Florida Keys Trip

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Headed back to the keys in April with the family. This year though we re gonna pull our carolina skiff. Other than a florida salt water fishing license is there anything Florida might require that NC doesn't as far as boating goes. I assume as long as my registration is good and I have all required coast guard equipment I'm ok.

Also things I should take into consideration towing the boat that far?


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deerhunter28

Ten Pointer
I have never been fishing in the Keys.
I do have a friend that goes often.
He says it is cheaper to rent a boat in the Keys than to tow that far.
Just a thought.


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nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
We ve looked into that in the past, and although it's only a couple hundred a day there is usually a massive deposit required. Not to mention rental boats scare me. I'm particular about my boat and dont want to take any chances with someone elses lack of care. Plus it's nice to have all of my equipment that I know and trust.

Plus we will be there for 7 days. It's a trip we've done for about 6 years now but never took the boat because we always fly to ft Lauderdale and rent a car to drive the rest of the way. I've done the math with my truck and estimated fuel cost, and it's way cheaper than 4 plane tickets and a rental car.

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jgcpa

Button Buck
You'll need to look up the regs for north and south of the island chain, different size and catch limits apply depending on where you are fishing.
As far as trailering, make sure your tires are not too old, jack up each axle check for slop, and pull your grease cups/buddy bearings. Clean/regrease/adjust as needed.
Make sure your vhf is putting out and your gps has the right charts loaded... and go have fun!
 

spoonriver

Floyd the Barber
If you've never drove down there before be prepared for the road trip from HELL. Traffic will be gawd awful. It took me over 18 hours when I drove it straight through due to congested traffic. Im jealous and wish I was going! What an awesome place. Good luck and have a safe trip!
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
If you've never drove down there before be prepared for the road trip from HELL. Traffic will be gawd awful. It took me over 18 hours when I drove it straight through due to congested traffic. Im jealous and wish I was going! What an awesome place. Good luck and have a safe trip!
Only part I'm concerned with is from Daytona to Miami. I've heard from a few people that veer off towards okeechobee and avoids that.

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Bailey Boat

Ten Pointer
You'll need to check and make SURE you have a place to park the trailer. Parking in KW is unbelievably tight and restricted..
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
You'll need to check and make SURE you have a place to park the trailer. Parking in KW is unbelievably tight and restricted..
Yeah we re not big on Key West itself, we usually stay in Marathon and hardly venture much past Big Pine or Deer Key. Luckily the house we always rent has it's own boat ramp and dock at the end of a canal. It's crazy we found this place and it's pretty reasonably priced for what it is. Pool and everything.

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Hevi 13. Anson

Ten Pointer
Contributor
Only part I'm concerned with is from Daytona to Miami. I've heard from a few people that veer off towards okeechobee and avoids that.

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Right now the traffic on the stretch from Homestead to Marathon aka Everglades Highway is horrible. Workers have to stay in Homestead or Miami and commute to the Keys. So mornings and evenings are hectic. Maybe a quick weekend at Richard Perry's driving school can prepare you. Lol
Have fun and good luck!!
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
What kind of fish are you going after?
We re going in April which is at the very beginning of when the hog fish show up, which is what I'd love to get into. But mainly reef species like yellow tail, mangrove snapper, and whatever else. Just like fishing our coast I'll be prepared for anything. May spend a couple days letting the kids catch sharks. Not sure if Im prepared to go after tarpon just yet. Probably fish around wrecks and patch reefs.

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spoonriver

Floyd the Barber
10/4,,Last year we stayed at Conch key in early April, just down the road from ya and I had a blast just fishing off the small dock at the house catching mangrove snapper, a few odds and ends and several juvenile tarpon. Place is amazing!Hope to get back down there in a few years.
 

GSOHunter

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
What dates are you heading down there? They lowered the limits for hogfish to 1 per person I believe.
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
What dates are you heading down there? They lowered the limits for hogfish to 1 per person I believe.
Itll be in April, but yeah I seen the regs changed when I was checking on the out of state license. The season wont be in till may 1st. They usually dont show up till summer anyway.

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GSOHunter

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Itll be in April, but yeah I seen the regs changed when I was checking on the out of state license. The season wont be in till may 1st. They usually dont show up till summer anyway.

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I'll be down there the last week of April.
 

manybeards

Ten Pointer
Only part I'm concerned with is from Daytona to Miami. I've heard from a few people that veer off towards okeechobee and avoids that.

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If you've never drove down there before be prepared for the road trip from HELL. Traffic will be gawd awful. It took me over 18 hours when I drove it straight through due to congested traffic. Im jealous and wish I was going! What an awesome place. Good luck and have a safe trip!
I trailer my Pathfinder down to KW every year in June..... 16 hours from Wilmington,NC. I try to time it so I get to Homestead around breakfast time. Take I95 all the way to Ft. Pierce and then get on the Florida Turnpike. They've done away with the Toll Booths, so it's a breeze. Once you get to Homestead, You'll pick up A1A all the way to KW. Recommend a quick stop in Islamorada.... MP87. Wide World Sportsman. You can launch your boat at Garrison Bite. and they have very reasonable trailer storage. Tarpon Bite will be going strong by the time you go....
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Made it down yesterday with no issues. Left the house at 4 am and made it by 8pm. Got the boat ready today, wind was up so we did some riding to familiarize ourselves with the channels. Weather looks perfect tomorrow, we ll see how far out we get, gonna try some patch reef fishing and if it's as slick as the say hope to troll the edge of the reef for whatever hits. I'll post updates of our catch later in the week.


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