Driving South! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Driving South!

02-13-2011, 09:34 AM
My brother in law asked me to join him on a road trip to Florida at the end of February.

Will be in Florida around the 1st of March and I will rent a car and drive to the Keys.

Hope to spend a week or two in the Marathon area then drive up the west coast to Marco Island and do a week there then maybe Pine Island area.

Nothing set in stone just want to find some DIY fishing.

If any of you are in those areas let me know and we can fish together.

Any ideas on places to DIY fish would also be appreciated.

Need this break. Been a long winter.

02-13-2011, 01:40 PM
PM sent...........................

02-13-2011, 01:47 PM
Sounds like fun. I've had DIY success at Matecumbe Key, Bahia Honda State Park and saw some muds and tails around various other roadside flats. Recent aerial analysis has led me to believe there is quite a bit to be found but you'd need time to explore and choose lodging options wisely.

There is an angler's lodge / motel across from a large camping park with DIY angling opportunities walking south from the property. I can't remember the name right now but will try to find it.

Gulfside tarpon fishing heats up in May, but you said March. Take lots of pics and add to the knowledge pool if you can!

02-14-2011, 07:45 AM
Wanted to thank the people that responded here and via PMs.

Got some good info on where to try in the Keys...etc..

I know that it may be a bit early for the good fishing down there but the opportunity came up so I took it.

Not much of a picture taker and only have the phone camera but will try.

I like to keep notes of my trips so will share that when I get back. both good and bad..and knowing my fishing skills it will be mostly bad!

Keep any info coming...can use all I can get.. and if you are down there in the month of March shoot me a note and maybe we can fish together or share info.


02-14-2011, 08:38 AM
Frank, when in Key West stop into Tony Murphy's fly shop. Saltwater Angler on front street. It was once owner by Sandy Moret and is an Orvis Endorsed Guide service but will be helpful if on your own. Also, give Jeff Cardanas an email and let him know you will be around. he runs a guide service also and say hello to him for me.

02-14-2011, 09:24 AM
A couple of comments:

Juro, tarpon fishing on both sides of the Keys heats up in May and normally gets progressively better into June. However, Gulfside fishing can be good, even very good, during other times of the year. It all depends on the weather. Eliminate the cold fronts and keep the wind reasonable and tarpon can be caught every month of the year. I talked to my guide over the weekend and he said tarpon fishing was quite good between Tavenier and Flamingo this past week. It's a crapshoot until May primarily due to the fact that the weather usually settles down in May and can be very iffy before that. Also, DIY for tarpon, except perhaps for bridgefishing, is quite tough. As you noted, bonefishing on some of the well-known flats on the oceanside is probably the best DIY bet.

John: I know you know that area well, but I've been going down there since 1986 and now spend five weeks a year fishing out of Islamorada. I believe it was Jeff Cardenas who used to own The Saltwater Angler. He originally opened on Simonton Street. He later opened another shop where the Saltwater Angler is now and called it Key West Angler (or Key West Fly Shop---I forget which). When he closed the store on Simonton he moved the name Saltwater Angler to the Front Street store. He sold it about four years ago, I believe. I think the only shop Sandy has been involved with as an owner is the Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada. By the way, The Angling Company is a relatively new fly shop in Key West. It's on Simonton only about a block from where the Saltwater Angler used to be. They're trying to position themselves as more of a hardcore flyfishermen store, but that's tough down there. The Saltwater Angler clearly understands its need to cater to the cruise ship crowd in order to survive.

02-14-2011, 09:28 AM
Thanks Spey...my mistake...I knew Jeff was involved at some point and it has been years since I have been down there so you are more on top of this...but I thought Sandy was also involved with that store. I do hear from Jeff during the Holidays. I also "Think" that Steve Huff was involved...but things have changed and It is a tough business down there with a whole slew of independant guides not to mention the charter business as you point out. I spent time fishing out of Marathon so that is where my confusion after all these years is with Moret.

02-17-2011, 08:15 AM
Sounds like a good time! As said above the middle keys will be full of poons starting the the beginning of May. I'll be down in Marathon the second week of may looking for big tarpon. In terms of DIY I would hit Bahia Honda for bones, jacks and cuda on the flats that time of year or hit any of the bridges for a number of great fish. Also try the bridges at night, really fun. Don't fall in, you can't believe the size of the sharks that hang around the bridges!!

02-17-2011, 03:53 PM
What a great adventure, There is nothing better than a road trip to just do as you want, Exploring, eating different local foods, drinks in new establishments, meeting new people and of course fishing new waters and maybe old friends. It's something everyone has to do every once in a while to break the everyday grind. "Life is not a practice run it's the real thing." I hope more do it. Bring your shades, bathing suits, gear and a big cooler.:smokin: Have a great time. Just do it!