Florida Part 2: The Keys

This next part of the road trip all happened in one area: the Florida Keys. As I have less of a connection to saltwater species, this will mainly be a sort of "photo essay" rather than a full report. Most of the fish were caught at the renown Channel 5 bridge, but we did hit a few other spots as well. The following photos are just some of the more interesting or colourful fish we caught, not necessarily every lifer obtained (there were way too many lol).

 

We arrived at night and started fishing for sharks right away. Gerry showed up out of the darkness and introduced himself to us, he was ready for the fishing to begin! No sharks were caught that night, but I did catch this super cool Green Moray on a handline; it would make great bait for later on.

Waking up on the beach was a pretty cool experience, a little groggy and salty, but I still felt very lucky to be in such a beautiful area :)

The first spot of the day was the aforementioned Channel 5 bridge, where the lifers really started rolling in. I don't remember how many fish were caught, but the bites were constant and everything I pulled up seemed to be something new. Here are a few of the cool ones:

Yes, I finally caught the infamous Slippery Dick! Please visit "www.slipperydickpics.com" should you feel the need to see more pics haha.

 

After we seemed to have exhausted many of the more easily obtained lifers, we switched up spots and tried another bridge over shallower and weedier. Here we caught a different variety of fish, more pics below:

That was it for the day, over 20 new species in the books and the night hadn't begun yet. The rest of the group went in to sleep, but Ken and I decided to brave the windy weather and put another few hours in for sharks. The conditions were rough and the action wasn't hot, but I did manage my first shark ever! A Nurse Shark:

The following day was more of the same; trying a few new spots and trying to catch any new species we could find. A few of my highlights, including my first-ever Pupfish, are pictured below:

That pretty much sums up the Keys portion of the adventure. I learned a lot more about saltwater fishing from Ken and started seeing why some anglers like these tropical areas so much. I won't say I'm converted from freshwater, but I can appreciate the variety and colours of these fish.

Species List: 
Chub, Bermuda
Cowfish, Scrawled
Filefish, Planehead
Grunt, Bluestriped
Grunt, French
Grunt, Sailor's Choice
Grunt, White
Jack, Horse-eye
Killifish, Goldspotted
Leatherjack
Moray, Green
Mosquitofish, Eastern
Perch, Sand
Pinfish
Porkfish
Puffer, Bandtail
Sergeant Major
Shark, Nurse
Silverside, Hardhead
Snapper, Lane
Snapper, Mangrove
Snapper, Yellowtail
Tang, Doctorfish
Trunkfish, Buffalo
Wrasse, Puddingwife
Wrasse, Slippery Dick

Comments

BradleyR's picture

Let me know f you guys would prefer my reports all as one post, I've been splitting up the longer trips but don't want to get on anyone's nerves.

This report is great! I fish the keys once per year and am curious as to where you caught the Trunkfish? Great post thank you for sharing!

Dean and Crystal

BradleyR's picture

Thank you :) I'll send you a PM.

Dr Flathead's picture

Nice action. Bucket list trip for me for sure.

BradleyR's picture

Thank :) Definitely gotta make that happen!