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Key West ?
Researcher 225670 Started conversation Apr 22, 2003
I will be visiting KW this summer and what to go fishing and snorkling. Any advice for during the summer? Or good people to use?
Key West ?
KWDave Posted Apr 26, 2003
Sorry for the delay in answering your request for information.
There are such a plethora of businesses offering charters for fishing and snorkeling here that it will amaze you. The best part about coming down in the summertime is that you will have a lot more latitude in negotiating pricing.
As a general rule, there are fishing charters, and then there are snorkeling and diving charters, and it seems the two never meet. I have personal favorites for each. My favorite snorkeling trip is out to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. The trip out takes 2-1/2 hours or so, but the unspoiled beaches and wade-in snorkeling on the reef make it worth the day trip. It's kind of spendy at $120 for adults, but it includes two meals and all your gear, so it's not so bad. There's also a 40 minute tour of the Fort included.
There are less expensive half-day trips on a number of catamarans. They usually go out to the Western Dry Rocks and near Woman Key, and you can drink all the beer you want because it's a very stable ride. With equipment, expect to pay $55-$70, depending on whether they feed you lunch or not.
Because of the reefs and mangrove hammocks, we have flats fishing and we have deep sea fishing. Flats fishing is mostly for bonefish and tarpon, which are both a workout, and is usually done from a shallow-draft flats boat. Most of the water in the flats is less than four feet deep.
Now that the entire Florida Keys are part of the National Marine Sanctuary, no actual fishing may be done inside of the reef. Once outside the reef, the bottom depth quickly goes from about 40 feet to more than 500 feet. There are charter captains who specialize in this fishing, with half-day trips or full-day trips scheduled for your convenience. This is where negotiating comes in handy. At the peak of season, prices can run to $500 per person for a charter. During the summer, however, you can usually haggle a much better price if you shop around a little. These charters will usually include all your tackle, bait, etc, and there's usually a mate on board to help you with hauling in that monster sailfish or giant shark you hook. Generous tips are a good idea if you bring in a great catch.
Hope this gives you a little better insight into what's available. One good site to explore in maintained by the Tourism Development Council at Floridakeys(dot)com. If you have specific questions about any of the companies advertising there, I will be happy to check them out for you, or tell you what I know.
We look forward to having you in Key West. Be careful, though. Lots of people come down and don't want to leave!
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