FLATS FISHING BACK COUNTRY
FLORIDA BAY FISHING KEY LARGO
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Contact: WAYNE GILBERT @ 561-798-2884
FLATS FISHING: This huge area north of the
Florida Keys is Florida Bay. It averages two to three feet in depth, and
merges with the Everglades and other national parks and the Gulf of
Mexico. Because the channels are often nothing more than prop ditches, and
usually unmarked, it is rare for anyone to venture into this country
without a guide. Also the ecology here is most fragile and vulnerable to
damage from boats, and the guides jealously guard their territory against
damage brought about by ignorant boaters.
In prime-time tarpon season, you'll need to make advance
reservations with your guide as the backcountry specialists are called.
They are a specialized group of fishermen with finely tuned, distinctive
shallow-draft boats, rigged with low platforms, electric motors, and the
traditional 20-foot fiberglass poling pole to sneak silently and safely
into the shallows.
BACK COUNTRY FISHING: In the strictest sense, it is
an expedition north from the Keys into the wilderness of uninhabited Keys
and mangrove shorelines of Florida Bay. These trips are highlighted by
beautiful scenery, plentiful bird life, and, for the most part, superb
fishing. It is a true get-away-from-it-all trip.
The term "backcountry fishing" is also used in a broader
sense to cover the various types of fishing done by a backcountry guide,
including fishing the flats and channels in the nearby waters of the
Not surprisingly, a special breed of boat was developed to deal
with the many varieties of fishing encountered by the Florida Keys guides.
The backcountry flats skiff averages 16 to 20 feet in length and has a
very shallow draft (drawing 10 to 12 inches with the motor tilted up), so
that it can fish (or run) in very shallow water.
A platform is positioned above the motor of most skiffs to provide
the captain maximum visibility as he poles his skiff quietly across the
flats in search of fish. The rest of the boat is constructed with fishing
in mind -- flow-through livewells, excellent storage areas for rods and
other gear, raised bow area for casting, and gunwales wide and sturdy
enough to walk on. The backcountry skiff is, in effect, a clutter-free
highly mobile, casting platform.
FLORIDA BAY FISHING: Located at the southernmost
tip of the Florida Peninsula. Florida Bay lies between the mainland and
the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys. The Keys and the Florida
reef tract extend 220 miles south and west of the Florida peninsula. The
islands were formed from ancient coral and sand shoals, which are covered
by mangroves and tropical hardwood hammocks. The bay itself is
characterized by many shallow interconnected basins, with an average depth
of only three feet. Most of the bay lies within the boundaries of the
everglades national park. The bay and the Keys are part of the greater
South Florida ecosystem, one that is unique to the world. This South
Florida or Everglades ecosystem is approximately 10,800 square miles
extending from Orlando to the Dry Tortugas.
Florida Bay is a shallow inner-shelf lagoon located at the southern
end of the south Florida watershed. It is an area where fresh water from
the everglades mixes with the salty waters from the Gulf of Mexico to form
an estuary that is surrounded by mangroves forests and encompasses over
200 mangrove islands. It’s nearly 1,000 square miles of interconnected
basins, grassy mud banks, and mangrove islands are nesting, nursery,
and/or feeding grounds for a host of marine animals: the American
crocodile, the West Indian manatee, the loggerhead turtle, bottlenose
dolphins, a variety of bird species and many game fish. Parts of the bay
are also the nursery grounds for the economically valuable pink shrimp and
Caribbean spiny lobster.
KEY LARGO FISHING: Key Largo is the first island of
the Florida Keys, south of the Florida mainland. You can reach Key Largo
by driving for about 1 1/2 hours from Miami Airport. If you look at the
mile markers placed on the overseas highway – US1 – Key Largo will be
marked from "m.m. 90-106". The island derived its name from
Spanish; "Largo" means large. It is the longest and largest
island of the Florida Keys and referred to as the "Diving Capital of
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park is designed under water. Most of
the upper areas of the island are protected regions and uninhabited too.
Coral Reefs The corals in this island are known for their beauty. There is
an artificial coral reef--Spiegel Grove, which is 510 feet long and also
the only living coral reef in the Continental United States.
All rates are for 1-2 anglers
½ DAY TRIPS - 4 HOURS $ 395.00
¾ DAY TRIPS - 6 HOURS $ 425.00
FULL DAY TRIPS - 8 HOURS $ 495.00
$ 100 PER ADDITIONAL ADULT
$ 50.00 FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12
RATES INCLUDES A LICENSED USCG CAPTAIN, FISHING RODS
AND REELS, LIVE AND ARIFICUAL BAITS, WATER AND A COOLER FOR YOUR FOOD AND
SNACKS. TO BUY YOUR RESIDENT OR NON RESIDENT FISHING LICENSE CALL 1-888-FISH-Florida
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO BRING WITH YOU INCLUDE SUN
SCREEN, CAMERA, A HAT OR DEPENDING ON THE SEASON RAIN JACKET OR WARM
CLOTHES. PLEASE CHECK WITH US AT THE TIME OF BOOKING AND WE WILL BETTER