Podcast #10 – Fishing Guide to the Keys – Islamorada Captains Edition
Thinking about a fishing trip to the Keys? From the backcountry to offshore, we’ve got you covered. When you are walking down the docks, you have a choice of who provides your experience. Today we are onboard the Yabba Dabba Doo, 43 Torres at the Postcard Inn located in Islamorada, FL. We hear local knowledge from three of the best fishing guides in the Florida Keys. They are generational fishermen, who were born and bred into this. We talk highs and lows of being a guide, how to adapt to an ever-changing environment, and the beauty of a lifetime spent on the water.
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Alexie Creary: Hey, y'all, welcome back to from the Flybridge. This is your host, Lexie Creary. Today we're in my hometown talking to three of the best fishing guides in the Florida Keys, based out of the most popular marinas: Postcard Inn, Worldwide Sportsman, and of course, Bud n' Mary's. The truth is, when you're walking down the docks, you have a choice of who provides your experience. Many people view the town of Islamorada as a vacation, but today we speak with true locals. These gentlemen are generational fishermen who are born and bred into this. We touch on the highs and lows of being a guide, how to adapt to an ever-changing environment, and a lifetime spent on the water. Let's jump right in.
There's plenty of people to pick on a charter, meaning that you walk down the dock and there are so many fishermen to choose from. This is a widespread community, especially for that. And I want to dive in on each of you here today. What you specialize in and why I'm so passionate that someone knows about what you specialize in and what you bring to the table that is so different from the rest of everybody.
So, we'll start with you, Mike. I know you have an 18-foot Action Craft. You do everything from backcountry tarpon fishing to Everglades scenic tours, you know, literally everything.
Mike Venezia: We do trips in the morning and in the springtime for tarpon fishing, we do trips in the evening. So, it's generally early season, it’s about 4:00 pm, late-season it's a 4:30 pm start, and we go to 8:00 or 8:30 pm.
Alexie Creary: Okay, Drew, Let's jump into your operation. You have a 22-foot Pathfinder, and you specialize in all types of things, but really, you love to snook and Tarpon fish. And you said your favorite thing is to take families for their first time in Islamorada and really share that passion.
Drew Nobregas: All these Islands in Florida Bay, have their names, and they have their characteristics that are almost like the others, but just a little bit different. And that's what really triggered me to want to be a fishing guide was that it was so hard to navigate the area that you needed somebody to take you back there if you wanted to explore and learn, see the dolphin, see the manatees, see the osprey, see the snappers, the snook, redfish, tarpon, etc. But what really brings me joy more than anything is taking a family that's never been to the Florida Keys before.
Alexie Creary: For people listening right now, I want to book a charter. I want to go fishing. I don't quite know what I want to catch. I don't know what's best for my family or my friends on what month for whatever trip I am on. Walk me through.
Let's start with James. What is the best month for your offshore species?
James Hagen: Depending on what you want to catch. Wintertime. We call that our sailfish season. So, starting November first, you could say you got a pretty good chance of seeing a sail or a few all the way through March, middle of March.
You know, a lot of times we kind of go for the dinner and a show. You anchor down in the morning, catch yellowtails, and then catch bait while you're doing that. Then go out and try and catch a sail.
Alexie Creary: Give me a couple more species and months to book with James Hagen and Yabba Dabba Doo charter.
James Hagen: Summertime dolphin fishing starts, you know, right after sailfishing. It's hard to say when they really start coming through, but it's pretty easy to tell people when it's showing where they are, and they can come down in the winter.
Disclaimer: This podcast mentions domestic violence.