SMC22

DIY Florida Keys

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Hard to tell but these are sharks too. The closer one was turning right at me for the picture. Quick foot stomp and it was on it's way.

keys shark 2_2.jpg

keys shark1.jpg

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42 mins ago, DAQ said:

That's what I suspect. A guide down there said lemon or bull.

 

Bull changes everything.

 

I used to surf next to black tips with no issue, but anything that looked stouter I was out of the water.

Edited by BrokeOff

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On my last trip I was chased off my spot kind of. I wasn’t sure what kind of shark but it was much bigger than the Nurse sharks I’d seen earlier. I tried backing out and the more noise I made the faster he came. I just stood my ground and he came right by me. I was ready to jab him but he was leaving peacefully. As I retreated from my almost heart attack I turned and Two large rays were between me and the shore. I LOVE this stuff like nothing I’ve ever done before. So hooked. 

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Black tips are very nosy and will swim around you when wading. In the back county when I would exit skiff to walk a flat the black tips would come into 1-2' of water .In my 50 yrs fishing flats I've heard of an attack from a black tip there. A bull shark is usually following school fish and very dangerous. Tidal flats are not their normal choice of habitat. Lemon sharks that I have encountered on a flat are somewhat crazy and think everything is edible, push pole, kayak paddle. My brother and I  blew a hole in our McKee 3 miles in the back country on a drifting log. The filled to the gunwales but never sunk. At 6 pm we had to paddle 2-3 miles to the Lorelai in Islamorada as the stump was impaled in our hull. The prop was smashed. Black tips, lemons, bonnets and spinners cruised around with the black tips swimming up to sides. No ship to shore or cell phone we got back close 10 pm. 

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What an adventure, holy crap. I love hearing experiences of other fisherman related to wading the flats. I read everything I can get and can’t get enough of it. Seems there is a lack of flats wading information out there.

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Today permit ,tarpon and bones are readily available from skiff or kayak. Bones are at any mangrove island from beginning of incoming tides late in day .  #1 get out, watch for wakes to tailing fish as tides rise. Permit and tarpon are in channel edges to flats. Drift back to gulf on mid outgoing and both species will push up and off the channel edges. If you find a channel with stone crab pot floats there will be permit. May thru November 

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Ok ok. So now that I am mentally preparing for my next trip to the keys I am looking at more options. My buddy has an inflatable SUP and he got me intrigued. I usually don’t like them but I am somewhat young and somewhat in shape so I think I can handle them. I was surprised at how easily he travels with his. Anyone have any experience? How about an inflatable kayak? 

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13 hours ago, SMC22 said:

Ok ok. So now that I am mentally preparing for my next trip to the keys I am looking at more options. My buddy has an inflatable SUP and he got me intrigued. I usually don’t like them but I am somewhat young and somewhat in shape so I think I can handle them. I was surprised at how easily he travels with his. Anyone have any experience? How about an inflatable kayak? 

I go off a inflatable SUP. Strongly recommend. Gets you fantastic access. Hard to target fish while on it, especially in the windy keys. Great to find a spot and tether and wade. If you go with a kayak make sure it’s stable enough to stand up. That height can make all the difference in spotting fish.

Edited by BNickW

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Any specific flies you would recommend for keys flats and ocean fishing.  I’m just bringing my 9 wt for my trip mid March.  

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58 mins ago, dlaurend said:

Any specific flies you would recommend for keys flats and ocean fishing.  I’m just bringing my 9 wt for my trip mid March.  

I have always done real well with the Borski series of flys in tans and olive. The bone fish slider is usually my go to fly.

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Hi I'm in big pine key for the next four days 

I have been here for the last twenty, five I do spin and fly but I have  only caught small cudas and two rather small tarpon in the canal that I'm staying on any tips for tarpon I don't have the gear for bone fish and I have a fifteen foot aluminum boat with a 10hp motor.

I want to catch one more tarpon before I leave 

 

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For bones the old stand by Del's Merkin is always good, many knock offs available. They cast great.   Up here in Me is SS Flies that make great flies ,and ship. You can search their data base. Again find a spot with turtle grass, unusually a mud flat. Little harder walking but the best. It gets silty so carefull where you set up. Patience, look for rays, that signals shrimp and crabs. You should be able to see wakes before the tail to eat.   

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And I might add if you're really dying to get into a bone and they're acting tough, grab your spinning rod, a few #1 or 1/0 hooks and a bucket of live shrimp and go hunting for them.  Keys bones have seen every artificial fly known to man but they tend to be suckers for a fresh shrimp. 

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