Seven Mile Bridge

Seven Mile Bridge

In marathon there is couple places to launch or rent a boat. To rent a boat check out Captain Pips or Buds Boats. To Launch there is a public ramp located on the bay side. A short distance from both boat rental places and the ramp is the 7 mile bridge. The seven mile bridge offers good fishing for snapper, grouper which are mostly too small, and Tarpon in the warmer months. Depending on the season there will also be spanish mackerel , jack crevelles and blue runners around the base of the bridge.

Usually people anchor up current from the pilings and chum back to the bridge, use jigs and small slip sinker rigs. Be prepared to get snagged a lot.

 

The best areas to fish the bridge will be a little ways away from Marathon near Moser Channel, the water is deeper by this channel and in the summer months tarpon tend to congregate there.The seven mile bridge has both a new and old bridge, both have lots of fish but when they built the old bridge they dumped a ton of debris in the water, so often the old bridge is better for snapper fishing.

Summer tarpon fishing at the seven mile bridge is famous but is bit difficult for new people fishing the area. It requires a bit of tackle and know how. Firstly the water current rips thru the bridge, its actually pretty amazing. So you will need bigger baits, like mullet or a large blue crab. If the current is humming pinfish will ski across the water not making a good bait. You also will need a quick release anchor because the tarpon take off like a rocket. A quick release is just an anchor line that has a anchor ball or boat bumper tied to it. This essentially allows you to un hook from the anchor line quickly and chase the tarpon.

In the winter months head north of the bridge to catch tons of mackerel, bluefish and sharks. Head out to that elbow bank area in the north east corner of the map. Anchor up, and just start chumming, usually shortly there will be hoards of pinfish , bluefish , catfish, mackerel and sharks. Use small hooks and cut bait to catch pinfish and catfish and then use the pinfish on cork with a steel leader, for smaller sharks and bluefish, use the back end of a catfish on long steel leader for the bigger sharks.
Seven Mile Bridge

In marathon there is couple places to launch or rent a boat. To rent a boat check out Captain Pips or Buds Boats. To Launch there is a public ramp located on the bay side. A short distance from both boat rental places and the ramp is the 7 mile bridge. The seven mile bridge offers good fishing for snapper, grouper which are mostly too small, and Tarpon in the warmer months. Depending on the season there will also be spanish mackerel , jack crevelles and blue runners around the base of the bridge.

Usually people anchor up current from the pilings and chum back to the bridge, use jigs and small slip sinker rigs. Be prepared to get snagged a lot.

 

 

The best areas to fish the bridge will be a little ways away from Marathon near Moser Channel, the water is deeper by this channel and in the summer months tarpon tend to congregate there.The seven mile bridge has both a new and old bridge, both have lots of fish but when they built the old bridge they dumped a ton of debris in the water, so often the old bridge is better for snapper fishing.

Summer tarpon fishing at the seven mile bridge is famous but is bit difficult for new people fishing the area. It requires a bit of tackle and know how. Firstly the water current rips thru the bridge, its actually pretty amazing. So you will need bigger baits, like mullet or a large blue crab. If the current is humming pinfish will ski across the water not making a good bait. You also will need a quick release anchor because the tarpon take off like a rocket. A quick release is just an anchor line that has a anchor ball or boat bumper tied to it. This essentially allows you to un hook from the anchor line quickly and chase the tarpon.

In the winter months head north of the bridge to catch tons of mackerel, bluefish and sharks. Head out to that elbow bank area in the north east corner of the map. Anchor up, and just start chumming, usually shortly there will be hoards of pinfish , bluefish , catfish, mackerel and sharks. Use small hooks and cut bait to catch pinfish and catfish and then use the pinfish on cork with a steel leader, for smaller sharks and bluefish, use the back end of a catfish on long steel leader for the bigger sharks.

 

Florida Keys Monroe County Wreck and Reef GPS

Florida Keys Monroe County Wreck and Reef GPS

This s public list of coordinates taken from the http://floridaconservation.org, they are public numbers so reprinting them shouldn’t be a problem

NOTE: The Artificial Reefs database is sorted by DEPLOYMENT DATE, if available. The DEPTH field is the depth of water in feet to the bottom in reef area, while RELIEF is the height that the materials rise above the bottom in feet, if available. The GPS (Global Positioning System), DGPS (Differential GPS), LOR (Loran C) or UK (unknown) entries in the GPS field indicates which format the original coordinates were obtained (if known). The other set of coordinates was mathematically calculated and is probably not as accurate as the original set. If UNKNOWN (UK) is listed then the LORAN is probably the more accurate set of coordinates. In the MATERIALS field, a (W) indicates a shipwreck, (BAY) indicates an inshore reef within a bay, (TM) means Trade Mark and a # symbol, followed by a number, indicates the number of pieces of that material.

DEPLOYMENT DATE REEF NAME MATERIAL LORAN1 LORAN2 LATITUDE LONGITUDE GPS DESCRIPTION DEPTH RELIEF
4/9/42 BENWOOD (W) SHIP STEEL 344′ 14132.9 62254.3 2503.160 8020.020 GPS 314 FT. FREIGHTER “BENWOOD”, SUNK DURING WWII 30 15
4/26/42 STURTEVANT (W) SHIP STEEL 314′ 13923.0 43728.6 2445.500 8201.300 UK 314 FT. DESTROYER”USS STURTEVANT” SUNK IN WWII 65 20
6/15/42 GUNVOR REEF(W) SHIP STEEL 277′ 13972.3 43651.5 2455.413 8146.254 LOR 277 FOOT LONG STEEL SHIP SUNK IN WWII 60 20
5/12/72 WILKES BARRE (W) SHIP STEEL 610′ 13951.8 43570.2 2428.466 8133.000 LOR 610 FOOT CRUISER WILKES BARRE SUNK BY US NAVY 220 75
12/31/72 ALEXANDER WRECK (W) SHIP STEEL 300′ 13913.3 43710.8 2436.970 8158.910 UK 300 FOOT DESTROYER ESCORT THE “USS ALEXANDER” 40 40
12/31/78 ALVA CHAPMAN REEF SHIP CONCRETE 14160.4 43185.8 2517.667 8009.100 LOR TWO CONCRETE BOAT HULLS & DREDGE PIPE 220  
12/31/79 CANABIS CRUISER (W) SHIP STEEL 75′ 14081.8 43313.1 2449.504 8038.590 LOR 75 FOOT TRAWLER SCUTTLED BY CREW 110 25
12/31/80 SEVEN MILE BRIDGE REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14006.8 43480.4 2436.333 8110.000 LOR 620 TONS BRIDGE RUBBLE -OLD SEVEN MILE BRIDGE 90  
12/31/81 ISLAMORADA REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14093.2 43292.6 2450.307 8033.421 LOR 1981 CONCRTE BRIDGE SPANS 110  
12/31/82 MARATHON REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14033.7 43403.9 2438.388 8057.555 LOR 1982 MARATHON’S VACA CUT BRIDGE SPANS 115  
12/31/82 SEVEN MILE BRIDGE REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14006.8 43460.4 2434.970 8109.590 LOR 1982 7 MILE BRIDGE, SPANS 115  
12/31/82 SEVEN MILE BRIDGE REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14007.0 43459.9 2434.975 8109.484 LOR 1982 7 MILE BRIDGE, SPANS 115  
11/24/83 USS CURB(W) SHIP STEEL 300′ 13922.2 43639.7 2426.212 8146.127 LOR 213 FT.NAVY CABLE VESSEL “USS CURB”, UPRIGHT 185 60
12/31/83 KEY WEST GULFSIDE SHIP STEEL SMALL 13933.8 43678.8 2440.719 8152.514 LOR SMALL BOATS 32 4
12/31/83 KEY WEST GULFSIDE REEF STEEL I-BEAMS 13933.5 43679.1 2440.622 8152.579 LOR STEEL I-BEAMS AND RUBBLE 32 8
12/31/83 KEY WEST GULFSIDE REEF BARGE STEEL 120′ 13932.3 43679.1 2439.996 8152.636 LOR 120 FOOT LONG STEEL BARGE 32 10
12/31/83 KEY WEST TOURNAMENT REEF BARGE STEEL 100′ 13923.0 43637.8 2427.250 8146.250 LOR 100 FEET STEEL BARGE THE “LOLA” 184 14
12/31/83 KEY WEST TOURNAMENT REEF SHIP STEEL 260′ 13923.7 43636.4 2427.250 8146.250 LOR 260 FOOT SHIP L.S.M.R. 180 21
12/31/84 ALEXANDER BARGE BARGE STEEL 120′ 14093.0 43293.2 2451.700 8034.100 UK 120′ X 40′ BARGE, THE “ALEXANDER”, & BRIDGE RUBBLE 95 15
12/31/84 ISLAMORADA REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14093.0 43293.2 2450.332 8033.575 LOR 1984 120 FOOT BARGE AND BRIDGE SPANS 110  
12/31/84 SEVEN MILE BRIDGE REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14007.3 43459.3 2435.020 8109.359 LOR 1984 7 MILE BRIDGE & STEEL BARGE 115  
4/30/85 CAYMAN SALVAGE MASTER SHIP STEEL 187′ 13923.4 43638.7 2427.210 8145.980 LOR 187 FT.BUOY TENDER, SUNK IN 1985, UPRIGHT 92  
12/19/85 EAGLE SHIP STEEL 287′ 14093.2 43292.9 2452.180 8034.210 GPS 287 FT. FREIGHTER “EAGLE” , AKA THE “AARON K”, 110 40
12/31/85 AMERICAN SHOAL REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 13968.2 43548.6 2432.124 8127.822 LOR 1985 NILES CHANNEL BRIDGE RUBBLE 40  
12/31/85 BAHIA HONDA REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 13993.9 43497.2 2435.746 8117.380 LOR 1985 3000 TONS BRIDGE RUBBLE 30  
12/31/85 GUNBOR REEF STEEL SCRAP 13974.1 43651.0 2456.800 8146.200 LOR SUPERSTRUCTURE FROM “CAYMAN SALVAGE” 52 26
3/3/86 THUNDERBOLT SHIP STEEL 188′ 14034.0 43403.4 2439.480 8057.900 UK 188 FT. NAVY CABLE VESSEL, “USS THUNDERBOLT” 115  
12/31/86 ISLAMORADA REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14094.1 43291.0 2450.517 8033.069 LOR 1986 INDIAN CUT BRIDGE SPANS 115  
12/31/86 ISLAMORADA REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14094.0 43291.1 2450.472 8033.084 LOR 1986 OLD TEA TABLE BRRIDGE SPANS 115  
12/31/86 KEY WEST GULFSIDE REEF CONCRETE RUBBLE 13933.4 43679.1 2440.571 8152.583 LOR 3000 TONS OF CONCRETE RUBBLE AND STEEL 32  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 14054.9 43365.0 2443.878 8049.832 GPS LONG KEY BRIDGE MATERIALS 26 8
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14055.0 43364.3 2442.601 8049.128 LOR 1986 LONG KEY BRIDGE ,5 PATCH REEFS 26  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14054.9 43364.7 2442.639 8049.226 LOR 1986 LONG KEY BRIDGE, 5 PATCH REEFS 26  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14054.3 43365.0 2442.295 8049.244 LOR 1987 LONG KEY BRIDGE, 4 PATCH REEFS 26  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14055.5 43364.9 2443.118 8049.342 LOR 1986 LONG KEY BRIDGE, 9 PATCH REEFS 26  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14054.4 43365.5 2442.503 8049.390 LOR 1986 LONG KEY BRIDGE, 5 PATCH REEFS 26  
12/31/86 LONG KEY REEF BRIDGE SPANS CONCRETE 14054.3 43366.3 2442.650 8049.595 LOR 1986 LONG KEY BRIDGE,5 PATCH REEFS 26  
7/30/87 MARATHON REEEF SITE BRIDGE RUBBLE 14033.7 43403.9 2439.050 8057.787 UK CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS. 100  
11/27/87 BIBB SHIP STEEL 327′ (BIBB) 14122.9 62270.3 2459.710 8022.770 UK 327 FT. “USCG CUTTER BIBB”,ON SIDE, 95′ TO RAIL 130 35
11/27/87 DUANE SHIP STEEL 327′ (DUANE) 14122.2 62270.9 2459.380 8022.920 GPS 327 FT. “USCG CUTTER DUANE”, UPRIGHT 118 50
12/31/87 BAHIA HONDA REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 13993.8 43497.5 2435.755 8117.442 LOR 1987 3600 TONS SPANISH HARBOR BRIDGE SPANS 32  
12/31/87 ISLAMORADA REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 14094.0 43291.1 2450.472 8033.084 LOR 1987 LIGUM VITAE BRIDGE SPANS 115  
12/31/87 KEY WEST GULFSIDE REEF CONCRETE RUBBLE 13933.3 43679.8 2440.657 8152.704 LOR 100 TONS OF CONCRETE RUBBLE 32  
12/31/87 KEY WEST TOURNAMENT REEF BARGE STEEL 13922.4 43636.8 2425.673 8145.584 LOR HEAVY STEEL AND BARGE 205 6
12/31/87 MARATHON REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 14034.0 43403.4 2438.461 8057.451 LOR 1987 MARATHON CONCRETE SLABS 115  
6/25/88 BIG PINE REEF MODULES CONCRETE A-FRAMES 13984.8 43508.1 2432.692 8119.530 LOR RESEARCH MODULES, HIGH PROFILE 45  
6/25/88 BIG PINE REEF MODULES CONCRETE A-FRAMES 13984.7 43507.6 2432.509 8119.419 LOR RESEARCH MODULES, HIGH PROFILE 80  
6/27/88 BIG PINE REEF MODULES CONCRETE A-FRAMES 13985.0 43509.1 2433.056 8119.749 LOR , RESEARCH MODULES LOW PROFILE 25  
9/13/88 BIG PINE KEY SITE MODULES CONCRETE A-FRAMES 13984.7 43507.2 2433.016 8119.498 UK PRECAST CONCRETE SHALLOW REEF MODULES . 18  
1/21/89 JOE’S TUG SHIP STEEL TUGBOAT 90′ 13928.7 43630.7 2427.850 8144.270 GPS 90 FOOT LONG TUGBOAT 65 25
12/31/92 STARGAZER REEF STEEL STRUCTURES 13910.7 43669.8 2427.300 8152.000 LOR UNDERWATER SCULPTURES 13  
12/31/94 LONG KEY REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 14056.3 43365.8 2443.900 8049.667 GPS 1994,LONG KEY BRIDGE, 3746 TONS BRIDGE, GPS 24  
12/31/96 LONG KEY REEF CONCRETE BRIDGE SPANS 14056.3 43365.8 2443.900 8049.667 LOR 1996, LONG KEY BRIDGE, 3942 TONS BRIDGE 24  
12/5/98 ADOLPHUS BUSCH SR SHIP STEEL 210′ 13968.0 43547.9 2431.841 8127.688 DGPS 210 FT. SHIP AKA THE “OCEAN ALLEY”, NEAR LOOE KEY 100 62
N/A CITY OF WASHINGTON (W) SHIP STEEL 14151.1 43203.8 2508.820 8015.190 GPS SHIPWRECK FROM 1891, ADJACENT TO ELBOW REEF 20 8

Florida Keys Monroe County Wreck and Reef GPS

Big Pine Key Fishing

Big Pine Key Fishing

Big Pine Key and the lower keys are located between Marathon and Key West in the southern end of the Florida Keys. The areas around Big Pine Key are a maze of mangrove islands and channels, and are great for back country fishing . It has direct access to the gulf of Mexico to the north and the atlantic to the south. There are ton of bridges of varying sizes to fish including Bahia Honda bridge which is famous for tarpon fishing in the spring and summer. There are numerous wrecks on the atlantic side, and also the looe Key Sanctuary which you cannot fish but is supposed to be one of the best snorkeling spots in the country.

The are a bunch of great campgrounds in the big pine key area like the Big Pine Key Fishing lodge and the Bahia Honda state campground both have great boat access and fishing access from shore.

Sprigger Bank Fishing

Sprigger Bank Fishing

Sprigger Bank is located on the eastern edge of Florida Bay, next to the border of the Everglades National Park. The Bank and the surrounding areas are teeming with fish and it definitely a spot worth checking out if you have your boat or rental boat in the area. Sprigger Bank is located almost due north of the Long Key Bridge.

In the warmer months there are many mangrove snappers, baby jewfish and baby gag groupers, sea trout and of course catfish galore. In the winter months those same species are there but are sort of eclipsed by the massive numbers of blue fish, Spanish Mackerel and tons of sharks.

Usually I fish with 12 pound spinning rods using small jigs tipped with cut fish or shrimp for the small fish, a pinfish out on cork, and then usually a shark bait with a big steel leader, on a big spinning reel loaded with 50 pound test braid.

Mosquito Bank and Basin Hill Shoals

Mosquito Bank and Basin Hill Shoals

Two popular patch reefs in the Key Largo Area are Mosquito Banks and Basin Hill Shoal. They are both a short distance from the Pennekamp State Park boat rentals and boat launch. Both reef areas hold tons of fish but are both much better fishing in the winter months. They are also great places to catch bait all year round. Both places are usually loaded with ballyhoo and Basin Hill Shoals in the warmer months is a great place to catch small blue runners.

Both reefs are great on windy days, especially Basin Hill shoals if the wind is blowing from the east. It is very common if you are coming here on vacation in the months of December to February for the wind to be howling. So knowing some sheltered spots where you can at least catch dinner is a good thing.

To get to Mosquito Bank from Pennekamp and Key Largo sound you just head out what is know as south creek, just look for a short tower to the south, it marks the inland side of the patches. Pretty much even if the wind is howling you will be able to see the patches . I would suggest find a deep edge a little outside the patches to fish. Otherwise you will be smothered in tiny grunts.

To get to Basin Hill shoals you will go out of “north creek” from Key Largo Sound and head north east following the shore. You will see a short tower after you have been driving for a minute. This marks the inland side of the shoals, and pretty much you will see the patches all to the ocean side of that tower. Now the beauty of the shoals is that 1 foot area you see to the east of shoals, this will pretty much kill the waves coming from the east, so even a the windiest day the water is pretty comfortable inside of that bank.

For tips on how to fish these shallow reefs please check out the reef fishing page

Northwest Channel and Jetty

Northwest Channel and Jetty

The northwest channel and the jetty are popular spots to fish when the wind is blowing or when you don’t want to travel far. The northwest channel is the large channel which connects the Key West harbor and the Atlantic with the Gulf. The current is often pretty extreme so if the wind is blowing the right (or wrong) way it can be pretty rough. The northwest channel is a popular spot to catch mangrove, mutton snappers, cero mackerel and Spanish mackerel. Depending on the time of year there also can be kingfish and cobia.

At the northeast end of the channel there is a large jetty which stretches for close to half a mile. It is home to numerous jewfish and snapper. Fishing it can be hit or miss but usually when there are a lot of bait fish on it there will be other fish. People fish it primarily with live pinfish and jigs tipped with cut bait. It’s really possible for anything to swim up around including permit, big jacks crevelles and king fish.

Gulf Wrecks

Gulf Wrecks

There are dozens of wrecks north of Key West. Many are shrimp boats but others are larger vessels. Some of these wrecks are very public and gps numbers for them can be found from a variety of sources. Remember though hurricanes tend to move wrecks so some numbers will not be very accurate.

These wrecks can be loaded with fish depending on time of year and water conditions. Popular fish to target on these wrecks would be primarily cobia, gag grouper and various snapper. People often use live pinfish and small blue runners for live baits. People also fish jigs tipped with cut bait or shrimp. A chum slick near one of these wrecks can attract a multitude of fish, sometimes huge schools of blue runners, bluefish and Spanish mackerel, not to mention kingfish. On some of these wrecks it will be difficult to get a live bait to the bottom before a large lane snapper will eat it.

One issue with fishing these wrecks can be sharks and jewfish stealing a lot of your fish. Using heavier tackle to get your fish in the boat quicker can help a lot. Also if you throw a steel leader on and hook and fight a shark for awhile, he and his buddies will tend to leave. Sharks don’t like being around a shark in distress.

Airforce Relay Towers

Air Force Relay Towers

There are several of these towers within range of Key West. These towers sit in anywhere from 35 to over 100 feet of water. Most are located in a veritable desert of the gulf. With no other competing structure around them they are magnets for fish. Depending on the time of year huge schools of permit orbit them, along with cobia and mackerel of all sizes. Amberjack and crevelle jacks are also common in large numbers. The actual structure of the towers are usually covered with snappers from small mangroves to large cubera snapper. The bases of the towers are usually stacked with jewfish.

Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas area is kind of considered the holy grail of bottom fishing in Florida. The actual island and Fort at the Dry Tortugas is actually a sanctuary where you cannot fish but there is a huge amount of awesome reef and bottom structure which surround the sanctuary. Fish caught are pretty much all the common reef species but usually much larger and in much larger numbers.

Key West Harbor

Key West Harbor

The harbor in Key West boasts wildly different fishing depending on the time of year. It’s best known for the spring and summer tarpon fishing but there are fish in the harbor all year round.

In tarpon season huge schools of tarpon roam the harbor and channels running out of it. The best bite is usually in the morning and evening but it’s possible to catch them any time of day. They can be fished with live bait such as pinfish, crabs and small mullet. People also chum the tarpon up using shrimp boat bycatch and catch them on dead baits.

Outside of the tarpon the harbor is home to a wide variety of snapper and in cooler months schools of cero mackerel, Spanish and kingfish swim through. There are small wrecks and rock piles located in and near the harbor which can hold cobia in the winter months. Large sharks cruise the harbor all year, sometimes even swimming under the fish cleaning tables in A & B marina and other adjacent marinas.

The channels that attach to the harbor can also offer good fishing, and depending on the wind direction relatively calm seas. People often fish Calda and the northeast channel for a variety of fish.