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Key West Harbor By Capt. Carl Rees

Could it be that some of the finest fishing in the Florida Keys is within sight of luxury resorts, historical land marks and vast cruise ships?  Only in Key West is it possible to have world class fishing so very close to you.

If you look at the chart at the left, it represents a large portion of Key West Harbor. The harbor is well protected from strong  winds from the north, east, west and south. Small islands, shallow reefs and sandy shoals provide calm protected waters for anglers from all over the world each year.

As April comes to Key West, Tarpon fill the Harbor in stealthy fashion, foraging for food in the somewhat turbid waters, seen often as they roll on the surface. By early June, Tarpon and Permit fishing for the harbor is in full swing.

Typical Tarpon fishing in the harbor is accomplished by using the by-catch (more commonly know as shrimp trash) from shrimp boats that travel frequently through Key West Harbor. After obtaining some of this medley of seafood leftovers from shrimp boats, the choice of where to fish in the harbor is determined by tide conditions and local knowledge. Once that is out of the way, the anchor is dropped and we are prepared to feed and catch Tarpon.

There seems to be a favorite fish/bait that we will find in our newly acquired bait, known as a Majaro to which Tarpon find as a most desirable food. We will use a few of the crabs occasionally as well for the Permit that frequent our chum slick. The bait is free lined or drifted (spool or bail is to be left open until bite is felt or about half of the spool is empty) along in the current with the other bits of food you will see your Capt. Carl Rees placing in the water while you are making your drifts with your bait.

The BITE is normally a quick increase in the line coming off your spool, you must reel quickly at this point or you will find most fish will drop your bait if you do not. A most common mistake is an angler says "I think I have a bite", by the time your Capt. Carl Rees tells you "REEL-REEL-REEL" it may be to late. So if you try your hand in the Harbor and you think you have a bite.  "REEL - REEL - REEL", you will find the Tarpon getting hooked more often than not.

Tarpon and Permit are not the only fish you will catch in the harbor. Cobia, Mackerel, sharks, snapper and grouper are part of the action. The size of Tarpon in the harbor range form 60lb. to fish over 150lbs.

For more information about how to book a trip for Tarpon and Permit fishing in Key West Harbor. Contact me, Capt. Carl Rees 906-984-4079 or e-mail or check the following links for more information about other fishing in Key West.
Thank You, Capt. Carl Rees = Best Florida Keys Fishing
The Fishing Report