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Florida Keys Guide Selection

Discussion in 'Fishing Reports - Out of State' started by duckhound, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. I just returned from a trip to the Florida Keys. The weather was great, and i was able to fish every day. I didn't catch any of the highlight fish like the Tarpon of Permit, but the Baracuda were fun from the beach of our cottage.
    One word of note...if you chose to hire a guide for a trip, try to get references, and find out as much as you can about him.
    The guide my brother and I were out with was with "Born and Raised Charters" with Mike Bassett. For starters, he was late to the dock by over an hour, and after apologizing, he lengthened the trip to a full day from the half day we had originally scheduled. He then took my brother and I out on a 17ft boat that was not his (his was in the shop), which he had a couple of problems handling. After a run on the water, he decided he wanted to catch some bait, which he was not too proficient at doing (caught just a few small pilchers). Luckily he had bought bait (shrimp and pinfish) on the way to the dock which ended up being what was used to fish with.
    After a longer run, we finally pulled up to a spot to fish. It was now more than two and a half hours after our original starting time.
    The night before our charter, a call had been made to our guide about what equipment to bring. Our guide had insisted that he had everything we needed. Come to find out that his equipment consisted of the cheaper line of Diawa spinning reels...the two bearing models that are sold at Wal-Mart for around $20.00.
    Both my brother's and my equipment that we brought with us to Florida were better quality, and we both had left it back at the cottage.
    Fishing was tough at the first spot with no fish caught. We made another run of about 30 minutes. At this second spot we at least caught a few small fish. Nothing that was a keeper. However, I did hook into one fish that started peeling off line. After about 5 seconds of the line running off the spool, the line dug into the under wraps of line, locking the spool up, and the line snapped. This may have been caused by the reel itself, or the line improperly wound on the spool.
    Anyway, after several more moves, at the end of the day we had caught only two keeper Redfish (around 19" each, and 2 made a limit, but they were on the shorter end of the keeper slot) and one undersize Snook. And we were 23 miles from the marina, making the return trip a long one. After being out for 8 hours, we actually fished for maybe just over 4 of that.
    My brother and I didn't do our research on our guide, or at least worded our questions the wrong way. Hindsight is a great teacher. Maybe I will get the chance to go back next year, but I will not be booking with "Born and Raised Charters".
    One word of note, the sightseeing was great (LOL).
  2. You have to be carefull down there when it comes to guides and lodgeing. There are tons of guides and places to stay but not many good ones....JIM

  3. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun Relaxing.

    Sorry to hear about your guide.

    I am heading down May 14 to the 22 with my dad he uses a great guide every year when he goes down he has a blast. Staying at the Paradise resort i think. I will get the guides name and post it. They brought back a bunch of grouper, and other fish last yr and caught some nice size big baracudas.
  4. iwdavefish

    iwdavefish Fishin' Fanatic

    Too bad about the guide but at least you still had fun. What were you using for the barracuda off the beach? Would I need surf gear?
  5. catking

    catking Banned

    I feel for you buddy ;) Live and learn is all you can say, and this will help you in the future . At least the " sight seeing " was good :D THE CATKING !!!
  6. FishJunky

    FishJunky AEP Tuber Association

    May I ask what you where using to catch the cuda off the beach??? I'll be down in Fort myers next week and am taking my gear with me... :D
  7. For those who asked about the baracuda, all were caught on spoons with the best results on a 5/8oz KO Wobbler in silver with a stripe of chartreuse. I am not sure if the wide body or the slower retrieve speed that can be used with these made the difference. I only had one with me, and it was bit off the first day, so take a couple at least.
    Obtaining a replacement in the same color proved to be difficult. I was able to find a Johnsons Minnow with a chartreuse hologram pattern on it, but it still did not produce as well. Solid silver spoons worked somewhat also. Another guest on the grounds was using a Rapala spoon... again in the Silver/Chartreuse pattern.
  8. Oh, I forgot to mention. I did most of my beach fishing using a 8ft fiberglass catfish rod, with an Okuma spinning reel. I went with the spinning outfit over the baicasting as I was able to really get some really long casts out without the occasional backlash (annoying when you are catching fish). If you don't expect to hook any big fish, standard bass gear is fine, which I also used. Just remember to rinse everything off with fresh water when you are done.
  9. iwdavefish

    iwdavefish Fishin' Fanatic

    Thanks for the info. Can't wait to try it myself.