Florida Keys Fishing, you're not gonna believe this one!
My favorite type of Florida Keys Fishing is to troll
for the fish. This lets me cover lots of ground. My most favorite fish to troll for is Grouper
. I should remind you that sometimes the larger ones weighing more than 20 pounds carry Ciguatera
, a fish poisoning.
My second most favorite fish to troll for is Dolphin. I don’t mean Flipper. Trust me, I love fishing for dolphin, a sixty-eight pound Bull Dolphin got me into the IGFA World Record Book. That’s another Florida Keys fishing story. And then there's the Wahoo that hits your bait at 55 mph.
Before I go any further, there are State Regulations and License that apply to fishing here.
It would be a good idea to check them out. You can also get your license online.
I love to fish with artificial lures. I like them much better than natural or live bait . They don’t make my hands smell like bait. And they can be used more than once. When I do use natural or live bait I rig them using true
Circle Hooks now days instead of "J" hooks. If you need to get new hooks or bait,
here's a list of all the bait and tackle stores here in the Keys.
I saw this lure I knew it would be a killer. I brought it and couldn’t wait to use it. The first time out with the blue lure I went fishing for dolphin. I had been trolling a patch of weeds. I saw the dolphin under the weeds, so I kept working the patch.
Not too many minutes have passed when, BAM! I had a fish on. I began reeling it in. Something just didn’t look quite right and it didn’t feel right either.
I could see the colors were right for the fish to be a dolphin but something was really strange about this fish. When I got it closer to the boat, I could see that I had not one but two dolphin on the same lure at the same time. Ha, one had taken the front treble hook and the other had taken the back treble hook. That was fine with me.
These fish were schoolies. They were in the six to eight pound range. I got the fish in. Put the blue lure back out and caught twelve more dolphin that day.
In the Florida Keys fishing for dolphin is the best from mid April thru the month of May. Do you want to try and find fish without hiring a guide or going on a party boat?
Here's a list of all the places in the Florida Keys that will rent you a boat so you can go out and have your own fun!
On another Florida Keys fishing trip, this time I was going for Grouper. I was working the patch reefs in Hawk Channel. I was inside of Looe Key . The water was nice and clear.
I had two lines out and both of them had one of these magic lures on them.
All of a sudden my rod bends then it snaps back, at first I thought I had a strike and it didn’t hook up. Not the case, my line had been broken. I looked at the depth finder to see if I had hooked the bottom. Nope, I was too deep for that to have happened.
I get the tackle box out and rig the line again to keep fishing. I am mad that I’ve lost my purple lure.
OK, I’m fishing again and off in the distance I see something on the surface that looks like a fish fin flapping. I troll over there and I see my purple lure and two grouper hooked on this one lure. Once again one on each of the treble hooks. I do have lines out and I don’t want to tangle them so I have to be careful.
I try very hard to gaff the fish, no luck they go under the water. They are just out of the range of my gaff. I can see them fighting each other trying to get away from each other. They come up two more times and I just can’t get close enough fast enough to gaff them. Even after pulling in the other lines so I don’t have to worry about crossing them, I can’t get them. I’m chasing after them. I see them go all the way to the bottom. I wait, but they don’t come back up.
I ran back up and put my lines out and start trolling again. I’m going down this area on the reef I know to be good because of all the Grouper I have caught there in the past years. Again I see in the distance this fish on top of the water, I hurry up and pull in my lines and tell myself I have one chance to get this lure and the fish. I get up to them run to the bow and snag the purple lure with the gaff and bring it and the fish in.
Looking at the Grouper, I see that both of their tails have been bitten off by a Barracuda, no doubt. I did see a Shark earlier so it could have been him. There's always lots of Barracuda and Sharks in this area. I now have the two grouper and I get my purple lure back. Wow! Now that's some great Florida Keys Fishing.
I am one happy camper. Who knew you could catch two fish on one lure at the same time. And what are the odds of it happening twice?
I wonder how different these Florida Keys fishing trips would have been if I would have been using PowerPro Braided line?
Florida Keys fishing for Grouper is best in the spring, before the water gets too hot for them.
What do you know about how grouper get mates?
I've just read a great article from a study done on grouper mating off Florida, I had no idea they were so sophisticated.
Have you ever considered making your own lures? This book gives you all the information you'll need to create your own secret weapons.
Dolphin and Grouper aren't the only Florida Keys fishing that I enjoy. I put out Stone Crab Traps and fish them during their season. The claws taste great, and you never know what else may show up in the traps. One time we had a Batwing Coral Crab . I also dive for Florida Spiny Lobster when they're in season. I love eating all kinds of fresh seafood. I keep eye out for any signs of redtide . It can cause some seafood to become contaminated.
There are many Charter Boat Captains, Backcountry Guides, and Party Boats ready to take you out for the Florida Keys fishing trip of your life. If you just want to grab a boat and try it on your own that's OK too.
Here you go, just click here for a list of all the Marinas in the Florida Keys.
For those folks who don't enjoy going out on a boat but do enjoy fishing, we have all those bridges throughout the Florida Keys. Why not plan a day to go bridge fishing? You can take the whole family.
You say you've never been saltwater fishing before, well here's a good place to start. This beginners guide will have you pulling them in on your first time out.
If you should decide you want to go on a boat but not to fish there's always walking the backcountry flats
at low tide. There's shells and other treasures waiting to be found.
The light tackle
fishing for Tarpon, Bonefish,
is exciting and popular here. The offshore
fishing for Dolphin
, Marlin, Sailfish
are also great here in the Florida Keys. But that could all change if the NMFS lets longline boats
back into the waters of Florida. So why not get out there and make some Florida Keys fishing stories happen while you still can.
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