Florida Keys for Families a to z guideF
FISHING LICENSES, FISH FEEDING, FISHING - BRIDGES - DOCKS - MARINAS - PARTY BOATS
Kids just love fishing. Not only is it an outdoor activity which brings the family together for recreation, children also gain self-esteem by acquiring new skills and an understanding of aquatic and marine ecosystems where fish are found. Through adult mentoring it also provides an opportunity to teach kids about stewardship oif the environment.
Children will develop conservation ethics and establish self-esteem. In addition to acquiring knowledge and skills, remember a primary purpose of a family fishing trip is to relax and have fun. Kids are not concerned about records, they just want to catch fish.
Below you will find information on fishing the bridges and docks, fishing guides, fishing games, fishing licences, fish feeding, and party boats and charters. Links to computer browser games and fishing related games to purchase are also provided.
PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Instead of catching fish it seems many a fisher person spends a good deal of time, though unintentionally, feeding the fish.
Robbies - MM 77.5, Islamorada, A great place to feed fish for children is Robbies. There, children can see and feed scores of giant tarpon. Robbies will sell you feed for tarpon and charges an entry fee for watchers as well. 305-664-9814
Captain Hook's Marina - MM 53 - Marathon, Watch the 4 o'clock feeding of fish at their outdoor aquarium. See sharks and tropical fish in Capt. Hook's 40,000 plus gallon aquarium fish pools. 305-743-2444
Key West Aquarium - Whitehead St. and Mallory Square, Key West, 305- 296-2051
Tour times (11 AM and at 1, 3, and 4;30 in the afternoon) are feeding times for sharks, stingrays, and barracudas, sea creatures and Florida Keys marine life. See A - Animals - Aquarium
FISHING LICENSES - Check with service personnel at marinas and bait shops about licenses and size limitations. Out of state and resident licenses are usually available at marinas and bait shops. Chances are adults will need a fishing license. Children may also need a license depending on the age. Bridges are patrolled and marine officers will ask to see your license
FISHING - DOCKS - MARINAS
. Check out the charter boats . Go to one of the many marina docks located throughout the Keys used by the charter boats. Plan to arrive at the docks around 3:30 PM when the fishing boats start returning. Watch the unloading and cleaning of the day's catch. Depending on the season of the year and fishermen's luck you may see dolphin, tuna, cobia, yahoo, snapper, or grouper on display. Guaranteed to wet the appetite of any young angler.
. Fish off a Dock - Public areas and marinas are good places to take the kids to try their skill. Some marinas won't allow fishing due to reasons of liability. For offshore angling, and reef fishing you need a boat, but the novice junior fisherman can have a great deal of fun fishing from a dock. Rods and hand lines are available for rent throughout the Keys and bait is also plentiful.
Keep it simple. Tie a 1/0 or 2/0 bronze-colored hook to the end of the line with a split shot 2 feet away. Bait the hook with a shrimp, tail first and stand back from the edge of the dock so the fish can't see you.
FISHING - PARTY BOATS
You don't have to spend $700 for a charter for the kids to have a great time fishing in the Keys.
Marathon Lady -Take the entire family reef fishing aboard the 73 foot party boat, Marathon Lady . $30 for Adults and Special Children's Rate $20 for children 12 and under. Twice a day departure and fare includes bait, temporary fishing license and taxes. Rod and reel rental $3 additional. Voted Best and Favorite Party boat again this year by both the Keynoter and WAVK contests. Call 305-743-5580 for times and appointment. Mile Marker 53. Offers discount coupons in the phonebook at their website Call 305-743-5580 for times and appointment. http://www.fishfloridakeys.com/marathonlady/
Sea King - Another party boat is the 75 foot Sea King located at MM 50 - Sombrero Marina. Call 305-289-0827 for Winter Schedule hours and Rates for reef fishing , Tuesday is Senior Citizen Day, $5 off and Sunday is Family Day - Kids under 12 FREE with paying adult, Wednesday: HUMP DAY - OFFSHORE. Operator has two boats, Six hour trip costs $42 adult, $25 child, 4 hour AM and PM trips $25 adult, $15 child except Wednesday
Gulf Lady - MM 79.8 at Bud and Mary's Marina, 65 foot party boat, air conditioned, sun deck for full day trips and nights 305-664-2461
Sailor's Choice Party Boat - Key Largo - MM 100
Holiday Inn Marina Half day fishing for $29. Families and children welcome. 305-451-1802, 305-451-0041
Capt. John's Greyhound V - out of Key West - sails daily 11 AM and 4 PM - located at garrison Bight City Marina Charter Boat Row, Amberjack Pier # 5, Key West, Information 296-5139, 296-5923
COMPUTER FISHING GAMES -
Planning in advance and anticipation of a family fishing trip is half the fun. Get the kids prepared mentally for the fishing trip. These browser games have been adapted to a Florida fishing theme and are provided by http://www.floridafisheries.com/kids/funstuff.html. Some are suitable for young children, but most require an advanced skill level. Further down the page are sources of fishing related games for young children.
Break-Away Fishing - A web version of the classic 'Breakout' game in which you to bounce a ball off your 'paddle' and eliminate layers of bricks, to expose the picture underneath
Fish Painting Pad
Nine Button Puzzle - rearrange the image to its original appearance
Word Search - finding the fishing words
Flip Switch - object of this game is to get all of the pieces to form a single picture
Fish Catcher - quickness counts
Draw by Number - version of the classic 'Dot-to-Dot' method
Jumble - classic 'Jumble' game, which randomly scrambles the letters of phrases
Elementary Quiz - quiz on fishing
Picture Memory - reassemble a picture
FISHING - BRIDGES - Try some Bridge Fishing - Bigger fish will be found here and you'll have the most success if you can get you bait and sinker to settle in the bridge's shadow. Use shrimp, squid or cut bait. The folks at the bait shop or the place where you rented the rods will be glad to provide pointers. Don't be afraid to ask other bridge fisherman for advice.
The old Tom's Harbor Bridges and Long Key Bridge are located a short distance away from Hawk's Cay MM 61. Bait and rods are available a little bit south at Coco Palmas MM 59.
The famous old Seven Mile Bridge offers bridge fishing as well. Also close by is the Pigeon Key Historic Island District.
FISHING - FLATS
Flats Fishing - Wading the flats is still another way for a young fisher person to have fun. Small and medium sized barracuda can sometimes be caught by casting over the grassy flats. Use a 1/0 hook, shrimp, and a wire leader. A tube lure or a small Millie's jig will also catch fish.
Long Key State Park - MM 68.5 is a good place to try flats fishing. There are picnic tables close by for the non-fishing members of the family and several nature trails as well for young legs to walk. Pack a lunch, swim, fish and explore the park.
Listed below are some of the local fishing guides available in Keys. Some work out of Duck Key while others service the Upper and Lower Keys as well.
BACKCOUNTRY BOATS - prices subject to change - check with captain to confirm rates
KEY LARGO AREA
Captain Sterling - FAMILY FUN FISHING, Catch snook, trout, sea bass, tarpon, mangrove snapper, shark, hog fish, trout, permit, and other Florida Bay and Everglades Park species at a price you can afford. Fish like the locals AND you can bring the whole family! 1-888-224-6044, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.CaptainSterling.com
Capt. Anne Baxter - Adventure Tours - MM 81.5 at WideWorld Sportsman. Islamorada, 305-852-4553
Easy Adventures offers private fishing and snorkeling charters for families and groups up to 6. Easy Adventures - Adventure tours for the kids and family, specialty tours, Indian key ruins, Everglades, ocean reefs, photography, wildlife identification, learn ecology and science while in search of dolphin, reddish egrets, bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and sea turtles. half day or full day of exploring the waters of the Florida Keys, remote shallow bays and narrow creeks where tropical wildlife lives.
For more information click on Easy Adventures at www.keysboats.com
Captains Connection - a website for charter fishing with all sorts of fishing information and recommended guides from Key Largo and Islamorada - www.captainconnection.com
DUCK KEY AREA
Capt. Tom Seiling - Fishing guide for Flats and Back Country Fishing aboard the "Light'n Up"
$300 Half Day, $425 Full Day, $350 Half Day / Night Tarpon, Light tackle sport fishing for Bonefish, Tarpon, Snapper, Snook, Redfish, Permit (305) 289-0429 or Email email@example.com
CLICK FOR CAPT. TOM SEILING'S WEB PAGE
Capt. Joe Winter - Flats Fishing Guide in The Florida Keys. Light Tackle and Fly Fishing Charters for Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Redfish, Snook and Snapper. Catch them all from the " SKIMMER ". 305-743-7436 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evening live bait Tarpon trips and Everglades Park Fishing and Sightseeing Day Trips. $300 Half Day, $425 Full Day, $350 Half Day / Night Tarpon, (305) 743 7436 email email@example.com
Capt. Bill Whitney - Fishing Guide aboard the "Soc-Et-Tu-Um"
Offering the finest in light tackle sport fishing for Bonefish, Tarpon, Snapper, Snook, Redfish, Permit - Everglades National Park Day Trips - Evening Live Bait Tarpon Fishing April through June (305) 743-2332 Home or Marina at Hawk's Cay (305) 743-9000 $300 Half Day, $425 Full Day, $350 Half Day / Night Tarpon,
Captain Jim Bennett - Guide services in the Florida Keys for Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Barracuda, Shark, Snapper, Cobia, Light Tackle, Spin or Fly, Flats and Backcountry, Full Day - Full Day - 8 hours - $425.00, Half Day - 4 hours - $300.00, Night Tarpon Trips - 4 hours - $275.00 - (305) 289-3487 or Email: CAPTJB@webtv.net
Jim trailers his boat so clients are able fish where they want to. Everglades National Park, Islamorada, Duck Key, Lower Keys and Key West, wherever the weather is nice and more importantly, where the fish are!
CLICK FOR CAPT. BENNETT'S WEBPAGE or link to http://www.captbonedaddy.com
Capt. Ron Trobis - 15 years experience guiding in the Keys, fly fishing charters, tarpon, permit, kingfish, dolphin, snapper. Will design trip to fit you, or the family. Great for the kids. Fishing aboard 22' "Desire"
Home phone 305-743-0776, Coconut Palmas Marina phone 305-743-0552
DUCK KEY OFFSHORE BOATS
Capt. Scott Walker - Offshore Fishing aboard "Tail Walker" a 43' Viking , full cabin sport fish charter boat, air-conditioned and tournament rigged with the latest tackle and electronics. Very roomy and comfortable.
Offers Offshore Fishing $625 Half day, $950 Full Day (305) 743-9000
Captain Al Laurino - Offshore Fishing on the "Endless Summer" 42 foot Post sport fish boat, fully air-conditioned, roomy salon and extra spacious fly bridge with the latest electronics and fishing tackle
Offshore, reef, shark, night fishing, and Tournaments - Custom cruises to Dry Tortugas, Bahamas, Key West $625 Half Day, $875Full Day (305) 289-9282 Home or Hawk's Cay Marina 305-743-9000 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site - http://www.charterboats.com/endless.htm
Captain Byron Farnes - Aboard the Baitrunner a 30" Priority sport fish boat with finest electronics, bathroom and wide beam. $475 half day reef, $650 full day reef, $525 night reef. Accommodates 4 people with a maximum of six for an extra charge. Hawk's Cay Marina 305-743-9000 Hawk's Cay Marina
1-800-792-6680, 305-743-7548, http://www.baitrunnercharters.com
Capt. Jeannie Simmons on "Anticipation" - Gulf Fishing - experience inmaking families happy with excellent catches of Grouper, Snapper, Mackerel, Cobia, Barracudas, and Sharks. The full price for a 5 hour trip for up to six people is $375.00 including bait, tackle, license, a cooler of ice for your food and beverage and filleting your catch. 305-743-4691 - www.familyfuncharters.com
Fish and Snorkel at Sea Dog Marina - 1/2 day fishing plus 1/2 day snorkeling - 305-743-8255 located MM 47.5 next to Seven Mile Grill, Marathon - www.seadogcharters.net, wwwstarfishswimandsnorkel.com
THREE FISHING GAMES with reviews
1. FISHIN' FUN
From Imaginarium.com Toyologists & Amazon.com - From the Manufacturer
In the fish tank are fish and other underwater objects with metal rings attached. Using magnetized "fishing rods", each player in turn has 2 chances to go fishing, but peeking into the tank is not allowed. Some catches are worth more than others, and the player with the most points wins.
Disappointed, November 20, 2002Reviewer: Carol Shaffer - My grandson didn't like this game. But in all fairness, perhaps he is a little too young for it. Not quite 4, he didn't have the patience it took to catch a fish. It's a cute idea, but I think the manufacturer needs to make it a little eaiser to "hook" something. Even I got bored with coming up with nothing. More small fish in the sea would solve the problem.
This Game Provides Hours Of Fun!, November 26, 1999Reviewer: A toy enthusiast from Woodbine, Iowa This was one of the best games I have purchased for my cildren in a long time. They really injoyed the action involved unlike normal board games. I think this is a great game, and helps develop important skills too.
2. GO-FISH by Mattel
From Toysrus.com & Amazon.com - From the Manufacturer
Children will get hooked on Go Fish, their first fishing card game. They'll enjoy the colorful boats that hold their cards and the cute suction-cup worm to catch their "fish". The player who matches the most colors and numbers wins the game. Two levels of play makes it fun for beginner to advanced players.
Fishing Fun, September 26, 2002Reviewer: carrie sika (see more about me) from Dix Hills, NY United States This is a good game for a 3 or 4 year old. The suction cup fishing pole is used to pick up cardboard fish. You can play by either matching colors or numbers, so it reniforces color recognition for younger children and number recognition for slightly older kids. It is also a good memory game. My three-year old loves to bring this game on playdates, and she and her friends always enjoy it. The fishing pole works really well- we havent' had any problems with it.
I wouldn't buy this toy for a child over 4, however, as I feel that older children would quickly become bored with it.
A Great Game at a Great Price, April 22, 2002Reviewer: Colleen Zyla (see more about me) from Cornwall on Hudson, NY United States My 3 year old LOVES to play this game - it comes with two variations, but we even make up our own. It is simple, cute, inexpensive and a whole lot of fun!
3. MAGNETIC FISHING
From Imaginarium.com Toyologists & Amazon.com - Editorial ReviewA plywood puzzle with a difference: the idea is to get the pieces out after you put them in. The 11.75-inch by 8.50-inch aquatic scene (mainly in blues, oranges, and browns) includes such pieces as a sea horse, various fish, a crab, and a starfish. Though the pieces are wood, each has a metal "button" in the middle; attach a magnet to a line and practice "fishing" them out before reconstructing the puzzle. (For an especially interesting challenge, try "fishing" them back in.) --Richard Farr
From the ManufacturerKids will develop their dexterity, improve hand-eye coordination, visual perception and fine motor skills while "catching" magnetic fish puzzle pieces. This Magnetic Fishing Game includes a magnetic fishing pole for catching a variety of fish puzzle pieces. The 9"x12" board has 10 removable pieces.
A Great Product! Lots of Fun., April 6, 2001Reviewer: Hank's Mom from Central TX USA My almost-3-year-old son loves puzzles and loves fish, so this one was a no-brainer. I am impressed with the game's quality. And with a little imagination, it offers lots of educational fun: counting, colors, size comparisons, etc. I found a taller cardboard box and put the pieces magnet-up inside, then sent my son fishing for them. He thought the suprise of which on he'd get was great fun. After catching each, he would decide whether to "throw 'em back" (put back in the puzzle board or in the box) or "cook 'em"!
Great Puzzle!, December 7, 2001Reviewer: mykidzmama from Kentucky United States We bought this for my daughter's third birthday and it was a hit! She loves fishing for the puzzle pieces, as does my 2 year old daughter. I think it has really helped improve their hand-eye coordination and their small motor skills. I would defintely buy this again!
2 Year Old's Favorite Puzzle, October 28, 2002Reviewer: A toy enthusiast from San Marcos, TX My mom bought this puzzle a couple months before my son's 2nd birthday, but he saw it and demanded to play with it. Being Grandma, she obliged. He has been able to get the pieces out since the beginning and after a couple weeks of me showing him how to put them back in, he's an expert at doing it all by himself. He is a puzzle lover but this one takes the cake. I think it's the fishing rod.
You can rent fishing rods throughout most of the Keys at bait and tackle shops. Below is one that can be taken with you while visiting the Keys.
Upper Keys Island Girls Fishing Club, 305-852-1836
A to Z INDEX OF CATEGORIES
SAILING - LESSONS, SAILBOAT RENTALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT
SANDALS AND SHOES
SCHOOLS - REGISTRATION, IMMUNIZATION (public),
SNORKELING AND SNUBA,
SUNSET CELEBRATIONS AND CRUISES
YOUTH GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND CENTERS (see also CAMPS),
ZOOS (see ANIMALS )
BY FLORIDA KEYS BEST
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