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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning a fishing trip with a buddy to the lower keys this April/May and am looking for any PFF members who are very familiar with the area. I'm taking a 22' Pathfinder down and am mostly interested in inshore/nearshore fishing. If you're willing to chat with me on the phone, please send me a PM. Thanks.
 

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If I get free shortly, I'll help you out. Where are you staying?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, don't take any of your Pensacola snapper gear. Whole different world down there. What key are you staying on?
Where we stay will depend on what information I can dig up. I've visited the keys, but never fished there. The only thing I've been told so far is stay south of 7MB.
 

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we did it a few years ago. stayed on Sugarloaf Key. it was a good all around place to stay. we trailered(22 pathfinder also) to Marathon and fished the bridges and fished the Atlantic reefs around 6-7 mi offshore and fished the Mangrove Islands on the gulf side. we caught the most fish around the Mangroves. we just did some research on the internet and used our gps and common sense. other than the one day we trailered to Marathon, we left the boat in the water and fished out of the house we rented on Sugarloaf. there's a cut in the island right around there that lets you get to the Atlantic side easily. i really think it was the best trip we've ever done. we try to get to Florida at least every other year, but we've been staying on the west coast for the last 3 trips. time to do the keys again. i'm in the process of redoing my 02 pathfinder, might be just the trip to break her back in!
 

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Where we stay will depend on what information I can dig up. I've visited the keys, but never fished there. The only thing I've been told so far is stay south of 7MB.
I have family roots in Marathon and Big Pine, so I'm partial to the middle/lower keys. With that said, I'd recommend you check out Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge. It's a nice place and very reasonable. They have hotel rooms, spaces for campers/tents and also trailers for rent on a nightly/weekly basis. They have their own ramp and plenty of slips to keep your boat in the water. Also have a little store with bait, ice, food, etc. I never spent much time in the backcountry for flats type fish, but if you need help with anything bottom or offshore related I'll be glad to tell you what I know. You may be a little early for the dolphin bite, but the big ones do roll through first. Usually around June. I'll PM you my number.
 

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mid/lower keys is where it's at. Depending on what you are fishing for...
Better book a crib now.
Here's where we stay: http://www.vrbo.com/210114
Place is great, on canal, leads right out to bay gulf side, big dock. Plenty of room, immaculate, owners are first class, even a small cuban restaurant 2 blocks away, cuban coffee in the morning!
Short ride for inshore, cruise over to big pine, hit the flats or mangroves out back of cudjoe for tarpon/jewfish, hit bahia honda or 7mb for the monster tarpon action, chase the sargassum for dolphin(if they roll in by mid/late May), Endless. You simply can't go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback guys. Based on what I'm hearing, I may push the trip out to mid May in hopes of getting some dolphin. After speaking with Chris, Big Pine Key is the area I'm leaning towards. Orbit, that is a sweet spot to stay! I live on a canal here in Gulf Breeze and can appreciate the convenience of having the boat in the backyard.
 
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