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Heading back to the 10k - finally!

Hello folks,

It’s been a while, but I’m finally headed back down to the 10k for the first time in two(!!) years. Some of you may remember my last trip down - it was a bit of a gong show, with a thunderous storm, a catfish barb through my foot, and a leaky kayak. Anyway, I still loved it and I can’t wait to get back for more (fishing, not barbs). I’ll be on picnic and tiger keys in early March. I haven’t fished that time of year before. How’s the bite? I’ll be mostly targeting sharks but also love all the other awesome fish down there. Would love to get a Goliath, and maybe even a tarpon if I’m lucky. Is it busy during that time of year, even during the week? Thanks for any pointers, hope you’re all having a great time out there.

tight lines,



  • 10kman10kman Posts: 999 Officer
    7/0 hook,100lb.leader,300yds.80# braid and chunk of fresh catfish
    and hold on something will hit it.
  • BobberreduxBobberredux Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Welcome back crazy man, glad you're coming during better conditions for camping this time around.
    Even middle of the week in early March will have lots of yakkers,especially on LuLu key on the other side of West Pass,you might expect to share Picnic and Tiger too. Been a few Park changes since you were last here,Park entrance fee plus higher camping fees,but you can now pull your permit online in advance,check it out on the park website.
    Early March fishing can be a continuation of winter fishing or an early spring hot bite,depends on what the weather is over the next 4 weeks. I'll chime back in once we get closer to the date.
  • Paucan6005Paucan6005 Posts: 95 Deckhand
    Plenty of sharks in the deep holes now. Caught 3 ( wasn’t trying for them) 
  • Master of BaitMaster of Bait Posts: 75 Deckhand
    Thanks guys. Bobber - great to hear from you! I've still got a clipping of one of those water jugs, hanging on the wall in my shed, to remind me of the good folks in the fishing community. I've already pulled my permits, etc. Hopefully it'll still be fairly peaceful mid-week, and yeah, a little more comfortable in March than in June. I'm thinking of splitting my fishing time between West Pass and Indian Key Pass. I'd imagine there would be all kinds of beasties cruising through Indian Key Pass in the evening. Let me know if you folks have any suggestions for fishing off Indian Key - I'll be fishing off the shore later in the day when boat traffic dies down.
  • Indian Key Pass  , East side of that Island that splits it. Good Grouper hole just at the South end of it.
    I once hung some 300 pound mono lines there overnight and they were ripped right off the Mangroves when I checked them at daybreak.
    North end of that same Island.
    I snorkeled the area back in the day.
    Comer Key , Outgoing tide..Lot's of good Trout there on the East side of Comer.
    I got married on Comer 38 years ago.

    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Master of BaitMaster of Bait Posts: 75 Deckhand
    THAT! Is an awesome wedding pic. Thanks for the tip on the grouper hole, will definitely check it out.
  • Drifting_ByDrifting_By Posts: 174 Deckhand
    Some of you may remember my last trip down - it was a bit of a gong show, with a thunderous storm, a catfish barb through my foot, and a leaky kayak.
    Oh I remember that story! Better luck this time, am very interested in hearing your report since I'll be down there a week or 2 after you! 
  • nightflynightfly Posts: 506 Officer
    I take the kids camping once or twice a year in the fall/winter. We generally camp on panther or gullivan key and use cut ladyfish and mullet or live mullet

  • Master of BaitMaster of Bait Posts: 75 Deckhand
    Awesome pics, really cool catch with the sawfish. Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely post a report.
  • dsvm0479dsvm0479 Posts: 38 Deckhand
    How bad are the mosquitoes on the islands in the summer?  
  • BobberreduxBobberredux Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Depends on your preparation and your tolerance. Skeeter bites me she starts to itch. But many folks can't handle any skeeters. Summer wet months,you gonna get bit. A lot. It's the **** noseeums  that I can't handle, stay away from the beaches and pass mouths to avoid them. Yet people have lived and thrived in the islands going back hundreds of years.

  • 10kman10kman Posts: 999 Officer
      I'v noticed when noseeums are around,I don't seem to
    be bothered by them as much as the other boaters.Then
    I read an article that said"Tumeric taken reduces the nasty
    bugs."Tumeric,available over the counter is a anti inflammatory
    medicine that I've taken for at least ten years.
  • BobberreduxBobberredux Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Good tip! I love curry which is mostly tumeric, will have to bring bring some along on my next camping trip.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    Here's instant relief from no-see-ums (but the cure is almost as bad as the problem...).   I was taught that oil will completely protect you from no-see-ums and it's true (we used Avon Skin so Soft bath oil but I believe Johnson's baby oil will work as well..). You have to grease up like you were stepping into an MMA cage match though - oil in your eyebrows, up into your hair, your ears - any exposed skin, etc. If you sweat and any of the oil gets in your eyes it will burn and nearly blind you - but it absolutely stops those little mites dead in their tracks.. The way it was described to me is that it prevents them from reaching your skin.. but like I said - takes some getting used to.  Haven't used it myself in years but when you're in places with lots of snook and other great fish at dawn - that just happen to be where there's always clouds of no-see-ums... you get the idea... 

    Hope this helps... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • I spent a night on Pavillion many years ago sitting in a lawn chair up to my neck in the water with a wet towel draped over my head.
    No See Ums sure will make a survivor out of you.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    What I teach beginners just learning the basics about the backcountry... is that if you're ever stranded and forced to spend a night in the bushes.. After you say a few bad words and kick something... get out your raingear and suit up completely... The bugs (any bugs) can't penetrate that suit.  Also take a towel, spray it with bug spray, then wrap it around your face and head, then put your hands in your pockets - and pray for morning... No it's not particularly comfortable since it's like sleeping in a sauna -but it will get you through a long night... in one piece...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Grey BeardGrey Beard Posts: 113 Deckhand
    The only thing that I've found that works for biting flies on Lake MI is various brands of Picaridin. Out performs DEET by far. I'm told it also works for no-seeums. It comes in 15-20% versions and I have 20% by Sawyer. Less toxic to humans vs DEET. It is oily so don't let the over-spray settle on the deck. Considering what I read above maybe the oiliness cotributes to its success. It can be confusing to find because for example Repel sells both DEET and Picaridin so you have to read the label.

    Grey Beard
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