Flats Fishing: Where to Begin

Now that we've talked about what Flats fishing is, we can help you figure out where to begin with deciding on a Key West flats fishing charter. For every type of angler, these flats fishing tours are fun and successful, and make for a memorable Key West fishing experience.

Where to Begin?

This is the question that often stumps even the most seasoned of flats fisherman.

Andrew Bostick of Marco, Florida has more than 20 years experience guiding tours in the Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands areas of Florida. He recently offered advice to FLW Outdoors Magazine: “…if you really want to expedite the process…hiring a guide will help you learn at light speed. Shop around and find someone in your area, or the area you want to learn about, who is gears toward one-one-one instruction, and make the most of it by asking a lot of questions,” he said.

Where is the best place to find highly experienced flats fishing guides? Florida. A Key West fishing charter is the very best channel for a) getting the most out of your time and money and b) learning from some fisherman who have perfected the craft to the point that they are considered experts. There are a number of tours to choose from – the trick is to find the charter that will best suit you in terms of your budget, time and most of all, level of experience.

Some Charters to Choose from

One of the most exciting flats fishing excursions is the “Coolcast Charters” tour led by Captain Mike Ledrew. In the backcountry of the Lower Florida Keys, you, Mike and up to one more angler will scour the waters for tarpon, permit, bonefish, redfish, yellowtail, snapper, jacks and more. For the more adventurous, Mike will steer the skiff to where you can look for sharks and barracuda.

Included on this excursion are:

• 18' Gene Montgomery Flats Skiff

• Light Spin Rods and Fly Rods

• Sage, Finnor, Tibor Gear

• Ultra light spin rods from 8lb to 20lb

• Fly tackle - 8wt rod thru 13wt rod available in left hand retrieve or right hand retrieve

Another awesome adventure is the “Outcast” charter where Captain Ben Morehousewill implement his expertise in the backcountry flats fly fishing for tarpon, bonefish, and permit. Depending on the time of day, you, Ben and one other angler can fish as the sum comes up on the Marquesas, the Content Keys, or encounter the wondrous experience of fishing in the sunset.

Included in this expedition are:

• 16' Hewes Bayfisher Skiff

• Light Spin Rods and Fly Rods

• Shimano, G. Loomis, Tibor, & Billy Plate Reels

• Ultra light spin rods and increasing in size up to 30lb Tarpon and Shark spin rods.

• Fly tackle - 8wt rod thru 12wt rod available in left hand retrieve or right hand retrieve or both.

For most tours, poles, bait and tackle are provided for you, and costs vary depending on the length of time you want to spend on the skiff (4, 6 or 8 hours).

Highly suggested to pack for yourself are:

• Sunscreen

• Sunglasses

• Camera

• Comfortable Shoes

• Food and Drinks

No matter which Key West fishing charter adventure you choose, you are certain to have the time of your life. For both the novice and the seasoned, flats fishing Key West is unlike any experience you will encounter in all of the United States.