Capt. Dexter Simmons'EMail
Latest and Greatest Fishing and Weather Report!


Here are some great catches by some talented anglers!

Swimming with a Tarpoooon...and staying alive! Call or write Capt. Dexter for some Tarpon fly fishing! Click here to check out this video of a Tarpon adventure in the Marquesas, just west of Key West.

Click here on this link to check out some Tarpon fishing video!

We are having so much fun with Father and Son Flats Fishing Trips that we have extended them to Year 'Round!

Click Here for the Audio Fishing Report!!!

The Fishing Report. February 14, 2018.

The first signs of the late winter fish migration have begun here in the Florida Keys. We have found schools of Bones, Permit, and Tarpon on the Bay/Gulf side flats.

There are some big Permit showing up here and there.

Tarpon Season 2018 has arrived a bit early, so hurry up and book your dates for the remainder of February, March and April before it is too late to lock in PRIME TIME TARPON SEASON DATES for 2018! I still have some dates available during February, March, April, May and June, but they are filling fast!

During July 7-14, we will be traveling to Turneffe Flats, Belize for our 10th year in a row of fantastic flats fishing for Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit. During last year's trip Joe Kmetz was the Tarpon man of the week with several hookups, jumps and this nice one aided by his lovely wife Linda...

Joe's son Chris Kmetz caught a nice bonefish...

Capt. Dexter held his own with a few nice Permit (one of which had a fly stuck in its back! LOL!!!)


Erich Amplatz from Austria and his team of happy anglers fished with Capt. Dexter and crew during the May and June and hooked over 100 Tarpon, boating over 20 ranging from 50 to 160 pounds! Here is the 160 pounder, too big to fit into the camera frame, with a "shark hit" on its cheek...

The Thundering, Fornicating Herd of Tarpon arrived in mid May! A few schools had over a hundred fish stringing across the Atlanic flats in less than 6 feet of water! Here is Nancy and Mike Dinner enjoying some great action in the Marquesas...

Karl Kulcher of Austria jumped a nice Silver King on a Black Death fly and had a great morning chasing more Tarpon and Permit rolling and tailing in channels and flats.

The forecast for the remainder of Summer Tarpon fishing is excellent and I have some open dates in the late Summer and Fall, so contact me today at 305-304-5880 to lock them in.

I consider June to be GRAND SLAM MONTH here in the Keys. Permit and Bonefish are also readily available on the flats and there are some flats that host Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit swimming near each other.

"Total Recall" A nearly bloody fish story!

Not a breath of air disturbs the seascape. A glassy grey blur masks the horizon ahead. Our skiff motors through an intricate maze of channels leading to the Key West lakes. The captain navigates our way past mangrove islands and waterway markers in the pale morning first light. Velvety tropical air massages our cheeks as we are swiftly propelled toward the islands known as the Marquesas.

On the eastern approach to Boca Grande Channel, Deon suddenly throttles down the Silver King to idle speed. Nervous ripples of water are shaking the surface of the basin ahead of us. "There!" Vern points out the black spike dorsal fins bobbing in and out of the sea. "Floaters, must be at least twenty, maybe more." This is a school of Great Pompano nearly in casting range.

"Let's see if they are hungry," I hope out loud as I pull out my nine weight Sage from the gunwale rod tube. I tie on a floating crab pattern called "Crabby Patty" and quietly strip fly line onto the bow deck. We are about a hundred feet or so from the point of the school.

"Cast when ready," Deon commands in a whispering plea. Indeed, one must be quiet and make long casts when approaching Permit in calm waters. I double-haul twice feeding line toward the target. The line loads the rod and I shoot a loop softly landing the unweighted "Crabby Patty" ten feet in front of the swirling nervous waters. The current sweeps the fly toward the Permit fins in a dead drift. I carefully shake the rod tip as I feed line out hoping to make the fly wiggle.

Suddenly the fly disappears and the fly line feels heavy. "Fish on!" I strip tight to the Permit as it powers away, zipping line through my line hand and off the bow deck. I feel line around my bare feet and quickly dance a two-step to clear. The high pitched whirring of the Tibor reel drag pierces the early morning air amid whoops and yahoos from Deon and Peter. Yellow backing continues to peel through the Sage rod guides cleanly as the fish runs toward Boca Grande Channel.

Deon fires up the Yamaha, and the skiff idles toward the channel in the direction of the fleeing Permit. "Thanks man, I was hoping we'd chase, there's a lot of line out there!" Gradually, I am able to reel in line, feeling the weight of the fish pulsing into the graphite rod.

Twenty minutes of working this big fish pass slowly. It is a lot of work reeling down and pulling up and now the Permit has begun another run toward some lobster trap buoys. I carefully palm the reel to add a bit more drag pressure. I am trying to slow down this fish, but I also fear a break-off from too much pressure.

We are in about 10 feet of water on the edge of a transition flat. We see some bright silver flashes near a red buoy. "That's your fish trying to tangle us up," Deon warns, "...try to pressure him left!" I follow his lead and watch my line ease a bit left of the buoy, while reeling down to bring us closer. A silver platter flash nearly blinds me as the fish struggles on the surface a boat length away. I am thinking out loud "I have him now," and I feel some give in the line. The fish stays on the surface, revealing his gorgeous silver, black and yellow flanks.

The leader knot reaches my rod tip and I kneel on the bow. "Want some help up there?" Deon offers. "Absolutely!" I am reaching for the leader with my right hand, bending the rod backwards with my left hand and leaning over the water with my stomach pressing on the edge of the skiff. The Permit slides across the surface just a few feet from my grasp. As I reach out to grab the tail, I see a dark shadow out of the corner of my eye. "Shark!" Deon yells as he reaches for my hand to pull it away from the fish. Alerted by the commotion, the Permit splashes away from the skiff and the shark, and we all sigh in relief. "Whoa! That Black Tip almost had your hand and that fish for breakfast!"

I thank Deon and notice that I am still connected to the Permit that is now twenty feet away from us in about five feet of water. I try to raise the fish to the surface, then skate the writhing silver slab back to the skiff. "Any sign of the shark?" I ask as I marvel at the length and girth of this Great Pompano. "Nope, but that was close so let's get this one in now!" Deon takes a turn kneeling next to me, reaching for the leader as I pull back on the rod and pull the leader next to the skiff. I can feel the throbbing fish vibration through the fluorocarbon leader. The Permit glides across the surface into the waiting grasp of our guide. Vern tails the Permit and exclaims "Yes! Great job, this one is a trophy."

The fish is lifted from the water and into my hands. I manage to balance my rod across my neck and shoulder, holding the Permit with my right hand around the tail and my left hand under the head. "Feels like forty pounds plus!" The size of the fish is matched by the smile on my face. In less than ten seconds the Permit is eased back into the water, reviving itself in my helping hands.

Thank God, we use barbless hooks and the Permit is easily released unharmed. The vigor of the fish swimming away convinces us that this trachinotus falcatus is not immediately in danger of a shark bite caused by our angling. Hopefully, it will survive today's encounter with us. We gradually idle the motor away from the transition flat toward the Marquesas Atoll. We are caught in the moment of total recall. Deon, Peter and I thanking the fish gods for our good fortune.

Bonefishing has been good lately in the Lower Keys during the mid-day and afternoon hours on the Atlantic side flats. The numerous tide corrections for different locations make it tricky to find the bonefish on the shallow sand or grass flats. You really need to study each location based on the stated high or low tide time, depth, and correction in hours and minutes. For instance, based on the stated low tide time for Key West Harbor, you may need to add x hours and xx minutes for a certain location on the Atlantic side flats. This becomes critical information when planning your day in terms of where you want to fish and when you want to arrive there. Bonefish typically will not feed when there is no current, so you will want to arrive before the time of dead low or high flood. In addition, there are certain flats where the Bonefish will show only at a certain stage of the flood or ebb tide. Figuring out the timing for each location and the habits of the Bonefish for each location is a trial and error "time on the water" activity. During the process of learning each flat location, there are many hours spent hunting. It helps to keep a detailed log of your hunting grounds for each flat according to the tides, water temperatures, wind direction and speed, and barometric pressure. Eventually you will narrow down the best timing for each location based on the tide and weather variables that present themselves. Good luck and TIGHT LINES!!!

Capt. Dexter's 2016 Belize Grand Slam, Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon caught during day one (July 10, 2016).

Click here for video clip of Tarpon...

Click here for clip of Permit...

Click here for clip of Bonefish...

Kelton Kline fished with Capt. Dexter Simmons on Independence Day, July 4, 2016 (Capt. Dexter's birthday!) and hooked up several Tarpon, one that fought for over an hour! Here is a clip of some of the action...Click Here to VIEW!

Nancy Dinner of Aurora, Ontario fought a big Tarpon this past June. Click Here to VIEW!

Dr. Tom Critchlow jumped two Tarpon with Capt. Dexter Simmons, here is one of them.

Erich Amplatz of Austria is spending the first week of May fly fishing for Tarpon with Capt. Dexter Simmons and already has leadered a big Tarpon...

Not satisfied with his first day catch, Erich landed a 150 pound Silver King 5 days later...

Ed with an April Bonefish

Here is Scott Myers fighting some March Tarpon to the boat...

Scott had more than one helping of Tarpon!

...And another Tarpon falls victim to Scott Myers'...

During April, we usually start sometime between 6:30 and 8 am depending on the temperatures of early morning waters. Here are some other recent catches!

I just returned from an excellent trip to JARDINES DE LA REINA, CUBA, where I fished and toured Hemingway's estate, here is my blog for one of the days fishing in Cuba...

Feb. 1, 2016 The fishing trip begins around 7:30 am. My guide Leonardo takes me on a 20 minute run to the Bonefish grounds. We hunt in shallow water flats surrounded by mangrove bushes. Some are tailing on the turtle grass, others are schooled up on the silty sandy shallow bottom mudding. Over a three hour hunt we hook up ten, most from three to four pounds, two in the six to eight pound range. It is great fun, feeling the line tighten, watching and listening to the Bonefish rip fly line off the reel into the orange micron backing. Whirring reel music fills the Cuban tropic air. By mid morning my gloves and are half leather and half Bonefish slime.

"Pull it in Dexter" Leonardo moves us into a channel flat and hands me an 8 weight loaded with floating line and a Tarpon leader. "Your Tarpon fly box please." He points to a brown-tan-orange Sand Devil Fly, "this one is good." After twenty minutes of poling along a clear shoal, Leonardo finds a school Tarpon in about 6 feet of water coming our way. "You see them Dexter?"

"Okay, I've got them, two o'clock, 80 feet". Leonardo positions the bow for a cast to ten o'clock. The school is now moving slowly toward our skiff, about sixty feet. Looks like there are a dozen or so juvenile poons. "Okay Dexter, cast now." I false cast once for aim and launch the fly line, leader and sand devil, turning it over for a soft landing 6 feet in front of the lead fish. " "Wait, wait, okay stripping, stripping, stripping," Leonardo coaches. Three strips and the lead Tarpon turns on the fly and eats but no hook up. I recast the fly and another Tarpon eats the fly, but is off after a 5 minute tug of war with no jumps. The school circles around and a third Tarpon eats the fly and is jumping! After about a 10 minute battle, the fish is landed! A 20 pound Tarpon caught with the Sand Devil fly!

I turn to Leonardo and say "this means we must hunt for Permit to complete the grand slam!" We spend the next three hours and find four Permit, one of which is a good shot. The Permit is tailing on a shoal bank, about 100 feet at 1 o'clock. A back cast flies within 5 feet of the tailer. Leonardo says "good cast, wait, wait, wait, strip two short, now one long...following, strip short, strip, strip, now long strip..." But no luck, as the Permit swims away out of range. "No hungry", Leonardo is spot on. A great day of fishing as the sun sets on Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

Here is a video taken during an incredible morning of Bonefishing Jardines de la Reina Cayo Chocolate flats where I hooked seventeen Bones from 3 to 8 pounds in three hours!


I look forward to fly fishing with you in Cuba!

Check out my web page for these special Cuba Fly Fishing People to People Educational Tours:


This past Tarpon Season was a gas! Some really great moments!!

Up close and personal with MR. SILVER KING!

The GREEN FLASH OF SUNRISE brought us great luck this past Tarpon Season...

Here was a nice one...

The past few weeks have seen a strong migration of Tarpon rolling into the Flats for the Palalo Worm hatch. Permit were also Marching everywhere! The light and variable winds winds were prevailing and the water temps increased to the mid 80's. We were hooking big Tarpon daily. Here is a another nice one during a worm hatch!

Sight casting to Tarpon on the basin flats in May and June is outstanding! Here is another Tarpon caught in this environment...

Resident baby Tarpon have also been on the line...

Permit are here and there if you get that lucky!!!

We have just returned from our annual trek to Turneffe Flats, Belize and I am happy to report that we had great weather and an outstanding week of flats fishing! Tarpon


and Permit

THE BIG THREE were caught during our mid July "Grand Slam" week at Turneffe Flats, Belize. Our 2018 dates are JULY 7-14, 2018! And we already have 6 anglers booked into this tropical paradise....To read more about our trips, follow this link to the Belize section of this website:

Contact Capt. Dexter Simmons by calling him at 305-745-3304 or on his cell at 305-304-5880. You also may contact Capt. Dexter by email at and visit his website at

Tarpon Season 2018 is coming up and there are some great dates in April, June and early July for Tarpon Fly Fishing Charters with Key West Fly Fishing and Capt. Dexter Simmons. Here is a Tarpon Fly Fishing video to whet your palate!

Click Here for another awesome VIDEO sequence of Tarpon Fly Fishing!

Look at the Underwater world of the Tarpon! I have some dates available during the next several months and whether you fish with me or not, rest assured I will be catching Permit and jumping Tarpon! Here is a picture of a Tarpon caught in May.

On warm days, resident Tarpon are wandering around on the flats and in channels, Bonefish are cruising on the backcountry flats, and Permit are migrating in from the reefs and wrecks to tail up on the flats. We are coming up on the absolute best time of year to fish here in the Key West area. In Spring, 2018, there are dates available in March, April and June and July, so contact me whenever you get the itch to catch!

Our Father (Mother) - Son (Daughter) Key West Flats Fishing Trips are now scheduled for throughout the winter,spring, summer and fall. For more information about the Father and Son Flats Fishing Trips go to

Once again, you may contact Capt. Dexter Simmons for a future fishing charter on his CHARTER HOTLINE: 305-745-3304 or by email at

Turneffe Flats, Belize!

Just returned from another epic week at Turneffe Flats, Belize. Joe Kmetz was the Tarpon man of the week with several hookups, jumps and this nice one aided by his lovely wife Linda...

Joe's son Chris Kmetz caught a nice bonefish...

Capt. Dexter held his own with a few nice Permit (one of which had a fly stuck in its back! LOL!!!)



"Turneffe Flats has the magical combination of outstanding flats fishing at your doorstep, modern and comfortably appointed lodgings, and a staff that feeds you great meals and cares for your every need like you are family. Spend a week at Turneffe Flats and you won't want to leave!" - Capt. Dexter Simmons.

For an incredible week of flats fishing in an unforgettably gorgeous tropical island location, join Capt. Dexter and his angler friends on this Belize trip JULY 7-14, 2018. Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit are all available at the exotic tropical paradise of Turneffe Flats. The fishing for tailing Bonefish is incredible. There is a wadable flat just 20 feet from your bungalow with tailing Bonefish and Permit. On several days I have caught Bonefish before breakfast! The Permit around Turneffe are plentiful and easier to catch than Florida Keys Permit. The Tarpon are also found rolling in nearby channels and creeks to complete your grand slam fishing at Turneffe. And to top it off, Turneffe Flats is giving us a great deal!!! 6 Full Days of Fishing, 7 Nights of very comfortable Lodging and great restaurant quality meals (3 per day) for (CALL 305-304-5880 FOR RATE! A SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT!).

Check out a video of our 2012 Turneffe Flats, Belize Expedition!

Here is one of two Permit caught by Captain Dexter on the same day in September, 2008. For information about how you can join Capt. Dexter Simmons and other avid anglers on this awesome trip, call Capt. Dexter at 305-745-3304 or 877-228-8497 or send an email to

A faint orange glow reflects onto the shallow tidal flats. Ocean breezes on the distant rocky reef edges are pushing ripple waves onto the shoreline. A closer look reveals fish tails glistening in the dawns early light. Bonefish school in ankle deep water. As they feed, their fins rise above the waterline. They are grey ghosts swimming into the tide foraging the shoal bottom for their breakfast of crab and shrimp.

Just steps away on cabana decks anxious anglers ready their rods, flies and wading boots for the morning hunt. It is first light on Turneffe Flats.

Nearby skiff guides are positioning their anglers for casts to channel Tarpon. The tide is flooding into the atoll, and the Tarpon are spotted on the surface rolling against the current. A well placed purple and black deceiver should entice a strike.

Later rising anglers are gathering in the Turneffe Flats dining room for a sumptuous breakfast. One spots a black sickle tail rising on the tidal flat a few yards from the infinity pool. "Look, a tailing Permit"! Last minute supplies for the fishing day are sought in the fly shop amid talk of success with a particular pattern. The next wave of hungry anglers arrive telling tales of first light angling.

Soon all are striding to the skiff docks under swaying palms with rods and gear bags in hand. Guides await with their super skiffs readied for the day. Lunches and drinks are loaded into coolers, fishing equipment is stowed. The choices are discussed and anglers decide to pursue Tarpon, Bonefish or Permit to start their day. All know that catching each of the big three that day is the most elusive yet ultimate flats fishing feat: THE GRAND SLAM.

Can't wait till our July 7 flight to Belize! The fishing are waiting...

Want to be Hooked to a Permit? Call or write Capt. Dexter for some Permit fly fishing! Click here to check out this video of Permit hookups.

Key West Tarpon Flats 2008
This is some great footage of Fly Fishing for Tarpon on the flats this past season.

Don Wilkerson's

Hot Streaming Video Fishing Action

Click Here!

Ivan Strief with a Silver King lap dance!

Bonefish into the Net - Streaming Video Action - Click Here!

Moon Calendar!

Check out phases of the Moon for your future Fishing Trip. Remember, you want a Full Moon or a New Moon for the best fishing, because the tidal currents are strongest during those phases. Our Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit feed more actively during these "Spring Tide" phases. The fishing is best 1,2,3,4 or 5 days before, during and after the full or new moon.

Fall Bonefish Season!

This lovely lady landed this handsome Bonefish on a spectacular day in the Florida Keys backcountry.

Capt. Dexter with a Permit on the Atlantic flats of Key West.

David Wipf of Freeport, Bahamas with his first Tarpon!


Charter Reservations with or send EMail to Capt. Dexter Simmons.

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Created by Capt. Dexter Simmons

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All photos and text copyright Dexter D. Simmons, 2009. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute anything on this website in any manner or medium without written permission from its author, Dexter D. Simmons, P.O. Box 2006, Key West, FL 33045, 305-745-3304,