill go down as one of the best. Flat calm conditions gave us perfect sunrises and great visibility out in the backcountry. Getting up on the flats for once it was not hard to point out to even the most novice of anglers the fish that were trudging across the flat toward them. The only problem we had in July was bait. For our bait fishing anglers it was very tough to get shrimp and crabs. Whatever was happening in the conditions this past month the bait has been scarce and hard to come by so often times we were resorted to backing it up with artificials. Using Jigs for bonefish and permit and lots of other things for the tarpon (mostly Hogy Lures). Fishing was fun catching was tough. We found it very difficult with our anglers to get them to put the lures not only in the right spot but also teach them how to get the fish to think its food. For the fly fishermen it was a great month to find fish but anyone that has ever thrown a nice 12 ft leader on the end of a 9 wt fly rod with deadly pin point accuracy at 65 ft will know it was very tough as well in the flat calm conditions to get the fish to stick around after a cast and eat.
So.. If you were down here and your fishing guide told you he had no bait.. None of us did. He did not forget it..
August looks like more of the same. Not sure about the bait thing but August should hold up weather wise for a great month on the flats. Hot as hell but there are tides that will be amazing water flows to bring the fish right up on top. I like to work what I call the fresh tides. Water coming in from the Atlantic or the Gulf offer a nice “fresh” feel to the water. Temps are certainly lower as the water comes from a deeper source. Bonefish and permit look for these little nuances to keep cool on the hunt. Just about any tide in August is my favorite. If its daylight and there is water moving I love to be on the flats in August looking for the next fish to make my anglers smile.
There are two ways we fish the flats here in Key West at Dream Catcher Charters. one is on my technical flats fishing skiff and the other is on our Yellowfin bay boats. I tend to favor my skiff this time of the year as the weather is nice and calm and I love to pole up on a group of fish and get my anglers a shot. The bay boat is awesome too and an amazingly versatile fishing platform able to fish as many as 3 anglers on the flats and head out to the patch reefs after a nice flats fishing session to add to the fun. The bay boats are what we use for the Signature Dream Catcher Charters All In Wonder fishing charter.
August is not super busy or crowded in Key West HOWEVER many fishing guides go on vacation. Booking ahead is important to make sure you get a good fishing guide to go with.
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