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Drew C.

Florida flats and guides

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Title says it all. I'm finally getting to the point where I can financially swing some trips and get out of the office. I know zero about Florida - the when and who basically. I can probably get away in April to early May and then again in July and August. I'm probably interested in tarpon>permit>bone. My first and last flats trip was Belize in 98, so it's been a while. If any one can rec'd any guides and maybe times of the year it would be appreciated. I realize that I might be a bit late in planning for 2023 but I'd like to try.

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Where in Florida? If it were me, I’d spend that early May (though, July would also work for this) trip chasing Albies out of West Palm with either Capt. Ron, Dino, or Scott Hamilton. Or, I’d just go offshore with Scott Hamilton then for other pelagic species. 

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April and May are prime in the Keys.

 

If I was contemplating such a trip, I'd call Bud n' Mary's in Islamorada NOW and talk about booking some trips, because the decent guides will be gone if you wait until next year.

 

I have some guides' business cards around somewhere,, but can't find them.  But I have never had a bad experience booking one of the Bud n' Mary's guides through the marina office.  Just be clear about what you want to do, and you'll be pointed in the right direction.

 

One thing that I'd also suggest is not to be too closed-minded when you get there.  If permit/bonefish/tarpon are, for some reason, not viable targets, there are a lot of other things going on in the backcountry to keep you busy.

Edited by CWitek

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April -May will be prime time in the keys.  I would bet a bunch you will get shots at all the pecies you are looking for.  I did this in April a while ago and caught Permit, bones and Tarpon , Fished for 3 days,the best fishing I have ever had,  Fly rods for everything. My guide has now retired,so I will ask around friends in Naples for ideas about guides.  I belong to a great fishing club that does all the everglades fishing. .

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Charles & John P - Thanks

 

I'm open minded. I have my preference but I just want to get out and fish, whatever comes my way is fine. But I'm looking to be fly only.

 

I will definitely look at Bud n Mary's. They were in mind but I couldn't remember that specifically. 

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I've fished mid winter with Key Flat Guide Service: Capt. Luke Kelly twice. That time of year, especially one year where it hit 46 in Key West, it was mostly a jack, barracuda, permit and tarpon outing. John P hits the nail on the head for prime. April-May which would then open the window to Bonefish.  Capt Luke Kelly works hard, easy going personality. Mostly out of Summerland Key but depending on the bite, might meet you elsewhere in the lower keys. One year he trailered down to KW to move towards the better action where we had shots of everything but Bonefish. Both trips in Feb. https://lowerkeysflatsfishing.com/charter-info/capt-luke-kelly/

Edited by brushfly

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1 hour ago, Drew C. said:

Charles & John P - Thanks

 

I'm open minded. I have my preference but I just want to get out and fish, whatever comes my way is fine. But I'm looking to be fly only.

 

I will definitely look at Bud n Mary's. They were in mind but I couldn't remember that specifically. 

Lots of good guides out of there. That spot also gives guides the chance to shoot north towards the everglades if conditions warrant. Now you've added Redfish and Seatrout. 

 

Edited by brushfly

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Nothing wrong with Bun N Mary's but I would suggest starting with Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada and The Angling Company in Key West. They are fly shops and have a better handle on the fly fishing game than Bud N Mary's which offers everything under the sun.

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My buddy did a kayak guided backcountry trip in the keys. Guide had a small motor on his and towed him and his other buddy around. He loved it and hooked up to a bunch of tarpon. When I’m down there I’m there for a couple weeks so we DIY but that kayak ride to the backcountry definitely seemed worth it.

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11 hours ago, CWitek said:

April and May are prime in the Keys.

 

If I was contemplating such a trip, I'd call Bud n' Mary's in Islamorada NOW and talk about booking some trips, because the decent guides will be gone if you wait until next year.

 

I have some guides' business cards around somewhere,, but can't find them.  But I have never had a bad experience booking one of the Bud n' Mary's guides through the marina office.  Just be clear about what you want to do, and you'll be pointed in the right direction.

 

One thing that I'd also suggest is not to be too closed-minded when you get there.  If permit/bonefish/tarpon are, for some reason, not viable targets, there are a lot of other things going on in the backcountry to keep you busy.

Been there a few times it’s great 

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2 hours ago, Drew C. said:

Thanks for the replies, greatly appreciated. I will look into things this weekend and see what I can put together.

LOVE Crystal River = great fishing and experience to old Florida . TARPON and Reds , Snook . If you want large bones Key Biscayne on the other side of the state . 

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6 hours ago, ifsteve said:

Nothing wrong with Bun N Mary's but I would suggest starting with Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada and The Angling Company in Key West. They are fly shops and have a better handle on the fly fishing game than Bud N Mary's which offers everything under the sun.

What I liked about Bud and Mary is = if bad weather comes your way  , you can in - land to Flamingo and not lose the day . 

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