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Key West and Lower Keys

Capt. Dexter Simmons
March 10, 2000
Key West - Saltwater Fishing Report

The Permit are Marching!

There are a few days each March when the flats are hosting all three of the Grand Slam species (Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit) and the fish are hungry and eating flys well. Yesterday was one of those days on the Atlantic side of Key West and the Lower Keys. Chartered for the day with a nice couple on holiday, I was prepared for the assortment of shots at fish. What I least expected was to have all those shots myself, as an unforseen illness forced my anglers to retire for the day as they boarded "FlatsMaster". With the boat in the water and no pressing need to call it a day, I headed out to the flats and began drifting along one of my favorite banks looking for Mr. Permit. Time flies when you are having fun! I take a deep breath and soak it all in as 15, 30, 45 minutes go by with no sign of any tails or wakes, so I change the drift a bit, thinking that the tide hasn't brought them into shallows yet. Within 5 minutes my new strategy pays off and here comes a Permit, tail wagging across a marl bottom in three feet of water. "There's one" I say to myself as I roll cast the merkin out of my left hand into the air, make one false cast to judge the range and direction, and then let 50 feet of line out toward the fish, making sure that the fly lands tight to the fish, within a foot in front of him. I notice he is still coming as it lands in the water, so I strip immediately. The strip pulls the fly into the Permit's strike zone and instinct takes over. The fish turns on the fly and grabs it. I feel the tug right away and set the hook with a strip. The Permit busts out into 100 yard backing territory within 15 seconds. "Not a huge fish" I say to myself, "probably about 15 pounds". Nearly 20 minutes later, the fish is spent at the side of the skiff, I admire his rainbow of beauty and fighting tenacity, then release him to be fought another day. With a Permit caught and released, I then look around for Bonefish on the same flat in a bit shallower water and find a few, make a cast and BANG! A 7 pound Bonefish takes my Sugarloaf Special and heads for the brush. It is all I can do to stop him before he reaches the mangroves, and in ten minutes he is caught and released. I notice the beautiful flourescent edges to his fins as he swims boldly away toward deeper water. "O.K. What about the Tarpon", I ask myself. I picked up and ran to another location where there were baby Tarpon rolling right near "FlatsMaster". I cast and cast and cast to them for a solid hour, changing my strip, my fly, and my prayer at least a couple of times each to no avail. They would not eat! Just then the cell phone burst my bubble back to reality and another charter. Oh well, at least it was a great morning of fishing! And it should continue this way for the forseeable future, so come join me! Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit are on the angling menu again this week as the wind has become manageable for the time being providing action for the big three grand slam species as well as Barracuda, Shark, Jack Crevalle, Cobia, and Mutton Snapper. March is the best time to stalk the most prized species on fly: Permit. March is also great for early Tarpon, migrating in from deep water. There are also Bonefish available, Jack Crevalle, Mutton Snapper, Barracuda, Shark and possibly Cobia.Before you travel to the Keys, call Capt. Dexter Simmons for a live report 305-745-3304. Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!

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Key West Fly Fishing with Capt. Dexter Simmons. Sight fly fishing on the flats of Key West, the Marquesas, and the Florida Keys for Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Barracuda, Shark, and more. Charters available year 'round. Friendly, experienced, professional captain who prides himself on providing a high quality fly fishing trip for anglers of all abilities. Fly casting lessons, SAGE fly fishing rods, TIBOR reels, lines, leaders, flys hand tied by Capt. Dexter Simmons, & fishing licenses included

Contact Info:

Key West Fly Fishing
P.O. Box 2006
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305-745-3304
Alt. Phone: 305-745-3304
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