Summer Tarpon Still Hot

Warm summer weather and calm sea conditions have made for good fishing along the Keys this week. In the early mornings, Tarpon and juvenile bonefish have been hitting live bait on the Flats around Key West. Once Tarpon are located, throwing Pilchards or Pinfish at them has been working. Some captains have had success hooking Tarpon on flies as well.

The Bonefish have been going for shrimp, with on-target casting being the key as usual. Captains have also reported getting a few shots at Permit in the mornings. Baiting with small crabs, being stealthy, and making accurate casts offered the best chances at a hook-up.

Besides Key West Flats Fishing, Tarpon were being caught while drift-fishing or anchoring on the bridges or in the bridge channels. In the day time, the Tarpon were going for live mullet fished on the surface, or dead ones fished on bottom rigs. In the evening, fishing with medium-sized crabs while drifting with the outgoing tide has been producing the best results.

There has been some good Shark action in the shallows and channels on live or dead mullet or ladyfish, or any kind of chunk bait. The Gulf waters have also been good for Sharks, and wreck fishing has been producing decent Cobia and many other species in fair numbers. Snapper fishing has been good in general this summer, with many big fish being taken. The Mangrove Snapper spawn in July produced some very hot fishing on live Pinfish, and these good-eating fish are still around for those who know where to look.