Bonefish: AKA “The Gray Ghost” is
a bottom feeding fish with a streamlined nose and a forkish
tail. This fish is
built for speed. Their backs are generally light gray with whitish
to silver sides and his fins are edged with light blues. Their
coloring allows them to blend into the flats, which makes them
the most difficult fish to spot on the flats.
The average size fish we will catch
will range from 5 to 8 pounds, with a few 10 – 14 pounders if we’re
lucky. Expect lighting fast runs of 100 -200 yards. Keep
tip up and enjoy the fight!
Permit: I believe the permit is the most easily spooked and
the most difficult fish to catch on the flats. They have a fork
tail, silver sides with a few shades of yellow around their pectoral
fins. They are a very tall fish, half as high as they are long.
Permits eat small
crabs and shrimp. They average in size from 12 – 18 pounds. There are 20 – 30
pounders out there and we catch our share. Permit are famous
their noses along the bottom to fray your line, so keep your
rod tips up and hang on!
Tarpon: AKA “The Silver King” These are the monsters
of the flats and channels in the backcountry. They have blue,
gray or green backs with shiny silver sides. Most tarpon range
from 50 – 80 pounds; however, it is not uncommon to catch
tarpon up to 150 pounds, with a few larger monsters caught each
These fish do
it all! They run, they jump or maybe you should say they explode
from the water
violently shaking their heads
and spreading their gill plates. What a show. If they find
some deep water, then you have a bull on your hands. It’s
an arm aching catch on 20 pound test line, but isn’t
that why you are here?
|Barracuda: “A mouth full of teeth with a bad attitude” A
20 pound barracuda on an 8 pound test line is as much fun as
any fish you’ll catch on the flats. Enjoy drag screaming
runs and bizarre leaps; these are all a part of the barracuda’s
think we all know what sharks look like. The most common sharks
we catch on the flats are lemon up to seven feet,
black tip up to six feet, bonnet head up to four feet and sometimes
a big bull. Watch out for hammerheads and bulls when you’re
tarpon fishing. A tired tarpon is their favorite food.
Cobia: Cobia looks like a cross between a shark and a catfish.
I primarily catch these in the channels between the flats in
late February and early March, while live baiting for tarpon
before the tarpon move up on the flats. If you have a warm February
you might find cobia swimming with sting rays and sharks on the