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KEY LARGO .. iso back country advice

k9walkerk9walker NE ConnecticutPosts: 6 Greenhorn
Headed to Key Largo with family next week .. Dec 9-14th
I fly fish & will have an inflatable SUP (stand up paddleboard).  
Any advice on the area and species? I will can afford one half day guided trip which I may have lined up. But other than that, I'm on my own. I plan to hit John Pennekamp State Park and paddle out to Largo Sound & Atlantic side flats for Bonefish.  
I'd like to hear about some backcountry creeks if the wind knocks me off the flats
I've heard of Tarpon under the bridges at night feeding in currents. 

Any advise and tips would be greatly appreciated.


  • One DropOne Drop Posts: 275 Deckhand
    Big storm systen coming across NE Fla. on Sunday, not sure what will happen down in Key Largo but there's bonefish in Largo Sound, they are real spooky and hard to feed but they are there and will give that knee shaking thrill you're looking for.  It gets crowded there on weekends as boats are constantly running the main channel on the way to the outside.  Get there early and although light will be bad, your inflatable SUP will allow you to get about as deep as possible, just be careful because the coral/marl bottom can be sharp and not good for the inflatable.  There's cudas in there as well.  Try the ocean flats from John Pennekamp north to Garden Cove, bones and permit cruise along the drop offs and follow the mangrove shorelines.  If you happen to spot at least one group of bones do not leave, move real slow and quiet and try to figure out the feeding pattern they are honed in on because they will come back around again usually.  If its just dead then find a good pot hole and stake out, put some shrimp in a chum bag and chunk out a few and see if you can't lure them into you.  It's been cold up here lately and if gets cold down here the bones hunker down and you'll be left looking for trout and other mixed bag fish out back in Florida Bay. 
  • k9walkerk9walker NE ConnecticutPosts: 6 Greenhorn
    Thanks OneDrop for the reply.  I've heard the same thing concerning the cold front coming in.  I've got no problem with chasing other species in the Bay.   Cuda, Trout, Snook ...  Any spots/advise you can steer my direction with regards to the Bay, let me know.  
  • One DropOne Drop Posts: 275 Deckhand
    One piece of advice is that the bay is way bigger than it looks on a map and it's a series of basins draining water into one another on it's way to the gulf of Mexico or Atlantic ocean depending on the tide and wind direction.  An SUP is going to be a tough call but if you can manage your way to the edge of blackwater sound you can find your way into the bay while staying relatively close to safe harbor.  Blackwater sound is no small body of water either.  A guide is the best way to see Florida Bay while you can explore Largo sound and tarpon bay.  Haven't been there in 2yrs so Hurricane Irma could have rearranged things a little.  Just be slow, patient, quiet and have a really good pair of polarized glasses.  Things happen quick when they do. 
  • k9walkerk9walker NE ConnecticutPosts: 6 Greenhorn
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