Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Florida Keys is routinely on lists of the ten best beaches in the USA, and coupled with its well-appointed seaside campgrounds, crystal clear waters, and scenic historic railroad bridge, it’s not surprising it is one of the state’s most popular parks. But what about the fishing?? Can tarpon, snapper, permit, and barracuda find happiness among the sun worshippers who throng to the white sand beaches of Bahia Honda Key?? And what havoc did Hurricane Irma wreak on the island? I fished around Bahia Honda a couple of years ago and had shots at some nice permit and caught scads of voracious barracuda. I’m back on my annual May trip to the Keys and decide to spend a couple of days wade and kayak fishing here, circumnavigating Bahia Honda in my kayak as well as sampling the waters of nearby Spanish Harbor and Ohio Keys. What I discovered was both shocking and encouraging—Irma drastically reshaped the landscape and the fishing. The Good News: The fishing is as good as ever!
Hello From Florida….When you say Blizzard, we think of Dairy Queen!
Want to catch a monster barracuda or maybe a big snook, hefty grouper, or gigantic shark in the Florida Keys? Maybe a mess of snapper? Got to have a big boat, right? That notion was being firmly dispelled as I watched Mark Resto of Miami, with the help of a fishing buddy, fight a big barracuda on the Seven Mile Fishing Bridge near Marathon. His rod bent double, Michael was on the edge of exhaustion.
The four-foot-long cuda was churning in the fast current 20 feet below, threatening to snap his line at any moment. Arms aching, Michael finally brought the fish to the surface, quickly passed the rod to his buddy and threw a bridge net down in the water next to the barracuda, corralled it, and slowly winched up the prize.
Shore-fishing is one of the great delights of the Florida Keys. Starting at the Tea Table Bridge, Mile Marker 79, and heading southwest on Highway 1 towards Key West there is accessible, exciting fishing right near the road. Numerous bridges, wadeable nearshore flats, and close-in hotspots easily reached by kayak or other cartop vessel offer access to good fishing.
Not that this fishing is a snap. Ferreting out the honeyholes can take a little sleuthing and successful bridge fishing is an art, not for those who like to lollygag in lawn chairs! The article below reveals some of the best nearshore spots and offers tips from experts at local bait and tackle shops who specialize in bridge fishing and wading and kayaking to stalk their quarry.
CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW A PDF COPY OF MY NOVEMBER 2016 FLORIDA KEYS DRIVE-IN FISHING ARTICLE FROM FLORIDA SPORTSMAN magazine.