Planning Fishing Trips In Florida? Add A Day For Fishing Florida Bay
Hurricane Irma Update
The Florida Keys was strongly impacted when Hurricane Irma passed through, however the Florida Keys infrastructure is quickly being repaired and is mostly functional with many businesses operational.
The Florida Keys are expected to be fully open for business by October 1st and the Key West Fantasy Fest is set to go ahead as planned!
Don't let your fear of this hurricane's damage deter your Florida Keys vacation plans. Things are getting back to normal and there are lots of great activities happening every day you don't want to miss out on!
The Conch Republic's Spirit Stays Strong!
Fishing Florida Bay, you have about 1,100 square miles of shallow water and islands to discover.
Tucked up against the bottom of the 'mainland' about 85% of this estuary is located in the Everglades National Park.
Running to the east and south are the chain of islands constituting the Florida Keys.
To the west, the water leads out into the Gulf of Mexico.
This creates a combination of freshwater from the Everglades coming from Taylor Slough, mixing with the Gulf's saltwater. This combination results in a large and interesting selection of wildlife and Florida fish.
Fish And Wildlife Of Florida Bay
With the water averaging between 3 and 9 feet, and plenty of feeding grounds and cover, you'll experience a treasure trove of bird, marine and animal life.
The area is rich with turtle and manatee grass, which are critical in creating the perfect habitat for shrimp,
and crab to lay their eggs.
The presence of these crustaceans in turn attracts the smaller fish, which attract the larger fish. It also explains why one of the preferred forms of bait are shrimp and crab because this is what these fish naturally feed on.
The mangrove and grassy lined banks also provide excellent cover for alligator,
snake, turtle even crocodile.
In the water you'll encounter
slowly swimming in search of food. You'll see roseate spoonbill,
egret and perhaps even a
Great White Heron
stalking prey along the banks. Up in the air or in the trees you'll see
hawk and ibis.
Mangroves Islands Dot Florida Bay
Photo Mirsal Ennaime on Flickr
Many of the fish live and breed in the mangroves and the pockets of hardwood hammocks and islands that pop up throughout the water. Pink shrimp and gray snapper are just two species that start their lives off in Florida Bay before migrating off to other areas.
When fishing Florida Bay, plan on sport fishing for barracuda,
and snook which often are foraging in the stumps of the mangroves.
are particularly delicious and are an incredibly feisty fish, often compared to bass. When fighting them along the banks however, make sure they don't get your line hung up in the stumps.
are one of the hardest fighters you'll find when fishing Florida Bay. They are best caught with crab as bait, but you can occasionally snag one with a fly, as long as it's in a crab pattern. The true test of a fly angler's skill is catching a permit on a fly.
Other plentiful and worthy opponents are tarpon,
saltwater trout, mangrove snapper, bonefish,
redfish, and shark.
Beautiful Florida Bay
Photo Moni3, www.wikimedia.org and Flickr
Of course shark will pretty much take anything you throw their way especially if it's alive or just recently been so. If you catch a 150 pound shark on a fly, you'll definitely get more of a thrill then you bargained for.
No fish likes to be caught, and this is particularly obvious when you hook a shark. They get rather angry and will put up one heck of a fight. You'll need to be prepared, and don't trust them even when they're tired, because they'll still bite.
Common Florida Bay Fishing Techniques
Fishing Florida Bay is good all year due to the strong selection of different Florida fish species favoring different temperatures. When it's cooler you'll catch needlefish, when it's warmer tarpon, bonefish and permit pick up.
This also means you have the opportunity to try different methods of sport fishing. Since the waters are shallow, typically you'll sight fish for them. However to see what's in the water, you're going to need to bring your polarized sunglasses. Your level of success is directly dependent on your ability to see well.
One of the best ways to learn how to fish these waters is by going out with any of the Florida Keys fishing guides. They know the hot spots that will produce the best fishing results. They also carry the necessary licensing and all the fishing tackle and equipment you'll need.
Here's a couple Florida Keys fishing charters that spend a lot of their time fishing Florida Bay as well as the Everglades.
|Fish Florida Bay
|Captain Wayne Gilbert
|21' Lake and Bay Flats boat, 250 hp Mercury engine, 3 person capacity
|Key Largo Departure
|Payment 10% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa
||Numerous species of most popular backcountry and flats fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup not included
Inshore Fishing Nearshore Fishing Flats Fishing
Backcountry Fishing Everglades National Park Fishing Florida Bay Fishing
Light Tackle Heavy Tackle Bottom Fishing Spinning
Popping Fly Fishing Drift Fishing
|Fish Florida Bay has one of the fastest boats with a cruising speed of 70 knots. Able to quickly get you where you want to fish, Captain Gilbert is well acquainted with the best areas to fish so you can target the fish in season you're interesting in catching. Whether you're flats fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish, snapper, barracuda or shark, he has the fishing tackle, boat and fishing knowledge you need to have a very productive, fun day fishing Florida Keys.
|Rusty IV Charters
|Captain Russell Pellow
|21' Parker Center console, 175 hp Suzuki engine, 4 person capacity
|Payment 20% deposit to guarantee reservation, balance day of trip via Cash, Visa, Mastercard, Checks, American Express
||Numerous species of most popular reef and wreck fishing targeted, child friendly, free cancellation, pickup agreed upon reservation
Inshore Fishing Nearshore Fishing Offshore Fishing Reef Fishing
Wreck Fishing Backcountry Fishing
Florida Bay Fishing Everglades National Park
Light Tackle Heavy Tackle Trolling
Spinning Jigging Fly Fishing
|Rusty IV Charters, out of Whale Harbor is a very diverse fishing charter in terms of where they can take you fishing and what they can help you fish for. Whether mahi mahi fishing, hunting snook, playing tarpon on a line for an hour, or stalking feisty permit, they have the skill, the boat, and the fishing equipment needed to make your fishing vacation action packed and fun.
You can also check out these other fishing charters below, to see what they have available for when you're planning your Florida Keys fishing trip.
You can click on any of the pictures or links below to get information on local Florida Keys fishing guides. The preview for each of them also includes a Get Rates
When you click on that you'll go to a landing page that has a lot more detailed information including current rates, availability, specifics on type of boat, fishing equipment used, where they fish, how they fish and the types of fish typically targeted.
Florida Keys Fishing Charters By Area
Select Types Of Fish To Target
Pick Where You Want To Go
Select Choice Of Tackle
When fishing Florida Bay you'll typically go out in a shallow draft skiff. Usually you'll sight fish for your intended target, and you'll find that the need to be stealthy in these shallow waters is critical.
Florida Keys fishing guides will carefully and quietly maneuver their skiff through the grassy areas, and around stumps using a pole. This gives them better control and helps avoid scaring off the skittish fish.
From the skiff you can fly fish, which is a favorite technique that can make the Florida Keys fishing trip more challenging, but also very rewarding. However, you'll also have great success if you decide to spin cast using live bait such as shrimp, crab or lures.
Fishing For Bonefish
After a day fishing the calm waters of Florida Bay and the Everglades you're sure to come back with a great story. You'll also have a freshly caught dinner or even a potential wall trophy to mount and show off back home.