Thursday, March 31, 2005

Tarpon Fishing Key West - Doin The Jelly Roll

Thats what I call it when the Tarpon come up to the top and do that slow, lingering,
happy roll.....its sooo sweet. Tarpon guides get a little randy when they see it.
Today, flat calm and muggy humid early am, had the Poons sliding high in the water but, not exactly gobbling everything in sight.
We got lucky and hooked one first off and fought with the 80lb guy for 30 mins before popping him at the boat.
We made a run to the gulf flats and found more happy Tarpon and in two casts another, also over 80lbs, a 8 Jump rocket that really upset my first timer, he really came unglued and with deer in the headlight eyes and open mouth was a great laugh and a hooked on Tarpon fisherman from now on!
Same guys tomorrow and a chance to fly fish for Tarpon........What are you doing tomorrow?


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Key West Tarpon,Permit and Bonefish too!

Fussy very fussy fish, after finding Tarpon in several spots and getting refusals of several fly patterns, we went on a Permit and Bonefish quest.
We found some big Bonefish rocketing out of the west under the cover of big puffy clouds.
Although the cast's were executed well under tuff wind and cloud conditions, Peter just couldnt get to them before they made us and smoked away with their tail's between their legs!
Can Bonefish do that? well you get the picture.

We also got some good Permit shots and even a couple of serious spins on the fly.
But, no fine diners today!
The water temps are up this afternoon and our plan is to surround them all tomorrow.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Monsters Invade Key West Fishing Flats!

Silver Iron Clad Tusker Tarpon and some smaller ones too!
We have enjoyed May like Tarpon conditions the last weeks, dozens of snapping hungry Poons
have been on the Key West flats and we like that!
Several fly patterns have worked for us, mainly Mylar minnows both large and small.
We also have had luck with Crab flys and some standard Tarpon steamers with my Tango fly
doing its share of suicide missions.
We also were jumping Tarpon on plugs and hooked several Permit on sneaky secret jigs.

If the weather holds and it should, with a hickup or two, we'll be really happy Ol' fishen guides.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Key West Permit Fishing

Key West Tarpon and Permit/Shark Pie

Great day for us, good Permit pie for the sharks!

I hate that, feeding sharks Permit.

We started out today over the sand again looking at 5-6 schools of Tarpon, maybe 150 fish altogether. They came close and we would launch a cast, we got a few take's and no hookups for awhile.
Finely we hook a nice Poonie about 60lbs near the skiff and he almost jumped in with us, after a while he was under control and we popped him off at the boat.
We spent the next hour or two, who knows how long when your watching dozens of Tarpon rolling,
and swimming by and around the skiff, its a trip.
After getting into them again a few more times and seversl grabs with out hooking up, we went into the back country and found some more Tarpon and a few Permit schools mixed together.

We hooked a nice Permit and he screemed off 10lb test, then 20 mins into him, Sharked

POO I hate that, those toofisy bastards!

Out of there and missen shots at more Permit, saw a few more Tarpon then the tide turns in our favor.

We hooked another Permit, good runs and a nice fish but 20 mins later.....Sharked again!

I hate it when they get one of my little Permit Buddies...........mike

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tarpon on the Florida Keys Sands

Nothing like the sight of several hundred 5-6 ft long 50-150lb Silver blue Tarpon
Over the Sand!

Staked out over the Gulf side sand pools and waiting, watching for that 2x2 string moving like
a 20 yard long snake in my direction.
Fly in left hand, Fly rod in the other, eye's popped out.

The leader rolls sixty feet at 1 oclock, big mouth gasping for fresh air, big eye peeking at me.
It will be a back cast, no problem, my best cast is backward! Launch! On him! Grab and go,

The other 60 Tarpon scatter like buck shot.. out of a sawed off shot gun.......mike

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Key West tarpon Fly's

gurgle me Mr. Tarpon

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Key West Tarpon On Fly

Every time I see that silver flash out of the corner of my eye it comes back,that pulsing!
" Was that a Tarpon?" my guide brain askes my eyeballs,watch,watch that spot...ok now I'm thinking Poon gotta be more in here if there's one, gotta be more than one.
You would think after over 30 years of messen with Key West Tarpon I would'nt get that pulsing, you know what I mean,it starts when you pulla wheelie at the red light or when the little
Czech girl at Subway asks you if you want more meat...ahh

" Saw two more roll!! bout 150 yards, hold on I'll pole us down there! Strip out some more line
and keep your eye on that white and red crab float!" HUFF HUFF ak ak there he is 2 oclock
seventy feet..wait I'll spin the boat. see him? there! 11 oclock! Ya! right there, launch that fly!

Sir Sir , ahh what? more meat?.........


Key West Tarpon Gulf Side

Tarpon Fly Fishing April in Key West

April is the month when fly fishing for all flats fish is more consistant.

Permit and Bonefish are more fishable on the Florida Keys flats when the water temps come up and the winter cold front winds subside.
But Tarpon are the species that we are going cover at todays prayer meeting.

The spring migration is still weeks away but, in April the local Poons and their cousins from Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico stroll inshore from their "grouper holes" 5,10, 20 miles out and begin the spring dance on the north side of the Keys.

They slide in to the basin and rivers looking for minnows, shrimp and crabs.
Sometimes this means using sinking lines in the deeper areas for rolling fish
or even some sight casting for strings moving down the Gulf flat edges.
These fish are not in the love fest mode yet and can produce even more bites and action then the May love birds.

I'll be out tomorrow sniffen them out.........mike

Monday, March 21, 2005

Tarpon Fly Fishing in Key West

Today was beautiful, sunny warm and too windy but we survived and found some big
Tarpon schools in the Gulf flats edges, big strings of big old Tapoonies.
We threw fly's at them with the Sage fly rod and mylar minnows.
Feeding them was another matter, not much luck, but we scared a few and had a good time doing it.
Sometimes thats enough and tomorrow we will get even with those sucker's


Key West Permit and Tarpon Fishing

What a great day in the Key West backcountry, after yesterdays cool and breezzy
wind it was a treat to get up on the flats and pole with a clear blue sky and great visability.
We were not on the flat 5 mins when a big Permit tail came up and waved at David.
This was his first attempt at Florida Keys flats fishing, a Texan that is used to the Pea Soup
Red fish flats, it was a kick for Dave to see this big boy Permit in our gin clear water.
But although the Permit ate his Crab the fish smoked off unhooked and unhappy.....we pressed on and thirty mins latter found several strings of Tarpon just off the edge, it was my turn to feed the fish and had a big Tarpon steal my Crab and swim off...crap!

We did see 4 schools with 15 to 40 Tarpon in each school but they were tuff to get to in the gulf swells , ........ so....back
to the skinny water.
Finely Dave hooked a Permit of 15-17 lbs and after a few smoker runs, I grabbed his tail a yanked him out for a few photos.
Dave will be back for more Tarpon and Permit feeding..............mike

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Key West Flats

Key West Fishing for Permit

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Key West Tarpon-Power of the Poon

Jumping Tarpon are some of the most powerful animals on the Planet

Men and women from all over the world get out of their warm comfy beds and get on airplanes, fly thousands of miles, to Key West and the Florida Keys.
They suffer motel beds, restaurant food, tropical sun and some O'l fly fishing guide's demand's
that they rise before 4AM and limp to the marina.
Armed with a $1200 dollar fly rod/reel combo, $80 flats shirts, $150 Tarpon eye goggles.
Then they are catapolted through the dark at breakneck speeds, just to be at Macho Grande
flat for the Tarpon show!
Lots of these Tarpon fishing nuts I first met when they graduated from law school, now they bring their adult sons and we talk about when we can start to addict the grandson or daughter.

Thats the power of the Poon...........mike

Key West Tarpon Fly fishing

Friday, March 18, 2005

Key West Fishing Shakespeare Tackle Test

Shakespeare and Pflueger fishing tackle are back after a number of years of putting out
well, let's be kind and call it budget saltwater fishing tackle, these old American brand names are back!
For 20 years I used Shakespeare Supreme spinning reels and although they had a few minor flaws, the drags( the single most valued feature of any fishing reel) was superior to any spinning reel made anywhere on the planet.
A bold statement? No just the facts mam!
The Pflueger Wonder fly reel, which I refered to as the G.I. reel because of its plain gray metalic
enamel paint, also had a wonder drag that accounted for many butt busting saltwater gamefish landings on fly rod by some of the best Key West-Florida Keys fisherman.
I personally landed many Kingfish, Barracudas, Tarpon, Dorado, and my first( really cast to it)
sailfish, Oh and 42 million Jacks too! But, Wonder reels weighted as much as a 4 slice toaster.
Most guides in the 60's and 70's owned Wonder reels and only gave them up with the introduction of
Fin-nor's and Capt. Mac's Seamaster. They were fussier but had good drags and were lighter,
the main reason we had to have these new reels was, they were gold!

Thats a little history on Shakespeare and Pflueger saltwater reels and after using the current
offering from Pflueger, the new Pflueger Medalist spinning reels, they are back!
I have been using a 6040 on Permit and a few Tarpon and the drag is super, the fit and finish of this inexpensive spinning reel is reely inpressive.
I have ordered four more and a Trion fly reel to try out on Permit and Bonefish.
I will let you know the results.............mike

Tarpon, Permit fishing Key West Spring Tides

Big changes in tides today made Permit and Tarpon fishing challenging.
Yesterday's happy Tarpon deep in the basins became, mouth of channel sleepers. A drastic difference in 24 hours but we figured it out and looked for the poons in all the right places.
Mixed in with the Tarpon were big schools of Permit, a cast into the group can produce either one.
We got lucky and jumped a Tarpon tusker and caught a nice Permit of 20ish lbs.
The weather may be rotating into spring cycle which means more chances everyday at these two Key west flats fishing super heros.
Ol' fishing guides get less sleep from here on out to July but, I'll sleep when I'm dead.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bull Sharks Crash Key West Tarpon Party

We were standing in Tarpon at 7:15 am this morning jigs and live crabs in hand. Surrounded by happy silver monsters, many over 100lbs when, 3 big black Bull's slid in and made everyone nervous especially the Poons!
David tossed a mylar jig in the direction on a pod of Tarpon that popped up 40 ft from the boat and he came up tight on a good hard pulling fish that stripped of a lot of line but, didn't jump.
Must be a Permit! says I, no it was a really huge jack that ran up on the flat and then,
the Black Evil's came flying in and the biggest gobbled up Dave's big Jack!
Exciting but, you always feel bad when you helped feed the Big Black Evils.
That was enough to really upset those Tarpon and send them packing, so off we went to fresh
encounters and a new spot.
Don't feel too sorry for David he got a nice Cobia and three hundered (seemed like) Jacks, Lady Fish, Lookdowns and........ a great Shark story.........mike

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Key West Fly Fishing

Monday, March 14, 2005

Key West Tarpon Return To Backcountry

South Winds and High Ho Silver Tarpon in the back basins and cuts, water warming and the humid air bring our Big old Poons in from the Gulf to slurp minnows, crabs, and other little yummy wigglers.
Hopefully our jigs and fly's will end up in a Tarpon tomorrow morning, didn't happen today the Poons came in but the water was still cool and they were not receptive.
Pompano, Big Jacks, Barracudas and a nice Cobia were and the action was really good.
Same guys are fishing the next few days with me and are looking forward to wacken a Poon, we saw a lot of them slipping into a back basin's getting ready for some night feeding and probabily
planning to challenge us to a duel at dawn............mike

Key West Fishing for Permit

Friday, March 11, 2005

Blue Fish Bouncing on Fly's Key West

Cooler Water Brings Blue's Back into the cuts and basins running between the flats.
We started the day on the flats north side of key West looking for Permit on the incoming tide
but, low light pushed us off the flats after throwing flys at a Cobia that would not eat and a few
Barracudas......phoooie, we went to the cuts and wacked dozens of Lady Fish , Jacks and even
6-8 nice Blue Fish that gobbled Mylar Fly's and smoked the backing off.
We also managed to hook a big Black Tip Shark that, after 20 mins chewed through the 30lb mono and spun off.
Crossing fingers for tomorrow as another little cool front is due in tonight, I said cool, no cold!
No Moe Cold please!?........mike

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thats a Key West Fishing Sun....Son!

Thanks, you Mother Earth, we have our sunshine and Permit fishing winds back after two crap-ola cold front days, tomorrow we will be back on the Key West Flats tossing Merkin Crab Flys to big old Permit piggy's that are sniffen around the flat for a tasty wiggler of some sort.
Thats the plan anyway and a couple of shots at Cobia, maybe even a peek at a tarpon if we are lucky and the water temps come up to their standards.
Trying out a new Permit fly and just recieved a big bag of tarpon candy in a lovely lemon yellow,
they will jump on those flys, like a chicken on a June bug!....Also part of the plan.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Key West Bonefishing

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Key West Fly Fishing Runaround

Today was run around day, run around town that is, wind and rain gave me a day to get to the tackle shop, scrub skiff and sort through my fly gear.
I have a good supply of bait fish flys, Elf's and Glass minnows all shiny and sharp to feed
Mr. Tarpon in the Key West basins and cuts.
Merkin Crab Flys for Permit fishing and plenty of Bonefish and general "anyone will eat flys"
The next few days will be hoping the weather will cooperate........ and the fishes!

Key West Fly Fishing Flats

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Permit and Cobia Key West Fishing

The sun came out on the Key West Flats and there were Permit, Barracudas, Sharks
and Cobia.
The last two days the water warmed up and the fishing has picked up, I even found some Tarpon in a few back country cuts and was relieved that the last front didnt drive them to far out. We have been hooking Permit and Cobias on rays, Blacktip sharks are everywhere, high in the water, peck fins forward looking for victims.
We sacrificed a couple tube lures to the monsters and almost got striped of our 10lb because of it.
Lots of foolish fun but, thats what we're good for. We'll be after Tarpon and more
Cobia and Permit with the fly rods in the morning.....mike

Friday, March 04, 2005

Key West Tarpon Fishing

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Key West Fishing Weather Gods

Ok, Ok Jumped the gun thinking we were done with old man winter and bragging about
Tarpon fishing and Permit fishing picking up early this year, we got smacked with a cold
snap that we really didnt think would get this far south.
So standing in a cold rain storm for our 80lb Tarpon was a little uncomfortable, still it was a Tarpon and that made it better than ok.
Today was another story Mr. Poon went back to the Gulf until the warm winds come back and
the Pompano did not come in to sniff around the cuts and basins, not everyday is "hero day"
for O'l flats fishing guides.
But hey!.......the sun just popped out..........mike