Catching live bait in the Florida Keys

Captain’s Blog – November 20, 2010

Most customers get off the boat and tell me, “Man, you got the life!”  While I certainly agree with them that going fishing everyday is a pretty special way to make a living, what they don’t know is the prep that goes into creating a great day of Florida Keys fishing.

Of course, you need to have outstanding tackle, and I’m thankful for my Tsunami sponsorship.  A well-maintaned boat is also essential, and I have one of the best Yamaha mechanics in the Florida Keys.

But, of primary importance for successful fishing here in the Florida Keys is live bait.  And lots of it.  I keep a couple of pinfish traps baited at all times and will harvest one of them at the start of a day of fishing.  But, we also go out a few times a week on our bait boat to castnet for baitfish such as pilchards, ballyhoo and sardines.

When I say “we” I mean myself and three other charter captains.  Yes, folks, that’s four charter captains in Marathon working cooperatively to provide an excellent fishing experience for our anglers.  They’re all very adept at throwing the castnet, while I do a decent job of driving the boat.

Indeed, I do have the life!

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