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Islamorada advice

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It’s been almost 35 years since my last visit. Thinking about just getting on a plane and heading down for maybe a charter and some bridge fishing. I have never done this but it looks interesting and relaxing. Kind of a spur of the moment thing for me. Thinking about chartering and lodging from bud and mary’s marina. I see they rent rods and gear also. Would love any advice, please.

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Commenting to know...

 

I'll be there early June, so I have a lot of the same questions. Any good spots from shore? I heard under the bridges is the best place. We don't want to charter, all surfcasting and such, so any suggestions would be great for me too :)

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The Marathon lady is a party boat thats worth the $45.00.  I've ways looked for smaller bridges that you can get down to the waters edge.  Never liked fishing off the high bridges.  Live bait is king, chum definitely speeds up the action

 Fish tight to the pylons.   I know a few solid spots from Big Pine to sugarloaf.  Feel free to message me.

  I'll be in Big Pine the 17th-22nd.

 

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8 hours ago, WetDreams said:

Bahia Honda state park also has good flats fishing

Is there anyway to gain access to Bahia Honda before they open at 8:00? I’ve only been there midday. It seems like fishing would be amazing there at sunrise. 

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Definitely do some flats fishing if you aren’t going to charter a boat. I mostly go to the lower keys these days where my friend lives, but used to visit Islamorada fairly often with my family. I’m far from an experienced flats fisherman, but I’ve still nailed a bunch of cudas and sharks on the flats. I even managed a couple bonefish and hooked into some big tarpon last time I was in the area. 

 

Bridge fishing down there is fun, but I find the flats more interesting. Definitely a different experience from what you get in the northeast.

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34 mins ago, C.Robin said:

Definitely do some flats fishing if you aren’t going to charter a boat. I mostly go to the lower keys these days where my friend lives, but used to visit Islamorada fairly often with my family. I’m far from an experienced flats fisherman, but I’ve still nailed a bunch of cudas and sharks on the flats. I even managed a couple bonefish and hooked into some big tarpon last time I was in the area. 

 

Bridge fishing down there is fun, but I find the flats more interesting. Definitely a different experience from what you get in the northeast.

34 mins ago, C.Robin said:

Definitely do some flats fishing if you aren’t going to charter a boat. I mostly go to the lower keys these days where my friend lives, but used to visit Islamorada fairly often with my family. I’m far from an experienced flats fisherman, but I’ve still nailed a bunch of cudas and sharks on the flats. I even managed a couple bonefish and hooked into some big tarpon last time I was in the area. 

 

Bridge fishing down there is fun, but I find the flats more interesting. Definitely a different experience from what you get in the northeast.

What flats do you like in the keys (all over)? Do you mainly get out there with a big surf stick and launch plugs? Fish during day or night? 

 

I'm keen on catching some sharks. Did you just chuck bait and wait? How about the tarpon? Day or night?

 

Thanks so much? 

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1 hour ago, DutchGFX said:

What flats do you like in the keys (all over)? Do you mainly get out there with a big surf stick and launch plugs? Fish during day or night? 

 

I'm keen on catching some sharks. Did you just chuck bait and wait? How about the tarpon? Day or night?

 

Thanks so much? 

 

 

When in Islamdorada, I stuck to the Atlantic side flats near the resort I used stay at (The Islander). Either wading around or bait fishing from the pier.  Cudas I would catch on green tube lures reeling as fast as I could.  Bonefish I lucked into on a blind casted jig head with a gulp shrimp. I used 7’ M spinning outfits for this. The tarpon and sharks were hooked tossing pilchard chunks from a pier on the same flats, I used a heavier 7ft spinning rod for this. People would probably look at you funny if you were using a surf rod on the flats lol, if you’re out of casting range you can usually wade closer....just watch the tides. I have no idea if this is actually a good flats area to fish, I don’t have much to compare it too. Most of my fishing was early morning.

 

If you really want to concentrate on sharks and tarpon, there are absolute monsters at the Bahia Honda bridge. Most of it you need a boat to fish, and you’d have little chance of landing any without a boat. Check out their live web cam during the day, you often see some cool stuff.

 

 

 

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 I've done quite a bit of fishing in the mid to lower Keys. First off, leave the heavy stuff home. They fish very light there. I would suggest a medium weight 7' spin rod and a 3-4000 sized reel with 12lb mono.  Bring a good assortment of hooks  from #4 to 3/0. Long key Bridge on the North end has been very good to me. I've stumbled into large Tarpon, keeper Hog snapper, and a long list of fish that are great to eat and fun to catch. Live shrimp is really the key to good fishing there. Without it you will have a very tough time. Small jig heads from 1/8-1/2 ounce are extremely effective and widely used for a reason, they work. I fish the Marathon Lady a number of times during my stay and always catch plenty of fish. And though i've rarely been asked for it, the Florida DEC requires a non-resident lic that ain't cheap. Good luck. 

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17 hours ago, z-man said:

Is there anyway to gain access to Bahia Honda before they open at 8:00? I’ve only been there midday. It seems like fishing would be amazing there at sunrise. 

Not that I know of.

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I'd been thinking about bringing my gear to Bahia Honda State Park and new it got slammed by Irma. The flats on the ocean side towards the north end of the park looked especially fishy and as you walk north,there is a deep water cut that  wants to be fished. Unfortunately their web site says that beach( Sandspur Beach) is still closed. Oh well. I'm sure there are other areas like it, but that's the one I was looking at.

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Was just down there at Bahia Honda...it's all open now, all beaches. Can fish 24/7 on the other side of the old Flagler bridge. If you wanna fish inside the park off hours, gotta camp there.

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Great help here. Opened my eyes quite a bit. Did some searching with the info provided here and it’s encouraging. It would appear that renting a kayak would open up things providing the weather cooperates. What foot wear is best for flats wading? Also wondering about lure selection? How deep do you typically wade and what kind of critters should I look out for? Looks like fun,saw some u tube vids of guys on kayaks. Seems like the tide rips and lots of other things can ruin a good day fast. I’m staying in Islamorada and from what it sounds like, I will need to check out, Bahia Honda park,long key park,Marathon sp and John Pennekamp. Lots to do, thanks for the input. I’m there from the 21st thru the 24 th. Not long enough

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I’m in Islamorada now for a few days. The wind has been brutal (30+mph) and supposed to stay strong all week. Going to make it tough fishing. There’s also a lot of Man O War jellyfish washing up on shore. 

 

I saw this crazy 3 car accident today where a boats twin outboards were completely through a cars window. 

 

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