Lower Keys Kayak Fishing -

Sugarloaf Key, FL | Contact: 305.923.4643
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My name is Randy Morrow and I hope I get the opportunity to take you kayak fishing here in the Lower Florida Keys and Key West. I first paddled a kayak in August of 2001 and immediately fell in love with it. By March the following year, I had secured a part-time job as a kayak guide for Lazy Dog Outfitters, doing eco-tours there for over 5 years. During this time, I started fishing from my kayak. The sport of kayak fishing was in it’s infancy, and there wasn’t a lot of information available, particularly for saltwater. I started with general “grab-bag” fishing, just seeing what I could catch. Then I honed my skills a bit and started targeting bottom-dwellers, mostly for food. Snapper, porgy, grouper, and wintertime mackerel were the main targets. I did find some


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rolling tarpon from time to time and landed a few of those. But I kept hearing about these spectacular “flats” fish, including bonefish and the very mysterious permit. Around this time I switched my guiding gig to work with Bill Keogh at Big Pine Kayak Adventures, giving me a chance to learn new water, and work on my personal fishing skills. At first I struggled with sight-fishing the flats, mainly because I was sitting down in the kayak and couldn’t really see far enough to get quality shots. I occasionally caught a bonefish, but didn’t yet have it dialed in. However, when I got a kayak I could stand in, it all started to click. My first really awesome day on the flats was in July of ’08 when I hooked 8 bonefish and landed 5 of them. A few months later I landed my first permit, and I’ve been a flats junkie ever since! (I still enjoy bringing home snapper for dinner, too.) Currently, I’m on the water 4 to 5 days a week either with fishing charters, with a fishing buddy, or by myself, keeping track of what’s biting and where, and continuing to hone my craft. I also started working with the fly rod on the flats and have put the “Big 3” (tarpon, bonefish, permit) on the board, as well as a plethora of other species.

Throughout my early personal fishing adventures, I would get asked to guide people, but I generally turned them down. I knew I didn’t yet have enough knowledge of this complicated fishery to take anyone’s money doing guide work. But after I caught my 50th permit (my current number is over 130, along with a lot more bonefish, redfish and tarpon), and having safely taken literally thousands of people of every skill level on the water on eco-tours, I felt I was ready to guide kayak anglers. I’ve established relationships with several local skiff guides to compare notes and catches and feel I can show someone a great day on the water pursuing these awesome saltwater fish in a stunningly beautiful environment.

Whether you are a veteran angler who needs help finding the elusive permit, or a novice wanting to catch your first-ever fish from a kayak, I have the patience, skills and experience to help you. I’ve tried to answer most questions here on the site. But if I missed something, shoot me a text, email, or phone call and I’ll do my best to make sure you’re comfortable and ready to go kayak fishing in the Lower Florida Keys and Key West!

Types of Kayak Fishing Available in the Lower Keys

Fishing from a kayak in the Lower Keys is inshore, shallow-water fishing. Because the Keys sit on a wide, shallow shelf, the closest deep water (meaning deeper than 20 feet or so) is about 6 miles out, and out of reach for a standard 5 hour trip in a kayak. Blue water fish like mahi-mahi, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, etc., are best pursued from a power boat and I’m happy to recommend a few charter captains for you to pursue these species.  

Sight Fishing / Flats Fishing (solo kayak)

This is the most challenging (and potentially the most rewarding) type of fishing trip I offer. Using our paddles and push poles, we will stalk the flats while standing in the kayaks. We’ll do some “normal” paddling while in transit from one spot to the next, but  the majority of our time will spent standing and looking through the water as we slowly survey the scene around us. This is more akin to hunting than fishing, and frankly, it’s not for everybody. You’ll need to be as silent and observant as possible, and ready to make an accurate cast at a moving target in just a few seconds. Bass fisherman who are used to flinging lures to and fro all day will need to make a big adjustment to get the hang of fishing the saltwater flats in this style. However, if you’ve fished the salt from a flats skiff before, this game will be quite familiar, yet much more intimate. Bonefish, barracuda, jacks, sharks, redfish, tarpon, permit and more can be sighted, cast to, and fought from the standing position in a kayak, believe it or not! If you have little or no experience standing and poling in small watercraft, then taking a class with me ahead of time is a wise investment of time and money. I’ve developed techniques to keep you upright and maximize your chances for success and will gladly show them to you, but for most people it takes a little practice. A personalized class with me is a low pressure way to shorten the learning curve. Instruction is $60 per hour, minimum 2 hours.  

Sight Fishing / Flats Fishing (tandem kayak)

Similar to above, except that we’ll both be in one kayak. While in transit, we’ll paddle together. But once we’re in a “fishy” area, you’ll set the paddle down and I’ll take the helm from the rear seat of our two person kayak. This leaves positioning of the boat to me and your hands are free for quicker casting. This set up is GREAT for fly fisher folk who have to manage all that line. It’s also good for folks with mobility issues. And it helps you spot fish better, since you’ll be seeing things from a perspective and orientation similar to mine. I’ll literally point to the fish for you.

Bottom Fishing

This is enjoyable fishing for novice and expert alike. We’ll anchor the yaks in selected spots and put live or frozen baits near the bottom, or throw lures I’ve picked for the specific scenario at hand. Usually this generates a lot of rod bending in short order. Also, this is where you can “bring home the bacon” (i.e., fish dinner). Most of the inshore species of snapper, grouper, porgy, speckled seatrout, mackerel, grunt, redfish, and more are excellent on the dinner table. We’ll target channels, tidal creek mouths, bottom structure, patch reefs, and bridge pilings.

Do It Yourself Consultation

For many (including me), part of the attraction of kayak fishing is the solitude. For others, it’s simple economics – kayak fishing is a cheap way to catch some nice fish. And for others, it’s the sense of personal accomplishment, the challenge of doing it on your own, without guides, motors and sophisticated electronics, that provides the primary attraction. Yet the Keys’ archipelago doesn’t give up her secrets easily. The tides here are complex. The fishing has seasons. It’s a challenging fishery, and can be quite frustrating to the uninitiated. If you’d like some help, but don’t want to hire me for a charter, let’s do a consultation. We’ll sit down over coffee or lunch and talk about anything you’d like – species, tackle and rigging, tides, water temps, areas to fish, etc. My rate is $60 per hour. Bring something to take notes, and maybe a chart of the area. A map on your smartphone is also helpful.  

Website Visit Link Here
Phone 305.923.4643
Location Sugarloaf Key, FL
Flats Fishing
Fly Fishing
Tarpon Fishing
distance: Unknown
Address Sugarloaf Key, FL
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