(800)223-1629 / (305)296-0700

Answers to some of your questions

The Saltwater Angler The Saltwater Angler staff is always available to help with any of your fishing or tropical clothing needs. Here is a series of Frequently Asked Questions about Key West and about fishing in the Florida Keys.

The Saltwater Angler is on the waterfront and has a view of Key West Harbor. We are located at the Margaritaville Resort & Marina. Please view our location page for more details on how to get here.

You can call the Saltwater Angler store directly to get the necessary information find the right captain for you and get all of your contact information. You can also fill out an inquiry on our book fishing trip page and we will contact you. C We will take it from there and call you back with your guides name and number. We will also email you a confirmation as well as an equipment list.

You can call the Saltwater Angler store directly to book your trip. We will charge 15% to your credit card to reserve your guide. The balance you pay directly to the guide at the end of the trip in cash or check.

All you really need to bring is a good pair of sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, lunch and plenty to drink. We will email you an equipment list with your trip confirmation once we have found you a guide.

Our guides will provide all the equipment necessary including flies, leaders, etc. to fish. But if you have your own, then I would recommend you bring it. You are familiar with it. You know how it behaves under different conditions, and that can make all the difference. You should also practice your accuracy and distance before coming.

The average bonefish in the lower keys weighs around 7 pounds, with many over 10 lbs. caught so you need a rod with some backbone to handle those fish. Most people use a 9, 8 or 9 weight fly rod depending on the weather conditions. An 8 wt. is ideal, especially for the calmer days. For the windy days a 9 wt. helps cut the wind better and put the fly where it needs to be.

The ideal rod for permit is a 9’ 10 wt. It is easier to turn over the weighted grab patterns one throws with a 10 wt. than a lighter rod. A 10 wt. rod handles the wind better, and believe me, when fishing for permit, you want a good breeze blowing…5 – 10 mph is perfect…15 mph is not bad.

The rod you choose depends on the size of tarpon you are targeting. For “baby tarpon” in the 30 – 60 pound range a 10 wt. rod will do. For the bigger fish, 80 – 150 pounders you will want an 11 – 12 wt. rod. A 13 wt. rod comes in handy with fish over 150 pounds.

Flyfishing in saltwater is very hard on your equipment, therefore I would start with a reel that is machined from solid bar stock aluminum. Most manufacturers use aircraft grade aluminum. Next, I would recommend that the reel be a large arbor reel. I recommend this for two reasons. One, with a large arbor reel you have faster line retrieval when fighting bigger fish; two, with a large arbor reel the fly line will have less memory than with a small arbor, and your line will not look like a spring laying on the deck of the boat. Next, the reel needs to hold at least 200 yards of backing for bonefish and permit and for those bigger more determined fish that you might encounter, 300 yards is the minimum.

The length and pound test of the leader varies with the wind. On Calm days I would recommend that you start out using a 10-12’ leader for bonefish and tarpon. If these fish seem to be spooking very easily, I would go to 14-16’ leader to get more separation between the fly line and fly. On permit you need at least a 14’ leader due to how easy these fish spook. On windier days you can shorten the leader depending on how much chop and surface disturbance there is.

You need to at least cast 50’ quickly and accurately. If you can reach 65-75’ you chances for success increase exponentially. Just remember, the wind will more than likely be blowing 10-15mph, so it helps to be able to double haul. Another helpful tip to increase your chances, is to be able to cast the same distances just as accurately on your back cast.

I would suggest that every time you go out for a day in saltwater to clean your equipment. Start by soaking your reels in warm soapy water. Do not use pressure because all this will do is force salt and sand into places you cannot clean. Afterwards rinse with clean water. I would also wipe down the fly line with warm soapy water for better casting the next day. Do the same with your rod.

Each trip is personalized for the angler, so the departure time is left to you and the guide to decide. Generally, a full day trip is 8 hrs. 3/4 day is 6 hrs, and a half day trip is 4.

Not when you are fishing with one of our licensed guides.

If your plans change, and you are not able to make it, you will lose you deposit unless we are able to reschedule your guide for the time of your trip.

If your trip is canceled due to bad weather then you will be refunded your deposit.

Tipping is not mandatory, but it is greatly appreciated.
15 – 20% would probably be the norm.

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Key West Fishing Report 4-8-2024

Key West fishing report for Saltwater AnglerWinter is almost here in the Keys, so our waters have started to cool down. The next 10 days will be tough with our first cold front. Sunny warm days will still bring great flats fishing, but cold fronts will quiet things down. Picking your days will be important.

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So you’re going  fishing in Key West and don’t want to be fitted with the latest sun protection attire? Need a new fishing hat? Saltwater Angler has everything you need for your amazing Key West fishing experience! ?   orgot something? No worries! Saltwater Angler’s store is coming to the rescue!  So no worries if you’ve forgotten anything or if you decide to go fishing last minute. We will set you up! 

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243 Front Street. 
Key West, FL 33040

Our hours

10:00 AM – 6.00 PM
Monday – Sunday

800.223.1629 or 305.296.0700
Email: [email protected]

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