Monday, February 25, 2008

Small Boat Fishing in the Keys

There are a lot of people that like to trailer their small boat down to the Keys for their fishing vacation. There is a ton of great fishing you can do from a small boat or skiff in the Keys. Even when the wind blows you can find a place out of the wind to enjoy a day on the water.

To use your small boat to your best advantage don't forget that trailer. From Marathon you can launch on the north or south side of the island to avoid the wind. Marathon is also in the middle of the Keys. A short trip either east or west will take you to new fishing spots. Out of Big Pine or Cudjo Keys you have access to some of the finest flats fishing in the world. There is more than just bonefish tarpon and permit around the flats. The deeper water between the flats and around the back country islands hold snapper, grouper and even a cobia at times.

Navigating the waters can be intimidating. To make life simpler, have a GPS map system on your boat and a good chart of the area as a back up. Plan your trip in advance and have a float plan ready for a friend in case you get caught by the tides.

The small boat owner can have a great time exploring the back country and on calm days can fish the reef and near offshore waters. The Florida Bay is accessible on most days for the small boats and has some great fishing.

When fishing own your own, I recommend hiring a guide for your first day or two on the water. Navigating around Marathon is pretty easy, especially with a GPS map system. The back Country out of Islamarada and Big Pine Key to the west is a little trickier. Get a local guide for the area you are fishing. The everglades National Park has great fishing and some of the toughest navigation. A guide out of Key Largo, Taverner or Islamarada will make your trip productive and easier on your wallet.

I have good knowledge of the waters from Marathon to Key West. Still there are a few areas I would recommend a more local guide to get the best bang for your buck.

Another advantage of the GPS map system is that most of the boat ramps are listed and easy to find. I will try to add a few links to boat ramps in the near future. Right now I am heading to Big Pine for back country trip. The sun is high enough to read the water and spot the fish.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

1 comment:

  1. 2 blogs in 2 days,the temperature in chicago just went up a few degrees.i talked to my brother [who comes with at x mas]we're in for dallas' ocean 101 and bait catching 101.i know it is a long ways away,but it takes along time to book flights,condo in kcb and boats and looking forward to 101,102,and maybe 103 if you are still as entertaining as i remember.seeya,joe from chicago