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Flats Grand Slam

The Key West Flats are expanses of shallow water lying near shore around the Keys, over bottoms composed mainly of sand, sea grass flats, stony substrates, and patch corals. Relatively deep channels border and cross the Flats. Flats fishing is a technical style of angling involving the hunt for particular species of fish that feed in the shallow waters, especially Bonefish, Permit, Barracuda, and Sharks. Tarpon fishing also takes place in the channels and in some areas of the flats.

Flats fisherman use specialized shallow-draft skiffs made to operate in as little as 2 feet of water. In the rear of the boat is a raised platform where the guide stands to spot fish and pole the boat silently into position. After visually locating the fish, the angler uses light spinning gear or a fly rod and accurate casting to carefully place bait directly in front of the feeding fish without spooking them.

A Key West Flats “Grand Slam” refers to catching a Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon all in one day of fishing. The official International Game Fish Association definition of an Inshore Grand Slam is the landing of any three of four major Keys game fish species on the same day: Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon or Snook.

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