We’ve been very busy here in Islamorada and the rest of the Florida Keys, and time is flying by quickly! Tarpon season has descended upon us and most guides are, once again, very busy--thankfully. After some late, cold weather in March, April was an improvement and hopefully these improved conditions continue to hold true through May and June. Usually, that is when our typically ‘windy spring’ weather subsides, though maybe it’ll be early this year.
Summer is my favorite time of year to fish for tarpon here in the Keys. We are usually done with the mad rush of the spring breakers, and many of the out-of-town guides and fishermen go back to fish their home waters. It’s definitely a relief to not see dozens of boats in many of the areas you love to fish all the time! Also, the weather is usually much more calm and warm, which tarpon love, and it helps them stay in more predictable patterns.
I love getting out on the water early this time of year as it helps beat the heat of the day and often gives you a much better window of fishing. Aside from tarpon, we also get some incredible snook fishing back in the everglades. Many of these fish are cruising down the beaches and mainland areas, and get in huge schools. If you can find some live bait you can really do well, but even pitching artificials will work good, too. You might not catch the numbers, but the experience can be a lot more rewarding, as with all fish caught in that manner.
The shorelines of Southwest Florida are a gorgeous place to target these fish. Permit can also show up in big numbers out on the Gulf wrecks. While many of these areas have shifted around due to hurricane Irma, it will be the perfect time to go out and investigate. With the calm weather of summer, you can often see these fish in giant schools. Also, it’s possible to get visuals on schools of bait on slick, calm days, and, even using your electronics, you can mark structure on the bottom.
There is definitely going to be a ton of new structure to fish out there if you are willing to put time in to find it. I’m very much looking forward to putting some time in out there in the Gulf this summer, and it is always super exciting when you find something new on your own out there.
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