Trip Implosion – May in the Keys

May 6, 7, 8… Plan A was fishing with Davin in the Upper Keys. We’d just stake off, for three days, and wait for the fish to come to us. We’d be ultra patient and just let it happen. Davin has a friend with a boat, a good, broad, steady ocean-side tarpon boat. It was going to be three days of just that. Nothing else. Just staking off in Tavernier and waiting for the migrating tarpon to intersect with our stationary skiffness.

And then… I get a message. He’s out. Family thing. Nothing to be done.

Well… crap.


Me, realizing my trip was tanked.

So… what to do? Without a fishing partner, someone to split the house with, no boat and no guide… there wasn’t much of a trip left to be had. So… I pulled the plug. My every-two-year Florida trip just went away like it was never on the books at all.

I was really looking forward to that trip, but I am slightly consoled by the fact my wife readily accepted that this aborted trip would need to be replaced by some new trip. The balance sheet will be evened out.

The task before me is clear. I have to figure out where to fish. I have specifications, as we all do, although mine are maybe a bit more constrained than those of you without the present encumbrance of steady employment and young children. The trip needs to be something I can do in about 5 days, six in a pinch. I need it to be reasonably priced, which means there is almost certainly an element of DIY to it, although not necessarily. It needs to be on a week I don’t have custody of my daughter. It needs to not conflict with anything my wife has down on the calendar.

Easy, right?

I’m open to suggestions.

A few possibilities I’m currently eyeballing:

  • Grand Cayman to visit Davin’s island and have him show me where to find fish.
  • Punta Allen for a mostly DIY walk-around, maybe points further south, maybe a lodge if the price is right.
  • Back to Belize.
  • I’ve always wanted to go fish Puerto Rico.
  • Something like Acklins or Crooked.

Maybe July? August is probably out. September is a possibility, as could be early October.

Let the games begin. We’ll see where I end up.

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  1. Rodrigo Vargas

    Punta Allen is not a DIY trip. You need a boat. I sesne that Mexico is not your favorite place either. Anyway, I suggested Holbox on Facebook because I thought big tarpon was your goal. But if you want to catch bones for cheap you can go to Mahahual, practically on the Beluze border. Flights are cheap, lodging is cheap, food is cheap, and bones and permit on the beach are a possibility. E-mail me, we can talk on the phone and I’ll do my best to hook you up with some fish.

  2. bonefishbjorn

    I actually like Mexico a lot, but my Spanish is not something that would not help me out too much. My wife speaks very well. Me… not so much. I used to go to Nuevo Vallarta every year for a family vacation, but that was my first marriage and a different lifetime ago. I’ve been wanting to go fish Mexico for a while now, but just haven’t done it. If Grand Cayman doesn’t happen, I’ll likely go to Mexico, somewhere.

    Now, would Punta Allen change to more of a DIY if I managed to bring an inflatable kayak or SUP along?

    Mahahual does sound interesting. I’ll put it on the list and I’ll drop you a line.

  3. Doug Jeffries

    Personally, if I only had 5 days for an entire trip (I assume that includes travel time, right?), I’d head for either the northern / western Yucatan for tarpon or the New Orleans area for redfish. Both only take a day to get there, which leaves you three full days to fish. Both are extremely reliable fisheries. Three days at either can sufficiently sooth your fishing demons. Both can be done for reasonable cost. Both can be done on short notice and both can be thoroughly enjoyed as a single angler. The other thought I had is to plan around hurricane season. That’s one way to really screw up a trip. Not that you asked for any suggestions.

  4. bonefishbjorn

    Really, I DID ask for your suggestions. Solid Doug.

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