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What does sight fishing on the flats mean?

    Sight fishing on the flats of the Florida Keys is truly a unique experience. There is abundant life above and below the water. The depth of the water that we fish upon, ranges from eight inches to about five feet deep. Most of the places we fish are calm and protected, so that even on windy days, we can make it an enjoyable  day out. These shallow waters typically remain crystal clear, allowing you to view the world which you're floating upon. The challenging gamefish that inhabit these waters include the bonefish, tarpon, permit and redfish. Sight fishing requires a bit more skill and patience, but can be very exciting as you watch the fish inhale your fly or bait. Sight casting for bonefish, tarpon or permit is angling at it's most demanding form. Although I can usually show you plenty of fish, It is up to you to cast correctly to them. The more proficient you are before you make it down to fish, the better chance you have of hooking and landing your intended target. The most productive fly fisherman have their casting skills honed long before their charter. That way, they can learn to see the fish, learn how to properly strip~ the fly and set the hook. I will gladly work with you to help with your casting technique. There are other species that we can fish for that are much easier to catch and can keep much busier with IF you're just looking for action. Seatrout, jacks, ladyfish as well as sharks and barracuda provide an easier target for those folks just looking to bend a rod.  It's really an issue of quality vs. quantity of fish caught.  Many birds, rays, and crabs can also be seen as we quietly push across the shallow water.

releasing a huge bonefish off islamorada

What is the process of sight fishing the flats?

Generally, these gamefish enter the flats to feed. The shallow water provides a refuge for the many shrimp, crabs and juvenile fish upon which they feed. It is for this reason, that we fish here. Most of the fishing that I do, involves "pushing" (or poling-as the guides refer to it) the boat forward from a platform above the motor. It is a process similar to the Gondoliers in Venice. This allows us to approach (hunt) the fish without alarming them. The neat thing about sight fishing is that you can actually see the fish that you're trying to catch. It is then that you would place your cast to them. As stated, some of the gamefish require a bit more skill than luck or the novice angler may have a frustrating day. Not to worry, I've got a policy of no stress & no screaming on my skiff. If you're patient, I'll be glad to give you a few pointers or tips to improve your casting whether flyfishing or spin fishing. You can do this! You'll never feel intimidated. I'll work hard to make your day a success. When the day is over, you will have mastered the basics needed to locate, hook and fight that fish you've dreamed about. You will have also learned a bit about the history and ecology of our islands. Most importantly, you will have had a great time.

What equipment is needed to sight fish on the flats?

I'll provide you with first-class equipment from G-Loomis and Sage rods. Quantum spinning reels and Bauer flyfishing reels are also furnished. Or if you choose, bring along your favorite rod. Please discuss this with me as some equipment is not suited for our gamefish. All necessary bait/tackle and flies are provided.
Whether you want a challenging day stalking world-class tailing Bonefish or fly casting to schools of hundred-plus pound Tarpon or sight fishing for Redfish in the Everglades,  I can take you there. Some may want just an easy day in Florida Bay, soaking up the sun and sights while fishing for Seatrout, Jacks and Ladyfish, I'll make your trip an unforgettable one.
Please call or write and I'll be glad to discuss your plans and expectations. All saltwater licenses are provided. A large cooler filled with ice for your refreshments, is also onboard. The only things needed from you are your lunch,  sunscreen, and a camera.  If we do sight fish for Bonefish, Tarpon or Redfish, a pair of POLARIZED sunglasses in amber or brown work best and would aid tremendously in helping you to see the fish.

Also see fishing for
bonefish in the Wintertime and flyfishing for tarpon