The shallows of the Sugarloaf area offer some of the best bonefishing in the FLORIDA KEYS. We have sandy flats much like the Bahamas and grassy flats similar to the Upper Keys. We also have hard bottom flats that are perfect for chasing tailing BONEFISH and PERMIT. The majority of fish are taken on live baits but flyfishing is an exciting and productive method of catching these hard fighting fish. Because of the many mangrove islands you can ususally find a protected spot in the lee, out of the wind.
The SUGARLOAF MARINA is close to some of the best shallow-water TARPON fishing in the world. The fish show up in the basins and channels of the backcountry as early as Febuary and work onto the flats as the season progresses. When the fish are in the deeper water, conventional and spinning tackle works well with live baits and articial lures. Once the TARPON have moved into the shallower water sight-casting with fly rods and lighter spinning rods is especially exciting. The best time to look for TARPON on the flats is April thru June.
When fishing for BONEFISH and PERMIT we typically use 8 or 10 lb. spinning gear or 9-10 weight fly rods. For sight fishing TARPON we'll normally use 15-20 lb. spinning rods or 11-12 wt. fly rods. When going for TARPON in the channels and basins we use 20lb. conventional gear or 20 lb. spinning but it's possible to use a fly rod if you use a sinking line. Those looking to catch a larger TARPON on fly need to be proficent with the heavier weight rods; it's not like trout fishing.
All tackle will be provided but if you're more comfortable with your own gear, feel free to bring it. It's always more satisfying to catch fish with a rod or flies you tied yourself.
We normally leave the dock at 8:00 am and fish for 4,6 or 8 hours but times are flexible and can be arranged for your needs. The boat used for flats fishing is a 19 ft. Hoog skiff which is a very dry, comfortable ride. We have generous room for 2 anglers and gear but can accomodate a third angler if needed.