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Help - Upper keys fishing

We're in Key largo/tavernier with access to a boat from now until the 2nd. We have fished the gulf coast (siesta key to goodland) in the past, but it seems the fishing is quite a bit different on this side. The water seems both shallower and more clear, and we haven't been able to find or land anything other than the odd small barracuda.

I was hoping someone on here might be able to give us some pointers as to what to look for when fishing back bays as well as what to use (we've been using pilchards)?

I've also heard there are reefs and wrecks we could fish, but were not particularly sure how to find them? Did some quick searching online with minimal results. Don't want anybody to give up their spots, just looking for a little guidance.

Thanks, Will


  • DogDocDogDoc Posts: 686 Officer
    Merry Christmas..check out the Keys regional Forum to get some recent local reports.
    This time of year the patch reefs and outer reefs produce well. Any of the local charts will show rocks and reefs on the Atlantic side between the islands and the outer reef, and chum and cut/live bait will be the ticket. The shallow flats cool down alot in the winter and the high profile targets might be absent, but I understand that trout and spanish are active on the gulfside banks.
  • Neptune1Neptune1 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Will, for those trying to fish in the backcountry you should be aware of conditions around you. Birds are an indication things are happening. Also look for muddy waters, that indicates activity. Small jighead with white gulp. Also look for more boats in an area that indicates action on suspected fish, foremost cover ground looking for tell tale signs of action.
    Capt Eric
    Neptune Charters
  • Reel4ReelReel4Reel Posts: 439 Deckhand
    pick up a hot spot chart from a tackle store and start there. you can also look for a falling tide and a large expanse of flats. find the channels where the water is moving into. chum bag and start waiting for things to show up. I fish out of Chockoloskee quite often and yes, it is very different. if you fish on the Atlantic side, you don't have to travel out of Hawk's Channel. same thing with the chum bag and fish 'em up.
  • willhitchonwillhitchon Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Thank you all, Just found the Keys regional forum now... going to pick up a better map as well as some chum first thing tomorrow morning
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