Bonefish are one of the most prized game fish of the shallows. These fish average in weight from 5-10 lbs with an occasional fish exceeding 12 lbs. They often travel in pairs and schools. Pound for pound, these fish fight harder than any other fish. The bonefish is renowned for being extremely nervous and for its ability to make incredibly long runs during a fight. Bonefish can be caught during all months of the year as long as the water temperature does not fall below the high 60’s.
Tarpon are the mightiest fish of the flats. A mature fish averages 80-150lbs with a few documented fish over 200lbs. Juvenile fish range from 10-40lbs. Tarpon are the scrappiest of fighters with tenacious runs and magnificent leaping. These fish feed primarily upon bait fish and shrimp. They tend be explosive feeders and when in large schools put on spectacular aerial shows. The tarpon can be caught with medium to heavy tackle and take flies well. They are caught best during the winter month’s shrimp runs and during their spring migration, the prime month being May.
Permit are one of the greatest prizes of the flats. The permit is one of the strongest fighters, and averages between 10-20lbs with an occasional fish exceeding 40lbs. They inhabit the flats and carry out many of the same feeding behaviors as bonefish. They, like the bonefish, eat primarily crustaceans and small mollusks but their true love is crab. They can be taken with medium light spin tackle and occasionally on fly. Many anglers believe that the most extreme accomplishment in fishing is to take one of these fish on fly.