12 Sep Miami permit fishing
Miami permit fishing
Permit fishing in Miami and the keys is one of the best fishing scenarios available for the avid flats fisherman. The Florida Keys, from Biscayne Bay all the way down to Key west are considered the Mecca of permit fishing, both for numbers and size of the fish. Also, there is where the sport of flats fishing and saltwater flyfishing was born and developed to what it is today.
Permit in the keys
We have been fishing all over the keys this summer and have managed to catch some very nice permit. From Biscayne Bay all the way down to the Lower keys , the fishing hasn’t disappointed. Some days we have hooked as many as 6 permit on live crabs and have gotten consistent shots on the fly rod.
The highlight has definitely been the great numbers of small to mid size bonefish around. Baby tarpon fishing has been excellent fishing shorelines and shrimp hatches.
Islamorada Summertime Permit, Bonefish and Tarpon
Fishing around islamorada has produced stellar fishing for bonefish, permit and baby tarpon. I gotta say that the bonefishing is as good as I have seen it in recent years, pretty much all over the keys.
I’ve been fishing from Biscayne Bay all the way down to the lower keys, witnessing absolutely amazing fishing and finding healthy numbers of bonefish in several places they had almost quit showing from several years ago.
Most fish we are catching are between 3 to 7 pounds, not the usual Keys giants but a very welcome sight to say the least. We couldn’t be happier to see the bonefish populations thriving.
Fall time Fishing opportunities
Fall time is coming and with it, the biggest tides of the year along with the mullet migration. The big tides can make bonefishing challenging (specially around moon tides) but the permit absolutely love them. Snook fishing and baby tarpon also gets on fire in Biscayne Bay once the schools of bait show up.
Fall is also my favorite time of the year to fish for big mutton snappers and grouper in Biscayne Bay. The reason why I like fall time so much is because of the abundance of bait in the bay. I often like to load up on either finger mullet or pilchards and fish the shallow water wrecks and channels on light to medium spinning gear.
When doing this type of fishing you can also count on yellow jacks, barracudas, sharks and Jack crevalle to keep your rod bent. We can also do this type of fishing on the fly rod by raising all the snappers off the bottom with the live chum.
A pilchard pattern and a sinking line usually gets the job done. Things get very interesting when you hook up into a big mutton snapper trying to head back to the safety of the bottom!.
The best time of the year for flats fishing in South Florida
I often get asked what’s the best time of the year to fish in my area, my answer is always the same: summer through fall. Ironically, this time of the year, is usually not very busy for fishing guides in south Florida and the keys. The weather gets very hot and humid, parents go on vacation with their kids and people from up north generally prefer to stay local and enjoy summer time in their neck of the woods.
Here at home, we the guides take advantage to do all the fishing we were unable to do during tarpon season, explore new water and get some bow time fun fishing with friends.
Low fishing pressure
Once all the big herds of anglers leave south Florida after tarpon season in the late spring, the flats are pretty much empty so you have a lot of water to yourself, little to no fishing pressure, lots of fish around and very few people to catch them.
Summer time also offers the most stable and longer periods of flat calm weather than any other time of the year. Fishing always goes out of control during those extended periods of calm weather.
Don’t miss out
That being said, if you are serious about fishing and really want to experience the best Miami permit fishing, flats and backcountry action south Florida and the keys have to offer, you should really consider to be here during the summer and fall, You’ll be glad you did.
Tight lines, fish hard and let’s go fishing
Capt Alex Zapata
Flats fishing guide
IFFF certified fly casting instructor
Miami, Everglades and the keys
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