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Rod Hamilton

September 14, 2017

Bonefishing in Florida’s Middle Keys

Region: United States

General Info: The Middle Keys (from Islamorada to Marathon) represents the best opportunity for the DIY fisherman. This area has some of the greatest fly fishing in the world with wonderful opportunities at bonefish, permit, tarpon, redfish, barrracuda, snapper and others. If you get the chance go out for one – two days with a guide. The area is just so beautiful and vast it is well worth spending a day or two with someone who really knows the area. I have had some great days with guides fishing for bones and redfish.

Fishing Areas: There are some decent opportunities for the DIY wader and more for those in a kayak or canoe. One of the best places to access wadeable flats is Long Key State Park which you can visit for the day or stay in the campground. Look for bonefish directly in front of the campground and also try the flats in Long Key Bight at the eastern end of the key. I have seen a variety of other species when wading the flats. This is a popular area with swimmers, so hit it early in the morning before it gets invaded. Other wadeable flats in the area can be found at Grassy Key, Missouri Key and Little Duck Key. As in the Upper keys an ideal plan is to stay at a hotel/motel on the water that rents kayaks. This will expand the areas you can access. I have never done it but have seen people “ladder fish” that is taking a ladder out and setting up on a flat with a pair of binoculars looking for permit and tarpon.Mile Marker 74 in Islamorada on the Oceanside flats across from the Texaco station has some fish. Fish early or late on the high tide.

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