Hello, I have a one week trip planned and I have some questions. I'm renting a boat for 5 days and I've been watching tons of videos to help me catch fish. I've still got some questions that need answered though. I have a 24ft center console reserved.
1. How far out do I have to go for the larger fish like amberjacks and grouper? I assume you don't chum for these fish but just use cut bait on the bottom.
2. I'd like to try and target snook. Is it better to go to the bay side to do this? I assume the bay side has a higher risk of running into shallow water so is it too risky to try and fish the edges of the mangroves in a boat like this?
3. I'll be fishing out of Tavernier. Will I need to go far to target tarpon? I'll be soloish (wife will be with me and she doesn't drive boats or fish) so I won't be looking to land a huge one and I assume it will be impossible by myself anyway. Just looking to target one big enough that I can manage by myself.
Thank you in advance for any help.
I was thinking I'd have to fish away from the bridges for tarpon because I won't be able to control the boat while I fight a fish. I figured it would be futile to try and stay on anchor. Possibly I'm misunderstanding what you mean by find a bridge. Can I catch fish 100 yards from a bridge or do I need to fish under the bridge? A lot of the videos I've seen show them fishing under the bridge. Specifically in the shade line.
I hate to be annoying with so many questions but can anyone tell me how far offshore I need to go for grouper or mutton snapper? I'd like a chance at catching some fish over 10lbs if possible. I'm going to have fun trying either way. I'll likely only keep one or two fish since I would have to cook them in our condo and I won't want to do that more than once probably. If I get one I'll probably try to eat a barracuda since I ate one of those before and I found it to be super tasty.
I bought a cast net and I've been practicing with it so hopefully I'll be able to get some live bait if I happen to run into some. My plan right now is to spend the first 2 days exploring and trolling for whatever I can get. I may get some chum and try to fish a patch reef. My third day I don't have the boat so I'll formulate a plan and purchase anything I need for the next 3 days. I've wanted to fish the keys my whole life and I can't believe I'm finally going to do it.
I appreciate the suggestions for getting a guide but for me it's not all about being guaranteed to get a fish. I've learned how to catch salmon without paying a guide and I find it very rewarding to actually hook up and get one on my own. If I don't actually catch a tarpon then so be it. I can always come back and try again.
Thank you all for your replies. I certainly do appreciate it.