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Video Added - Looking For a Lower Keys Flats Guide
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I'll be in the lower keys for the last half of April and am looking for a backcountry and/or bridge fishing guide recommendation.


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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You can't go wrong with:

http://www.lastcastcharters.ne...t_Charters/Home.html

keep my boat at Cudjoe Key, live in Key West in the winter.

never heard of a "bridge fishing guide", most folks just pick a bridge and fish off it down keys.

April is a decent time for Yellowtail, Dolphin are starting to pickup and Tarpon will be in.

Best part ? Dirt cheap non resident license you can buy online.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 13 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the link. By bridge fishing, I mean fishing for tarpon at 7 Mile or Bahia Honda bridge.


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Got it. That is anchor and stream baits down current fishing. Usually done from boats that won't get into the flats.

Sight casting for Tarpon on the flats is more difficult and close to the ultimate in flyrod fishing. When 100+ pounds of fish comes 10' in the air close enough to splash you ..... well it gets your attention. Few strikes, fewer hookups, very few brought to the boat but like hunting Elk with a longbow/handfletched wood arrows/broadheads you sharpened rather than shooting one at 400 yards with a 340 Weatherby.

If you get down here be sure to have a meal at
Bobalu's Southern Cafe
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14...Cafe-Big-Coppitt-Key
and the La Te Da
http://www.lateda.com/

You don't have to be gay (most attending are not) to also enjoy Randy Roberts at the La Te Da caberat. He is not some lipsynching drag queen but a helluva performer. (Avoid the first row left table unless you want to be part of the show) Suffice to say he does Cher better than ....Cher.
http://www.randyroberts.net/Si...y_Roberts_Live!.html

Enjoy your visit. We spend 5 months here and 7 in NW Wyoming. Escaped from NY 12 years ago.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 13 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the recommendations. We'll be sure to check out Bobalu's. They had some great reviews.

Last time down there we experienced exactly what you described. Several large tarpon landed under the 7 mile bridge and my wife landed a 40 lb tarpon on a fly rod in the flats. I love that place!

This time, we've rented a canal house on Ramrod Key.

We need to figure out how to do what you are doing. Winters are getting too long and I'd like to do more fishing. The costs of seasonal rentals are obscene and property taxes and insurance make a second home difficult.


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Well a lot .... depends.

Houses are still very depressed. If you get one that was built after the new hurricain codes went in, insurance is expensive (compared to WY) but not totally unaffordable.

Owning a boat is another question. Depends on how much you plan to use it. At my marina (Cudjoe Gardens) you can rent a fully equipped 18' boat for $250/day plus gas. My own 18' costs $80/month to store on the trailer with do it yourself launch, recover and washdown included. (Storage in Key West on a rack, all there is, is $300+/month with no place to store your trailer.)

Finally, how long do you plan to be here ? Our house sits empty 7 months/year but the mortgage/insurance/utilities still have to be paid. If I were starting over, I'd be a renter as you can rent as cheap (year round) as you can buy. It's always yours and you could sublet to friends etc (under the table). When the roof blows off, it's not your problem. Yeah you lose the tax benefits, but also the headaches. Property taxes here are not that high,nor are interest rates, so the Income tax benefit is small anyway.
IMHO, the "boom" is never coming back. The Boomers have had their 401s wiped out, the country is heading for a major financial downturn and the golden era I grew up in (the 1950s) is not coming back.
So,in summary, I guess I'd find canal house, with davits, rental on a year round basis that I could use when I want and walk away from when I wanted to. Depending on "lifestyle" issues you have to decide how close to Key West you want to be.
As I tell people, Key West in a minature complete city, where as the rest of the keys is a strip mall surrounded with resorts and houses.

Stay in touch.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 13 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I and my wife will be in the Keys in May. Any suggetions?
 
Posts: 3617 | Location: Verdi Nevada | Registered: 01 February 2013Reply With Quote
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FR, depends where in the keys. I don't spend much time "up keys" (east) of Cudjoe Key.

Glad to heip if I can.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 13 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I too think renting makes the most cents, I mean sense. Do you know a good realtor that handles rentals in the lower keys?


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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The keys are over 120 miles long. There are 100s if not 1000s of rental agents. Only one I would suggest, as I know him beyond his professtion, is
Peter Petro.

http://www.realtor.com/realest..._FL_707301_327894637
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 13 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Perfect, thanks.


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Just home after a great three weeks. Tarpon fishing is just getting underway with the best fishing under the bridges. We fished with three different guides. Two were out of Key West where we landed several 30-60 lb tarpon. Those Captains are Erik Peyton ( who also fishes the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho) and Andrew Asher. For fishing under the bridges ( 7 mile and Bahia Honda) we used AIA Sportsfishing (Capt. Billy Rabiti Sr.) and were very pleased. While we had many tarpon hook ups, we never landed any. We should have landed at least two, but at the end of the fight, both 100 lb class tarpon were taken by a 12' hammerhead. I have on of those on video and will try to post it later.


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I've tried unsuccesfully to post the video, but here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?f...bedded&v=d-OtfxxN5hs


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Thats something you dont see everyday Smiler Thanks for sharing Scott

 
Posts: 2504 | Location: North | Registered: 24 May 2007Reply With Quote
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if you really want to catch a lot of BIG tarpon on a fly rod, try Barra del Colorado in Costa rica. my last trip there( my fifth)my brother in law and i jumped over 150 and landed about 50 in 5 days fishing. they average around 100lbs but 150-200lb fish are fairly common. it is NOT sight casting on the flats, so casting skill is not required. you fish either from a drifting boat just beyond the river mouth in shallow ocean water, jigging a large fly in muddy water or you anchor up in the river and jig a fly 70-90 feet behind the boat. when a fish is on in the river(7-10 feet deep), you drop the anchor and follow the fish. in the ocean( in 10-20 ft water), you just hang on. i have personally caught at least 5-6 tarpon over 200lbs on a 12-14 weight flyrod. it is tarpon paradise. if you want to fish conventional tackle( 20-30lb line) the catch numbers are, of course, higher- provided that river/ocean conditions/season/etc. are good.. in the 5 trips there, i have never caught less than 20 tarpon on a 5 day trip- and never caught one under 75 lbs...
 
Posts: 8885 | Location: Georgia | Registered: 28 October 2006Reply With Quote
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Thanks Anton.

JDollar,
Who do you fish with, Rio Colorado or is there a less expensive alternative?


"There are worse memorials to a life well-lived than a pair of elephant tusks." Robert Ruark
 
Posts: 4749 | Location: Story, WY / San Carlos, Sonora, MX | Registered: 29 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Silver King Lodge is the other alternative. i fished Barra del Colorado for 6 consecutive years( until 2 years ago) with Casa Mar Lodge( which is located up the river in the jungle lagoon). unfortunately they have closed down( long sad story as they were the premier tarpon flyfishing lodge in the world for 30+ years). thus there are the Rio Colorado lodge and the Silver King Lodge. they are about 200 yards apart in the village and near the river mouth. no real difference between the 2. i suppose that Casa Mar may have re-opened but i doubt it.
 
Posts: 8885 | Location: Georgia | Registered: 28 October 2006Reply With Quote
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Way cool. Prolly don't wanna flail around in the water too much in that spot if you fall in. Wink
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
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