Save the keys please

2

Replies

  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    I tend to catch myself smiling every time I get a chance to drive or fish our boat down to the Keys.. sure am glad that some people are gone with the attitudes that they have.. we all have a big part in protecting this area from not taking small fish to watching our limits.. great post on what there still is though.
  • aquasport190aquasport190 Posts: 337 Officer
    Aquasport- Under 40 victim of fate... for another year or so anyways.

    Enjoy it. You'll be surprised how quickly you "put that one astern". :) So you're a displaced Yank? Where from?

    CaptJohn: I gotta know. What was lost? You say we'll never know. Why not try to tell us. Was it the marine life? Was it the remoteness? Was it the attitude of the people? There's no time machines. If you know, tell us.
  • ChumbagChumbag Posts: 381 Officer
    Backlash wrote: »
    Take a look at the Monroe Co Public Library's Flicker pages of "dead fish"... kinda sums it up
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keyslibraries/collections/72157621960249253/

    There really are some great photos of the glory days in here. I found this one noteworthy. Looks like another thing we lost is the local LEO joining in the celebration of hauling in a Mola mola by playing with the kids (Ok, maybe he is pointing his weapon at the deep sea monster, but it is entertaining either way).

    Mola_zps2b6fcdd0.png
  • ChumbagChumbag Posts: 381 Officer
    Sorry not answering sooner, my dad the old war horse fell out of his chair and broke his hip at 5 am....

    I wish your dad well on his recovery
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 879 Officer
    Enjoy it. You'll be surprised how quickly you "put that one astern". :) So you're a displaced Yank? Where from?

    CaptJohn: I gotta know. What was lost? You say we'll never know. Why not try to tell us. Was it the marine life? Was it the remoteness? Was it the attitude of the people? There's no time machines. If you know, tell us.

    I know bud... Seems like it was only a year or two ago that I turned 21. Seems like yesterday my son was born. Now he's 6'2". I'm hitting the big 39 this month, gonna celebrate properly and boil up 60lbs of Looooouisiana's finest crawfish. Love me some crawfish...
    I'm a farm boy from the midwest. Grew up on a working farm on the IL/WI border... instilled some good values and a rare work ethic. Haven't been back since moving here though- no plans to do so either.

    All the things you mentioned are what was lost.
    But if you objectivley compare how the Keys currently rate in all those aspects, to other areas of our fine nation, I think you'll find it's still a pretty darn good place to hang ones hat. Yep, there are plenty of d-bags, d*#@heads, loudmouths, etc.... but show me a place that doesn't have that. And it's pretty easy to get away from them here. I don't worry about googs like that fishing my spots, diving my secret reefs, etc.... they normally don't know enough of what they're doing to be any real threat...
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 879 Officer
    Chumbag wrote: »
    There really are some great photos of the glory days in here. I found this one noteworthy. Looks like another thing we lost is the local LEO joining in the celebration of hauling in a Mola mola by playing with the kids (Ok, maybe he is pointing his weapon at the deep sea monster, but it is entertaining either way). QUOTE]


    yeah there are...You see the one of the 20000+ lb white shark caught near dry rocks in May in the late 50's? Big fish.
    It's cool to look through, and sobering as well.
    It's amazing to me that our fishery is as strong as it is today after that kind of onslaught for decades. Stocks rebound pretty quickly, look at the current jewfish situation.
  • NauticalWheelerNauticalWheeler Posts: 442 Deckhand
    One fish oddly missing from those old photos: blackfin and/or yellowfin tuna. I noticed a few pics with a *few* blackfins, but not many compared to everything else. Not enough to be overfished at all. Not sure why... maybe the tackle was too heavy?

    Many stocks have sustained or rebounded to decent levels, but others... The picture of the boat with about 30 sawfish strapped to the side was particularly disturbing.

    Now there's the lionfish invasion... that may be too big an obstacle to overcome for a lot of species, when added to other stress factors. Hope I'm wrong.
  • keylargo359keylargo359 Posts: 1,249 Officer
    One fish oddly missing from those old photos: blackfin and/or yellowfin tuna. I noticed a few pics with a *few* blackfins, but not many compared to everything else. Not enough to be overfished at all. Not sure why... maybe the tackle was too heavy?

    Many stocks have sustained or rebounded to decent levels, but others... The picture of the boat with about 30 sawfish strapped to the side was particularly disturbing.


    Now there's the lionfish invasion... that may be too big an obstacle to overcome for a lot of species, when added to other stress factors. Hope I'm wrong.

    Back in the old day no one really fished for Tuna there where so many snapper and grouper to be had within a mile of shore there was little reason to fish for them. heck we even considered Dolphin trash fish. Not to mention the average boat size back then was 18 to 20 ft with the biggest outboard you could Buy was 100 HP in the late 1960
    The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work:\
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 792 Officer
    I could spend hours looking through the pics. The barracudas really took a hammering!
  • NauticalWheelerNauticalWheeler Posts: 442 Deckhand
    Back in the old day no one really fished for Tuna there where so many snapper and grouper to be had within a mile of shore there was little reason to fish for them. heck we even considered Dolphin trash fish. Not to mention the average boat size back then was 18 to 20 ft with the biggest outboard you could Buy was 100 HP in the late 1960

    OK, thanks for your perspective. I see what you are saying about boat/motor size, especially for the individual fisherman. These charter boats had quite a few dolphin, AJs, sails, and kings though, so that puts them out near tuna country. Looking over the pics again, I guess there are a few more tuna than I thought at first. Still not enough to be overfished in any way. If they were considered a trash fish, would they have used them more for cut bait, much like bonitos are used today?

    The other thing that is kind of shocking to me is the number of cobia vs. the number caught today. From what I have read, cobia are a very fast growing fish and pretty prolific, similar to the dolphin. Seems like if any fish could rebound quickly, it would be them. But looking at modern photos, it looks like the numbers caught today are maybe 10% or less of what they caught back then? Or maybe it just seems that way. I've spent a few months running all around Key West waters in March / April and fishing most days, and have seen maybe 2 of them.
  • aquasport190aquasport190 Posts: 337 Officer
    There are a lot more people around now than 30 years ago too. Harder to accumulate huge amounts of fish with so many people fishing for them now. More people have boats, too.
  • ChumbagChumbag Posts: 381 Officer
    There are a lot more people around now than 30 years ago too. Harder to accumulate huge amounts of fish with so many people fishing for them now. More people have boats, too.

    Yes, I think that is the message of this thread. Far more people competing for far less resources with far more restrictions.
  • aquasport190aquasport190 Posts: 337 Officer
    When the 1st people came over from England to America, they wrote that there were so many striped bass that you could walk over top of them. Turkeys were so thick they hunted them with clubs, not guns.
  • keylargo359keylargo359 Posts: 1,249 Officer
    OK, thanks for your perspective. I see what you are saying about boat/motor size, especially for the individual fisherman. These charter boats had quite a few dolphin, AJs, sails, and kings though, so that puts them out near tuna country. Looking over the pics again, I guess there are a few more tuna than I thought at first. Still not enough to be overfished in any way. If they were considered a trash fish, would they have used them more for cut bait, much like bonitos are used today?

    The other thing that is kind of shocking to me is the number of cobia vs. the number caught today. From what I have read, cobia are a very fast growing fish and pretty prolific, similar to the dolphin. Seems like if any fish could rebound quickly, it would be them. But looking at modern photos, it looks like the numbers caught today are maybe 10% or less of what they caught back then? Or maybe it just seems that way. I've spent a few months running all around Key West waters in March / April and fishing most days, and have seen maybe 2 of them.

    When I was a kid 45 or so years ago we use to fish from stilts Ville area all the way to carry’s Fort light I can remember only twice catching a Cobia they were rarely seen on the reef back then.
    The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work:\
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 792 Officer
    Those cobia in the old photos are probably from the Sturdevent or other Key West wrecks. Permit Rat on here had some great posts a while back on fishing back then.
  • Captjohn5150Captjohn5150 Posts: 1,696 Captain
    Sorry for not getting back sooner, my old war horse passed on out of florida legend and into history.....defender of the constatution, liberator of the oppressed, defender of the faith, one part sinner, one part saint......
    They keys are now 100 percent....not what they used to be.....

    One of my best memories with pops was fishing down in the keys.....pops was standing up, leaning on the rail with fishing pole in his hands asleep.....lucky pops asleep keeps his old black plated 6/0 penn in his hands....mutton snapper jumps on his bait....he catches it without missing a beat....
    Hand lining mangrove/mangos off the shore.....those big breeding schools would come into certain spots right at shore........just like today's offshore guys.....one after another, big ones, no see ums, big Mosquitos, hell no bug juice that would keep them off of you....no air conditioning, heck no sun tan lotion that worked other than zinc....the white stuff....just a beautiful ghost town......

    Today the pioneer spirit lives on in the few who made it out, keeping the pure love that we all shared with her....
    Today the tourists own whats left......
    For the love of all outdoors recreational activities....what my spelling is off, that will learn ya. Pimping ain't easy unless u went to FSU, its a BS course.
    What do u get when you can connect the dots, color inside the lines, and get your release papers.....sentence served, times up at Felon sentenced university.
    Floridas first woman's college.
    The only difference between FSU and all the other colleges are other colleges accept you into the university's. At FSU you are taken into custody.
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,719 Captain
    John sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. It's nice that you have good memories of him.

    However - You're still dead wrong about the keys where fathers and sons are making great memories every day. I don't understand your need to disparage the good times that others are having but it's really mean spirited.
  • aquasport190aquasport190 Posts: 337 Officer
    The farm that my dad and I used to hunt when I was a kid is now Pfizer. It stinks, yes. But now I am in the pharma industry and Pfizer is my main client. Strange how that stuff works out.
  • keylargo359keylargo359 Posts: 1,249 Officer
    Captjojn,

    I thank God all the time for giving me the opportunity to have seen and fished it 50 years now.But when you get right down to it nothing stays the same.I also was heavy into horses since I was 4 years old and Ocala ain't what it was.We all seek our paradise from what our fathers and mothers left for us and in turn to our grand children.I am going to take my 4 year old granddaughter out fishing over the easter Holiday I cant wait to see her face looking in the clear waters and seeing the wildlife of the Back country. then she can tell her grandchildren one day about her adventures in the wilds of the keys.
    The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work:\
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Wow!!! What a thread! Whereas I can fully empathize with Capt. John, I am equally happy that I do not necessarily share all his opinions. Sure, I miss not being able to go to a little local Cuban restaurant and ordering a jewfish steak. I always ate jewfish there, because I only killed one in my life, and it was not on my boat. I was working as the mate on Ted Smits' Floalong (Garrison Bight) and the fish was a world record at the time.

    I also miss not being able to catch and eat my own sea turtle and conch. I am very grateful for the experience but choose to leave it at that. Someone here was absolutely correct.....there ARE a lot more people in the Keys now, than in the 60's-70's and if everyone took just 2 conch per year, they would probably be in the same state of endangerment as they were back in the 80's.

    The Keys will always be something wild and different for each new generation. How can you miss something that you were never exposed to in the first place? In 2030, there will be those here, who miss the way the Keys were in 2000, so go figure.

    Besides, in some respects, maybe the fishing is actually a little better than it was in my day. We did not (it seems) have the same numbers of cobia on the flats and there were not as many redfish in the Lower Keys back then, either. I still see just as many permit on the flats as before....maybe a few more. But the average size has dropped a few pounds, at least according to my more recent experiences.
    .......Rick
  • keewestgrlkeewestgrl Posts: 192 Deckhand
    Maybe it's not the same but it's sure as heck a lot better than some of the alternatives.

    My kids come home from school, jump in the skiff and go shoot dinner.

    They wear long-sleeve fishing tournament t-shirts, baggies and flip flops to school.

    They argue with their friends over whose skiff goes the skinniest and what boat they're saving up for next.

    They go straight from the lacrosse field to their friend's boat for an afternoon of tubing on the bayside.

    They alternate between watching fishing shows on tv and looking out the window for signs that the wind is dying down....

    It's a normal thing for a boat to tie up to our sea wall with a teenager looking for someone to go lobstering or fishing with.

    The kids get in trouble for using up all the bait/chum in the freezer and not telling anyone.

    Yep, it's rough. This place is not the same. It's way better.
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 792 Officer
    Permit Rat.:beer
  • mikeloewmikeloew Posts: 316 Deckhand
    The keys are dead and gone....not what I remember....all the true conchs have sold out and live in Ocala and mt Dora...the first generation bubba's are just about what's left.....you got the whacks, hacks, and New everything's now....I say so long and good riddance...you will never know what you lost because you never respected what you had, you don't even know what you lost and that is the sad truth....

    The keys are more than the living reef, its ecosystem. Yes things are bad, very bad, but can come back over time. The reef may beable to come back in a few decades. Heck it may take a hundred or a thousand years, who knows, I will not be alive to see it.
    But the keys are really not about just the reef, if I have to explain what the keys are all about then you missed the boat.....you don't even know what you lost and that is the sad truth....

    Will the last pirate of the conch republic please lower the flag as we hoist the last toast....
    I really miss her, but she past away in the mid to late eighties....her spirit has gone over the horizon .........just her rotting shell of a body is left.....

    Boy you sound like a bundle of joy. I bet your a blast at a party :))
    Marathon vacation home for rent

    http://www.floridakeyshomeforrent.com/
  • guifriguifri Posts: 35 Greenhorn
    @Permit Rat: Nice written
    I´m from Germany and as a boy I´ve always dreamed of the lifestyle of Sandy from Flipper. So, now I´m 45 years and have to come once a year to the Keys for fishing and relaxing. I love it.
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 879 Officer
    keewestgrl wrote: »
    Maybe it's not the same but it's sure as heck a lot better than some of the alternatives.

    My kids come home from school, jump in the skiff and go shoot dinner.

    They wear long-sleeve fishing tournament t-shirts, baggies and flip flops to school.

    They argue with their friends over whose skiff goes the skinniest and what boat they're saving up for next.

    They go straight from the lacrosse field to their friend's boat for an afternoon of tubing on the bayside.

    They alternate between watching fishing shows on tv and looking out the window for signs that the wind is dying down....

    It's a normal thing for a boat to tie up to our sea wall with a teenager looking for someone to go lobstering or fishing with.

    The kids get in trouble for using up all the bait/chum in the freezer and not telling anyone.

    Yep, it's rough. This place is not the same. It's way better.


    The opportunity to raise kids in an environment to really appreciate, utilize, and respect our marine resources is second to none.
    Well said and apperently well done (raising 'em up right).

    Annnnnd, we have a pretty good tarpon bite every now and then for the big kids to enjoy as well, right?:wink
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    mikeloew wrote: »
    Boy you sound like a bundle of joy. I bet your a blast at a party :))
    HELL YEEAH HE IS! Couple hits of meth and some old stories around the campfire from Uncle Johnny is a bucket list for most.
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  • KCBKCB Posts: 129 Deckhand
    My Wife and I just bought a house in Key colony Beach. We have been vacationing in the area for 10 yrs. We are Jersey Shore natives. We are lucky, we could afford to buy a nice house just about anywhere, but we chose the Keys and KCB. We think it is great, and plan to be great citizens going forward, and to do our part to keep it great. I could tell you stories of the Jersey shore years ago and how great it was, but now it is what it is. Things change. We are glad we are here, and we hope to enjoy the area for many years, doing our part to keep it nice. Thanks Mike.
  • N2naclh20N2naclh20 Posts: 272 Deckhand
    Capt. John's idols.....sickening
    There is no greater passion than that of a fisherman.
    Avatar photo: Grandparents and my Dad at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter 1923.
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 792 Officer
    GT, lol.
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