Florida Keys Permit Fishing

Unforgettable Florida Keys Permit Fishing

About Florida Keys Permit :

(Trachinotus falcatus)

Florida Keys permit are one of the most difficult fish to target on fly, which makes they very special.

We fish for them two ways, both with a fly rod and spinning rod.

Both methods have high levels of casting difficulty but the spinning rod with a live crab wins out almost every time!

Permit fishing regardless of technique is challenging and exhilarating, a truly worthy adversary

It’s usually recommended that you catch your first permit on a live crab rather than fly so you can still learn what they look like in the water, pattern their behavior and catch one! 

derek deyoung permit
key west permit
keys double permit

Fishing for Permit :

While they are one of the most difficult fish to target on fly, they are still attainable if you put your time in.

It’s typical that 10 good permit shots (casts) on fly will result in a bite.

Sometimes we get 10 shots in a morning and other times it takes an angler years to achieve 10 permit shots resulting in a bite. 

Florida Keys permit are attainable on fly, you just have to commit the time to getting yours.

It’s common for a skilled angler and guide alike to take a permit on spinning tackle everyday if the conditions allow.

Most days we target permit with spinning rods, the angler gets that fish and the coveted photo he or she is after. 

Many anglers become infatuated with catching permit and travel all over the world for these challenging fish. 

Fly fishing for permit requires a 10 weight fly rod, lots of patience and good communication between the guide and the angler. 

Fly fishing in saltwater is truly a team sport between the angler and the guide.

florida keys permit fishing
permit on fly
Lower Keys Permit
permit crab fly
spawning gotcha fly

Florida Keys Permit Flies

Flies that we use while targeting permit are usually crab patterns with some select shrimp patterns included also.  The most famous permit fly is traditionally the Merkin but has switched to a “strong armed” version of the classic pattern that we call the strong arm crab fly. 

The strong arm merkin pattern is today’s top choice for most of the guides in Key West and the Florida Keys

The Gotcha is a well-used bonefish fly but also has applications for permit, smaller permit love the pattern when our crab flies appear too big for the size of fish. 

Florida Keys Permit Tagging Project:

Project permit is a conservation effort focused on defining the habits and life characteristics of our local permit population, where science is used to help define routines and protect those fish during exceptionally venerable or important times of the season.

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is the major acting body of scientific research and implementation, where they rely on captains and guides to donate their time and fishing efforts to ensure the health and longevity of the fishery.

Permit are tagged with both an external tag with specific number and internally with an acoustic tag that is constantly giving off spatial location data on the fish’s daily and seasonal whereabouts.

Captains contribute to the effort by both administering tags to fish and the population as well as catching, recording and reporting tagged fish recaptures.

Outgoing Angling works closely with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust applying tags into fish and helping spread awareness about the species and its conservation.

Outgoing Angling has even been featured on the PBS show “Changing Seas” where we brought the conservation issues permit face to light on national television.

tag surgery
project permit
permit tag surgery
PBS film crew
permit conservation

Photos from our Florida Keys
Permit Fishing Charters

tagged permit
An image of an angler with Florida Keys permit.
An image of permit fishing the florida keys with Outoging Angling.