Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: July 29 2007,09:23
Sue Sea and I spend most weekends somewhere in the upper or middle keys (which I have arbitrarily divided cause I thought two divisions were enough), most often Key Largo cause it's a reasonable day trip.
But Islamorada is not all that much further and we discovered a great little private, easy launch near Bass Pro, Bay side. In this area you'll find a bunch of small Mangrove islands and humps intersperced with some marked boat channels, et al.
It definitely has that Middle Keys feel, with high current bridges and pass throughs, winding mangrove channels, tons of flats and boating channels and the clear turquoise waters that makes you feel like you are yakkin on a postcard or the closing billboard of Carlito's Way.
Scattered rain and bad thundershowers were predicted, but the great part about the Keys is that all ya gotta do is head a couple islands north or south to find a big hole in the weather.
And so it was.
Well, I ran into a super flats area, decent flow and on the lee side of a nice mangrove island, broad flats. To find a small school of shallow water tarpon. I'd just purchased Chef Mike's and my favorite top water - a red/white Mirrolure Top Dog Jr. Nice saltwater hooks, sturdy.
Tossed it just past the school. Two jerks - a powerful hit - and line started peeling off my Econo-Rig (the one I bought at Wally World when I forgot my gear - all Shakespeare - $20 spinner, $7 glass rod and $3 for 700 yards of 8 lb test). The drag was nice and smooth and the rig was workin fine with a serious fish on.
Pulled off maybe 70 yards of line, and I finally started palming the reel - either it was gonna hold or not and I didn't want to get spooled. Then it was off for a sleigh ride, maybe a quarter mile, while I carefully worked my way closer, just wanted a look.
Not a single jump, this guy was just cruising like I wasn't there. Finally got within maybe 30 feet under heavy pressure, and... pop! All gone. Never even a glimpse except for a very brief touch of the surface that revealed nada.
But what fun!
This location is super and does not appear to be fished much due to the inaccessibility of most of the broad flats by other than kayaks. Several bird islands just teeming with herons, cormorants, pelicans and even a few frigates. Just a few channels (occasionally busy) for pass through motorcraft. Close enough for a day trip from Ft. L. and south. A cool little rustic launch (dirt) and you are ensconced among mangrove islands almost immediately.
Just another day in Paradise...
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