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Lower Florida Keys & Key West TARPON Fishing!

Capt. Luke Kelly
May 18, 2009
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

May 17, 2009. A report from within this year's Key West and Lower Florida Keys tarpon battle. The word "battle" may be an understatement, as this season's weather conditions have proved up till now. Out of the past 47 days I believe I have counted only 10 of them with winds less than 10 mph. It sure feels as if the majority of the weather leading up till now has just been plain windy. Fortunately enough, the tarpon are certainly here and jumping skyward on the end of fishing rods daily. The gusty conditions have made it tough hooking them in shallow water, but has still left plenty of opportunity in the many current driven channels, particularly those off of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys backcountry. This offers great live-bait and artificial lure action for big tarpon. I have witnessed some of the largest tarpon I have ever seen nearly spool some reels this year while forced to focus mainly on deeper channels during past week's gusty conditions. So while I have yet to relive my memories of calm morning flats full of rolling tarpon this year for the most part, I have instead been left with memories of jaw dropping aerial displays of 200 plus pound tarpon, a fair enough trade.

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The way I look at it is we have two future outcomes for the remainder of our tarpon season. We could continue to receive high winds, tuff flats fishing conditions, yet plenty of deeper water tarpon. Or, we could eventually begin to receive more low barometric pressure as the month of June approaches thus leading to longer periods of low winds and witness a swarm of tarpon invade the shallows. I would say any long length of low wind this year would have to result in a frenzy of curious tarpon cruizing the many shallow areas we love to see them in. Tarpon who have been receiving very low fishing pressure for a good time now, meaning numerous hookups on unsuspecting tarpon. Given the somewhat late cold water temps we had this year, it is a good chance that large tarpon flats fishing action will last all the way thru July.

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While off the subject of tarpon for a bit, the bonefish have remained plentiful since the end of march, while permit are beginning to return to the flats after this year's spawn. I marked the first week of April as the last time I saw any significant numbers of permit on the flats as they left to spawn, and am just now beginning to see a few return as we approach June. The permit and bonefishing will only get better from here on out.

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After pushing thru all this spring-time wind, I'm sure looking forward to the slick calm summer sunrise flats fishing this year; it will come, and I will be there to see all of those tails. Hope to get some excited anglers out there with me, please visit www.lowerkeysflatsfishing.com and contact Capt Luke Kelly about this year's upcoming off season charter specials. Off season fishing equals lots of permit and bonefish receiving very low fishing pressure. You can do the rest of the math, it's one of the best kept secrets left today. Thanks for reading.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Target Species:

Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Sharks, Barracuda, Jacks, Snapper

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Experience the best in Florida Keys & Key West flats & backcountry fishing with native and year round professional fishing guide, Capt Luke Kelly. IGFA certified captain specializing in shallow water sight-fishing for tarpon, permit, bonefish, and more with quality fly and light tackle gear. A dependable, friendly charter fishing service that delivers! Found only in the beautiful waters of the Lower Florida Keys & Key West. Get out and catch the fishing trip of a life time!

Contact Info:

Key Flat Charters
Please contact for info
Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042
Phone: 305-304-3152
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