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Lower Keys Flats Fishing Report

Key Largo to Key West - including Florida Bay, the Marquesas and the Dry Tortugas.

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Lower Keys Flats Fishing Report

Postby yetter » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:55 pm

March is referred to as the lamb and lion month. That holds true here in the keys.
However it is commonly known as one of the best months to fish for permit in the Keys. This time of year permit invade the flats near channels and the gulf edge.
Permit are the ultimate fly fishing challenge. They are spooky and very hard to approach on flat calm days. A 10 to 15 mph wind will mask the boat and the entry of the fly. The fly must land close enough for the permit to see it, but not too close to alarm the permit.
Long slow strips until the permit starts to track the fly, then let the fly sink like a fleeing crab. An "in your face presentation" at tailing permit can some times produce. Another technique is short fast strips to bring out the "inner jack".

March is also a good month for bonefish. On the warmer days, schools of bonefish will move onto the flats with the incoming tide in search of crabs, shrimp and toadfish.
Baby tarpon fishing has been good on the warmer calm days. But can you really refer to a 10 to 40 lb fish as a baby? Baby tarpon are usually found traveling in schools. A well placed fly or plug in their path with a "getting away" presentation will generally result in an aerial display. Baby tarpon love to jump!
Speaking of jumping... The back basins are full of lady fish. They are aggressive, strong and love to jump as much as their cousins the tarpon. Lady fish are a lot of fun and a good option on the cold front days when cloud cover reduces viability for sight fishing. They will eat poppers, clousers and are hard to keep off a shrimp tipped jig.
Speaking of cold front options... red fish are very tolerant of cooler water. They can be found in very shallow water, over light bottoms. They are strong and make nice runs.
March is also the month the big tarpon start to move in... We have been finding them in the basking in the lay up basins and rolling in the deeper channels. Soon schools of migratory tarpon in the 90 to 125 lb range will be marching ocean side flats, cruising channel edges and lounging in the back basins.

Capt. Scott Yetter
The fishing has been hit or miss this month. We have had some "Chamber of Commerce" postcard perfect days. Intermixed with some cold front days that were better suited to tying flies and doing laundry. Currently it is almost 80 degrees with some wind out of the east. Water temperatures have been unseasonably warm for Dec. making for some good flats fishing conditions. There are not as many bonefish and permit around this time of year. But we have been finding them on the flats on the incoming tide on the warmer days.

Dawn is a magical time to find tarpon on flat calm days. When the water is flat and the light is low, schools of tarpon can be spotted rolling on the surface. We had several epic mornings before Xmas when all the planets were aligned and 3 foot tarpon were crashing bait on the surface. We jumped and boated fish after fish on poppers.

Tight lines and Happy New Year!
Capt. Scott Yetter
Sight Fish Charters
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Lower Florida Keys

Postby Bossman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:21 pm

Thanks for the report captain scott
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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:45 pm
Location: Key Largo, FL

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