Florida Keys and Key West Fishing Charters and Guide Service specializing in Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Redfish, Snook and Sharks on the Backcountry Flats and Inshore waters of Islamorada and Key West

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Described as one of the strangest and most unexplainable events in nature, the Atlantic Palolo Worm waits deep within the hard coral of the Caribbean and Florida Keys until conditions are absolutely perfect and breaks... Read more >>>
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Each year about this time, I embark on a trip to visit 2-3 Bass Pro stores in a weekend to meet fans of our show and give a talk on the type of fishing that I do.  This year has been exceptionally busy so when my contact at Bass Pro sent an email with travel details, I only looked at the flight information.   It was not until the day before the trip that I really looked closely at what I was going to do. Read More>>>

Wading for Trevally

The smell of the cabin is still fresh on my mind.  I thought that Key West was humid, but I learned fist hand that the South Pacific Christmas Island in the Republic of Kirbati was far hotter and more humid than anywhere I have ever been.  We arrived at the dirt air strip after a trip to L.A., overnight there, a trip to Hawaii where we also spent the night and I witnessed my friend, Fitz Lee actually down a 50 ounce steak, grissel and all.    Read More>>>

Unbelievably True Stories of Guiding

The morning sun warmed the island of Key West as the wind blew gently from the East.  Small clouds dotted the sky looking timid and harmless as the skiff trailer hit the water.  The regular group of homeless guys gathered in the public bathrooms taking showers in the sink and slurring stories of the night before.  The day started as any other with very little to indicate that out of many thousands of trips, something would happen to make this stand out as the most bizarre and chilling day of an entire career.  Read More>>>

Hammerhead Attack in Archer Key Basin

The morning was tough; usual spots that hold relaxed groups of fish that are easy to catch at first light held nothing.  As a nocturnal animal, the tarpon will feed heavily at night, last light and first light.  First light has always been my favorite time to fish.  First time clients would sometimes protest at the 5:00 am departure from the dock until they saw the treasure that awaited them as the sun cracked over the horizon.  Hundreds and sometimes thousands of fish would be lazily rolling and feeding completely unbothered by anything.  This is a one cast opportunity.  Make the right cast and the tarpon will bite.  In fact, there is not a more predictable or easier time to catch a tarpon.  Read More>>>

Flip the Bail to End Frustrating Spinning Reel Tangles

He’s won more than 50 tournaments and guided virtually hundreds of clients.  He’s also untangled a lot of spinning reels.  “People fail to pay attention at the end of the cast,” says south Florida fishing legend Rich Tudor.  For Tudor, avoiding dreaded spinning reel tangles is a matter of habit -- the habit of manually flipping the bail closed.

Tudor is adamant about the importance of making sure you manually flip the bail closed on any spinning reel at the end of the cast – every single time -- before – he repeats – “before!” -- your lure touches the water at the end of the cast. 

“At that split second before the lure touches the water, there is still tension on the spool.  The line is tightly packed.  When you wait until the lure settles into the water you’ve also inadvertently waited for slack line to form on the spool.  Slack line forms loops.  That’s where spinning reel nightmares start,” says Tudor.

Quantum Product Manager and avid angler Chris Strickland says, “I completely agree with Tudor.  I always flip the bail manually to help prevent line twist.  Quality reels like our CaboÒ and BocaÒ series have a bearing in the line roller to help eliminate line twists and wind knots, but the best assurance for using spinning reels without frustration is to manually flip the bail at the end of every single cast.”

Tudor warns that anglers who fail to flip the bail will experience nightmarish line issues even more frequently with braid than monofilament.  “Mono has some memory, which allows it to repeatedly pack itself on the spool a hair better, but braid has very little memory, so every cast with braid is like starting from scratch,” says Tudor.

Also, pay attention to how the line is stacking on the spool when you’re putting new line on your reel. “If your line is stacking unevenly on the spool, you are just asking for trouble.  You can add adjustment washers to eliminate the issue.  Simply remove the spool, add the necessary adjustment washers to the main shaft, re-attach the spool and fill it full of line,” says Strickland.

And above all, manually flip the bail closed.  Every time.  Just before your bait hits the water.


Techniques To Get Them Hooked And Keep Them Hooked
I am the luckiest man on Earth! There is no doubt that my life and situation is ideal for teaching a child to fish. I am a professional fishing guide who was blessed with a wonderful wife and 2 incredible boys. My wife and I have been able to spend some of the highest quality time with our children while on the boat. Read More>>>


Occasionally, the stars all line up in your favor and the chemistry between anglers, guide and fish is such that the experience of a day of fishing is embedded in your mind as a perfect day. A few times a year, I experience days that it seems that nothing can go wrong. These days are magical and I am going to start documenting them on this site for you to read. Read More>>>


2001-05-24 - How bad weather has a good influence on these fish. The weather radio crackled as the voice announced that
there would be a mandatory evacuation starting in 24 hours. In addition to the radio, I was monitoring the storm on the
Internet, the Weather Channel and the local News station. There was no doubt that this storm was going to hit
South Florida and it was going to be a big one. Read More>>>


Considered the best month to attempt a Grand Slam (all three species in one day), July offers excellent sight fishing for tailing
bonefish, tailing Permit and tarpon of all sizes. Many people have written about the tarpon migration coming to a close in June,
but in years past, I have been able to fish for migratory tarpon throughout the month of July and some of the best fishing has
occurred in this month.


Learn how the best fly rods in the World were created
In 1995, Scott Rod designer Jim Bartschi and Marketing director Steve Pagano came to me and proposed that I help Scott Fly Rod Company design a high end saltwater rod that would not only compete with the existing brands but outperform them. Read More>>>


Published in the April/May issue of Saltwater Flyfishing Magazine
410. Four hundred and ten. That is the number of fish caught by the undisputed king of permit fishing. In a sense, that is impressive, on the other hand 410 fish for a 20-year career of fishing 100 plus days a year with the top guides is not that good. Read More>>>


The most interesting aspect of the Merkin permit fly is that it is truly a fly that changed the sport. Before Del Brown created
the Merkin and began to regularly catch some of his 420+ permit on fly, anglers and guides would just take passing shots at
the wary fish.


In life, defining what makes one individual better at a given task than someone else is difficult and often based only on personal opinion. Few occupations yield themselves to an easily defined hierarchy. Guiding is no exception and frequently proves to be a matter of personal preference and style. Read More>>>


Occasionally, Mother Nature allows anglers and guides to witness a spectacle of grand proportions. All types of Fly-fishing have their Golden moments. For trout fishermen, the Salmonfly hatch (Pteranarcys Californica) is reminisced in hushed tones and bragged about in fishing camps and bars. Read More>>>


Guiding 300+ days a year, I see it all. I have seen anglers come to town with every conceivable brand of tackle, clothing
technique and tactic. Some have excellent ideas and some are downright silly. Repeatedly I encounter anglers who buy or tie exquisite flies and ruin them by storing them improperly. Storing flies carelessly will often turn perfectly tied flies into fouling, frustrating concoctions. Read More>>>


In order to fish the most productive areas at the most productive times or tides, I choose to trailer my flats skiff throughout the Florida Keys. I may travel as far as 2 ? hours or as close as one block. Regardless of how far I drive, I have had to customize my trailer to make it fast, effortless, and simple to both load and unload my skiff on the boat ramp. Read More>>>


The defining element of winter flyfishing in the Florida Keys and elsewhere are the cold fronts. As the wind increases and the water temperature decreases, bonefish, tarpon, and permit sometimes leave the flats for more consistent temperatures found in deeper water. Redfin Needlefish and scores of baitfish remain on the flat and offer a succulent feast for opportunistic barracudas gathering on the flats. Read More>>>


My friend was trying hard to direct me to a bonefish that was tailing on the flat only 80 feet from the boat, yet I couldn't pick up anything. There, he did it again. I heard from the back of the boat as my friend poled us closer. Can you see him? He is right in front of you now. Fifty feet. Read More >>>


Disregarded more than anything else in the sport, the ready position is one of the most important things that flats anglers practice. It is always good to be able to cast over 100 feet, but that certainly shouldn't be the only thing that you practice before your next flats trip. In fact, when people ask me what they need to practice, I tell them that it is better to be able to cast 40-50 feet quickly and accurately than 150 feet slowly. Read More>>>


Sometimes flats anglers ponder the question of why we fish. Could it be the elegance, the wildness, the pure aggression or the extreme shyness of these fish that captures our dreams and imaginations Harnessing a creature so magnificent and powerful creates an indelible memory where fish stories begin. Read More>>>