key west tarpon

 If I had to choose one type of fishing as my favorite, Key West tarpon fishing in the Harbor would be the one.  Key West offers many different techniques to fish for tarpon.  Some like to pursue these giants on the shallow flats, fishing with spin tackle or fly fishing for them.  Others, like myself, like to fish for tarpon in the Key West Harbor area with conventional or spin tackle using shrimp boat by-catch (chum).

My customers like this style of tarpon fishing because you can hook and catch an outrageous amount of tarpon and other fish as well.  This chumming technique can produce some unbelievable catches.  There are many days when you can see tarpon flashing right behind the boat as they inhale the chum and your bait.  Most of the season you will see huge schools of tarpon rolling right there in the Key West Harbor.  It is a beautiful sight to see.

Tarpon Catching in Key West

If you really want to catch a tarpon and a lot of other fish, chumming them up is the way to go.  I firmly believe this to be the most effective method to catch a tarpon in Key West.  I will also bring live bait to use if needed during slack tide.  The live bait guides down here catch tarpon as well, but nothing like the numbers the light tackle or chum boats catch.
I use this chumming technique on my light tackle boat “Seize the Day”.  I catch tarpon consistently from mid-February to July, but you still have a shot the rest of the year if the weather permits.  The prime months for tarpon fishing in Key West are March, April, May, June, and July.  This is when large numbers of tarpon gather in the Key West Harbor.  It’s also busy with anglers trying to book tarpon charters.

Booking your Tarpon Fishing Trip

key west tarpon fishing

    So, if you want to catch a tarpon you need to book a trip in the Key West Harbor.  When you call me and give me a day or days you may want to fish, the first thing I will do is pull out my tide tables.  I will base the departure time on these tables.  Tarpon feed best when the tide is moving.  No tidal flow, no food or chum moving to turn the bite on.  During the trip, I will explain what we are doing, how to drift a bait, how to catch, how to fight and land these fish.  Oh, I do not yell or get mad if you do something wrong.  I am here to teach you what I know.

Book in advance if you plan on fishing the prime months.

If you look around, you will notice my rates are a little less than some other light tackle boats.  One of the reasons is that I run a single four stroke engine boat that is good on fuel.  This certainly helps keep the cost down.  Another reason is most of the guides down here pay huge commissions for other people to book their boats, 20% to 30%…I do not pay anyone to book me.

Key West Tarpon Fishing

All of my business is repeat, referral, and the rest is from this website, which I built and I maintain.  If you see a website listing more than one guide.  There is a really good chance that you are just looking at a bookies website.  Most likely, these guys do not fish here or guide here, they just want their 20% to 30% commission to book the trip!  If you book through a booking booth or a hotel concierge, they are most likely taking a commission as well and have no idea what the fishing or the guide is really like.  I know most of them don’t even fish.  Pretty messed up!!!  Do yourself and the charter boats a favor and book directly with the boat. Call me to set up a trip.  I will make sure you get a good trip!