Fishin' Florida!

If I'm not in Cape May, then the other place that I really enjoy fishing is Islamorada in the Florida Keys! I love the Florida Keys and can't get enough of the great fishing, snorkeling, and diving oppurtunities available down there!

Whenever we have gone to the Florida Keys, we have always stayed in Islamorada...the sport fishing Capital of the World. We have fished for King Mackerel, Sailfish, DOLPHIN, and we have also fished a couple of party boats on the reef for fish like Yellowtail Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Grouper, and the menagerie of other game fish on the reef. We have had good results with one charter boat in particular in the Keys. The boat's name is the Sea Horse and it is run by one of the best fishermen/captains that I know...Captain Don Clark. He is a great guy to fish with and you can really tell that he wants you to catch fish. When he is out, he is on a catch fish! His deck hand, Will, is extremely knowledgeable and makes the trip even more enjoyable as he teaches you a lot and heps you to catch even more fish! We had a great King Mackerel trip with Captain Don. I don't even know how many Kings we caught, but we had a lot and some big ones. We also had, I think, four Dolphin that weren't even supposed to be in the Keys that time of year, a Wahoo, and the second biggest False Albie that I have ever seen! The other trip we took with Don was one INCREDIBLE Dolphin trip! This guy is the Dolphin master and we caught, I'm guessing here, fifty to seventy Dolphin. We caught a lot of fish and many of them were nice sized! My biggest one went 25lbs.(a female) and my Dad's biggest one was a big 'ol 39lbs., 57 1/2 inch Bull that was in a pair with my female. We released a lot of fish, but most of the Dolphin were nice sized and we had an absolute blast catching them on tackle as light as 4lbs. ultralight gear.

I was somewhat less impressed with another boat we went out on(not going to mention the name) for Sailfish. I thought he was an unprepared Captain and he didn't even know that we were going when we were and the only reason we got to go out was because we stopped at the dock the day before our trip and we saw the captain. We also didn't catch anything all day except for a big Barracuda that I nabbed with one of the few Ballies he had in his live well. This was before we went on the Sea Horse for our first time and needless to say, we will not be back on that boat. The only boat I would consider chartering out of Islamorada would be the Sea Horse.

Aside from fishing, snorkeling and diving are my favorite things to do in the Keys. I haven't tank-dove the reef yet, since I am not certified in diving, but I plan on getting certified next summer and going on a dive trip in the Keys very soon. I have snorkeled and free-dived several times in the Keys and the only word that sufficiently describes the experience is breathtaking. If you go to the Keys, you have to snorkel! It is exhilirating and an incredibly fun experience. You see a ton of marine life on the reef and you have LOTS of close encounters with big 'cudas! It gets your blood pumping. It is also very interesting to see how the different members of the coral reef community interact with each other in their natural environment. You can expect to see many different species on the reef from a variety of snappers to 'cudas and sharks. It is a great experience!

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