SMC22

DIY Florida Keys

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Hey guys, 

 

 

   Heading down to the keys this weekend for a few days. I know it is last second and with this cold front odds are not in my favor but I was seeing if anyone has ever gone after bones on foot in the marathon area. I have done plenty of research but i was just seeing if anyone had any last minute suggestions. I checked off Long Key and Bahia state park. Obviously, bones and tarpon would be great but anything to put a bend in my rod would be appreciated. Thanks for the info in advance.

 

 

SMC

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I was there last winter break and did the Bahia state park deal. Actually had a shot at a small cuda but I got too close and spooked him. I will say, it was such a beautiful walk I would go take a rod there any day for a few casts. 

 

I've heard there is a walkable flat right off the highway if you google Lobster Walk. But that being said, I have also heard depending on wind / other conditions the harder sand bottom can turn muddy and hard to walk on... correct me if I'm wrong. But it's hard and annoying because you could spend all the time on google earth and get there and it's blown out or the coast has changed or whatever.

 

Part of the fun, I guess (?)

 

Ended up getting a backcountry guide on my trip and I really do think that's the best way to experience this type of angling. Obviously not cheap (or DIY) but just my $.02. Kids' name was Paul Ross if you care. 

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They’re very tough to sight fish for on foot in the keys. Tried a few times. You’d be much better off being elevated on some kind of platform, whether that’s a kayak or a boat. If bonefish are your main target, I’d highly recommend a guide, since you’re only there a couple days.

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I agree with JTR. There is not a lot of shore access fly fishing down there. You really need some kind of watercraft.

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To find bonefish in this weather is not likely, or worth it. If you want to fish and have some fun, go to lower matecumbe beach on the north end of channel 2 bridge. Fish incoming tide preferably. It a silt bottom with plenty of cudas , small sharks and ladyfish. Chumming a little with shrimp guarantees bites. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I second the renting of a kayak or paddle board, opens up your range 1000 fold. I did a DIY bonefish trip to the Keys two years ago and out of ten days fishing the weather cooperated one day enough to get a chance at bones. I lucked out and connected but without spotting them from my paddle board, I doubt it would have happened. I’m def no expert but feel free to PM me. Most of my experience was around Big Pine and Cujo though. 

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Edited by BNickW

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Found it, see

 

 · #3

Posted April 11, 2019 (edited) · Report post

Look in the thread around January 29th 2019 and Check this old article out which I posted there Its an attachment and a pdf file and it might have some good information. Sorry first page is upside down but click on it and reader has a view menu on top left where you can rotate or a computer jock can chime in on how to permanently rotate and save image

keys0001.pdf

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Lots have changed in 23 years, A big issue is the now no access to what were very places. Been fishing there since 1955

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Long Key is my favorite, miles of wading if you don't mind a bit of slogging through muck once in a while.  Craig Key shoreline bay and oceanside for cuda and jacks, and the Highway Flat is worth a shot (Lower Matecumbe).  If the wind is up it'll be tough, but what the heck.

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REPORT BACK:   Cold front last week supposedly shutdown the bonefish and tarpon. I did manage to spot a HUGE bone in a channel off Bahia state Park. Had two shots at it but it was deep and cruisingg pretty quickly. Went out with Kayak guide Randy morrow and managed to successfully sight fish some nice redfish. Fished long key and saw two smaller bones but they were cruising, def not in feeding mode and skittish. Tough to spot fish in such a huge area. Also had a tarpon around 3 feet cruise right at me and right by me. Threw a bonefish pattern at it but he was not interested. Once it warms up I am going to keep my eye on the conditions and head back down. In my opinion there are much more DIY opportunities than somewhere like Amergris Caye, Belize but I can imagine the fish are more pressured. Was impressed with the size of some of these flats.

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I got in to a few tarpon and saw some bones towards the end of February a few years ago. You’re a week or two earlier than me but it’s worth a shot. Try walking the bridges at night with a red light from a headlamp - you’ll see those giant tarpon eyes glow back at you. 

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