The Florida Keys and Islamorada in particular have been known for spectacular fishing for the last century! I grew up fishing in this area with my family and friends and it’s still the area I like to fish to this day, but I haven’t been on a Bud N Mary’s charter since I was a kid before my dad bought his first boat.
If you’ve never heard of Bud N’ Mary’s they’re pretty popular with locals and a world famous Islamorada Fishing marina, located in the heart of the beautiful Florida Keys. They have been featured in magazine and newspaper articles, and tv shows. Plus, they get rave reviews on Trip Advisor, Facebook and Google too.
Bud N’ Mary’s is home to over 40 offshore captains and back country guides, many of which grew up right in Islamorada!
They’re all experienced in helping just about anyone enjoy a Florida Keys fishing trip whether they’re a complete novice, experienced angler, solo fisher, small group or large corporate event. They even cater to people like me who like to work on their tan and photography in between bouts of fishing.
One of the most unique aspects about fishing in Islamorada is that it’s a convergence of the Atlantic ocean, the gulf of Mexico and the Florida Bay which offers a huge diversity of fish below the surface. Of the many types of fishing expeditions offered by Bud N’ Mary’s one of the more popular is the Reef Fishing Charter.
Because it’s just 20 minutes in and out to the fishing area it makes it ideal for a half day or whole day charter. The reef line runs parallel with the Keys and lays about 4 miles off the shore with depths between 60 and 90 feet. On these trips the charter boats can take advantage of all sorts of fishing methods including bottom fishing, trolling, kite fishing, drift fishing, and sight fishing.
The trip usually begins with catching live bait and then go from there. Once out, there’s no telling what you will catch but common reef fish are sailfish, snapper, grouper, barracuda, cobia, mackerel, shark, African pompano and wahoo, etc. If you’re really lucky you might even catch the occasional mahi or tuna.
During the trip, I caught two mangrove snapper that were too small to keep, and a yellow jack that was pretty big, and my fishing companions caught mangrove snapper and hogfish. And yes, as long as the fish are within guidelines you get to keep what you catch to bring home or take to a local restaurant.
There’s also quite a few “wrecks” just out side the reef they fish around too. They’re anywhere from 100′ – 200′ of water and our captains know the well known spots in addition to a the secret spots too! Another of Bud N’ Marys claim to fame is offering the only full day Florida Keys Party Fishing Boat in Islamorada and it’s a great way to fish the reef on a budget if you can’t swing the charter.
So whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the boat or something a bit more adventurous Bud N’ Mary’s probably has the right set up for you. They even offer overnight accommodations with a motel, beach house and efficiency apartments if you’re looking to make a weekend (or longer!) out of your trip.
Disclosure: I received complimentary admission on a charter as part of the Seize The Keys press trip. All opinions are my own.