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Flats & Backcountry Fishing Reports

Key West Pro Guides - Flats/Back Country Report - August 2019
By: Capt. Paul Tryon

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August Fishing Report—For today's action call 866 259 4205

With August we continue through a period of outstanding action overall, but now have the highest water temperatures and humidity of the entire year to contend with. The late afternoon hours will be noticeably slower than the morning's more productive time frame especially in the shallows. We suggest early departures fishing until early afternoon for the best success.


Our Bonefish action remains good for August. Permit have been rather scarce on the flats during July and August typically remains about the same for these elusive sport fish. Permit prefer lower water temperatures than the extremes of the super shallow flats now. Some early morning activity can be expected on the deeper edges of the flats with Permit but by late morning the Permit typically will have retreated to more comfortable water conditions of the back country. The Tarpon action on the true flats trip is done. The flats angler should certainly now be including Barracuda and sharks on his hit list. Just a remainder that we provide a true "flats fishing experience" and this should not be confused with the back country fishing. These are two totally different experiences and if you are unsure of the differences call us at 866 259 4205 for more insights.

Flats species for August






Back Country:

Always a fun and productive trip the back country this time of year remains an excellent time for fast paced action while targeting a very wide variety of species. Anglers will appreciate our calm, crystal clear waters. Tarpon for the most part are off our radar by early August as the spawning migration that brought thousands of adult Tarpon to our waters has taken them away now. We do have a small year round resident population of Tarpon however their level of activity is slower in the higher water temperatures found in our back country. A Tarpon taken after August 1 is a "bonus fish" for sure. The night Tarpon bite is over leaving our back country as home to the remaining juvenile Tarpon ranging from 10 pounds to about 30 pounds but these juvenile Tarpon are finicky and unreliable for daily action. To leave the dock after August 1st looking for Tarpon puts the anglers success rate much lower than in July. However, several additional sport fish species, edible fish, and predators are in the near shore shallows now to target. Snook most days take up their positions on the mangrove shorelines with early morning low light conditions being the most productive to pursue them. Key West is not a huge Snook fishery, nothing in comparison to the Everglades just 130 miles away but we do enjoy them here. The same can be said for Redfish. Although we have continued to catch Reds to date this year by August with our soaring water temperatures the Reds become more and more lethargic. The numerous schooling species will continue to provide decent action most days and should be looked to as the "fun fish". Just a few of the schooling species remaining in our bays now are the ever present brutish Jack, these Jacks can reach 20 pounds and will knock a rod from your hands. The schools are aggressive and will provide the ultimate light tackle fun for the family. The fact that these particular species of Jack eat very well makes them a prime target species while fishing the shallows. Lady Fish, Blue Runners, Grunts, Porgies...the list is nearly endless again in August that keeps the younger anglers happy with the super fast bite of schooling fish. A perfect trip for the hard core light tackle angler to the novice angler or the family.

The 1/2 day to 3/4 day trips with early departure times continue to the most productive but the afternoon water temperatures are high. Therefore in August the later part of the day is when our action slows drastically. The Mangrove Snapper and tasty Jack fishing continues to be very good in the back country for those who intend to save a few "keepers" for an evening meal. For serious "table fare" harvest we certainly recommend the reef & wreck trips now. The predator fishing continues to be outstanding. Giant Barracuda and several species of Sharks in the shallows are on the hit list. Our Monster Shark charters are awesome and continually produce multiple larger sharks even on the 1/2 day trips. August remains predator time so anglers can count on these aggressive species to be ready to go “head to head”. We "highly recommend" a back country charter this time of year but we get off the docks early. Back Country species for August:




Mangrove Snapper--"good"





Tarpon--"slow" Notable: We recommend fishing morning trips for August as the air temps and in turn water temps slow the afternoon bite. Fish as early as 6:00 AM departures and understand 90% of the fish will be taken before 11:00 o'clock. Fly fishers on the flats will be challenged as the water clarity in August is commonly crystal clear requiring longer casting distances.

Let's go Fishing! Call Key West Pro Guides today to book your charter 866 259 4205 daily 7 AM to 9 PM. We look forward to your call!

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