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Ultimate Key West Fishing

Apr 17, 2008
If you are a saltwater angler, Key West is the place for you. Quite arguably, it is one of the premier places to fish in the world. So if you are planning a saltwater fishing trip, you won't want to miss out on Key West. Key West has the Caribbean feel without the need for a passport. Sit back on the beach and sip you're sweet cocktail and you'll never know the difference if you were actually sitting in Key West or the Bahamas. I would highly tout Key West as the place to be on a fishing excursion simply because of all the fishing options and tropical climate.

Travel south for the winter? You can't get much further south than Key West. You can escape the snow and get a tan all at the same time. No worries about the winter-time fishing opportunities either. Go back-country to tap those beautiful baby tarpon or snag some snook. Head off to the flats and chase those ever elusive bonefish. Do it on the fly for double points and kudo's. Or take on those pulling titan permits. Such an odd looking fish to me but man can they pull. You won't be dissappointed.

Stick around for those spring and summertime fun when the water really starts jumping as schools of huge tarpon come rolling thru. Definitely the kings of the waterway during these times. Their annual migration leads them right thru Key West both going and coming as they circle Florida for the best breeding grounds. Have you ever hooked a tarpon? If you haven't, once you do, you'll chase them for life!

Probably the best way to go and fish Key West if you're visiting is to charter a guide. These people live there. They fish basically everyday. Following the different pods of fish around and know what's available and how to put you on the fish with what they have been feasting on. Even if you come down with boat in tow, do yourself a favor, find out how to go about it by getting a guide. Let them take you out for that first trip. Let them show you where the honey-holes are located. Ask them why the fish are holding there. Ask lot's of questions and be friendly. Let them show you what you need and how to be rigged for the different types of fishing you'll do when on a charter. Information is king (well, luck plays a little part as well) when it comes to fishing in Key West and the more you know the better you will do. Besides, doesn't everyone want a successful fishing trip?

You are there to learn more than anything while undertaking a guides services so ask pertinent questions. Ask questions like, do the fish bite better here on a falling or rising tide? Are we fishing a falling tide? Do you have any success catching them on another type of bait? Why do you think the fish are holding here? You get the drift.

If the budget affords it, plan some specialty guided fishing trips. Key West offers so much because of it's location you can do virtually any type of saltwater fishing there is. From pristine flats to a lush backcountry, from channels to offshore, it has it all. Personally, I would plan for at least a flats fishing expedition for tarpon, permit, barracudas and bonefish as well as a backcountry tour for more tarpon, snook, redfish and trout. And if I had any money left over and the wife agreed, you could bet I would head offshore for some reef, wreck and trolling sport fishing for snapper, grouper and whatever else would hit the line. Bottom line is, if you like to fish, no matter what type of fishing you like, Key West has it and has it in abundance.
About the Author
Chris Copeland is co-founder of Key West Tarpon Fishing as well as an active angler. With more than 30 years of recreational experience fishing for all types of saltwater fish, one of his favorite places is Key West fishing.
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