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abc_123
01-15-2009, 18:58
Planning a familly vacation. Still working out the details but looking at Marathon Key in mid April. Going to do some beach time for sure, trip to Key West to say we've been there. However when surfing the net looking at things to do, my wife immediately zeroed in on the fishing and is 100% geeked to do a fishing charter....

Looking at 3/4 day. Fish species immeterial.

Suggestions? / Recomendations?

Thanks!

JJ_BPK
01-15-2009, 19:48
Planning a family vacation. Still working out the details but looking at Marathon Key in mid April. Going to do some beach time for sure, trip to Key West to say we've been there. However when surfing the net looking at things to do, my wife immediately zeroed in on the fishing and is 100% geeked to do a fishing charter....

Looking at 3/4 day. Fish species immeterial.

Suggestions? / Recomendations?

Thanks!

There are literally hundreds of charter captains in the area,, and hundreds of type/styles of fishing.. Need a little more input..

- how many?? you & the misses,, 10 kids,, gram-ma,,
- experience level?? can you bait the kook,, will the misses touch slimy squid, or live bait??
- water experience,, is everyone going to like 3-4 chop (on the good days)??
- Fishing?? grocery & big game??
- what time of the year??
- what is your style,, camping, RV, B&B's, Full accommodation's resort..

The types of fish and their seasons are the driving force for most fisherman. If you want the game fish, Tarpon, Bone, Permit, Sail, Marlin, you need to be here when they are.

If you are like most of us that want to grocery fish,, eg: no trophy mounts,, just good eating, you can have a little more flexibility on dates..

What other activities does the family need?? Beach, Tattoo's & Piercings, Dolphin swim, shopping, Scuba & Snorkeling trips??

We do have "touristas" seasons.

- Winter high season, Thanksgiving thru Easter. SNOW-BIRDS & RV's, You can expect 85-100 % booking at hotels, parks, and guides. the bars & restaurants are full at 4PM. It gets cold,, in the 60t's & low 70t's. Everything doubled priced..

- Spring, low season, Easter thru Memorial day,, prices drop considerably,, BUT this is hi-Tarpon season, so guides will be a premium.. Weather is hot but dry, pre-hurricane season. I co-Host a little get together at the end of may, Poontangle.. It's a bunch of guys & gals that chase Tarpon,, sometimes we even catch some,, but we always have fun...

- Summer, high season, Memorial Day thru Labor-day,, kids are out of school,, we have the blue collar mad house. It get very dicey during Lobster mini-season in July and at the start of recreational & commercial Lobster in August. If we can't kill ya with idiots and boats,, we'll get you with a storm..

- Fall, low season, Labor-day thru Thanksgiving, Our big deal is the kids are back in school, we have two(2) big Poker Runs in Sept & early Oct.. Then there is Fantasy Fest, the week prior to Halloween,, we get very very ADULT crazy,, nuff said... Still time for a couple storm..

I can fill a book,, either here or you can PM and we can take it to email..

References:

Fish Seasons: www.fishing-florida.com/TOPSPEC.htm

Dolphin Research Center: www.dolphins.org/

Fantasy Fest: www.fantasyfest.net/slideshow/

Poker Run: www.petersonskeywestpokerrun.com/default.asp

PoonTangle: www.aoot.com/PoonTangle/

Fishing Pictures: albums.phanfare.com/3794157/1782991

cornelyj
01-15-2009, 23:16
Marathon Key ? Why not try and go more south or west into the lower Keys?
Like the keys resident said your trip has allot of factors and believe it or not there is TONS of stuff to do in the middle of the keys!

I recommend feeding the Tarpon, lots of fun for everyone even if you are from Miami like me. The trick is to try and grab the bottom lip:D I try and get some pictures up if they aren't already corrupted on my comp. I spent allot of time camping in the groves ( in winter) and allot of time near big pine with an added two summers at sea base one as camper and one as counselor.

Flats (fly) fishing is my weakness... Permit and Bones to be exact, but as the keys resident said the fishing trip and time of year and location depend on many other factors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0ncYCEXYYk

Kingfisher
01-16-2009, 05:18
Ditto on the above post. I believe that Islamorada and Marathon are slightly better choices speaking about fishing alone. Key West is great fishing also and more of a party atmosphere. Look up Delph fishing in Key West-this family knows how to fish.

abc_123
01-16-2009, 05:43
Thanks for the replies. To answer some of the Q's. We're going to be staying at the Coast Guard Station at Marathon and renting a cabin (unless they booked since we called them mid last week) Wife wants slow-paced. Likes that we can rent tackle/small boat if we want to put around. Somewhere around 9-13 April (+-). (depending on leave dates)

The wife aiting the hook? Squirming, sliming bait? No problem. She grew up fishing and crabbing in coastal GA. Taught me how to throw a cast net. Showed my boys how to bait hooks with crickets, how to use caught fish for cut bait and how to clean catfish when I was deployed a while back. Saltwater fishing, I definately defer to her (although she's don mostly inshore).... in our family she's the fishing expert.

Although my wife's dream is to catch a wall-hanger sail or marlin, we're not looking to trophy fish. Just looking for an enjoyable trip for the boys (and her), and at the same time hopefully catch some fish that we can cook up and eat while we are down there. We're thinking that a 3/4 day will be enough to peg our boys fun meter.

There are lots of charter boats advertising online, and i'm sure that there are lots more that i haven't found. Just looking for some local recommendations and if there is two-tiered (tourist-non-tourist) pricing in effect, I'd appreciate a hookup so that I don't get raked over the coals.

As we plan more.. Maybe i can con the wife into letting me go solo on a 1/2 day trip for tarpon or something.. .that would be cool. (won't take the fam on that one).

Thanks again, gents. Appreciate the info!

JJ_BPK
01-16-2009, 06:10
As your including the USCG billets,, KW NAS has a lot to offer..

www.naskw.navy.mil/index.php?id=1399&secid=42

Defender968
01-16-2009, 07:35
I'm a huge fan of the Keys, especially the middle keys, I'd much rather be there than Key West or Largo, when I got back from my last deployment I was fortune enough to get to spend 10 days on Duck key, you should check out the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key, they've got the best Pizza/Calzones in the Keys, its a locals place, great atmosphere and good service, we found it back in the late 90's and go every time we're in the keys. Here's their website, http://www.nonamepub.com

JJ_BPK
01-16-2009, 08:15
No Name Pub
http://www.nonamepub.com

With-in RPG-7 range of my dock.. ;)

Defender968
01-16-2009, 08:34
With-in RPG-7 range of my dock.. ;)

I'm so jealous I can't even put it into words, I'd nearly sell my soul to live down there. The wife and I kayaked to several of the surrounding islands from the marina near the No Name Pub we had a ball, the keys and especially that area are truly one of the most beautiful places on earth IMO.

abc_123
01-17-2009, 06:38
I'm a huge fan of the Keys, especially the middle keys, I'd much rather be there than Key West or Largo, when I got back from my last deployment I was fortune enough to get to spend 10 days on Duck key, you should check out the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key, they've got the best Pizza/Calzones in the Keys, its a locals place, great atmosphere and good service, we found it back in the late 90's and go every time we're in the keys. Here's their website, http://www.nonamepub.com

Looks like that is definately going to be a dinner stop one night!

JJ - Thanks for the link to Key West NAS. I think the wife already looked and picked Marathon because it was smaller with LESS. We'll probably drive down to KW on the first day that we're there to stock up on groceries and to tour around.

Kids are geeked about the trip. We started off by telling them we were thinking of taking them to disney world (they are 8 and 11) and they both made faces untili we told them we were kidding. They are looking forward to the drive thru the keys, snokeling, playing in the sand and especially fishing.

Anybody comes along and has a recommendation for a good charter boat for eat'n type fish. I'm all ears.

JJ_BPK
01-17-2009, 08:29
Anytime this gets to be TMI, tell me.. :D

PM me if you need more,,,

Fishing,,

License - Florida has some old Jim-Crow laws,, if you are standing on dry land, no license is needed,, touch water you need one. This allows fisherman & families to grocery fish. BUT, to save your wallet,, you should have a Florida Salt Water Products fishing license. Most tackle shops & K-marts sell them. Non-residents can get a short term(3day,,??). If you are on a Licenced Fishing Charter, the Cpt/boat is responsible for the a blanket fishing license. With or with the license, you still have to abide to the limit/size regs.

Where:

FREE-BEE's - Bridge, Wade, Beach - It's everywhere, easy, and you probably have the gear. Bait - shrimp, squid, pin-fish, cut-bait, just about anything. Tackle 15 lb spinning, 5 wt - 8 wt fly rod, med-heavy bass casting rod.

Charter -

There are several head boats in Marathon, see Cpt Hooks or ask concierge. Dave Navarro's World Class Angler, Marathon, Dave runs a real good shop, live bait, full service,, MM 49. Dave is a Cpt and has charter Capt's on call..

Notes:

- some will keep all fish caught as "crew tips", find out before you pay
- the best are top priced and booked in advanced, my neighbor books 2 years ahead, so he gets the right tides for his customers,, and they get best airfares.
- most will supply all gear & bait, your responsible for drinks & food

Type of Fish - ANYTHING & Everything. Snapper, Grunts, small Barracuda, Mackerel(Spanish, King, Cero), Grouper are everywhere, you do need to be aware of size limits, slot limits, and seasons. When you buy bait or license they should have a fat brochure with all the data.

Warning - With the exception of some carp,, ALL FISH IN THE OCEAN ARE CARNIVORES,, They eat meat, the only difference between a Great White Pointer and a Goby is the size of the teeth and span of the mouth. DO NOT LIP LAND and think you fingers will be OK..

Warning 2 - We have both fresh water Gators and the North American Saltwater Crocodile in the Keys. When shore wading keep an eye out..

Warning 3 - We have jelly fish, urchins, and rays in shallow water. They can hurt you,, ask Steve Irwin. The Portuguese Wan-of-War jellyfish is very bad and looks pretty to kids,, little purple bubble head..

Warning 4 - when going out on a head-boat charter, the Cpt is trying to please all customers,, so if you & your get sea sick,, he will probably not bring you in,, get the motion pills before leaving the dock...

I put together a note several years ago for wade fishing the Keys. It is still viably and applicable to spin and casting rod fisherman.

http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=95444

Your kids are the perfect age to start fishing. Just be aware that a 3-4-5 hour charter may stretch their attention span. Especially if you go off-shore for big game. The bigger the fish,, the more time you spend,, it's called paying dues..

If you want,, next instalation,, how to get here and where to stop and what see, as you drive into the Keys...

JJ_BPK
01-17-2009, 09:46
THIS IS MY LAST POST,, well maybe...

Let me give you a couple touristas spots to hit, either coming or leaving...
There are literally hundreds, but these are my favorites for general family
fun..

1st,, Our only road starts in Florida city, US 1 Over Seas Highway. When
built by Flagler, it was a single track small gauge railroad. After the
trains stopped, the tracks were up-routed and use for guard rails and a
narrow two lane road was built. As you drive down, you will see where the
old bridge sections run next to the new bridges.

Also, In the old days, everything was positioned using MM(mile markers). MM
0 is in front of the Monroe County Court house in KW,, up to MM 126 in
Florida City. Locals still use MM's for way points and addresses..

www.keyshistory.org/MileMarkerChart.html

Starting in Florida City:

The trip to Key West MM 0, from here will be 3 hours ++ with-out stops, so
plan to hit Florida City early if you want to stop,, it's 127 miles to go...
Speed averages under 45 mph, with few passing areas.. Marathon is at MM 50.

Alabama Jack's: At MM 126 or so is the Left Turn onto Card Sound Road, about
10 miles out,, A famous bike stop and country bar, Sunday afternoon's they
use to have hoedowns,, big family style out door place, actually hangs out
over the water. If you continue on past AJ, over the Card Sound Bridge, the
road will lead back to US 1, down at MM 107 in Key Largo.

Warning: Card Sound Rd is treacherous,, and local swatters have built homes
with-in inches of the pavement,, BE CAREFUL.. Also of the East side of CS
bridge starts the North American Crocodile sanctuary..

www.criticalmiami.com/2006/06/30/AlabamaJacks

Caribbean Club, MM 104, This is the only spot that was used in the film
1939, "Key Largo", with Bogart, Bacall, & John Huston..

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Club

Theater of the Sea,, MM 84.5, "We are an educational and entertaining marine
animal park where performances are up close and personal. At Theater of the
Sea you can swim with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays in their natural
salt water lagoons through our interactive swim programs. The lagoons, and
lush, tropical gardens at are home to Atlantic bottle-nose dolphins,
California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks,
stingrays, alligators, marine invertebrates, colorful parrots, and
birds-of-prey. "

www.theaterofthesea.com/

Holiday Isle Tiki Hut and "The Sand Bar", MM 84, One of the most famous bar
spots in the Keys outside of KW. The place burned down a while back and the
party moved out into the channel of a sand-bar about a mile off-shore, The
Islamorada police and the US Coast Guard are fighting over who is going to
foot the bill for the LEO coverage,, on a good week-end there may be 300 to
400 boats..

www.holidayisle.com/

World Wide Fisherman's (a BassPro shop), MM 81.5,, Boy's Toys, nuff said??
Also has a great eatery, out on the dock or inside/upstairs.. They have a
very large saltwater tank with local fish species.. A MUST STOP...

www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=21

Robby's, MM 77.5, Great local landmark, fishing guides,, you can feed the
Tarpon at the dock, watch the vid clip on the web site,, some of those
suckers are BIG..

www.robbies.com/

Dolphin Research Center, MM 59 on Grassy Key,, "Dolphin Research Center is a
not-for-profit organization with goals to promote peaceful coexistence,
cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the
environment we share through research and education and to operate for the
advancement of research and education. The health and well being of DRC's
dolphins holds absolute precedence over all other interests. DRC will
undertake no program or activity that compromises this basic commitment."

www.dolphins.org/

Marathon,, MM 50, K-mart & Publics,, what more do you want..

Sombrero Beach, Sombrero Boulevard at MM 50 Oceanside, Marathon. A public
beach with picnic facilities and children's playground.

goflorida.about.com/cs/floridakeys/a/keys_marathon.htm

Pigeon Key, MM 47 bayside, Marathon. Dotted with quaint cottages, the
historic Pigeon Key formerly served as a camp for laborers erecting the
Seven Mile Bridge. This island now showcases a museum and offers
opportunities to picnic and snorkel; (305) 743-5999.

www.pigeonkey.net/home.html

Seven Mile Bridge, MM 47 through MM 40, Touristas parking at both ends,, BE
CAREFUL CROSSING, touristas taking pictures hose up traffic and idiots
passing on double yellow&*^(&(&%(^%(^... On the West end is the small
"Veterans Park" and beach.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Mile_Bridge

Bahia Honda State Park, MM 37, Just a great beach park. You can get up close
to the old rail-road bridge that was use for the early road bed..

www.bahiahondapark.com/

The area between the old and new bridges is probably some of the best
inshore fishing in the World... Famous for big Tarpon and the Palolo worm
hatch..

www.keysfishingreport.com/florida-keys-palolo-worm-hatch/

Big Pine Key & the No Name Pub, MM 30, this is one of the reasons we purchased our house. We live in the new section behind the NNP. Great piazza and cold beer.. It use to be on the KW Poker Run..Hard to find.. The pub is a small place, built in the 1800's, Started as a home, then fishing camp & grocery store. When the rail road was being built in the early 1900's, it house ladies doing the horizontal boggie...

ALSO, watch out for the Key Deer,, most of the little suckers are smaller
than a coon hound, but cute. They wonder around Big Pine Key all the time,
but come out in the late afternoon in droves. There are only about 1k so the
tree huggers have turned my island into a "National Key Deer Sanctuary", I
say not more. YOU WILL NOTICE the signs and flashing lights when you hit MM
33... BPK is also the Great White Heron Bird Sanctuary.

www.nonamepub.com/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...Deer_Sanctuary

No Name Key,, strange little island,, it started out in the 1830 as the 1st
school for Dade County during the Indian Wars, during the Civil War it and
BPK supplied most of the farm vegetables to the South, reportedly owned by
Howard Hughes and loaned to Alpha 66 in the late 50t's, they trained here
for the Bay of Pigs invasion, then it became a drug runners haven in the
early 70t's,, now it's an up-scale rich hippy hang-out, no electricity or no
water, lots of solar or wind power, houses in the seven figure range,, and
lots of Key Deer.. It's just across the bridge from the No Name Pub..

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Name_Key

Key West,, MM 0, tooo much to talk about,, but if you have the time here are
my hi-spots..

- the Conch Train Tours,, it's way to expensive,, but it is very good, great
history tour of the island

www.conchtourtrain.com/

- Sun-Set at Mallory Square, Started out as just that, a great spot to watch
the sun go down,, then it turned into a hippy street party,, now it's kinda
a mixed hippy carnival,, worth the watch..

www.sunsetcelebration.org/

- Sun-Set Sails.

www.keywesttravelguide.com/sunset_sails.html

- Fort Jefferson Tour

http://www.drytortugasinfo.com

- El Siboney Restaurant, Real Cuban food, home cooked, family run,
inexpensive and muy delicioso..

www.elsiboneyrestaurant.com/index.htm

- Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe,, The Best Key Lime Pie (besides my
wife's). it's very small, over by the Old Navy Docks,, I love the Key Lime
dipped in Dark Chocolate ice-cream on a stick... H

www.keylimeshop.com/

- Mel Fisher's Museum, I was approached by him or one of his kids when I was
in scuba school in 1969,, they were looking for divers to chase some fool
gold scheme,, one of those life time opportunities lost...

www.melfisher.org/

- Duval St,, The Party Capital of the Keys, North end is for touristas South End for the brave and "alternate life style" crowds..

We don't have a lot of street crime,, pan-handlers are the biggest problem..

During Bike Week,, there are a bunch of wheels stolen.. They close off Duval and use it as a parking lot for both the Poker Run and Fantasy Fest..

Monroe county has about 60k residents, During Poker run we can et 25K bikes,, During Fantasy Fest we have had as many as 150k attend...



And the piece-day-resin-stance,, the "MUST DO" on any SF tour of the Keys..

- USAJFK SF Scuba School - USNAS, Trumbo Point Annex, Key West, Florida


Just a few spots, there are many,, you could spend a week or more and not
see the same place twice..

TrapLine
01-17-2009, 11:40
I just wanted to say thanks for all the valuable insight, even though it was not intended for me. My wife and I are going to be in Marathon the first week of April so I appreciate the local insight. We (me) plan to do some fishing and relaxing. Sorry for interrupting the thread...back to hiding.

abc_123
01-17-2009, 13:16
WOW!

JJ- Appreciate your time. Haven't read all of what you wrote, (am writing a paper for an Org Behavior class right now)... but will. Wife and I will likely bring make a couple of cocktails and start at the top.

You're not kidding about the saltwater carnivores! Went fishing earlier in the year south of Savannah where my wife's family still has some property and a run-down cottage. I caught a goby. Scary little bastard! Definately not like the bass and sunfish that I grew up catching. My wife started laughing at me because I must have been looking at it like I caught a monster. ..asked me if I needed help getting it off the hook...

just dropped our app for a cottage a the USCGS, Marathon Key. We'll see what dates we get.

Appreciate the fishing info. Might have to bring some of my own tackle. Or, maybe just rent some somewhere.... plenty of time to figure it out.


Trapline, we'll be down there week after you. If you have internet.. hook up and let me know how the fishing is.

TrapLine
01-17-2009, 15:57
Trapline, we'll be down there week after you. If you have internet.. hook up and let me know how the fishing is.

It is the least I can do. Thank you for starting this thread, the info has been great. I will be sure to give you a report. I plan to do a day of offshore fishing and a couple of days of fishing the flats for tarpon, bonefish and permit. Now I better run for cover. Two posts in one day might put me in the Team Sergeant's sights.

ZonieDiver
01-17-2009, 18:07
JJ - thanks for the great posts. I am considering a Keys trip this summer. I spent much time in the Keys, especially around Marathon - diving out at Sombrero Reef (it was easy to find!) - during '67 to '69 while at U of M. This has whetted my appetite for my summer dive trip. Thanks again!

abc_123
01-17-2009, 18:18
It is the least I can do. Thank you for starting this thread, the info has been great. I will be sure to give you a report. I plan to do a day of offshore fishing and a couple of days of fishing the flats for tarpon, bonefish and permit. Now I better run for cover. Two posts in one day might put me in the Team Sergeant's sights.

I wouldn't worry about it. You're safe. You're not posting B.S., but even if you were, where better a place to do it than in a fishing thread?;)

abc_123
02-06-2009, 17:53
Got the FL Keys trip locked and loaded!

Apr 8-13th

One night at homestead. Two days at Key West, NAS the the remainder in a cottage at the USCG Station on Marathon. Got the wife working extra hours in her consulting busness to pay for the fishing! Still need to plan what we're going to do, but I know that the NAS has a Class VI, the keys have lots of sun and sand, the ocean has fish, and the air has lots of breeze... so it's going to all work out just fine....:)

P0604
02-11-2009, 10:05
Just wanted to ellaborate on the Key Deer. I grew up on Big Pine and I know they are very serious about their deer down there pay close attention to the speed limits and keep a close eye on them while driving. If you hit one it can be a very large fine, if you hit one and run it can be jail time. But since this is a fishing thread I definitely recommend bonefishing if you're not a flyfisherman live crab will do just fine. Just make sure you have plenty of line on your spool.

P0604
02-11-2009, 10:06
Are you planning on doing any diving? Or renting a boat?

abc_123
02-11-2009, 20:43
Are you planning on doing any diving? Or renting a boat?

No plan to dive. I'm strictly recreational on that score and it's been 10yrs since I did that. I have no idea where my card is so I couldn't rent tanks even if I wanted to. Other than that, diving would be fun... now if there are any boats to do cast and recovery with...or helos.... That'd be a different story.

We may rent one of the small boats available at the USCG station, Marathon.... don't know yet.

Bonefishing? Not unless I go by myself. I have two boys and the wife with me so when we fish it'll have to be something for all of us, besides, my wife is dead set on eating at least one of the fish that we catch! All I have is a 6wt rod... use it for trout. Can't really fish in the ocean wth that.

ksgbobo
02-13-2009, 11:08
Just wanted to throw in my two cents.

I've been down to the Keys every year for the past five years and love it. IMO, if you don't have a boat, a good size boat, you miss out on alot. But thats for another time.

I did a charter our of Marathon with my in-laws that was a bigger boat, and we had around 30 people onboard. That was fun, it was cheaper, and we caught lots of fish, the only downside is that you have to claim a certain part of the boat to fish from, which can get crowded if the fishin is good.

Make sure you do some snorklin. That is always fun, and the kids will enjoy that. This is where the boat would be nice, but you can book snorkeling charters as well. Or you can find a "beach" and snorkel around there or go to the parks. The Bahia Honda State Park is fun, but cost money, but there are lots of snorkeling spots around there. Just don't get tempted to jump off the bridge like I did.

I am not a big fan of Key West, but there is lots to do out of there, and there are some good charters out of there as well.

If you rent a boat, just be careful, and make sure you get charts to know where you are going and to not ground the boat. There are alot of idiots down there who do not know how to operate boats and end up in trouble. I can attest to that, with my idiot friend. Just be careful regardless and have fun.

abc_123
02-13-2009, 11:19
Just wanted to throw in my two cents.

I've been down to the Keys every year for the past five years and love it. IMO, if you don't have a boat, a good size boat, you miss out on alot. But thats for another time.

I did a charter our of Marathon with my in-laws that was a bigger boat, and we had around 30 people onboard. That was fun, it was cheaper, and we caught lots of fish, the only downside is that you have to claim a certain part of the boat to fish from, which can get crowded if the fishin is good.

Make sure you do some snorklin. That is always fun, and the kids will enjoy that. This is where the boat would be nice, but you can book snorkeling charters as well. Or you can find a "beach" and snorkel around there or go to the parks. The Bahia Honda State Park is fun, but cost money, but there are lots of snorkeling spots around there. Just don't get tempted to jump off the bridge like I did.

I am not a big fan of Key West, but there is lots to do out of there, and there are some good charters out of there as well.

If you rent a boat, just be careful, and make sure you get charts to know where you are going and to not ground the boat. There are alot of idiots down there who do not know how to operate boats and end up in trouble. I can attest to that, with my idiot friend. Just be careful regardless and have fun.

Thanks. Definately planning on fishing and snorkling. Need to get the lay of the land once we get down there. Will start planning in earnest a little closer to launch date.

TrapLine
04-04-2009, 20:12
Trapline, we'll be down there week after you. If you have internet.. hook up and let me know how the fishing is.


I spent two days fishing with Captain Chippy out of the Key West Oceanside Marina. We fished about 40 miles out on the Gulf side and caught a lot of grouper, snapper (mangrove, mutton, laine, and yellow tail). The fishing was a blast, there was little time between fish. We brought back about 300 lbs of fish the first day. This would be very fun for the family as long as the water is not too rough.

I spent 1/2 day fishing tarpon with Captain Butch up on grassy key right near the Long Key bridge. We fished a little farther out than most because there were bigger fish. We ended up landing 3, but other people had more action with smaller fish near the bridge.

I spent one day flats fishing with Captian Albert from World Class Anglers in Marathon. We caught about 6 bone fish and it was a complete blast. They put up an unbelievable fight. It was different from anything I have done before as the guide push poles from up on a platform and spots the fish. It is a lot like hunting fish. Unfortunately I missed the few permit we saw mainly due to poor spotting/casting.

While we were in Key West we took part of our catch to the Conch Republic. It was suggested by our guide and the fish was great. They did it three different ways, all very good. The two for one beers at happy hour were a bonus.

To finish things off, we ate pizza at the No Name Pub today. It was a fun place to stop, well worth the trip off the beaten path. The pizza is as good as advertised.

Sorry for the long post. I hope you and your family have as great a time as my wife and I did.

TrapLine

JJ_BPK
04-04-2009, 20:23
Sounds like you have had a good trip.. Congratulations.. :D:D:D

While at the pub,, did you put a $ on the ceiling??

abc_123
04-05-2009, 09:49
I spent two days fishing with Captain Chippy out of the Key West Oceanside Marina. We fished about 40 miles out on the Gulf side and caught a lot of grouper, snapper (mangrove, mutton, laine, and yellow tail). The fishing was a blast, there was little time between fish. We brought back about 300 lbs of fish the first day. This would be very fun for the family as long as the water is not too rough.

I spent 1/2 day fishing tarpon with Captain Butch up on grassy key right near the Long Key bridge. We fished a little farther out than most because there were bigger fish. We ended up landing 3, but other people had more action with smaller fish near the bridge.

I spent one day flats fishing with Captian Albert from World Class Anglers in Marathon. We caught about 6 bone fish and it was a complete blast. They put up an unbelievable fight. It was different from anything I have done before as the guide push poles from up on a platform and spots the fish. It is a lot like hunting fish. Unfortunately I missed the few permit we saw mainly due to poor spotting/casting.

While we were in Key West we took part of our catch to the Conch Republic. It was suggested by our guide and the fish was great. They did it three different ways, all very good. The two for one beers at happy hour were a bonus.

To finish things off, we ate pizza at the No Name Pub today. It was a fun place to stop, well worth the trip off the beaten path. The pizza is as good as advertised.

Sorry for the long post. I hope you and your family have as great a time as my wife and I did.

TrapLine

Thanks for the report! We can hardly wait!

ZonieDiver
04-05-2009, 11:49
No plan to dive. I'm strictly recreational on that score and it's been 10yrs since I did that. I have no idea where my card is so I couldn't rent tanks even if I wanted to. Other than that, diving would be fun... now if there are any boats to do cast and recovery with...or helos.... That'd be a different story.

We may rent one of the small boats available at the USCG station, Marathon.... don't know yet.

Bonefishing? Not unless I go by myself. I have two boys and the wife with me so when we fish it'll have to be something for all of us, besides, my wife is dead set on eating at least one of the fish that we catch! All I have is a 6wt rod... use it for trout. Can't really fish in the ocean wth that.

abc123,

If you are PADI certified, any PADI dive shop you care to dive with should be able to use "Dive Chek" through the PADI Pros website and with your full name and date of birth verify your certification. (They can probably do it by phone, too - but web is quicker.)

Dub
04-05-2009, 17:31
Thanks for the great info, I was down there with some friends over spring break a couple weeks ago and I only now saw this post. I NEED TO GO BACK!:D

We stopped in Bahia Honda on our way back up and were lucky enough to get two nights of camping in the park there without having any reservations.

Our itenerary was:

a couple days in Largo, John Pennekamp State Park, SCUBA w/ Ocean Divers, snorkeling, kayaking

Key West - Insanity, a lot of the FLA schools spring break was the same as ours - more girls than you could imagine.

Bahia Honda and some inshore kayak fishing.

Kayaked to and camped on Money Key one night as well.

Bookmarked this thread for the next trip.

armymom1228
04-05-2009, 20:27
Planning a familly vacation. Still working out the details but looking at Marathon Key in mid April. Going to do some beach time for sure, trip to Key West to say we've been there. However when surfing the net looking at things to do, my wife immediately zeroed in on the fishing and is 100% geeked to do a fishing charter....

Looking at 3/4 day. Fish species immeterial.

Suggestions? / Recomendations?

Thanks!

The guys have hit on all the fishing stuff.

http://www.dolphins.org/ <---IN marathon, kids can pet and touch dolphins

Bahia Honda State Park for beach.

Key West,
schooner wharf bar at Key West Bight. Outdoors..kids can wander and look at boats.
Cafe Pepe (caroline st, across from kw bight) great hamburgers and dollar beer. Tshirts have mirror images on them.

There is a dive boat that leaves in the early am for fort Jefferson, you can spend the day snorkeling at the fort aka dry tortugas.

conch train tour, quick and dirty trip around Cayo Hueso.

JJ, shame on you:D you gotta warn people that Fantasy Fest is a very adult halloween party. I Love it.. however the last trip left me in need of some serious drink to recover. :eek::eek:

Sunset Sail is simply wonderful. Sunset wharf is a great way to see the best articst KW has to offer.. or use to be.

www.keysnews.com
www.keynoter.com <----local newspapers.

abc_123
04-05-2009, 21:25
Thanks for the great info, I was down there with some friends over spring break a couple weeks ago and I only now saw this post. I NEED TO GO BACK!:D

We stopped in Bahia Honda on our way back up and were lucky enough to get two nights of camping in the park there without having any reservations.

Our itenerary was:

a couple days in Largo, John Pennekamp State Park, SCUBA w/ Ocean Divers, snorkeling, kayaking

Key West - Insanity, a lot of the FLA schools spring break was the same as ours - more girls than you could imagine.

Bahia Honda and some inshore kayak fishing.

Kayaked to and camped on Money Key one night as well.

Bookmarked this thread for the next trip.

Have tentatively registered for an afternoon snorkling trip at BH state park. Lookig forward to it!

abc_123
04-05-2009, 21:27
abc123,

If you are PADI certified, any PADI dive shop you care to dive with should be able to use "Dive Chek" through the PADI Pros website and with your full name and date of birth verify your certification. (They can probably do it by phone, too - but web is quicker.)

I got certified in Honduras in early 1992. Then dove in Panama in 1997, but a ten-spot sufficed for a PADI card outside of Ft Sherman... Haven't dove since.

Dub
04-05-2009, 22:20
I got hooked on the Key Lime Sherbert at the snack bar at BH if you stop in there for a snack. Not very manly, but it was dang good after paddling around the Key. The current that rips through those channels in between the keys and under the bridges is very strong.

TrapLine
04-06-2009, 08:03
Sounds like you have had a good trip.. Congratulations.. :D:D:D

While at the pub,, did you put a $ on the ceiling??

Yea, one of the many from MN I saw. Our table was under a dollar bill that said "John Wayne was here." I liked the place so much I bought a tourist t-shirt:eek:, first time I have done that in a long time.

I would echo those that recommended Bahia Honda. It is very scenic. A good place to do a little page turning. I finished Never Surrender and Sheriff of Ramadi.

Are there extra points for spotting ps.com's Conch Republic resident while down there?

JJ_BPK
04-06-2009, 08:18
Are there extra points for spotting ps.com's Conch Republic resident while down there?

Point System,,,


One Point if QP identified by personally taken photograph
Ten Points if QP spotted here: www2.keysso.net/ArrestReports/ArrestLog1.htm


Points awards system and redemption plan to be determined.. :confused::eek::rolleyes::p

ZonieDiver
04-06-2009, 11:20
I got certified in Honduras in early 1992. Then dove in Panama in 1997, but a ten-spot sufficed for a PADI card outside of Ft Sherman... Haven't dove since.

It's like riding a bike! Diving is a great family sport - albeit somewhat expensive initially, like skiing.

I am hoping my younger daughter and her husband can join me and dive while I housesit for a friend in the Bahamas this summer. They have only dived Calif. with colder waters, full wetsuits and hoods, and lots of lead. I leave as soon as school is out on May 22nd... and will be there until mid-June, then a week or so in the Keys, then up to NC to visit family in Greensboro, or down at the beach at Ocean Isle. That'll "shoot" the summer! Enjoy your trip.

abc_123
04-07-2009, 20:37
It's like riding a bike! Diving is a great family sport - albeit somewhat expensive initially, like skiing.

I am hoping my younger daughter and her husband can join me and dive while I housesit for a friend in the Bahamas this summer. They have only dived Calif. with colder waters, full wetsuits and hoods, and lots of lead. I leave as soon as school is out on May 22nd... and will be there until mid-June, then a week or so in the Keys, then up to NC to visit family in Greensboro, or down at the beach at Ocean Isle. That'll "shoot" the summer! Enjoy your trip.

Sounds lilke a great time.

I remember the days that I spent diving the Wall on Roatan. Absoluely beautiful! Also remember how much it sucked yakking wile at depth...was a bitch trying not to suck in water after blowing your breakfast! The good thing was it really attracted the little fish....man they came out of EVERY nook an cranny. I got SWARMED!!!!!

Moral of the story.... lots of boozing ... inexperienced diver... 3 dives a day... NOT GOOD.

abc_123
04-07-2009, 20:38
JJ


PM Sent!

JJ_BPK
04-11-2009, 08:01
We had the pleasure of entertaining the abc_123 family last night.

Tried a low speed, simple little get together,,

But wouldn't you know,, the locals heard about free booze and the chance to meet a BTDT celebrity from the 5-sided house in Arlington, Va..

Before you could yell "Tree Hugger", they're all lined up for autographs..

We managed to grab a couple bouncers from the NNP for crowd control..

A couple days ago, we had Seal Team #1 running a Robin Sage compass course, in the canal. I hooked up a couple pony-kegs to a hose,, kept-em happy for about an hour. This may not be The peoples Republic of PineLand,, but we give it our best shot..

I think everyone had a good time,, I know Jean & I did..

My $00.0002

ZonieDiver
04-11-2009, 08:33
We had the pleasure of entertaining the abc_123 family last night.

Tried a low speed, simple little get together,,

But wouldn't you know,, the locals heard about free booze and the chance to meet a BTDT celebrity from the 5-sided house in Arlington, Va..

Before you could yell "Tree Hugger", they're all lined up for autographs..

We managed to grab a couple bouncers from the NNP for crowd control..

A couple days ago, we had Seal Team #1 running a Robin Sage compass course, in the canal. I hooked up a couple pony-kegs to a hose,, kept-em happy for about an hour. This may not be The peoples Republic of PineLand,, but we give it our best shot..

I think everyone had a good time,, I know Jean & I did..

My $00.0002

Damn, those are some well-fed "Seals"! Thanks for sharing, JJ!

Are those large, ugly "bufo marinus" toad-thingies still around S. Fla and the Keys?

JJ_BPK
04-11-2009, 08:46
Damn, those are some well-fed "Seals"! Thanks for sharing, JJ!

Are those large, ugly "bufo marinus" toad-thingies still around S. Fla and the Keys?

Dugongs visit our canal every spring. I suspect it's their
migration North, following the warm water.

In South Florida, between Miami and Orlando, there are pockets of warm water where they stay all year long. Mainly around the nuke power plant out flows.

These two girls were the biggest we ever had,, I'd guess 9-11
ft,, maybe 1500 lbs..

abc_123
04-12-2009, 08:47
Had a great time! Thanks to JJ_BPK for the hospitality. The kids loved feeding the deer.

Am on a borrowed computer at NAS, Key West and have to get back to go snokeling with the kids. Weather is great. Fishing was good, but a little disappointing for the big kids..(too windy to go offshore with the kids so we stayed in the backcountry and caught a load of smaller fish to eat).

Will post more more later.

Gotta go outside and work on my sunburn.

abc_123
04-19-2009, 19:22
Had a great time in the Keys.

Thanks agian JJ and Jenine for the hospitality, good food, and conversation. My wife packed one of those coconuts back for the kids and the ate it just the other day!

Fished with a small charter out of Hurricaine Hole in KW. 28' center console boat. Young captain. Piscovorous Charters (sp?) Nice guy. 18 kt winds so with kids he recommended we didin't go offshore for sails, but he'd take us if we wanted. We agreed so he took us to the backcountry and we caught a load of snapper. Kids had action all trip. I caught a 8-9' shark and my wife broke another, bigger shark off. The Lane, mutton, and yellowtail snapper were amazing to eat....so all were happy.

KW NAS MWR offers good discounts on lots of stuff. Call them before you go and get a list! The USCGS, Marathon cottages are nice. Single bedroom , large sitting area and kitchen...very nice.... but not a lot to do for kids (they don't want them wandering aroun the station). Better to stay on the NAS, KW Trumbull point where there is a pool and a shoppette/class VI close by and the beach is also a shorter drive.

Speaking of beaches... Bahia Honda is the best. Gotta go there. Loo Key if you dive or snorkel is the place.

Hey, JJ... the guys at Innerspace dive shop were GTG. The owner is a QP and the service was great...so anyone reading this wants to go diving or snorkling... look them up... they're on Big Pine Key.

abc

ksgbobo
04-21-2009, 19:59
Whoa JJ_BPK them deer are out of control! I wouldnt mind eating some dog sized Key Deer! But I bet its nice to look at them in the yard.:D

abc_123
04-21-2009, 21:19
Whoa JJ_BPK them deer are out of control! I wouldnt mind eating some dog sized Key Deer! But I bet its nice to look at them in the yard.:D

Yeah, me too. While I was watching them I was thinking that a good sturdy rod, some 50# test mono, some good sharp hooks, and a few apples would be all you need to catch your limit.

armymom1228
04-22-2009, 01:05
You guys are making me real homesick ya know that don't ya?;)

URL for Innerspace Dive Shop.

http://www.diveinnerspace.com/

JJ_BPK
04-22-2009, 05:07
Whoa JJ_BPK them deer are out of control! I wouldnt mind eating some dog sized Key Deer! But I bet its nice to look at them in the yard.:D

Ya, woodn't git much protene outa the little suckers..

And the flavor is ??? different. they eat mostly Black & Red Mangrove and Buttonwood, which is very high in tannin and salt.

Here is a pic of one of the BIG BUCKS, a seven pointer..

ZonieDiver
04-22-2009, 10:09
Hey, JJ... the guys at Innerspace dive shop were GTG. The owner is a QP and the service was great...so anyone reading this wants to go diving or snorkling... look them up... they're on Big Pine Key.

abc

Thanks for the heads-up, abc. I was going to ask about dive shops in the vicinity. I am on an email list from "Cap't Hooks" in Marathon (met the guy at a dive show in Long Beach last year), but appreciate first hand info. I'll always steer business to a quality operation, esp. one run by a QP.

abc_123
04-22-2009, 19:32
Thanks for the heads-up, abc. I was going to ask about dive shops in the vicinity. I am on an email list from "Cap't Hooks" in Marathon (met the guy at a dive show in Long Beach last year), but appreciate first hand info. I'll always steer business to a quality operation, esp. one run by a QP.

No problem. JJ steered us their way. IIRC the owner said he was former 5th and I think 7th. Before my brief time at 7th.

Had a small shop. He was very friendly and the boat driver and divemaster (actually, snorklemaster) for my family was very friendly and good with my boys.

JJ, you need to tell them to get in with the MWR folks on NAS, KY so that they get on the "recommended" llist.

JJ_BPK
04-22-2009, 19:48
JJ, you need to tell them to get in with the MWR folks on NAS, KY so that they get on the "recommended" llist.

Good point,, will do..