Fishing Report 3/26/2015, by Chip Willimon

Well the tarpon migration continues on. There has been no need to make the long runs to the Everglades to find the tarpon this week. They are all over town within view of the Keys. The last few days have been nice and calm and it's easy to see just how many are around. Of course slick conditions makes them a little more cautious but man is it fun to see.

Some really big fish are starting to show as well. Captain Shafter saw one that was easily over 200 pounds. Mullet are beginning to show up in bigger numbers so the live bait fishing at the bridges is really beginning to take off. That will stay good from now until mid to late June. I tend to fish more mullet early in the season when they are plentiful, easy to catch and easy too keep alive. About the end of May as the water gets much warmer, I go almost exclusively to crabs. Dead baits on the bottom can also produce well on into June, while I just don't enjoy fishing that style as much, it certainly has saved more than one day for me.

Shafter is still getting out a couple of nights a week on his own and putting a lot of fish in the air around the bridges on plugs.

Over the next month look for more and more tarpon to be seen on the tradition migration routes along the Atlantic side of the Keys. This is the sight fishing opportunity people come from all over the world to take advantage of. Captain Shafter is great at coaching you how to position your fly to get these notoriously finicky fish to eat. I have caught hundreds on live bait but I learned more in a morning sight fishing with him than I had in 15 years playing with them on my own.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago the last two weeks of March and first week of April are usually about as good as it gets for permit in the Florida Keys. That has held true this year as well. The permit fishing has been outstanding all through the Keys.

As the water is warming snook and redfishing is steadily improving as well. That fishery will remain strong all through the summer. They probably won't get much attention until the end of tarpon season since that is the big draw.