I never give up my fishing spots, but today is your lucky day. The reason i am disclosing this spot is because i mainly fish on my boat. But this fishing spot in Duck key is the best shore fishing spot I’ve ever fished in the keys, and I’ve roamed it all. The type of fish I’ve caught here is hog fish, snook, mangrove snapper, permit, tarpon, and even keeper yellow tail snapper.
Located around mile marker 65 near toms harbor cut, directly in front of hawks cay resort near long key bridge, .
Florida Keys Shore Fishing
My favorite spot for night is numbered 1. At spot one, you can park literally right next to the water. What i do is back up my truck to the edge of the water and fish from my truck bed. This is a pretty comfy spot. I like to come with chum and tie it to a tree that is half in the water. Night time is the best time to catch mangrove snapper. My grandfather use to tell me stories on what time is best to fish and he always said 3 am. Indeed I’ve caught my best fish at night.
During the day i fish Spot 2, 3 and 4 hunting tarpon,permit and snook, under and along side of the bridge , never on top of the bridge. Sometimes you can see a ton of snook just bunched up along the sides, where white mangroves line the edge of the water. The bait i use at spot 1 is ballyhoo and most important thread Herring. Good luck!
Being raised in Miami and the Florida keys ( key largo ) has its advantages when it comes to land fishing. In the old days before the center medium on the us1 20 mile stretch, you were able to fish the sides exposed to water. But today with the center medium and fence they put up it is impossible to fish there non the less it’s illegal by the FDOT.
Over the years coming and going to key largo iv’e run into some great land fishing spots. One good spot is under the jew fish creek bridge. you can either go to the marina side or Gilbert’s resort side. I prefer Gilbert’s resort side as you can cast you’re line near the pilings and mangrove’s. The picture below shows the areas you can fish, on Gilbert’s resort, dock or under either side of the bridge.
The best bait to use at this spot is live shrimp when in season. Dead shrimp works, but live shrimp is best. Silver sides, thread herring, ballyhoo all work good at this spot.
the type of fish caught here are snook, mangrove snapper, permit and wherever else rolls by in the channel.
Night time fishing here yields bigger mangrove snapper and more snook bites. Make sure to bring plenty of mosquito repellent, especially if you come at night. Mosquito’s here can be unforgiving if your not armed with mosquito spray.
A little trail.
This is a great spot i use to fish and catch a ton of mangrove snapper and snook.
Monster Mangrove snapper caught in key largo creek
September 29, 2018- Caught this 20 inch mangrove snapper bottom fishing, thread herring on a 2/0 long shaft eagle claw hook using 15 pound test, 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader.This monster Pulled like a freight train, directly in the mangrove roots but i was able get him free after 1 solid minute waiting. I should of used 20lbs test at the spot but i always have better success using 15lbs test mono.
It was caught in a specific spot in jew fish creek, key largo near Gilbert’s resort – ( the fist canal near the entrance). This spot is deep and monster mangrove snapper’s live below. The depth ranges from 9 to 12 feet , heavy chum is key to bringing them out of the mangrove roots. I chum for 30 minutes before i even start to fish. be patient!
The best bait for mangrove snappers is thread herring (Frozen )
Using frozen thread herring is crucial and no other bait is needed unless your using the live bait that is surrounding the area. Arm yourself with a good cooler to not let the bait un-freeze, the harder the bait the better, so keep it on ice and make sure it does not thaw. Cutting the herring in 2 pieces is what works best to get the big ones to bite. Make sure to smash the head of the bait before. Also hooking it once below on the belly side is all you do. If you put a small piece, chances are you will catch a small snapper. The big snapper will let the small snapper sample the big piece until the big one takes it from her. The trick here is patience.
The best hooks for mangrove snapper
I use a long shaft hook preferably eagle claw from 1/0 to 4/0 depends on the size of bait i put on. I only use them for bottom fishing mangos. long shaft is best to use because it is easier to unhook the fish once caught. You can use a smaller shaft hook but it will take twice as long to unhook them, especially when they swallow it to the gill.
I use from 15-25 pound mono-filament , preferably Ande, with a yozuri fluorocarbon pink leader 40lbs . 40 lbs fluorocarbon leader is enough but for fishing in more rockier bottoms i prefer 50 LBS fluorocarbon leader. I never use wire, mangrove snapper especially the big ones are leader shy ( metal leader is more visible than fluorocarbon )
20 inch Mangrove snapper
The best rig to catch mangrove snapper
The best rig for mangrove snapper also depends the bottom your fishing, but a simple knocker rig on a fluorocarbon leader works good. Chances are you’l fish the edge of the mangrove, less likely to get locked up. However, If your fishing a rocky bottom with or without current, use a chicken rig and you save a ton of hooks, from lock ups.
My favorite rig for mangrove snapper is a simple swivel tide to a fluorocarbon leader to a long shaft hook using a loop knot- this knot is crucial for bait flow and presentation,. . This method saves me on fluorocarbon leader as i go through it pretty fast.
It may look as though i’m holding her outside of the boat but i can assure you it was inside. I’ve seen many of mishaps where fish just land back in the water.
The thread herring is distinguishable at a glance from all the herrings that regularly inhabit the Gulf of Maine by the prolonged last ray (usually about as long as the body is deep) of its dorsal fin. It resembles the gizzard shad of [page 113] fresh and brackish waters farther south in this respect, but the two differ rather conspicuously in various details. In the thread herring, the upper edge of the tail fin is about 1½ times as long as the head (only about as long as the head in the gizzard shad); the point of origin of the dorsal fin is a little in front of the origin of the ventral fins (a little behind in the gizzard shad); the distance from the origin of the ventrals to the origin of the anal fin is at least 1½ times as long as the base of the anal (only about ¾ to 4/5 in the gizzard shad); and the anal fin is very low, with its first few rays a little shorter than the eye (about 1½ times as long as the eye in the “gizzard”). There is no danger of confusing a thread herring with a young tarpon with which it shares the prolonged dorsal ray, for its dorsal fin originates in front of the ventrals, while the two fish are far apart in general appearance. This is a rather thin fish, its body about 2½ to 3 times as long (to the base of the tail) as deep; the belly is sharp and saw edged; the tail deeply forked as in our other herrings. There are 18 to 19 rays in the dorsal fin, 22 to 24 in the anal.
Bluish above, silvery on sides and belly. The scales along the back have dark centers, forming longitudinal streaks, and there is a faint dark spot just behind the upper margin of the gill cover; the dorsal and caudal fins have black tips.
Maximum length about 12 inches.
Atlantic coast of America in tropical and subtropical latitudes, south to Brazil, straying northward to Chesapeake Bay, and occasionally as far as southern Massachusetts.
This last summer i saw the worst red tide ever to hit the west coast, ft myers. Dead fish mounds in every corner of the beach. The smell of dead fish polluted the air making people sick. ” The most common human health problems associated with red tides and other harmful algae blooms are various types of gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurological disorders. The natural toxins in harmful algae can cause several different illnesses” According to www-thoughtco.com
Here is a huge dead snook affected by red tide.
Dead horseshoe crab.
This giant Goliath grouper died under the ft Myers peer.
This grouper died from red tide
These cat fish had no chance with red tide.
Dead spanish mackerel affected by red tide.
Sheaps head dead
Dead eels elsewhere.
Dead speckled trout.
Dead baitfish. This is threadfin hearing that was affected by red tide.
This is absolutely the worst red tide to ever hit the west coast of florida.