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Old 12-19-2009, 01:47 AM   #1
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Cigar Minnow
 
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Default fishing Islamorada-lower keys

I am going down to the keys in May, and i have never fished the area. I am going with a few friends, dont have enough money for a guide. So if anyone knows any numbers or some bridges to fish let me know please. I am bringing my 10wt fly rod, some stradics, and some Everols... we are there for a week and are planning on fishing for a little of everything from flats to working some weed lines a up to a few miles off. So any advice on fishing the flats, other locations, etc would be greatly appreciated.:bowdown
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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Ruby Red Lip
 
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

You would be surprised how cheap you can get a guide in the Key's these day's.. Ask him to fish on your boat. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

Forrest gives a good suggestion and is right with the fact that hiring a captain to fish on your boat for the day can be very reasonably priced and the info you get from him in 1 or 2 days is well worth what you pay him.

Other than that, I have fished the keys almost every year for more than 10 years both inshore and off and can tell you that you are going down at an awesome time. Expect to have good action just past the reef with dolphin and don't be surprised if you raise/catch some sails as well as there are usually plenty of them left in May. Pull the usual mixed spread for good results but if it were me I'd pull a full spread of natural baits, mostly small naked ballyhoo but have one horse in the mix to catch the attention of big bull dolphin.

As far as reef fishing goes, I'll try to find my keys log and give you a few numbers but if not don't worry as there are plenty of good fishing spots that you can find just by sight. For yellowtail and muttons I like to fish coral patches in 50-80ft of water. Anchor upcurrent of the outcrop and chum heavily. You can keep it simple and just use block chum but I would make up your own stuff with block chum, glass minnows, oatmeal and some sand-just like you've probably read in a magazine at some point. I usually put 2 blocks of chum, 2-3lbs of glass minnows, half of a large container of the plain oats and mix it up with however much sand is neede to get the slick spread through the entire water column. Keep some glass minnows seperate to use for yellowtails. My favorite yellowtail setups are a med spinning rod rigged with slip floats. Set these at different depths from 10-30ft down. Just rig a carolina style rig with 3-5ft of 15lb flourocarbon leader and a #1 short shank hook. Thread the hook through the eye of the glass minnow and then re-hook through the belly hiding the hook. spread a few out behind the boat in your slick. On your bottom setups you can use the same slip-weight rig you would use here but I suggest scaling down your leader to 40lb fluoro and use a longer leader. You can use thread herring, sardines, etc. for bait but bring sabikis with you cause nothing beats a live ballyhoo for big muttons and grouper. They will usually show up in your chum slick shortly. Another fun option is to have a rod rigged with swimming plug, preferably a yo-zuri crystal minnow for cero mackeral. They are slightly bigger, better eating version of a spanish and they are usually thick on those deeper patch reefs. Pull deep diving plugs while moving from spot to spot for grouper like you would here in the bay.

Hope this helps you out, I'll try to get you those numbers soon.

Chris

Sam's bait and tackle 251-981-4245
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

thank you so much!!! i didnt even think about sails. I would loose my mind if i catch a sail on FLY!!!
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

just launch at bahia honda and then motor over to Big Pine Key Fishing lodge and anchor up of east of the bridge just a few hundred yards from the entrance to Big Pine Key. get there early and wait for the man from Big Pine Key to come out on his mini barge a dump yesterdays guts. it will be on !!!!
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

I will be headed down there to Bahia Honda at the end of July for Lobster but would love to do some fishing. Anything going on at that time fishing wise?
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:10 PM   #7
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Default RE: fishing Islamorada-lower keys

Tarpon fishing around the bridges will still be very good. the best tarpon action i've ever had in the keys was in july
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