Florida Keys

Thread starter #1

Ihunt

Senior Member
Making a trip down the last of March first of April. Don’t care what I catch. Any suggestions on types of lures. Jigs! Spinners? Spoons?I don’t do much bass fishing at all so I will need to buy supplies before I go. I’m sure it’s much cheaper at Academy and Walmart
 
That time of year expect a lot of wind down there. The tarpon will be kicking off strong then. The Keys encompasses a large geographic area, what part of the Keys are you going to? The fisheries vary widely throughout the Keys to include methods, targeted fish, etc...could help a good bit more if I knew where you were heading in the Keys.
 
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Ihunt

Senior Member
I’m taking my boat and I know there are no bass down there but I would think most bass lures would still catch fish down there. Anybody ever drag a rattle trap past the bridges down there? Surely something will want to eat it as it comes past.
 
Thread starter #8

Ihunt

Senior Member
Use a jighead with a shrimp on it. That will get the most fish.

What do you want to catch?
Honestly do not care. My wife and son have a blast catching pinfish. Have to pry them away to catch other things. We just want to catch different things and will not keep many if any of the fish.

My son wants a hammerhead and a Goliath. Also plan on taking the bowfishing gear and shooting stingrays which we will use for bait.
 
Thread starter #9

Ihunt

Senior Member
That time of year expect a lot of wind down there. The tarpon will be kicking off strong then. The Keys encompasses a large geographic area, what part of the Keys are you going to? The fisheries vary widely throughout the Keys to include methods, targeted fish, etc...could help a good bit more if I knew where you were heading in the Keys.
Staying at Venture out which is in Cudjoe Key. I’ve heard the wind can be rough but as long as it’s East west or west East shouldn’t I be able to just choose gulf or ocean to help minimize the issue?
 
Keys fishing is based around live bait and light tackle but dead bait will work good too. Not to say you can't use lures but once you get down there you'll notice not many people using any type lure... Not sure why it's like that down there but it is.
Backcountry, you can anchor up and thow a bag of frozen shrimp around your boat then bait a couple to catch bonefish. You can also use a jig head as mentioned above w a headless shrimp on the hook. cast and let it bump the bottom while retrieving it slow. Always pinch the head off the shrimp before you chum em too.. It helps the smell get out and fish to come in faster. You may even get lucky and catch a permit. Snook like pinfish. You can buy em at tackle stores or trap or hook and line using a small hook and piece of shrimp.
Or, go to a marina when the charter boats come in and get some carcasses to chum for tarpon. Cut the belly meat off and fish it on the bottom w 60-80# leader. Most Charter guys use #80. You wil have 100% success rate at catching a nurse shark while waiting for a poon.
That's some of the easiest type fishing down there.

I fished for a living out of Islamorada for over 20 years.
If you plan to go offshore then let me know.. That's another animal but doable.
 
Staying at Venture out which is in Cudjoe Key. I’ve heard the wind can be rough but as long as it’s East west or west East shouldn’t I be able to just choose gulf or ocean to help minimize the issue?
Yeah, the wind is an issue in the spring. If inshore, you can always find a lee spot in the lower keys. It all depends on what you are wanting to catch. Cudjoe has a maze of mangrove creeks on its north side, never fished them, but I imagine there should be snook and baby tarpon in the area along with the ever present snapper that love the mangroves.
 
Thread starter #12

Ihunt

Senior Member
Keys fishing is based around live bait and light tackle but dead bait will work good too. Not to say you can't use lures but once you get down there you'll notice not many people using any type lure... Not sure why it's like that down there but it is.
Backcountry, you can anchor up and thow a bag of frozen shrimp around your boat then bait a couple to catch bonefish. You can also use a jig head as mentioned above w a headless shrimp on the hook. cast and let it bump the bottom while retrieving it slow. Always pinch the head off the shrimp before you chum em too.. It helps the smell get out and fish to come in faster. You may even get lucky and catch a permit. Snook like pinfish. You can buy em at tackle stores or trap or hook and line using a small hook and piece of shrimp.
Or, go to a marina when the charter boats come in and get some carcasses to chum for tarpon. Cut the belly meat off and fish it on the bottom w 60-80# leader. Most Charter guys use #80. You wil have 100% success rate at catching a nurse shark while waiting for a poon.
That's some of the easiest type fishing down there.

I fished for a living out of Islamorada for over 20 years.
If you plan to go offshore then let me know.. That's another animal but doable.
We plan to go to some of the nearshore wrecks and reefs but unless it’s just flat I have no interest in going out very far. I will match my tackle to the size of the fish we are catching so if we set up on something and the majority of the fish are small that will be just fine. Mostly just wanting to catch a variety. Size not important.

We are taking the bowfishing gear and plan on thinning out some stingrays, doing some snorkeling, and eating different food.
 
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