Islamorada fishing spots, rigs, etc please. Leaving Sunday

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Plane Fish n's Avatar
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    Islamorada fishing spots, rigs, etc please. Leaving Sunday

    I along with 3 other forum members will be towing my boat to Islamorada on Sunday evening to fish Monday and Tuesday (before mini season starts on Wednesday).

    I have pre-loaded into the gps, Islamorada Hump, Marathon Hump, 409 Hump and Key Largo Hump.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for trolling .. perhaps some GPS positions that you wouldn't mind sharing? We aren't asking for your "secret spots" just some suggestions since it is a big ocean.

    Also, where and how may we procure live bait by ourselves? Do we use Sabiki's or do we throw a net and where?

    We will be staying at the Hampton Inn Islamorada.

    Thanks all in advance for any help you can offer.

    Cheers

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N

  2. #2
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    for bait go out to Alligator Lighthouse . . . you'll see if from your hotel.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Plane Fish n's Avatar
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    thanks very much.. I assume live bait as well if we want?

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N

  4. #4
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    Hey guys we (1DeadBait , SeaMonkey) are leaving Sat AM and heading down to Duck Key for a week. There’s going to be about 25 family members total that we will be taking fishing during our stay. I’ll give you guys a shout out on CH 73. Good luck to you. Catchem up

    “When you have to choose between two evils you still choose evil” Jerry Garcia

  5. #5
    Senior Member Plane Fish n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishingbuddies View Post
    Hey guys we (1DeadBait , SeaMonkey) are leaving Sat AM and heading down to Duck Key for a week. There’s going to be about 25 family members total that we will be taking fishing during our stay. I’ll give you guys a shout out on CH 73. Good luck to you. Catchem up
    Awesome Jackson.. call us.. for sure.

    Is 73 what they monitor down in the keys?



    Looks like the fishermen down there are tight lipped and not much help judging from the lack of response.

    Fishermen up by us are much more "user friendly."

    Wouldn't want to find out there Secret Spots.. eh! :

    Cheers buddy

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N

  6. #6
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    Eric,

    The ballyhoo are thick on the reefline now, I usually start at Three Peaks (well marked on most charts) but there is nothing special about that spot. The usual tactics will get you all the fresh hoo's you can stand. Pinfish are everywhere all you need is grass on the bottom and moving water.

    The easiest and best quality white bait (menhaden) are found under your lights after dark, two nights ago I had a bunch piled up. If you can stand the hours (starting at two or three AM can be brutal) you could night fish, while filling your livewell for the dolphin mission.

    Tuna were all over the Islamorada hump last Wednesday and I didn't get there until high noon, I can only imagine it was much better early. Most of these fish were in the three to eight pound range, but they were thick and willing, we used feathers WAY back, vertical jigs and live bait should produce as well.

    The dolphin bite is more fluid, recommending a spot much harder. I have a neighbor who fishes dolphin hard, his general strategy is to run and gun, trolling only when he gets a 'warm and fuzzy feeling' (the usual dolphin signs that is). He avoids the humps to start with, splits the Islamorada and 409, his thinking is that many charter boats start at the humps to get on the score board and take advantage of the best time for the tuna bite, he wants to be where they are not. He has been fishing hard last week and doing well, though his last trip wasn't so successful. And he has caught half a dozen triple tail the past week off 'stuff' floating, another reason to stay away from the tower boats, they will find that stuff long before you do.

    Yellowtail fishing is predictable, but the fish have been small lately, the water is warm and I think the bigger fish are somewhere else. I got a limit with just two boxes of chum yesterday, but the biggest fish was 15 inches and nothing but sharks on the bottom rod. If you're interested in cero mac's they seem to be everywhere along the reef with some pushing ten pounds.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Plane Fish n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz View Post
    Eric,

    The ballyhoo are thick on the reefline now, I usually start at Three Peaks (well marked on most charts) but there is nothing special about that spot. The usual tactics will get you all the fresh hoo's you can stand. Pinfish are everywhere all you need is grass on the bottom and moving water.

    The easiest and best quality white bait (menhaden) are found under your lights after dark, two nights ago I had a bunch piled up. If you can stand the hours (starting at two or three AM can be brutal) you could night fish, while filling your livewell for the dolphin mission.

    Tuna were all over the Islamorada hump last Wednesday and I didn't get there until high noon, I can only imagine it was much better early. Most of these fish were in the three to eight pound range, but they were thick and willing, we used feathers WAY back, vertical jigs and live bait should produce as well.

    The dolphin bite is more fluid, recommending a spot much harder. I have a neighbor who fishes dolphin hard, his general strategy is to run and gun, trolling only when he gets a 'warm and fuzzy feeling' (the usual dolphin signs that is). He avoids the humps to start with, splits the Islamorada and 409, his thinking is that many charter boats start at the humps to get on the score board and take advantage of the best time for the tuna bite, he wants to be where they are not. He has been fishing hard last week and doing well, though his last trip wasn't so successful. And he has caught half a dozen triple tail the past week off 'stuff' floating, another reason to stay away from the tower boats, they will find that stuff long before you do.

    Yellowtail fishing is predictable, but the fish have been small lately, the water is warm and I think the bigger fish are somewhere else. I got a limit with just two boxes of chum yesterday, but the biggest fish was 15 inches and nothing but sharks on the bottom rod. If you're interested in cero mac's they seem to be everywhere along the reef with some pushing ten pounds.

    Good luck!

    Fritz...

    AWESOME REPORT!!!!

    We really appreciate your help.. very useful.

    I don't think we will be getting up at 3am since we won't get to the hotel until 11:30pm or so.

    We want to leave right at about 7;00am. I do have the 3 peaks in my GPS... so that is a good start.

    Do you guys use oatmeal or some other means to draw the bally hoo up to the surface?

    Thanks again for your help.

    It is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTREPID377's Avatar
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    Fritz advice is right on the mark. The area "splitting" the Islamorada and 409 hump will be shown on the charts as The Rips. From where you're staying I'd head toward the 409 early then plug the Islamorada Hump in the GPS and troll that direction working in and out to cover the entirety of the Rips. It's a fishy area and good place to spend your day.

  9. #9
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    If all you want is bait (pinfish or ballyhoo) I'd recommend double ground chum (Tournament Masters in the blue box) in a fine mesh bag, you don't need to feed them oats. Be prepared to hair hook them if they are reluctant to snuggle up to the transom (or the chubs hog the the bag and hold them back).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Plane Fish n's Avatar
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    Intrepid377 and Fritz,

    Great advice. Thanks much!!

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N

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