|Your On-Line Guide To The Fabulous Florida Keys|
Fishing On Foot
The Florida Keys have what is probably the best access to safe quality bridge fishing anywhere. When the DOT finished the bridge replacement program in the Seventies it was left with the problem of what to do with the old bridges. Instead of taking the short sighted environmental view of remove and restore, the bridges were narrowed to the original width used by the trains. Guard rails and access ramps with parking were then added. The bridges were part of the Habitat anyway, having been there longer than any environmentalist has and removing them would have caused more damage than leaving them in place. What resulted is the ideal public ocean fishing access. You can safely park and walk to a fishing spot where the bay and ocean meet between the islands. The fishing bridge is safe for both motorists and fishermen. The fishermen are away from fast moving cars and motorists no longer have to be concerned about getting a sinker through the windshield or having pedestrians crossing the bridge when the tide changes. It's a good deal for everyone
Yes, believe it or not, the DOT has not totally fenced Overseas Highway and the State has not protected all the land it owns by removing Public Access (L'etat C'est Bureaucrat). There are many places to pull off the road and just hang out by the water. In particular the Fly Fisherman can pull off and wade around to practice his skills and even catch a stray Bonefish or Cuda. Fishing and weather go hand in hand. The Florida Keys provide a unique opportunity for the angler on foot because there is almost always a lee side of the island you are on, bay or ocean and there is access both ocean and bay side.
When you are wading this flat in the winter try not to walk into the flats skiffs that are poling around it. This is a very wide flat well sheltered from a North and Northeast wind that comes through with cold fronts during the winter. The flat is two to four feet deep at high tide and extends several hundred yard from shore. There is a wide firm shoulder to park on. This is ideal for the fly fisherman looking to practice casting without the hassle of a boating trip.
This is a nice flat across from the Campsites at Long Key State Park, Mile Marker 66. There is even a small sea wall there to sit on and check out the flat before you start wading. There is not a lot of current across this flat so the water is very warm in the summer and fishing there is slow then. It's a great place to see fish when the North wind from a cold front backs to the South and Southeast. It does get deep farther from shore about 150 yards. Plenty of room to cast.