Flats Fishing


Flats Fishing In Key West

Join The Key West fishing Team for a day of sight fishing the shallows of the Florida Keys and Key West. The Florida Keys and Key West in particular have an awesome fishery, making it a leading destination for anglers looking to sight fish for those elusive tarpon, bonefish, and permit as well as a slew of other species.

Let your captain stealthily pole or troll you along the pristine flats for 4, 6, or 8 hours as you cast spin, bait casting or fly gear to incoming trophies.

About Key West Flats Fishing

Flats are found all throughout the Florida Keys and Key West around each little island and channel of water. The flats are areas of shallow water, generally no deeper than four feet typically covered with grass or sand that act as an estuary for all types of sea life, from shrimp and crabs to baitfish to the usually suspects.

Our Rates – We offer 4, 6, and 8 hour custom private fishing charters that depart every day. Included are the boat, proper fishing gear, Florida State fishing licenses, bottled waters, ice and a seasoned friendly captain.

Check Out Our Key West Fishing Rates

  • 4 Hours 2 people – $450.00
  • 6 Hours 2 people – $550.00
  • 8 hours 2 people – $800.00
  • Extra Person – $50.00

Poling the Flats of Key West.

The Species One Can Expect:

Bonefish – Tarpon – Permit – Cobia – Trout – Pompano – Lady Fish – Jack Crevales – Yellow Jacks – Barracudas – Sharks – Baby Tarpon – Redfish – Snook – Goliath Groupers.

The flats can become so shallow during low tide at times that they actually appear to be tiny islands.  But as the tide comes in the fish and other sea life return to hang out and feed.  This makes the tide, and knowledge of the tide movements, an integral part of flats fishing. The professional fishing guides at The Key West Fishing Team are here to show you the way to a great day of fishing the flats of Key West.

Flats Fishing Charters

How many people are in your group? What type of boat do you want to use? What type of gear do you want to use?  What is your dream? These are all questions that we ask to make sure you have the best flats fishing experience possible and let you live the dream with us on the waters of the Florida Keys and Key West.

Traditionally, a captain has been able to take one or possibly two anglers on his skiff and pole them around the flats.  Our traditional flats boat, the Lake and Bay 20’ is fast, smooth, and dry.  This option requires the angler(s) to be able to take swift  directives from the captain as well as to be moderately skilled with a spinning or fly rod and accurate at a good distance to be able to reach these fish and bring them home.

More often we have families or groups of friends that want to share the exhilarating experience of hunting the flats for fish.  We can now do that with our bay boats which can carry up to 4 anglers comfortably. However, even the lone fisherman, including many of our long time flats fishing anglers, prefer the comfort of the bay boat to the traditional flats boat. The bay boat allows the captain to do more and see more with anglers as well as gives him the ability to be hands on with his clients.

Most anglers utilize light tackle spin gear to fish the flats of the Florida Keys and Key West.  The term light tackle means we use light line, around 6-15 lb test along with light rods so that the angler can really feel the fish fight.  Artificials and live bait give even the most novice angler a great chance of pulling one of these fish to the boat.  Advanced anglers, though, enjoy fly fishing for many of these species.  Fly fishing is a passion which in the Florida Keys and Key West requires moderate skill and the ability to double haul to accurately get the line the distance to the fish.

What Is The Best Season For Flats Fishing In Key West?

Flats fishing in Key Wrest is amazing year round! The only thing that changes slightly are the species available and the way we go after them.

Winter (December – April)

Around the end of December we start to get the resident gulf tarpon along the edges in the channels, large permit tailing on the flats, cobia tailing about the sting rays with huge jacks and barracudas sunning themselves in the warm run off. This is a great time of year for shark fishing as well.

Spring (April – July)

This is Tarpon Season. Bonefish are back in numbers. Late April and early May can be lean for Permit on the flats however they are in great numbers on the shallow wrecks and reefs making easy shots with the use of a bay boat. Again, Shark fishing is great during this time.

Summer (July – October)

This is what the local guides refer to as SLAM season. These months are a flats fisherman’s best shot at repeated grand slams: Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish. Six hour trips are recommended due to the heat which really takes its toll on anglers. Visitors to the area can take advantage of the low seasonal hotels rates and book a bunch of fishing to enjoy the best we have for flats fishing all year.

Fall (October – December)

This is a transitional time of year for us here.  If it stays warm there is not a lot of change from the summer time fishing pattern. If it gets cold from the early cold fronts then expect our winter fishery of jacks, barracudas, cobia, and permit, with tarpon to entertain them for a day of fishing between the cold front. December is a great time to mix it up and catch numerous species available in the backcountry.

As You Can See

Key West flats fishing is a traditional fun way to spend your day fishing in Key West, Florida. For more information give us a call and see what its all about.