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:


How to catch mangrove snapper in the Florida Keys

Fishing for mangrove snapper in the florida keys is fun for the whole family and provides great table fare as well. You can catch these critters all over the place. They are found both in the backcountry and on the reef as well as in the gulf of mexico. For one of the more common fish we catch, they are tough to beat for a great meal. Most of the mangrove snapper fishing I do is in the backcountry of Islamorada. There are many cuts that go between flats that can be found all over the bay. In the spring, summer, and fall these get loaded up with snappers. Often in the winter when the water is cold (below 70 degrees) the snappers will be flushed out of there and often caught on the ocean side patch reefs.  The patches within a few miles of shore on the ocean side are simply collections of rocks, coral, and sea fans.  Often the water is much warmer out there so during any cold front or the few days after there is great fishing out on these areas.  Many of the island moats and such also have deeper water that mangrove snapper hang out in. The edge of the gulf of mexico is also a great place to find them, you can often drift with a chum bag until you start catching them and then anchor up, or if you know of any wrecks or white holes these often hold fish as well. Always mark white holes they are easy to find especially in the summer when the water is calm and clear, these areas can hold fish at different times of year too! Around the bridges is another great place to be catching mangrove snapper in Islamorada. Now what's the best way to catch these guys? Well in the backcountry we usually do not chum for snapper much as that often draws in so many little ones and pinfish that it makes it tough to get the bait to larger fish. However in the gulf or on the patch reefs you may want to use chum unless you fishing a wreck or structure that is holding lots of fish. Shrimp is an easy bait to use fishing for mangrove snapper in Islamorada. Large shrimp work nice. I usually use 20 lb flourocarbon leader with a ½ oz jig head and just break the tails off of the shrimp and hook him up through the tail and out the stomach. Now if the smaller snappers are swarming you may have to catch a dozen or more little ones before you get a keeper (currently 10 inches). Islamorada mangrove snapper fishing can also be done with live pilchards which is the preferred bait for larger fish. You can cut them in half or use them whole. Fresh ballyhoo works well too fished in a similar fashion. Or you can even cut pinfish in half or any other cut bait, pinfish is often a good option as they are readily available almost everywhere in the bay. Catching mangrove snapper in the florida keys is red hot in the summer time out on the reefs at night. This is where the fish go to spawn at this time of year and you can often catch them in the 5-6 lb range and bigger. Pilchards will work best in this situation. Cleaning mangrove snappers is fairly easy once you get the hang of it, on our islamorada mangrove snapper charter we do all of that for you, but it's a fairly straightforward cut in and down the spine, cut the meat from the skin, then cut out the rib cage and bones. Good luck learning how to catch mangrove snapper in Islamorada!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing