About Bud N' Mary's

Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina is located in Islamorada, Florida, The Sportfishing Capital of The World!  It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world!  It is home to over 40 of the finest offshore captains and backcountry guides.  We also have a spectacular party fishing boat, the Miss Islamorada.  There is also a great dive shop, boat rentals, motel, boat storage, transient dockage, and tackle store.  We will be posting fishing related events, catches, media publications, and overall news concerning Bud N' Mary's here, so keep tuned in!  You can contact Bud N' Mary's at 1-800-742-7945 or e-mail us:
bnmfm@budnmarys.com.

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How to catch bonefish in the Florida Keys

Fishing for bonefish in the florida keys is one of the most challenging aspects in angling that there is.  Bonefish are known for being very tough to catch as they are one of the spookiest fish there is.  Not only must you be extremely stealthy with your boat, you must also be precisly accurate with your casts as getting too close to a fish will result in a spooked fish.  When bonefish fishing, most anglers think of poling a skiff around with the angler on the bow of the boat, and the guide poling from a platform spotting the fish from a distance.  This approach is called sight fishing, and is how most anglers fish for bonefish in Islamorada.  Extreme care must be taken to be as silent as possible, the smaller the skiff usually the better, especially as far as sound goes many of the lighter hulls offer less 'slap' on the water which can be very beneficial.  Anglers may use fly or spin tackle.  Spin tackle would involve a light line of 10-12 lb test.  Many people prefer mono as it casts better and you dont have to worry about 'wind knots' as much, however braid will work fine in most cases.  A little heavier leader is used such as 20 lb test flourocarbon, or just a simple double line will work.  I like a traditional J-hook with the 'bait holder' barbs to help keep a shrimp on there.  A nice big shrimp, with the tail pinched off and hook hid throughout the body coming out by the upper chest works nicely for catching bonefish in Islamorada.  You may need a light split shot to help you get the bait out there too, depending on the wind.  Many of the fish in the Islamorada area are nowadays found on the oceanside flats.  Years ago the bayside flats were much more productive, however in the last couple decades due to various reasons including algae blooms and habitat destruction, most the fish are caught on the healthier ocean side flats.  Look for areas where there is healthy bottom, lively grass with a nice mix of pot holes.  You'll want the sun at your back this will make bonefish much easier to spot.  On low water conditions you'll see fish with their backs and tails out of the water 'tailing.'  You'll have to get the bait fairly close to these fish, in front of them by a couple feet.  Twitch the bait a few times and they will often find it.  You'll also come across larger schools of fish many times 'on the move.'  These fish you'll want to get your bait anywhere out in front of the direction they are moving, and same thing twitch when they approach.  Fishing for bonefish in Islamorada will take a lot of pratice and patience, it is suggested to go with an experienced guide who fishes for bonefish regularly a few times.  There is also another way to target these fish which is much easier and has gotten popular in recent years since bonefish are much harder to find.  That is called stake-up bonefishing.  Islamorada bonefish fishing in this manner involves simply staking your boat up on a flat or edge of a flat.  You then usually have 4 or 5 rods rigged with heavier weights to cast far.  Your going to simply cast out in all directions as far as you can and spread your baits out nicely.  Now just sit and wait.  You'll often get 'picker fish' such as pinfish that will eat the bait off, so make sure to regularly check your baits every 5-10 minutes.  If pickers are very bad, I'd suggest moving spots.  It often pays off to look for white potholes to keep some baits in if possible, also the edges of flats can be good too where there is any kind of rim and more current flow.  Catching bonefish in the florida keys is much easier in this manner of fishing, and can also give you a good idea of where to pole and look for fish when you want to do it the old fashioned way!  Do be careful going up on the flats not to dig scars or holes, this is devestating to the fishery as it destroys the habitat.  So idle in with your motor high only when you have enough water, on lower tides try to pole in with a push pole.  This manner of fishing can also be very effective when it is stormy, overcast, or there is an impending cold front.  The weather may not be good enough to see tailing fish, so on an islamorada bonefish charter this is a good bet.  You'll also likely catch a variety of other fish, including bonnet head sharks, sting rays, puffer fish, and occasionally the wandering permit.  Good luck learning how to catch bonefish in Islamorada!

 

Capt Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903