Captain Mike Bartlett
My name is Captain Mike Bartlett and as a year-round Key West resident I'm eager to share these most challenging waters that I now call home. Although this island is a long way from Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River of my youth, fly casting for tarpon and bonefish was not a difficult leap and for an born and raised bass fisherman. After nearly a decade of time spent in the Keys, I am able to translate my experience and passion for this saltwater sport to anglers of all backgrounds and skill levels.
The waters I fish are part of the famous Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. Along with the famous Grand Slam species, you'll have shots at sharks, barracuda, jacks, redfish and cobia, depending on the season. Above the waterline this area is also home to countless ospreys, pelicans, egrets, and even a few nesting bald eagles. Many other birds of prey make stops here during their winter migrations. Dolphins, manatee, and sea turtles are also common sights as we quietly push along these silent shallows.
These waters are the last piece of the Keys that were made famous by writers from Ernest Hemingway to Jimmy Buffet. Stepping off of Duval Street and into the Backcountry is the best way for a visitor to connect to one of the last pristine parts of Old Florida. Whether you're a rabid fly angler or simply a curious tourist, my boat is waiting at the dock and I'm always ready to get you out there.
Excellent, Professional Guide
I spent a day fly fishing for bonefish with Capt. Mike. He's an excellent, friendly guide who will work extremely hard to find fish. You can't ask for anything more than that! Our day's fishing was a bit slow but by the end of the day we had caught bonefish, hooked barracuda, and found tarpon. He has more than 10 years' experience and I would book a trip with him in a second.
4 Days fishing with Mike Bartlett
We (two fishermen from Finland) spent 4 days fishing tarpon, permit and bonefish with Captain Mike. My friend had done this with Mike a year ago and recommended him strongly. I clearly understand why! Mike is a true professional; he has done this for 13 years at Key West. He does an awesome job - constantly looking for opportunities for his customers to catch something (some other guides just take you somewhere to sit at one place and spend the day).
Mike knows all the best places in the area and he took us around the flats to catch nice fish. On top of this, he treats customers with respect and he's incredibly excited about his job. I caught a 120 pound tarpon, a 25 pound permit and a lot of other smaller fish. Have to go back to get the bonefish someday =).
Espoo, Southern Finland
Catch of a Lifetime!!
Being from Missouri any day on the ocean is amazing. I booked this trip for my husband who had always talked about and wanted to catch a tarpon. I talked to lots of captains and could tell in the first few minutes of conversing with mike he was "the one". Mike was an absolutely amazing captain. He told us about things that we were seeing around the island (the Hemmingway stilt house) and took us all over chasing the "big one". We saw dolphins within 20 yards of us....better than any dolphin watch tour that we would have paid 100+ for, hundreds of sharks (big 8 ft sharks too (nurse sharks, hammerheads, bull sharks, lemon sharks, etc.), hundreds of stingrays (that were bigger than my arms could stretch) and each and every one Mike would point to and take the boat close for us to see. Needless to say he did not disappoint. He was incredibly nice and encouraging even to me as a novice fisherwoman. He was also incredibly knowledgeable about the area taking us to the best spots as the tide would change and the fishes patterns would move. He was easy going, and we had no problem spending 8 hours on a boat with him. It was funny to go by other charters (with no catches)and have them look at us in envy as my husband fought this giant for almost 45 minutes (but would have been much longer if Mike wasn't giving such amazing directions). We have been on fishing charters before but this was by far our favorite. Plus Mike's prices were much less than many competitors. I would recommend Mike to anyone going to key west and wants a one in a lifetime experience. I know that we'll be back and are sending our friends!
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