02-04-2008, 08:21 PM
I, as do many people, know about the big bones the cruise the flats in and around Islamorada. Many fish easily push 10lbs, which days of several double digit bones not uncommon.
However, most of these flats are only accessible by boat.
Does anyone know of any good flats that are wadeable to a poor little flyfisherman without a boat? (Me)
If you have a secret spot which you do not wish to divulge, I understand. :) Its your spot, and I have no right to pry it from you.
Some pictures of Randy Stallings's monster bones from Islamorada.
02-06-2008, 10:41 AM
1. Mile Marker (MM) 74 - a place locally refered to as "Billboard" on Lower Matecumbe (not the "Downtown Flats" you allude to, but technically still Islamorada). It's an oceanside flats right across from a Texeco station on Overseas Hwy (Rt. 1 northbound). Though not the legendary water you have read about, trust me on this - the fish are big and just as difficult. recommend that you fish there on an early or late high tide . . . let the fish cross the bars and get to the feeding beds (grass) near the shoreline before you go to work on them (or, them on you).
2. Definitly not Islamorada, but Long Key State Park on the oceanside of LK (about 10 miles south of Lower Matecumbe) offers excellent wade fishing. Park opens at 8 and closes at sunset - a nominal fee gets you in for the day where you can wade, wade, wade (big flat system). Again, big fish . . . not too many, but as good as it gets in the Keys. Legendary bones that have been named by locals over the years mixed with transients that are 7 to X-teen lbs. Long Key gives up no gifts, however, you'll fish hard and smart for your trophy here . . . but they're doable - definitly.
Don't know your background / experience with bonefish, but this isn't "beginner" territory. Unless you fish with a guide, prepare to be awed and humbled . . . and maybe rewarded. There's always someone who counters this diatribe with, "Awwww, cmon, I stepped out of the car and nailed an 8-pounder. What's the big deal about the Keys challenge?!" Someone will chime in with this, for sure. Maybe you. There is luck in fishing, no doubt, but I try not to rely on it too, too much.
Well there goes my story of the 8 pounder at the Green Turtle Inn sign! Damn!
Alan tells it just like it is (no surprise). I went for DIY four years straight and not much to show for it than that Matecumbe fish and some luck at Bahia Honda - as the song goes "if it wasn't for sh*t luck I'd have no luck at all"
02-06-2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the reply guys! Maybe after I hone my skills, I'll try for bonefishing one of those flats!
Alan, the flats you mentioned at MM 73, is it north or south of Channel 2? Is it on the opposite side of the Texeco station right? Are the feeding grass flats visible from shore, so would I be able to spot fish before I try to "work one"? I've fished Channel Two bridge many times, and last year landed a 6lb bone there on a live shrimp. :o
02-07-2008, 07:01 AM
I have caught a lot of fish around Islamorada but always guided from a skiff.:)
I know that the Ocean side has a number of wadeable flats and you can even catch bonefish from the beach at Cheeca Lodge.
If I wanted to do some DIY thee I would probably go, as Juro suggests, close to the Green Turtle Inn.
The Bay side around there is not wadeable unless you want to sink up to your waist in mud.:tsk_tsk:
02-07-2008, 08:47 AM
MM74 . . . park opposite the Texaco off the side of Overseas Hwy . . . walk about 50 feet to the oceanside flat - can't descibe it more clearly. Yes - spot the fish near shore . . . not a blind casting endeavor. Good luck.
02-07-2008, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the help guys! What the heck, I'll give it a shot next time in in FLorida.