I want my little part of The New Angler to be start being more about late breaking stories, and sharing information among the recreational fishing community. I figure I’ll really give you some juicy dirt about a secret I’ve been trying to hold out on for as long as I can remember to kick off this whole “secret sharing” thing.
Here goes nothing.
The Middle Keys are fantastic for fishing. There, I said it, the secret is out. I mean it’s so good I’d go as far as to nearly call it the Sportfishing Capital of The World, man, that’s got a nice rang to it.
Jason and I met in Dania Beach early in October to ready the rig and get provisioned. We shot down to Islamorada with Tuffy, Jason’s refitted early 80’s Robalo, for a little 30th birthday getaway and some focused fishing. We were granted a couple of days away from work, the girls, and ringing phones to try and scratch out some fishing in what turned out to be a tough but rewarding weekend. We had a time schedule, a budget, and healthy aspirations for fish so again we ended up in foul weather gear, bouncing around in everything from ideal weather to conditions that could have and nearly did claim Tuffy to the sea.
Like regular guys we took a little experience, a few minutes of internet exploring, and even a little help from other anglers to guide us on our hunt for fish. We found that Blackfin Tuna would be in abundance, Sailfish hadn’t quite made it to prime season, and snapper, like usual in the middle keys, would be a tasty plan B. Trial and error turned into trial and catching pretty quickly despite the conditions, and as planned some bridge and reef snapper action rounded out the trip. We fished both live bait and trolling feathers around the Islamorada hump with success for the Tuna and put the one and only Sailfish of the weekend in the air with a live pilchard rigged to a balloon while drifting. Chum bags, live, and cut baits made a few snapper into filets as well.
We ended up leaving the keys with stories to tell about wily inexperienced “natives” coming out for a night time snapper trip, to memories of a healthy sailfish tail walking its way to freedom, and a few pounds of Blackfin and snapper for the table.
I thank a good friend for his unwavering enthusiasm while planning and executing this trip and myself for having enough “fuck it” left in me to jump in the truck and go. We traded fancy charter boats and expensive meals for Tuffy’s open deck and ramen noodles to make world class sportfishing a reality for two youngish guys with 4 days to kill.