The Florida Keys Tarpon season marches on. The live baiting around the bridge channels is getting better and better. There are more and more mullet pouring in right now and they are the bait of choice. If you haven't fished for tarpon with live mullet, it's literally a blast. They will explode on the mullet right on top often going airborne on the strike. You will miss a lot of fish because they have a hard time running them down but it is very visual and a really frisky mullet will raise a lot of fish. If the mullet are too lively and the tarpon just can't catch them try trimming their tail fins. I would always recommend fishing them on a 7/0 or 8/0 circle hook and leaving the rod in the holder until the fish is running drag.
For the fly fisherman, the ocean side migratory fish are showing in better and better numbers. Captain Shafter has been getting a lot of shots for his clients. Small flies have been producing the most eats.
Cobia and Permit have been showing up all over the gulf wrecks. As usual you have to really fight them aggressively to keep the massive bull and lemon sharks from making a meal of your catch. There are also a lot of giant jack crevalle on the wrecks and can be a ton of fun on topwaters. The medium to large jacks make great baits for the unbelievable number of Goliath Grouper that inhabit the wrecks. On the way to and from the wrecks there have been lots of sight fishing opportunities for a tasty trippletail. Bring one of those home and have Lazy Days in Islamorada cook it up for you. They are one of my favorite fish to eat.
Florida bay snook and reds are getting better and better as the water continues to warm. There has even been some really nice snook showing up around the Keys bridges at night. That will also get better as we get into summer. Trout fishing in Florida Bay has been outstanding as well, they will really respond to topwaters.
With so many options, now through June is my favorite time to fish the Florida Keys and Everglades Park. Give Captain Shafter a call to arrange a trip.