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 snook in the Florida Keys

Fishing for snook in the Florida Keys is a tough endeavor though a very rewarding experience! Snook populations have been on the rebound since the freeze of 2010. We are now seeing a mix of many juveniles as well as larger spawning size snook. These fish can be caught year round, with many of the spawners around in the spring time as well as a run in the fall. While we don't have quite the fishery that they do on the west coast of south florida, it is is definitely a highly sought after game fish for us! Snook fishing can be done a variety of ways. When catching snook in Islamorada, most are targeted back in the everglades national park. They can be found around many of the mangrove islands and shorlines where they hide for cover and await baitfish to ambush. In the spring and summer they are often found up on the flats, especially near flamingo and off of the cape. They will lay in potholes and can be sight fished which is a very fun experience. In the winter they are found more in deeper creeks, canals, and moats. Fishing for snook in Islamorada will lead many anglers around many of the bridges that connect the keys. Often very large snook can be found, especially at night, hiding around the pilings. Snook can also be caught in the gulf of mexico on some of the wrecks especially further northwest off of the cape. Snook eat a variety of baits and certain things will work better at different times of year. In the winter time a large horn-hooked shrimp on a jig is going to be your best bet. Adjust the weight based on the current of where you are fishing. If the water is not too cold (under 70 degrees) a live pinfish is often a good bet as well, either floating on a cork or on the bottom with a weight or jighead. You can also tail hook a pinfish and use it for casting near the mangroves, which will allow the pinfish to swim further inside often right in front of an awaiting snook! When Islamorada snook fishing, pilchards are one of the best baits when the waters warm up above 75 degrees. These are like snook candy, and you can throw handfuls to lure snook out of the trees. They will bust on the baits and you will know where they are.  Live finger mullet or ladyfish are also a good bet, and can also be fished as cut bait.  Trolling motors can come in handy especially when fishing the shorelines and creeks, as you will want to work around any hanging mangroves/tree structures. A bottom machine or push pole will also help, as you can find areas where depressions/pot holes are along the shorelines where snook will often lay, as well as the rocky bottoms they look for. Catching snook in the Florida Keys can also be done casting bucktails or artificial shrimp, especially when sightfishing them on the flats. A red headed bucktail with white hair is a classic pattern. Snook are known for their power and ability to get away from the most experienced angler! They will make a mad dash for the mangroves as soon as they are hooked, and often go aerial and try to throw the hook. A stronger braided line helps a lot when fishing the bushes, as well as a stronger flourocarbon leader of 30-40# test. Make sure to keep a good bend in the rod and pull the opposite way of the fish to put maximum pressure on him and keep him out of the brush. On an Islamorada snook charter I always use medium action rods with 15# braid which allows ample casting distance and gives good abrasion resistance to whatever you may come across. Snook can also be found occasionally around many of the mangrove islands closer to Islamorada or the rest of the keys. However the old rule is 'if you can see them, they can see you,' meaning often these fish are much harder to entice a strike out of unless you have freebie pilchards to chum them with. Much of the waters we fish especially around flamingo and beyond is much murkier. Snook are an edible gamefish, though most guides in our area practice 'catch and release,' and the season has been closed since the freeze killed so many of them. Good luck learning how to catch snook in Islamorada!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
rick@seethefloridakeys.net