Sunday, November 01, 2009

Not Being Online Sucks

My current lack of internet access is really a pain in the butt. Especially when people are trying to get answers to Keys questions. So since I am not always able to get online I will put my phone number out there for guys with serious questions. It is (305) 395-1923.

A couple of recent questions are about where to stay in the Keys. The answer depends on what you and your significant other are looking for. Fishing up and down the Keys is fairly consistent.

The upper Keys has a large variety of top class restaurants and watering holes that attract many that want to party as does the Key West area. The Middle Keys are a bit more laid back party wise but offer easy access to all the Keys has to offer. Since I am kind of laid back I chose the Marathon area in the middle Keys for my home base.

One of the advantages of the middles Keys for first time visitors that want to do their own thing on the water is that it has the easiest water access. You can get to both the ocean side and bay side without having to navigate too much shallow water. In the winter when we have the most visitors and normally the worst weather for being on the water there are a lot of easily accessible areas to catch fish, snorkel or what ever on the water without getting you butt kicked in the process. Most of the Keys areas offer similar high wind fishing opportunities though it takes a little more training to avoided running aground and other boating mishaps.

The Key West area offers great foul weather fishing for a large variety of species. I chartered out of Key West for a couple years doing back country trips and it was hard not to impress the clients. It did take me a while to learn the area so I highly recommend a guide if you want to do the back country thing own your own. In winds over 30 knots you can still have a great day on the water. The scenery around the Bay Keys, Mud Keys, hell all of the uninhabited keys north of US 1 is pretty awesome as is the fishing. It is just a little tricky getting to them.

Going to the reef or offshore is not that hard out of Key West or any of the Keys really, if you pay close attention to the charts. I have seen times when the tides made it very difficult to fish out of the upper Keys in deeper draft boats. Generally getting to ocean side is pretty simple once you have studies the charts from where your boat is docked.

I do not recommend parts of the lower Keys for people that can't handle rough water and want their boat in the water. The Keys between Big Pine and Boca Chica have very limited access to the bay side for most boat operators. That severely limits your options in the winter season. If you are trailering a boat though this is a great area to stay. There is a link on my blog some where for the boat ramps in the Keys. For guys with a smaller boat this is the best way to experience the Keys. Do be careful though as the waters can be tricky.

The East side of Big Pine Key does provide easy access to both the bay and ocean sides. Accommodations though can be hard to come by in season. That is another of the reasons I like Marathon. You have a good variety of motels and rentals to choose from and easy access.

For the guys that want to sail I am not going to be much help. There are a few sailboats for rent in the Keys but I haven't a clue how good or bad they are. And the deeper keel of sail boats just makes it that much more difficult to navigate down here.

I want to thank the folks that hit my tip jar. It was a big help. I will try to lug the computer down more often to keep in touch with the world. Until then remember, 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

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