August 27th 2022 – Fall fishing in Key West is just around the corner. There is no nicer time to go fishing here. The heat lets off with the humidity. The crowds are diminished as the kids went back to school. Sports and hunting take precedent. Things get back to the “Old Keys” for a couple of months and the inshore fishing is fantastic.
What Do We Mean By Inshore?
The Florida Keys are made up of almost 800 different islands 48 of them you can drive to by car and 65 are legally inhabited. In and around those islands are swift running tidal waters that eb and flow throughout the day. The channels sloughs and cuts carry nutrients and fresh clean ocean water to the shallow flats where grasses, corals, mangroves and fish that call this area home. A huge eco culture of fish ranging in size from larva to fully grown monsters.
Generally these waters are calm, clear and full of life. An amazing place for light tackle and fly fishing enthusiasts to scratch at the bucket list of shallow water tropical sport fish. Arguably the most popular area to fish due to the accessibility, tranquility and productivity. Backcountry fishing is our most popular fishing charter here in Key West.
Flats Fishing The Shallows In The Fall
Flats fishing is great for the technical fisher-person. The fall offers the best in flats fishing with the Key West grand slam of Tarpon, permit and bonefish being accessible. These fish are right up in the skinny waters waiting for a well presented fly, artificial lure or live bait. Some of my more memorable days in my professional guiding career have been poling the flats in the fall on my skiff.
Starting in late August all the way through into November. During this time I always start off my day off looking for juvenile tarpon in secret hide-e-holes for my anglers to cast to. When the tide is right the bonefish are kings of the shallows with our largest fish all year. Right along next to them are my favorite trophies the permit as they forage for crabs and tasty snacks.
The right tools are always important for anything we do. This is true especially when flats fishing. My boat, Rods reels and terminal tackle have all been fine tuned so they are not the reason my client missed a shot at a trophy.
Open the door to opportunity with backcountry fishing in the fall. Using a shallow water bay fishing boat anglers can enjoy a huge list of species opportunities. As I mentioned earlier all of the Species of the shallows will be up on the flats as well as full access to the shallow patch reefs and outer reefs thanks to the lighter winds in the fall.
On my 24ft Yellowfin Carbon Elite bay boat I have fished for tarpon first thing in the morning. Mid morning got up on the flats for shots at permit and bonefish and then moved to the reefs for some great fishing for snapper, jacks and large barracudas. If I am fishing the Marquesas Keys add shallow water wrecks to the list for a really fun day. All of what I consider Inshore backcountry fishing.
Because the fall tends to be nice and calm the backcountry fishing charters tend to be more dynamic with added features and areas to fish. Thanks to the lower winds we are often able to run out to the closer patch reefs and even the outer reef to add more fishing opportunities for our clients. Also adding to the dinner option with a renewable resource of food fish options.
Backcountry fishing is just like flats fishing with a little less discipline and a wide open species list. A whatever is available mentality coupled with the ability to carry up to 4 persons to enjoy the day. Arguably the most popular fishing charter we do here in Key West.
For certain hiring an experienced Key West fishing guide will help you enjoy the most of what we have inshore fishing here in the fall. There are few fishing guides that know inshore fishing and the reef fishing well enough to combine them in one trip with any confidence. This will offer you a fantastic fishing charter. It is a lot to rig for and plan out. I often say, “its not the spot, its when you are there”. The tides are in charge. I get bored easily so I excel at it.
Do it your self-ers will either enjoy the vast opportunities and limitless ways to fish. Or feel all of it is an overload. A good tip I can offer is starting off with what you know for some success. After a few fish are caught and put in the win column spend some time outside the comfort zone and see what you might learn. I always tell my guys to spend at least 30 minutes of every charter doing something you have not done. Quickly your portfolio will expand. Be rigged for two things, not 3 or 6. Opportunities will be missed if to much is going on.
Booking an inshore fishing charter is very easy. Just call my office and speak to Gennifer about your dates and how you would like to go fishing. We have several variables.