FLORIDA KEYS FISHING GUIDES

 

FLORIDA KEYS FISHING GUIDES

Here at Yellow Dog, we are often asked if we can book and arrange guides in the Florida Keys. The short answer to that is both YES and NO. The top guides in the Keys work on a day-trip basis, meaning that you book and reserve a guide based on the number of days that you want to fish. You pay the guide for each day of fishing, and you hotel, accommodations, meals, transfers, and everything else are separate. It is different than a standard lodge package to the Bahamas, Belize or other places in the world of saltwater fishing. For the Florida Keys, we do not book these day guides directly, but we are happy to REFER you to some of our favorites! These are guides that we have known and fished with for many years, and we are happy to endorse and recommend any of the guides on the list below. We suggest that if you are looking to book a guide in the Keys that you directly contact the guides below. Tell them that Yellow Dog referred you, an they will definitely take great care of you.

Typical Length of Stay

All fishing in the Florida Keys is based on day trips. Overall, trips of all lengths can be accommodate, from single day trips to multi-day packages.

Accommodations and Lodging

There are literally hundreds of lodging options throughout the Keys. Please feel free to contact us here at Yellow Dog and we will be happy to make suggestions or help in any way with recommendations and logistics.

Food and Beverages

All meals in the Florida Keys are on your own! The number of restaurants and dining option throughout the Keys is endless! With regards to your fishing day, it is typical that anglers will have to bring their own lunch. The guides always have coolers and non-alcoholic beverages, but you will need to bring your own food!

Fishing Information

Capt. Justin ReaThe Florida Keys - from Islamorada to Key West and all the way south to the Marquesas - offer some of the finest saltwater flyfishing opportunities found anywhere in the world. This diverse, shallow water ecosystem supports many different types of game fish including a large number of permit, tarpon, and bonefish. The Keys also offer excellent fly fishing for such species as redfish, snook, jack crevalle, barracudas, and many different species of sharks.

Seasons In The Florida Keys:
March: The start of the "Grand Slam" season. Permit and bonefish are feeding heavily on the flats, and the big tarpon are beginning to move in from the gulf to “stage up” in the backcountry basins for their annual migration. March is also one of the best months to pursue permit on fly.

April: This is the best month for tarpon in the backcountry. The tarpon are getting ready to move out to the ocean for their migration and are an easy target for fly anglers. Permit fishing is also excellent early in the month. Towards the end of the month, most of the big permit head offshore to spawn. The bonefish are everywhere this month, and if you can drag yourself away from the tarpon you can enjoy some exciting bonefishing.

May: This is the one of the peak months for tarpon. Anglers from all over the world come to tangle with the giant silver king. Book early, as openings for this month go fast! Bonefishing is also incredible in May, and – since most of the anglers are after tarpon – you can usually have the shallow flats to yourself. The big permit typically begin to show back up sometime around the third week of the month.

June: Yee haw!! Tarpon fishing is in full swing. Huge schools of tarpon are heading east along the ocean-side flats of the lower Keys, stopping only to suck in an occasional fly as they pass by. The permit fishing is also excellent. These spawned out brutes charge back to the flats eating everything in site. As for bonefish, they are always around in June.

July and August: Just because the crowds have left the Keys doesn't mean the fish have. The summer months are excellent for all three species. Tarpon from 60 to 100 lbs. and lots of permit and bonefish make this an excellent time to pursue the "Grand Slam." Summer fishing generally means smaller crowds and plenty of fish.

September and October: The fall months in the Keys are peak bonefish season. Big schools of bones cover the flats, fattening up for the winter months to come. This is the best time of the year to target “trophy bones.” Permit fishing still remains strong, and baby tarpon are an excellent target as well.

November and December: The cooler weather begins to head down from the North, and the big 'cudas and sharks begin to arrive. Bonefish and permit are still found in between cold fronts. Tarpon are also looking for some warm weather, and will venture out of hiding on calmer days. Fall is the off-season, and rates for travel to the Keys are the cheapest of the year.

January: This is the coolest month of the winter season here in the Keys, and huge barracudas invade the flats with the cooler water temps. Some of these giants easily weigh in at over 40lbs. Sharks are also a big target this month. Big lemon sharks and black tips are continuously cruising the flats in search of food. Bonefish and permit can be found when the weather is nice, and on warm days you can occasionally find baby tarpon.

February: 'Cudas and sharks are still a favorite target for many anglers. As the warmer weather approaches, the permit begin to move back in from offshore and invade the flats with a vengeance. The hungry permit make a great target for fly fishermen. Bonefish also make a big showing as the shallow water warms back up to a tolerable temperature. Tarpon can be found on warm, calm days.

Guide Information


Since we know from experience that finding the right flyfishing guide in the Keys can be a challenge, we are proud to recommend a handful of guides through the Keys - guides that we have known and worked with for years. They are first-rate professionals who know their area, their techniques, and the seasons! When looking to book days in the Keys, we suggest contacting any one of the guides listed below directly about possible fishing dates. While they do tend to book up fairly quickly, they can usually find some excellent dates.

When contacting any of the guides below, be sure to mention to these guys that Yellow Dog sent you along and referred you. Often times it helps with securing dates during the busy months and popular seasons:

 

Capt. Bruce Chard with a Florida PermitCapt. Bruce Chard
(305) 240-1335
captpermit@aol.com
Big Pine Key

Capt. Kris Suplee
(305) 395-3314
kris@supleeflyfishing.com
Marathon

Capt. Justin Rea
(305) 360-3122
justin@stingreacharters.com
Key West

Capt. Kyle Giampaoli
(406) 925-1279
kyle@tarpondaze.com
Naples

Capt. Joel Dickey
(305) 619-7769
Captsilverking@aol.com
Big Pine Key

Capt. Adam DeBruin
(603) 380-0336
adamredhook@aol.com
Key Largo and Upper Florida Keys

Capt. Dave Yoder
(305) 304-4449
captaindaveyoder@yahoo.com
Everglades and Florida Keys

Capt. Brett Greco
(406) 640-2627
brettgreco@yahoo.com
Everglades, Biscayne Bay and Islamorada

Boats and Equipment

Most of the guides that we recommend utilize new flats skiffs from a variety of different manufacturers, including Hells Bay, Dolphin and Hewes. It is recommended that anglers bring all of their own fishing equipment, including rods, reels, wading boots, flies and all terminal tackle. There are several fly shops located throughout the Keys where flies can be purchased.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

For non-anglers, the Florida Keys have everything a tropical destination can possibly offer. Shopping, nightlife, water skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, snorkeling, wildlife and bird viewing, sunbathing, and much more. For more information on activities and options throughout the Keys, visit the following website: The Florida Keys and Key West.

How To Get There

Multiple flights from major U.S. cities fly directly into both Miami and Key West. Upon arrival, it is recommended that you rent a vehicle.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times

If driving to the Keys, take US 1 south of Miami to Little Torch Key. From there, you can travel south all the way to Key West.

Rates / Package Costs

Rates vary depending on the guide, season, and the number of fishing days. Please contact the guides directly for rates and details.

* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.

What's Included

Packages vary depending on the guide, season, and the number of fishing days. Please contact the individual guides directly for details about the trip.

What's Not Included

Packages vary depending on the guide, season, and the number of fishing days. Please contact the individual guides directly for details about the trip.

Travel Arrangements

Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or info@yellowdogflyfishing.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

Other Information

School of TarponWestern novelist Zane Grey fell in love with the Florida Keys in the early 20th Century, and a few years later so did novelist Ernest Hemingway. Grey and Hemingway knew that no other place in North America boasted such a vast array of fish species and habitats, from shallow flats and backcountry to coral reefs and the azure Gulf Stream waters. The places Grey and Hemingway loved so much are now protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Everglades National Park and several national refuges. The two authors would be pleased to know that fishing is still permitted in most of these waters thanks to an approach that balances preservation with recreation.

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