Capt. Todd Ziels
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Marathon, FL
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As a full-time Keys guide, we fish year round. In the cold winter months, we target sharks, barracuda, jacks, and sea trout. When the water warms, the permit and tarpon bite can be great as well as the bonefish. In the springtime, things really heat up. Permit is best in February and March. The tarpon start showing up when the water warms. Going into April, some of the best tarpon days of the year can occur. At the same time, the bonefish blowup as well. May is known for peak tarpon, with the migration along the beaches in overdrive. These big tarpon are around and moving well through June and into July. The bonefishing remains fantastic during these months. The summer months are red hot for smaller tarpon, bonefish, and permit. Early mornings are best. When the water cools down in the fall it is again great for the Big Three. Fishing remains consistent throughout our winter months for the other species, which can be underrated but exhilarating on the flats.
The “Big Three” is what brings most anglers to the Keys to fish. Tarpon, permit, and bonefish are the most coveted species and can be caught year-round if conditions are good. If the weather is not cooperating, or if you want to go for something different, the Keys offer an array of different species to target. On either fly or light spin tackle you can target barracuda, sharks, jacks, mackerel, and sea trout to just name a few. So no matter the conditions or your skill level fish are there to be caught.
After launching the boat, a typical day starts with a 20-minute boat ride. That is all it takes to be swept away from the main highway and fishing along unspoiled mangrove shoreline. From there, it's onto the shallow flats and white sand that appears to go on forever. Often times, going all day without seeing another boat or angler.
Typical weather in the Key is usually warm. Summers can be hot in the 90s F which makes fishing in the morning ideal. Winter months are warm. Temperatures are typically in the mid 70s.
Rates start from: $500.00 You can find all pricing information at: www.fishfloridakeysflats.com
What is Provided:
Two top-of-the-line Hells Bay boats, a Whipray Professional, and a Marquesa, allow us to attack the fish according to the weather. I supply all tackle necessary for a successful day. All rods, reels for fly and light spin tackle will be provided, as well as hand-tied flies and any lures and bait. Both boats will have coolers full of ice ready for the sun.
Even though I always supply my anglers with top of the line fly and spin tackle, I have no problems with anglers using their own gear. Contact me ahead of the trip and I can assist you with what to expect and help determine what size rods to bring. I pride myself on the flies I tie. I also understand the excitement someone will feel catching a fish on a fly you tie yourself, so feel free to tie and bring your own. I love to talk patterns, colors and sizes, and am happy to offer advice ahead of an upcoming trip.
What to Bring (Additional):
"hese are the “big” little things that are important to bring along to make the day on the water successful and enjoyable:
- Polarized sunglasses are a MUST as we mainly sight fish.
- A dark brimmed hat, a light rain coat, sun screen, boat shoes, and even though a cooler with ice is provided, lunch, snacks, and drinks will be necessary.
- We very rarely wade fish, so wading shoes are not needed. Most importantly, bring a camera to capture your special memories.
The Florida Keys is a unique environment with unique people. There is a lot to do, even when not on the water fishing. If planning a trip here, don’t hesitate to contact me and use me for guidance on thing to do, places to stay and or where to eat.
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