Light Tackle Fishing

"Light tackle fishing" is a term that typically causes a bit of confusion. The first thing to know is that you do not actually need to understand all the technicalities to have an experience of a lifetime. You focus on fishing, and leave the tackle talk to the skipper.

Contrary to what some assume, "light tackle" certainly does not mean that the tackle is weak. It is equipment that is carefully selected and finely balanced to reflect the species you are targeting. A good example would be to compare the gear used for sea trout and tarpon. They are very different, because they are balanced to the precise weight and size of the desired fish.

In Key West, light tackle fishing generally refers to "level wind" convention gear or spinning gear, which consists of rods and reels. "Bait caster" equipment falls in this category, when speaking of freshwater angling, but it is rarely the preferred choice.

Boats used for light tackle fishing have no full harnesses, fighting chairs, or tuna towers. In this style of fishing you will never see a skipper gun the engine just to set a hook.

The vessels used are stocked with high-quality tackle that will suit all methods and styles. In your quest to find the one that does not get away you will have access to tackle from ABU, Daiwa, Penn, and Shimano. Light tackle fishing focuses on balance. So, you may use a 50-pound leader for tarpon, but later when you are searching for yellowtail snapper a more appropriate 10-pound leader takes its place.

For the most thrilling experience, you will hook live bait, such as a threadfin herring or pilchard, and allow it to drift behind the boat without any weights. You will experience the thrill of the hunt while you wait to see what comes along to pretty upon the bait. You could guess at whether it will be a shark, tuna, kingfish, snapper, cobia or sailfish, but you really never know what is going to surface in these heavily populated waters.