Key West Flats Guide? Who Do You Recommend?

2 Nurse Sharks coming down the flat in the Marquesas

2 Nurse Sharks coming down the flat in the Marquesas

Key West is my favorite place in the World to fish and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes beautiful scenery and great fishing.

Many people ask me for recommendations for guides in Key West.  There are some excellent guides in Key West, in fact, some of the best guides in the world operate right out of the little island.  The IGFA World Record book is literally full of records from Key West, Florida and anglers from around the globe flock here for both offshore and inshore fishing.

My favorite guide in Key West is Shane Wood.  Shane began working with me in 2003 and I took him on over 100 trips as a mate before he ever took his first solo trip.  He learned how to fish, guide, take care of his equipment, find fish and most to communicate with customers.  Shane learned how to guide my way, which was taught to me by both old school western flyfishing guides like Joe Bressler and new school Florida Keys guides like Simon Becker and Michael Pollack.   This approach is to keep the customer and their experience as the #1 priority for the day.  Catching fish is nice, but catching fish with a grumpy old guide is not fun.  Getting skunked stinks, but if you don't catch fish with someone who is absolutely working hard for your enjoyment of the day, it is much better. The key to being a world class guide is to be able to deliver both excellent customer service and excellent fishing every day.  Sounds easy...but that quality is difficult to find.  When you do find it, hold on to that guide.


I received this email this morning about Shane Wood:

"Capt Tom,

My name is Casey.  I had emailed you back in January about fishing the Marquesas.  You weren't available for the dates I was in Key West, however you recommended Capt. Shane Wood.  I just wanted to thank you so much for recommending him.  My husband and I had the absolute best time with him! I even caught my first bonefish!  I grew up on Duck Key and tried relentlessly to land one but apparently I was just meant to catch my first in the Marquesas! It was awesome!  Shane is such a nice guy.  We felt like we knew him and it was just like 3 friends went out fishing for the day.  I attached some of the pictures from our trip like you had asked me too.  The one thing we wish we got a picture of was my husband's nice Mutton.  He got him on a crab. What was weird was he hooked him while we were drifting over the ship wreck just SW of the Marquesas while searching for permit. Shane said he had never seen them there. Unfortunately, the hook pulled about 3ft from the boat. We'll just have to try again next time we go with Shane, which we definitely will on our next trip to the Keys.  Thank you so much again.  We really appreciate it!

Have a great day!
Casey Hampson"

Casey with a beautiful Marquesas bonefish caught with Capt. Shane Wood of Key West, FL

Casey with a beautiful Marquesas bonefish caught with Capt. Shane Wood of Key West, FL

Shane is an excellent guide.  If you would like to fish with Shane, contact him with the info below.  Have a great time and make sure that you send us an email and a few photos from your day like Casey did.

Shane Wood

There are many other guides that I recommend in Key West as well.  If Shane is full or you would like another recommendation, shoot me an email and I will be happy to make a recommendation.

All the best,

Tom Rowland