First Stop – Long Key Bridge

Fishing on the Florida Keys has been on my bucket list for many years. And finally making the trip this year has added excitement to this new challenge.

As a general rule fishing in a new location can bring with it the need for the angler to occasionally change techniques and skill sets. And fishing in the Keys is no different with the remarkably smart species here thus adding to the challenge.IMG_7036

The prospect of fishing in the Keys pits the angler’s experience with the species keen intellect to prevent capture as two combatants in a prize fight. Anglers who frequent this region are very good if not the best. On the other hand, the various local species are equally savvy and must use every ounce of energy to prevent capture.

So the keys for any angler fishing in a new location is to use the best gear and skill sets to be even marginally successful until they gain the necessary experience.

So what does a new angler in this region do? Well, seek help. And that’s my goal.

My first stop was to a local tackle shop. With dozens of shops to choose from, help wasn’t too far away.

Between the Yellow Bait shop and Bass Pro, there were many people to help and guide me which gear sets will give me the best opportunity to go from the first bite through the actual landing.

Light to medium seven foot rod sets using ten to fifteen pound braid was the gear of choice. Topped with the lightest and transparent leader would allow you to place the bait in the right place without spooking the prey.

Next thread a live shrimp or pilchard on a “slipper” jig head. Chartreuse or pink seemed to be the most popular.

Next was to find a point or edge on a bridge or sea wall where the water passed by a structure. They also said to focus on the change between stained and clear water.

My anglers “tool box” was packed and ready to go. So now’s the test – to see if I can catch some of the most shrewdest fish on the “keys”.

Check back soon to see if I learned my lessons well.

Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony


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