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 Permit in the Florida Keys

Fishing for Permit in the Florida Keys is one of the toughest, though most rewarding angling achievments there is.  Permit are members of the jack family and known to be one of the hardest fighting fish there is pound for pound.  They use their wide circular body to really work against you, turning sideways like a kite and letting the current help to fight you.  They also make very hard, erratic runs, so one must keep the rod high with a good angle to keep from snagging things as well as keep the hook in. There sizes range from a few pounds to almost fifty, so adjust your tackle accordingly!  While we do catch permit fishing in islamorada sightfishing on the flats, the lower keys does offer a bit better fishing for these brutes.  They have much more hard rocky bottom that the permit likes.  In Islamorada you'll find many permit in the same areas as bonefish, often fishing the oceanside or near-bay side flats.  They won't usually be quite as shallow, though often in calm conditions you'll find them with their 'fins up' very similar to that of a tailing bonefish.  You'll find them mixed in many places where some of the smaller tarpon congregate on the bayside.  Stealth is key as they can be just as spooky as a bonefish.  Light leaders and small hooks are often required, usually no more than 20 lb test (flourocarbon often preferred), when learning how to catch permit in islamorada.  A small 2/0 or 3/0 is likely a good bet, and you may need a small split shot to help get some distance to your cast as well as help get the bait down in front of them.  Your fishing area will decide this - on the flats you may opt not to have the weight as it will add some noise when you cast, though deeper areas it may be preferred.  You can use small crabs or shrimp, best to have both as they may be picky eaters!  In the later spring, fishing for permit in islamorada we notice they show up on many of the wrecks offshore and in the gulf to spawn. Many of the deep offshore wrecks will have loads of permit, many of the large breeding ones.  These fish can often best 40 lbs and require much heavier tackle.  Here it helps to have a large boat with a tower to spot the schools, especially if they are swimming deep.  Most of the time they are using heavy spinning gear, with BG60 or BG90 equivalents.  These fish will dive into the wrecks and cut you off, so being able to stop them is a must.  A little heavier leader such as 30# flourocarbon will work, and likely a 4/0 hook again with a large split shot, or even a larger weighted jig head.  Small to medium crabs are the bait of choice here.  Adjust your weight depending on the depth of where the fish are swimming, how far your having to cast, etc...  Closer Islamorada permit fishing they can often be found on coral heads of the patch reefs, where you'll use again lighter tackle.  Here many guides will motor up slowly to known coral heads and just drift in silently, trying to spot the permit whilst standing up on the platform and casting to them.  You could also try just drifting blindly with crabs out on floats as well, similar to how you would tarpon fish.  This approach also works in the gulf where we catch many florida keys permit as well.  The shallow wrecks of the gulf can hold big loads of permit, amongst other things.  Often if you anchor up, the schools will repeatdly swim around the boat, offering a great sight casting opportunity on an islamorada permit charter.  Small crabs or shrimp will work, just try to throw a several feet in front of the school. I often use a small jig head of 1/8 oz here.  This fishing is usually best with a falling tide and very light to no wind.  Fishing is usually best in the gulf from the spring through the summer into august, though can light up later than that occasionally too!  Ocassionally some of the banks further west on the edge of the gulf can hold permit which one could pole for as well..  One other way we are catching permit in Islamorada occasionally is while we are fishing for big tarpon.  These fish are often found in many of the channels we tarpon fish in the summer time as well as around some of the bridges and structures. Many times they will steal a crab away since while tarpon fishing we are using much larger tackle. However if you go down to smaller hooks and lighter leaders you may get lucky.  Try 40# flourocarbon leader and a 4/0 circle hook with a small/medium size crab, this way you'll still have a good shot at catching a small or medium size tarpon (though you may break them off a little early).  Good luck catching permit in the florida keys!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing