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Upper Keys and Florida Bay Flats

October 3, 2001
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March 6th, 2001– Upper Keys and Florida Bay Flats and Backcountry. 
Bonefishing has been fairly productive during the past week. Although not up to the springtime standards, we’re getting plenty of shots while perusing the flats. Unseasonably warm temperatures have the fish covering most areas from the backcountry banks to the ocean side shorelines. Typical shrimp patterns and brown and tan Clousers have fooled them during the week. A shrimp and spin combo always seems to produce if one can make the cast. On the few days where the wind has settled, permit have made a showing.  A few tips to help you find them. Watch the outer edges of any bonefish flats and shut down and pole early before entering a bonefish flat. Capt. John Guastavino reported his angler catching a nice 20+ permit on fly in the backcountry.
Redfishing has slowed a bit out in front of Flamingo. Extending your search to include a few flats on the edge of Florida Bay will help to find them. The seemingly always present seatrout,  jacks and ladyfish have moved out onto the grass flats and can be found in mullet muds in the deeper basins. There have been a few early tarpon caught in the channels below Islamorada. Chumming with live bait will help to produce. During the calmer days we’ve found them working out of the Gulf into Florida Bay.

(wind E

(wind SE

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(wind SE 10-15) On Friday and Saturday I fished a group of six investors from the Chicago area with Captains Bob Rodgers and Duane Baker. Bonefishing was pretty good with all boats getting plenty of opportunities to catch them. Friday,  Steve, Joe and I found ourselves chasing tailing bonefish for the better part of the morning.

On spinning tackle, Steve hooked one in the shallow water but we lost em on the second run to a mangrove root. Steve worked hard with his fly rod, but was unable to get it close. Saturday we again found plenty of fish, Steve caught one that was nearly ten pounds. Four other anglers on the other two boats caught three fish during the two days of bonefishing.

(wind S 18-25) Capt. John Guastavino and I had two father/sons on Sunday. They were just interested in catching fish, so we headed out into the backcountry. A strong cold front approaching, we were greeted with a very strong wind out of the South. John and his anglers caught a few nice seatrout, jacks and ladyfish. Mike Phillips and his son Matt fished with me. We caught only a few seatrout up to 3 pounds, a couple of ladyfish and
got two of three lemon sharks up to 100 pounds to the boat. John had a few nice snook on but his anglers were unable to get pull from the tree roots.

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Until next week, Practice that casting, stay warm, and Good Luck fishing!
For more information please contact Capt. Barry Hoffman at:home 305-852-6918  cell 305-664-6460 www.flatsguide.com

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