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Discussion Starter #1
Well I just learned that I am going to be TDE in Key West for a month starting June 7. :reallycrying

I'll be working a lot, but I hope that I will have some time in the evenings and on the weekends to get a little fishing in. I have a lot of fish on my life list that I still haven't caught (or have caught but not landed), including tarpon (really, really, really want one of those), goliath grouper, snook, andany bill fish there is. I really do not want to go on one of the big party boats and I don't think I will be able to afford a charter all by mylonesome (I will be alone on this trip), so I was wondering if any of you guys could offer some suggestions. I'll try to find enough money for two charters or so, since this is really a lifetime opportunity, but I would love to know some ways to strech out the money as much as possible.

I was planning on going to the local fish shops and asking around, but other than that, I am pretty clueless.

So any suggestions? Anyone you recommend?

Appreciate it.

Jim
 

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Well, I hope you have two boats... One shoal draft and one for the seas...The shoal areas just northeast of KW have some islands w/ channels that hold bait (mullet) around them which have tarpon and cudas lookingfor a cast... The Bay Islands west of Key West have a bunch of swash channels and flats... I keep forgetting that when I leave, those are the ares that I tell myself I'm coming back just to explore those more..I remember seeing a goliath grouper in 2' of water hiding near a shard of metal... He was interested in my bait until I got too close... I have a feeling you are going to love there if you have two boats... Oh, yeah, then there are the Marquessas.... Oh yeah, then there is Tortugas... desolate place...Just right for fishing!! We buried an old friend this spring , on his board of pix, was one I took in Tortugas... We both knew it was one of his favorites!
 

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I just got the June issue of Florida Sportsman from my mailbox and it has an article on Florida Keys reefs. I haven't had time to read it yet to say if it is useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll check out the FS article. Worn Out - I will not have ANY boats. Gonna have to find some one to take me out if I get on a boat. Was also thinking of fishing from shore or bridges, but I know nothing of the fishing techniques down there or the where and when.
 

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You can catch tarpon from the seawall at Trumbo Point. Snook are a rarity in Key West. It's just a little too far South for that specie. As to billfish, you will be a little late for sails. You have a better chance at Marlin offshore in the panhandle, but woods wall is decent, not sure about the time of year, it's usually a winter fishery too. Jewfish can and are found everywhere, from the potholes and channels around the flats to the offshore wrecks and reefs.

I'd recommend stopping in and seeing Rob Harris at Conchy Joe's tackle store, across the street from Garrison Bight Marina. Rob is a retired Navy Chief:usaflag and will help you out in any way possible.

For your charters, I'd also recommend a skiff type boat that run out of Oceanside Marina rather than a bigger cruiser out of Garrison Bight. Capts such as the Delph's, the Veach's, RT Trosset, the Harris' are great and will put you on fish. Once again, see Rob Harris. He can possibly arrange a split charter, although splits are not real common.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
EmGhost - sent you a PM.

Jack H. Thanks so much for the info. I will definitely check into it. With any luck, I may have some pics to show when I get back!! :D
 

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Emerald Ghost (28/05/2010)We are going down to Key West June 22nd through the 26th.I have room on my boat if we can get the dates and times to coincide.If you are interested, shoot me a pm.

Pat
Dang Pat, can I come?
 

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Splittine Emerald Ghost We are going down to Key West June 22nd through the 26th.I have room on my boat if we can get the dates and times to coincide.If you are interested, shoot me a pm.

Pat
Dang Pat, can I come?-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sure Chase,....load up !I'm planning on making a trip up to Pensacola in early July as well.
 

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Are you "Active Duty"? Some of the 0-5s and above have houses on the water with small piers attached on Trumbo Point. I GUARANTEE you they would be more than happy to help you catch a Tarpon. They will INSIST!

Even if you are not active duty, but can get on base, simply ask around about "night fishing on a dock near the BOQ."

Small ones patrol the lights along the docks every night. They like ONLY freelinedlive shrimp.

All you gotta do is ask... I'd bet somebody would offer you a night of fishing. Repay them with a 12 pack of Bud Light and they'll be HAPPY!

The fish are finacky, and you'll lose most to the pilings. It might take 3 or 4 nights, but I GUARANTEE the 0-5 or above won't mind you parking next to his house and walking along the side to get to his dock till you get your Tarpon.

When you get it, leave another 12 pack on his deck. He'll smile.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jim T - I'm not active or inactive duty. Just love to fish. Wish I could jump on that. Right now I am leaning towards booking a charter. Looks like there are at least a 1,000 charter captains down there offering a sunset package for around $300 or so to catch tarpon. I know it is pricy, but I probably will not get that way again for a long time.

Just don't know if I should narrow it down to specific captains. I'll probably also see if I can split a charter while I am down there. I really haven't had too much time to investigate or otherwise prepare for the "fun" part of the trip (if it materializes - the job I have to do down there isn't going to be fun).

I was hoping some of you might know individual captains that they would recommend. I see where Tony Murphy has charters (see him on ESPN a lot), but I don't know if I am paying more than I need to for the name recognition.

Anyways, keep the suggestions coming. I leave Sunday week. Hopefully I will have a few names to narrowed down.
 

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I was just in the keys and there is plenty of fishing opportunities from the shore. There are endless flats you can access from the overseas highway for bonefish. I had lots of success fishing under the channel 2 and channel 4 bridges, we saw several tarpon rolling under those bridges, no biters as far as the tarpon though.... Also caught SEVERAL mangrove snappers, grunts and a few small grouper right there. LOTS of big jacks too. All you need is live shrimp 20lb leader and a 12 lb spinning outfit, I had a fish almost every single cast down there. The fishing in the keys is awesome. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
PITA trying to stay logged in right now. I know Chris must be very frustrated. I can't even login on my laptop.

I'll definitely check out those. Not sure I will be doing much shore fishing. With all the crap I have to take down there for the job, I will not have room to take any of my fishing gear. I was checking out rentals and it looks as if the going rate is anywhere from $35 to $100 a day depending on what you rent. Can practially buy something down there for that rate. I must be looking at it wrong.

I am still hoping to catch up with Emerald Ghost.

I just do not really know how my work schedule is going to go right now, so it is hard for me to commit to something. After the first week I am there I might have a better idea.

Can anyone recommend specific guides to use if I get the chance? Maybe light tackle or off shore?

Thanks,

Jim
 
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