Paddling the Florida Keys with a little fishing

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  1. #1
    Senior Member bugdoc's Avatar
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    Paddling the Florida Keys with a little fishing

    Took the wife down to Conch Key Cottages, MM 61, for a few days of paddling and exploring. She let me fish a little. The hotel is right on the water adjacent to what should have been good bonefish flats, but I did not see one the whole trip. There were some respectable barracudas to be had. It's nice to be able to roll out of bed and be fishing within 5 minutes.


    Employee kayak parking lot


    bonefish-free flats next to the hotel


    Pet tarpon at Outdoor World in Islamorada


    Pet jacks and a tarpon at Robbie's in Islamorada (MM 77.5)


    Nice mangrove snapper caught by Lignumvitae Key ( MM 77.5) on a DOA shrimp. Saw a couple of sharks on the flats but no bonefish.


    Barracuda at sunset


    23-inch cuda. At this size they make some nice, albeit short, drag-screaming runs on light tackle.


    Couldn't resist posting this osprey with decapitated fish shot. Located on Indian Key (MM 78)


    The shy and elusive Key Deer on Big Pine Key (about MM 33)


    Pirate ship


    Shoreline of Rattlesnake Key (MM 105). Normally a great bonefish spot, but not on this day.
    bugdoc

    Southeast Florida kayak launch sites at http://www.floridakayaksites.info

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dogman's Avatar
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    Awesome pictures and report. I can only dream of vacationing down there.
    2013 Native Watercraft Slayer 14.5 (Sand) - His
    2010 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 (Mango) - Hers
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    Lost Fishing - You know it's where you'd rather be!

  3. #3
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    We stayed at the same place a few weeks ago, and the wind was blowing 20 mph +, which severely limited our kayak fishing possibilities. But we caught barracuda on splashy topwater plugs along US1 on the ocean side, which was a blast. And we discovered that the little lagoon in between the resort and road holds some 12-14" snapper and decent sized porgies. Cool place.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bugdoc's Avatar
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    Wish I knew the lagoon had some eating fish in it. Since it was completely enclosed I figured it was just a kayak training area for those who can't deal with the current well.
    bugdoc

    Southeast Florida kayak launch sites at http://www.floridakayaksites.info

  5. #5
    Moderator jcanracer's Avatar
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    excellent pics!
    I've got some adventurous family visiting in may, perhaps I will take them to this area.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jumboshrimp's Avatar
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    Great pics, looks like a fun trip

  7. #7
    Senior Member fishingkid315's Avatar
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    Wow looks great and nice fish!

  8. #8
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    That lagoon actually has a small opening on the Conch Key side, a tiny bridge pass for a driveway to the private homes near the resort. The snapper were biting on the incoming tide as the water came into the lagoon under the bridge. I had to work hard to get the bigger ones, which were very wary. But with the windy conditions it was the only game in town. Your pix are great.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NSByak's Avatar
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    Very nice. Wife and I and some friends are headed down to do the same thing in two weeks. Can't wait! Great pictures too, especially the osprey.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bugdoc's Avatar
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    The Lignumvitae and Indian Key paddles are great short trips. You can launch from Robbie's for $5 (free if someone in the group rents a kayak), or launch free off the causeway. The flats around Lignumvitae are a problem at lowish tides, so if you can time it to head there an hour before high tide, then ride the falling tide out to Indian Key (and then fight the current back to the launch) you can do both keys in one trip. Shell Key, just north of Lignumvitae, actually has a better bonefish/shark flat to the east and north, if you just want to fish or eco-tour (avoid the low half of the tide here as well). I think the guided tours on Lignumvitae Key are only on weekends now, 10AM and 2PM. There is a house tour and for $1 per person a guided nature walk. My snapper was caught by the dock at Lignumvitae- always some there when I've been.
    bugdoc

    Southeast Florida kayak launch sites at http://www.floridakayaksites.info

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