Fishing Tips

April Means From Top To Bottom!

For the fishing ADD afflicted angler, it is one of the best times of the year to get outside of the reef.  Whether you prefer fishing the surface for sailfish, dolphin or tuna or like to drop down to the bottom for amberjack or mutton snapper this is the time of year that things get hopping.
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Cat & Mouse Time With The Winds

It is cat and mouse time again.  Hiding from the wind and then attacking with all that you have when the opportunity arises.  So far this year we have had a normal mix of windy and calm days and hopefully March will be the same.  The term Elephant March is a great play on words. It comes from the illusion of the horizon appearing like a line of elephants marching head to tail when the wind is strong from the east which is the prevailing direction in our latitude.
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Effectively Working The Back Country

Late winter and early spring are a great time to explore what the fishing can be like in the back country of Florida’s Lower Keys.  There are usually a lot of days that the wind is a little brisk for moderate sized boats to comfortably ply the waters offshore or even on the reef line.  Learning your way around the channels and basins of the Keys will open up a lot more opportunities and allow you to greatly increase your days on the water. Read More


I can’t believe that another year has passed and we are still prohibited from taking our fair share of grouper during the time of year that they are actually, most readily available in our waters.  That being said, I guess that we are really lucky that there are so many other species available to pursue.  Other reef fish, like the wonderful variety of snapper found on our reef line along with the non-benthic critters like cero mackerel and yellow jack help fill the void left by the removal of the grouper from the menu. Read More

Last Chance

December is the last chance to dance with the tasty grouper for the 2012 season. On January 1, grouper season is shut down again for the entire months  of January, February, March, and April.  By the way, do not let anyone try to convince you that we can fish the shorter closed season from Gulf of Mexico waters. Monroe County anglers are not allowed to land grouper caught in the Gulf in the Keys.  Those closed months of course, also coincide with your best chance of encountering said critters on our shallow patch reefs.   So at least for the remainder of this year it pays to keep stocked up on pinfish, ballyhoo and deep diving plugs. Read More

Firing Up The Bite

We finally start to pull away from the months of fishing indecision.  It is finally time to get serious with the grouper on the patch reefs as they get into their winter mode with just these few remaining months before the door is summarily slammed shut just as the fishing starts to heat up.  The wreck fishing on the deeper Atlantic spots are also going to start to sizzle. Read More

Take Advantage of the Change of Seasons

When the water cools down the fishing heats up.  That is what happens most Octobers.   As fall begins, so does the cooling of the waters in the Florida Keys and the bait starts its annual migration south.  We do not usually have the strong cold fronts this early in the year to blow the bait schools out over the reef line into the waiting jaws of the fish.  Both offshore and reef predators will take advantage of the arrival of the bait.  We in turn can certainly be ready to take advantage of this early arrival.  For this fishing ADD afflicted angler this change in the game comes just in time to keep me from going battier than I already am. Read More

It Depends

“It depends.”   That is the best answer that I can give people when they ask what the fishing is like in the Lower Keys in September.  What is biting is completely dependent on what the weather is doing.  If the weather is still hot, which is a 50/50 possibility, the summer fish will still be biting.  Mangrove snapper will still be hanging around the reef and the dolphin will still be the preferred target for the offshore crowd. The bonefish will be prowling the flats and permit will be on the edges of the Gulf.  Read More

Forgotten Fishery

In between all of the lobster madness that sweeps the Lower Keys there is a fishery that seems to be forgotten during the peak of the year.   Fishing for bonefish on lower keys flats has a lot to offer for an ADD afflicted angler such as myself.   Of course I find it better to not fight the lobster crowds for undisturbed flats space and to just join in on the quest for a crustacean dinner.  However the madness calms down after the first few days of season and the flats are fishable for the rest of the month.
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Can’t We Just Shoot Them?

I love July.   All of my favorite activities are available in July.  It usually takes until now for me to want to get into the water.  I am famous as a temperature wimp.  If you need a wet suit to be comfortable in the water, it is too cold for me.  So by now there are a multitude of activities calling me into the H2O.  Spear fishing over the shallow patch reefs for mangrove snapper is a favorite hobby of mine, and it lets me scout patches for hook and line fishing sites for when I have anglers who want to get in on the snapper spawn from topside.  It also gets me ready for the recreational lobster season coming the last Wednesday and Thursday of the month.   Yes, my fishing ADD is in full swing. Read More