Bonefish, barracuda, sharks and jacks

I have been fishing mostly west of Key West for the past week. with the warm weather My clients have been landing sharks, bonefish, barracudas, sharks and jacks. we have had shots at permit with both fly and spin but no hook ups.

Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on January 3rd, 2020 at 5:03 pm.

Barracuda fishing really heats up in Key west

February is typically the best month for barracuda on the flats of the florida keys. The cooler water bring in this amazing game fish to hunt the shallow waters in search of prey. Cudas favorite meal are any of the thin beaked fish such as needlefish, hound fish or ballyhoo. As anglers we imitate these fish using tube lures and flies that are durable, cast easy, stay on top and we can move very fast. The ideal presentation is a cast slightly past or in front of the fish and a slow retrieve until the cuda starts to show interest, then you want to increase the speed until you get a bight, you can never go to fast. Here are some of the pictures from last month.


Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on February 16th, 2017 at 1:10 pm.

Key west flats fishing report 5/16-5/25/16

From the 16th to the 24th I have had trout fly fisherman. I would like to explain you can be the best trout fisherman in the world but fail miserably in salt water. Trout fishing requires a delicate presentation and short cast, saltwater fishing requires quick, long and accurate cast. The tarpon fishing has been epic these past few days but my anglers were only able to draw 1 strike out of countless shots. If you are coming to Key west and are going to invest in a guide please do your homework and practice the double haul this will make your transition to salt much easier.

Today I fished with Josh, we headed out with crystal clear skies that change quite rapidly, while the skies were clear we had 3 shots at permit and a shot at a barracuda. After we lost the light we had shots at sharks and more barracudas, we also had several shots at tarpon. Josh landed 1 tarpon and jumped 2 more before we headed back to Key west.


Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on May 25th, 2016 at 6:26 pm.

Key west flats fishing report 4/28/16

Fished with long time client Ted Shreck, last year we got the flats grand slam so he has switched from spin fishing to fly fishing. I spent an hour working on his cast and got him double hauling up to 60ft. We then pulled down the flat in search of tarpon. Ted’s 60ft cast diminished quickly whenever a tarpon showed up and after quite a few shots we switched gear and went bone fishing. Ted landed 1 and lost another, we also had a few shots at permit before we put the crab in the right spot and landed a nice permit. After landing 2/3rd of the slam we went in search tarpon. We had several shots at tarpon with the same results so we headed back to Key west.

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Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on April 28th, 2016 at 6:38 pm.

Key west fishing report 6/14

June saw the end of the most difficult tarpon season I have been through. That being said I did have plenty of success with both spin and fly fishing. Crabs were the bait of choice, I used them in channels, under floats and sight fished with them. The early morning tarpon bite was good using a black dear hair fly. The afternoon I got most of my bites on light colored toads.

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The permit fishing was fantastic during the new moon phase. During this time Key west was under a high pressure system with very light winds and plenty of sun. All the permit my clients caught were while wading for tailing fish.

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I did not spend much time bone fishing but Roy Gibbs hooked 1 west of Key west while wading but it came off right before I went to land it. Looking back it would seem the barracuda fishing was quite good with many of my clients ccatching nice fish out of season.

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Shark fishing is always good off of Key west with many of my clients catching lemon sharks. These fish are any where between 2 to 6ft long and will give a great fight.

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Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on July 7th, 2014 at 8:43 pm.

Key west flats fishing report 1/14/14

Today I had my first double of the new year. My first trip was with a long time client Al Mcaughlin and his son Roy. Al prefers action over size so we went east of Key west in search of jacks. I ran to a little cut that has been working well on the incoming tide and we had action right away. Roy started by catching a few nice snappers before we got into the jacks. I posted up the boat and for about 30 minutes it was non stop action. We hit 2 more spots that did not work before we headed home.
My next trip was with a fly fisherman by the name of Mike Miller. We hit the flats in search of permit and jacks. We saw a permit right away but that would be our last of the day. The clouds started to form so our only chance were jacks on the backs of sting ray’s. Mike missed a few fish before he hooked up and landed a nice jack. The skies darkened to the point that we could not see the muds very well so as hard as we tried we did not hook up again.

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Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on January 14th, 2014 at 12:50 pm.

July Key west fishing report

July Key west flats fishing report

Key west fishing has moved into normal summer patterns. My clients have landed all the major species Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, Jacks and Sharks. Lets start this fishing report with my Favorite fish Tarpon. During the full moon until the mid moon phase the tides and the winds were perfect and we had crab, shrimp, and guppy hatches. My clients all jumped multiple fish and landed quite a few Tarpon, we landed fish from 10 pounds to 100+ pounds. All and all the Tarpon fishing has been fantastic while the winds were light and very tough during the end of the month when the winds were heavy.

The Bone fishing east of Key west has been the most consistent. Many of my clients caught their first Bonefish this month while others had shots but could not connect. Wether fly fishing or spin fishing the techniques for Bone fishing is the same. The most important aspect is seeing the fish, the next is leading the fish so you don’t spook him.

Permit fishing was epic around the middle of the month. We had the beginning of the incoming tide, flat calm winds, an hour before sunset. I hit a spot where the permit jump a bank and tail heavily into the tide. My clients had tons of shots and on the second day they caught onto my technique of over casting and bringing the crab back to the Permit. They landed a beautiful 20+pounder.

Shark fishing is always the stand by. We have a healthy shark population and I can rely on them to make a day. My technique for catching shark is simply to use a Pin fish, cut off the tail, over shoot the shark and keep the bait on top. The scent and the disturbance on the surface brings the shark up to investigate and then to eat the bait.

A surprise this month has been the Jack fishing. These strong fighters normally show up in big numbers during the winter but this month I have been finding them trailing both Sharks and Sting rays.These fish eat just about anything you throw at them so I like to use my ten pound outfit I use for Bonefish and what I fight.

Fishing report brought to you by 12 year veteran Key west fishing guide Capt Anthony Skinner

Posted by Capt. Anthony Skinner, on August 1st, 2011 at 7:16 pm.

R.L. Winston
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