SWE fan asks the following question:
"Hello! I am from Minnesota and will be heading down to the keys this summer. I will be staying in the Tavernier area. I wish to catch many fish such as shark, tarpon , snook, and a bunch more. I already possess a 9500 Fin nor ocean reel and now I just need a rod. I am also making shark rigs for shark fishing . Could you tell me any good locations to fish from shore, Any hot lures to use, or really anything helpful since I am unfamiliar with the area as well as species of fish. I have been ocean fishing before in North Carolina but only managed to catch a handful of Atlantic croaker and one puppy drum! Anything is helpful, thank you! P.S. You guys are awesome!"
It sounds like you have a great trip planned!
One of the really great things about the Florida Keys is the ability to see a great looking fishing spot from the road and pull the car over and fish there. We have 150 miles of water on both sides of the road and there are some great places for shore fishing.
Many places that look really good are tide dependent. You may go by early in the day and decide that is a place you would like to try on the way back only to see it actually out of the water on low tide. This is one reason why the bridges are such a great option. Bridges are excellent places to fish and people catch some really nice fish from the Keys bridges every single day. Many places offer only a few bridges to fish from but in the Florida Keys we have 42 bridges!
Definitely try to fish alot of the bridges in the upper keys both during the day and at night. There are people who fish those bridges every day and really know what they are doing. You will see them...they will be the ones with the bent rod! Don't be afraid to talk to these people and find out what they are doing. If you approach them the right way and make conversation, many fishermen are all too happy to help you catch fish.
Tackle shops are also great places to get up to the second information on which bridge has a hot bite, the bait to use and when to go there. You can catch just about every specie available at the bridges at some time of the year and some tide. You will encounter sharks too which can be fun.
Here is a video I did about Shark rigs:
#1 Tip for Bridge Fishing
My #1 tip would probably be to figure out a way to carry live bait to the bridges. A few live shrimp and a few live pinfish will definitely get more bites than cut bait or frozen. I really like The Frabill Shrimp Shak. If you can take live bait to the bridges, you will catch fish! Live shrimp and live pinfish are available at the local tackle shops. Get one of these Shrimp Shaks and you will be able to keep them alive all day if you change out the water occasionally.
Even if you plan only to shark fish, you will do better with fresh caught bait to cut rather than frozen. The live shrimp and pinfish will help you catch some fresh chum and bait. Just be sure that anything you use for bait is of legal size.
Hope all this helps!
Post a picture of the big fish you catch on your trip!
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