Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, is the ultimate fishing destination for any angler. In Florida Keys, you will be able to catch snappers, tarpons, as well as grouper. If you are looking to have a lifetime sport fishing experience, make your way to the span of bridges that lead into Key Largo. Here, you will marvel at the crystal clear blue waters of the Atlantic and green views of the Gulf that stretch as far as your eyes can see.
The Florida Keys will give you a world-class atmosphere that no angler can fully absorb. This is paradise for many fishermen. With more than 40 bridges and hundreds of miles of the coastline, making a trip to the Keys will leave you with limitless possibilities.
The Florida Department of Transportation completed Henry Flagler’s project in 1976 where they replaced all the bridges he had built. These bridges were started in the 1900s and took many years to complete. Most Islamorada bridge fishing structures that were initially replaced have been turned into piers for pier fishing.
You will find the best bridges from south of Bud n’ Mary’s Marina all the way to Key West. They span the channels that go between the Key’s islands, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Florida Bay. Here, you will find different fish species that swim between the two water bodies and you can catch them either on the channels or around the bridge structures.
No motorized vehicles are allowed on these fishing bridges, making them safe and ideal spots to enjoy and have fun in the Key’s atmosphere.
When it comes to baits, there are many choices to work with, as well as artificial lures. The variety includes cut mullet, live shrimp, cut ballyhoo, and squid. If the current is flowing steadily, small minnows and shrimps move along with it, which will help you catch tarpons that like shooting out of the water. The shallower side of the gulf is full of snapper fish, which are yours for the taking.
When you move closer to the bridge pilings and all around the rocks that surround the seawall, it will be easier to catch young groupers and snappers that come out to satisfy their curiosity of what is going on around them. If you are lucky enough, you might catch mutton snapper, rock hind, gag grouper, and more species from a concrete seawall.
To catch a tarpon, you will require a mullet head or half mullet, when fished patiently on bottom. For casting with heavier gear, large jigs, spoons and lipped plugs work well. They are magnificent fish to catch.
A trip to the Key’s will not be complete without paying a visit to the Robbie’s Place in Islamorada. This place is famed for tarpon feeding. You simply walk on the dock and feed the tarpon which is something that never gets old. Remember to take a photo of the tarpon taking a sardine out of your hand. If you have no luck with tarpons, this place will help you have an opportunity to come face to face with one of them before leaving.
It is not only fishing that you can do in the Keys. Watch the sun as it rises or sets, gaze at ships as they go by on the Oceanside, admire the mangrove islands, and watch the fish as they swim just below you in the crystal clear blue waters, among other activities.
You can even catch a glimpse of the lighthouses that are used to mark the coral reef. All this you can do from a bridge. You will find many people simply going for leisure walks and enjoy watching the anglers. For example, Long Key Bridge is 2.3 miles long, making it ideal for a walk or jog.
However, if you decide to try your luck at angling, there are many stopovers where you can get all the information you need. There, you will get to rent rods, live and frozen bait, and tackle, among others. They will even teach you the correct fishing techniques to ensure your experience succeeds.
If you are in the state, the Florida Keys is an awesome place to visit. Enjoy your time in the sunshine state as you do bridge or pier fishing. This should definitely be on your bucket list.