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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...


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Old 04-03-2009, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Self guided wade fishing Florida Keys...HELP!

2 weeks from tomorrow marks our departure date. My buddy and I are anxious to wet the lines.

Thanks to all who have offered greatly appreciated information on self guided fly fishing the florida keys. We have several flats targeted and should be able to fish a different location each morning and afternoon.

Tight lines to all!

Uni2uniknot
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Self guided wade fishing Florida Keys...HELP!

Good luck, don't forget the camera!!!
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Self guided wade fishing Florida Keys...HELP!

Back from the Florida Keys!!

We had a great trip and did a lot of unguided flats fishing. Our tides were low each day around 1pm. We fished for 4 days and were rained out for one day.

Most of the flats were very wadeable and beautiful. The wind blew 15-20 knots the whole time and spotting fish was difficult. We had multiple shots at "large" bone fish without any luck. No tarpon or permit were spotted.

On the rainy day, we hung out at the hotel and fished of the dock. Several small tarpon were hooked in the cove behind the hotel on the previous days. Sitting on the dock trying to catch one of those smaller tarpon, a manatee popped up to visit. What a massive animal! That afternoon, Capt Steve "Coach" Demuth (he stayed at the same hotel as us the Bay View Inn in Conch Key) agreed to take us out for a couple of hours to fish live mullet for tarpon. Coach is a real tactition when it comes to tarpon fishing. He would anchor his 22 foot center console under the Long Key Bridge and have 2 live mullet in the water behind the boat. Right before the tarpon hit, the mullet would absolutely freak out indicating the impending strike. The strikes were unbelievable! I hooked up with a 90 lbs tarpon that exploded the mullet out of the water as he inhaled the offering. We fished with Coach that afternoon until sunset (4 hours) and our charge was a small fraction of what Coach usually charges for a similar charter.

On the last day of our trip, we broke down and chartered. Capt Carter Bates was our guide...he runs a tackle shop just east/north of Marathon. This guy is good!

We casted to over 100 tarpon and finally hooked and landed an 80 lbs tarpon that really gave us a show. The jumps were spectacular and the power of this fish was respectable. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any photos worth sharing. The tarpon bit a red Palolo worm fly...go figure!

In summary, self guided flats fishing in the Keys is very possible. The variables (tides, weather, wind) can make the trip frustrating. Anne's Beach and Long Key State Park have some picturesque flats with firm footing. We did run into several flats that were not wadeable because of deep mucky soft bottoms, namely Curray State Park and most of the Bay side flats. We were lucky to have come across Capt Carter Bates...great guide!

Thanks again to all who offered suggestions on fishing the Keys.

Uni2
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Self guided wade fishing Florida Keys...HELP!

I wanted to share some contact information with the Forum

Capt. Carter Bates is the one who put us on tarpon, lots of tarpon, and eventually we hooked one on the Palolo Worm pattern.

cbates25@yahoo.com email, nomadoutfitters.com web site. check out his photos!

Coach Steve Demuth is the Captain that stayed in the hotel with us and fished live mullet for tarpon. This is a very exciting and productive fishing method.

tarponcoach@comcast.net email.

Should you decided to contact either one of these captains, you will find them very informative, friendly and professional.

All the best!

Uni2
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Self guided wade fishing Florida Keys...HELP!

Sounds like a great time Uni, glad you got into fish.

Great report!

mark
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