Great memories of DIY for big bones around Islamorada particularly Matecumbe and Bahia Honda but back in the 90's and most likely because I had an annual event in Miami from which I could extend days and fish - and gather intelligence over time.
Most influential to my success was Bonefish Bob (RIP) who took a special interest in my success, the big-hearted guy that he was, because I got spooked by hooking a big cuda in a downpour way out on a flat and came into his shop like a drowned cat who had seen a ghost. He laughed, and said hold on until I finish with these customers... then told me exactly what to do, where to stand, what tide phase, which fly etc etc... and I hooked and landed an 8 # bone per his instructions.
I can see how it would be a bust though as Jr Spey says it's no Bahamas or Puerto Rico when it comes to DIY bones or tarpon. Thanks for sharing the report, and Jr Spey, I am again envious of your life