Florida Keys Backcountry Fishing
Miami Beach, United States
We were off not long after daybreak—tearing through the shallow water for eight hours of backcountry fishing.
My brother had done all the research and selected our guide, Captain Mark Johnson (floridakeysfunfishing.com). The offshore excursion launched from Islamorada, taking the three of us (plus guide) west, into the Everglades National Park.
We'd had ourselves a fun fishing trip in Oregon during my U.S. layover in April 2007, as I passed from Latin America to SE Asia—but didn't catch much in the way of fish (steelhead).
This outing was absolutely nuts compared with last year. As expected, Mark knew exactly when and where to fish, what bait to use, and how to mix things up to keep us entertained. But what I don't think any of us had expected were the sheer number of fish we were catching.
I'll never forgot how at one moment in the morning—8:55, I believe—all three of us were fighting fish onto the boat.
Some of the fish caught were spotted seatrout; snook; ladyfish; catfish; moonfish; jack; and lemon shark—yes, sharks. What a blast.
( video link )
Sadly, the fishing was catch and release—it would've been great to bring some of these fish home for dinner—but the conservation allows for others to benefit, and have great fishing trips of their own.
If you're looking for a fishin' good time in the Florida Keys, be sure to give Captain Mark a call.