Dohcdelsol93

Recommend snorkeling spots near marathon

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Only been to the keys once before and other than kayaking have not been out on the water.  Want to take my sailboat down but having never sailed outside the lake i grew up on i figured renting a power boat with navigation and charts, much smaller and much less draft would be a good idea for the first time.  Only have a boat for the first 3 days of the trip.  Fingers crossed weather stays good.  We will be on the Atlantic side.

 

I know there are a few reefs right off marathon.  Which one would you recomend?  If we have time we will visit more than one but which one would you consider cant miss? Will be going next Sunday or Monday.

 

Thanks guys/gal

 

 

 

 

 

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 The best snorkeling I've experienced down there was Looe Key, about 5 miles SW of Bahia Honda. As long as it hasn't been too stormy and the water is clear, it's excellent. It's a large area and not so deep that you can't see anything from the surface. It would be a good 20 miles one way from Marathon, if not further. Better if you can trailer down to Bahia Honda and launch there. Or just take a commercial trip out there later in your trip. 

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1 hour ago, Dohcdelsol93 said:

Only been to the keys once before and other than kayaking have not been out on the water.  Want to take my sailboat down but having never sailed outside the lake i grew up on i figured renting a power boat with navigation and charts, much smaller and much less draft would be a good idea for the first time.  Only have a boat for the first 3 days of the trip.  Fingers crossed weather stays good.  We will be on the Atlantic side.

 

I know there are a few reefs right off marathon.  Which one would you recomend?  If we have time we will visit more than one but which one would you consider cant miss? Will be going next Sunday or Monday.

 

Thanks guys/gal

Why don't you just find a dive operation,  they'll know the best spots, etc...  you don't have to hassle with renting, navigation, etc..

 

plus you support the local economy..

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I recommend that you don't go snorkeling underneath the 7 mile bridge where that 13 footer bit my 150 lb Tarpon in half

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Not really into the party charters snorkeling trips or fishing.  For the price of a 4 hr trip i have rented a boat for 3 days.  Will get me some fishing, sight seeing and some snorkeling in for an area i plan on sailing around in the next few years.  

 

Im renting the boat locally, shopping there locally, eating locally...how much more do you want me to support their economy? Buy them all matching hats?  

 

I wont have a trailer for the boat. Its delivered and picked up at the sea wall. 

 

I wouldn't trust random people who rarley use a boat more than once a year to launch/retrieve my boat either.

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1 minute ago, Dorado said:

I recommend that you don't go snorkeling underneath the 7 mile bridge where that 13 footer bit my 150 lb Tarpon in half

Lol...i plan on fishing around the 7 mile bridge but no swimming around it!

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I was gonna say that Sombrero Reef has some nice snorkeling, and further north, the reef off John Pennecamp state park is gorgeous. If you just want some close shallow water stuff w/out having to take a dive boat out?  Pigeon Key is limited, but, nice, and calm water. 

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4 minutes ago, Dohcdelsol93 said:

Lol...i plan on fishing around the 7 mile bridge but no swimming around it!

That, I can help you with. What time of year will you be there?

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Ill be leaving out of key colony beach.  I found some gps coordinates for sombrero reef. Do they have mooring balls there?  I have 200 rode and anchor but with so much grass around the areas i went and my comfortable free dive 20 ft or less setting anchor by hand seems almost mandatory.. If I can get that deep. Thats what she said

 

I dont want to be the jerk that tears up the sea grass

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Ill be there Satuday morning....boat is delivered Sunday

 

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During my days at FAU, we used to dive for lobsters off the beach and had several encounters with Moray Eels.  Several years later we went on a group dive trip in the Keys.  Before we hit the water, the divemaster started passing around hot dogs.  I asked them what they were for, the master responded that they were for feeding the Morays.  I looked at the hot dog and my fingers and said you people are stupid

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Never understood why people would want to feed a 6ft plus eel that's known to be temperamental.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Dohcdelsol93 said:

Ill be leaving out of key colony beach.  I found some gps coordinates for sombrero reef. Do they have mooring balls there?  I have 200 rode and anchor but with so much grass around the areas i went and my comfortable free dive 20 ft or less setting anchor by hand seems almost mandatory.. If I can get that deep. Thats what she said

 

I dont want to be the jerk that tears up the sea grass

There are indeed mooring balls - competition for space will be a little tight on a weekend day.    

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Sweet...we'll plan on Monday. Weather pending.  

Any known issues with the current charts from marathon to the reef since the hurricane?  On the 14 hr drive down the admiral will be working up our planned destinations for the gps chart plotter

 

 

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20 hours ago, Fat Point Jack said:

During my days at FAU, we used to dive for lobsters off the beach and had several encounters with Moray Eels.  Several years later we went on a group dive trip in the Keys.  Before we hit the water, the divemaster started passing around hot dogs.  I asked them what they were for, the master responded that they were for feeding the Morays.  I looked at the hot dog and my fingers and said you people are stupid

doing my open water at lake travis, we came upon a catfish about 14"s long,  we tear off pieces of hot dog to feed him.. I was teasing him with a full dog.. he sucked that whole thing right out of my hand..   by the end of the weekend he was about 10"s around.. fattest cat I've ever seen...

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15 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

doing my open water at lake travis, we came upon a catfish about 14"s long,  we tear off pieces of hot dog to feed him.. I was teasing him with a full dog.. he sucked that whole thing right out of my hand..   by the end of the weekend he was about 10"s around.. fattest cat I've ever seen...

One of my favorite diving practical jokes is to bring a small can of vienna sausages along on he boat. At the right moment during dive preparations, surreptitiously stuff a few down between the tank and BC/backpack of the victim. It works in the pockets of the BC as well, but often can be found by the victim during predive checks. Somewhere I have a picture of Mrs PB completely enveloped in a ball of blue striped grunts all trying get at the sausages. 

Well...........I thought it was funny...............Mrs PB.......not so much.

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On 6/12/2018 at 11:10 PM, Dorado said:

I recommend that you don't go snorkeling underneath the 7 mile bridge where that 13 footer bit my 150 lb Tarpon in half

13 footer what?  

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On 6/13/2018 at 8:57 PM, Point Break said:

One of my favorite diving practical jokes is to bring a small can of vienna sausages along on he boat. At the right moment during dive preparations, surreptitiously stuff a few down between the tank and BC/backpack of the victim. It works in the pockets of the BC as well, but often can be found by the victim during predive checks. Somewhere I have a picture of Mrs PB completely enveloped in a ball of blue striped grunts all trying get at the sausages. 

Well...........I thought it was funny...............Mrs PB.......not so much.

Haha, I'll bet that was funny.  Once!

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3 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

13 footer what?  

Tiger I think. Definitely not a hammer . Maybe the mack daddy of all Bulls. Had the squarish nose.

I was about 90 yards away. 

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So I should kayak fish the 7 mile bridge?  

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2 minutes ago, Dohcdelsol93 said:

So I should kayak fish the 7 mile bridge?  

Why notte?  Juste wache oute forre the Navey shippes, that ROW thige canbe trickey.                   :)

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7 minutes ago, Dohcdelsol93 said:

So I should kayak fish the 7 mile bridge?  

I wouldn't. Current is an issue, along with the teeth. 

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9 minutes ago, Dorado said:

Tiger I think. Definitely not a hammer . Maybe the mack daddy of all Bulls. Had the squarish nose.

I was about 90 yards away. 

13 foot bull. That would be something to avoid at any cost. Pit Bull of the Ocean. Mean SOB.

Think I’ve never seen one. Maybe once diving there was one sorta off in the “gloom” I thought might be a bull. I got out.

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3 minutes ago, Point Break said:

 there was one sorta off in the “gloom” I thought might be a bull. I got out.

smartte                            :)

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4 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

smartte                            :)

Yeah....sharks generally do not bother me, I enjoy seeing them but that’s one mean dangerous fish. 

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8 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Yeah....sharks generally do not bother me, I enjoy seeing them but that’s one mean dangerous fish. 

Bulles our notheng to fuck withe.        Give waye, an pleantey of spaice......................                 :)

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35 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Bulles our notheng to fuck withe.        Give waye, an pleantey of spaice......................                 :)

Daughter did live shark research. They would stay in the water for anything except bulls. 

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3 hours ago, Point Break said:

13 foot bull. That would be something to avoid at any cost. Pit Bull of the Ocean. Mean SOB.

Think I’ve never seen one. Maybe once diving there was one sorta off in the “gloom” I thought might be a bull. I got out.

Yup, they're grumpy alright. At the time I didn't think Bulls got that big, but I have since learned that it may be a possibility.

The problem with the Keys bridges is that the sharks get habituated to eating Tarpon that are the size of human beings,  picking them off the lines without having to work very hard for it. So they get BIG. The fisherman / shark relationship is symbiotic. 

In the early 80's there was a well known hammerhead named Mother that lived around the Channel 2 and Channel 5 bridges near Islamorada. The guides said she was roughly 18' as compared to the Flats boats they were using. She was a god they all made involuntary sacrifices too.

Don't snorkel there either.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Dorado said:

Yup, they're grumpy alright. At the time I didn't think Bulls got that big, but I have since learned that it may be a possibility.

The problem with the Keys bridges is that the sharks get habituated to eating Tarpon that are the size of human beings,  picking them off the lines without having to work very hard for it. So they get BIG. The fisherman / shark relationship is symbiotic. 

In the early 80's there was a well known hammerhead named Mother that lived around the Channel 2 and Channel 5 bridges near Islamorada. The guides said she was roughly 18' as compared to the Flats boats they were using. She was a god they all made involuntary sacrifices too.

Don't snorkel there either.

 

 

Must be impressive to watch! 

Re:Hammerheads......been in with a few of those, none 18 feet though, and they’re a pretty docile shark. Course with a ready supply of flopping struggling fish....that’s not a good combination.

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9 hours ago, Point Break said:
9 hours ago, Dorado said:

Tiger I think. Definitely not a hammer . Maybe the mack daddy of all Bulls. Had the squarish nose.

I was about 90 yards away. 

13 foot bull. That would be something to avoid at any cost. Pit Bull of the Ocean. Mean SOB.

Think I’ve never seen one. Maybe once diving there was one sorta off in the “gloom” I thought might be a bull. I got out.

I don't like Bulls.  At.  All.  Been on two dive trips where Bulls have come in.  Once in Fiji and once in the Bahamas.  We did a couple of "Shark Dives" in Fiji where both Bulls and Tigers were present.  The Tigers were FUCKING BIG, 12+.  probably closer to 14-15ft.  The Bulls were a bit smaller, probably in the 10-11ft range.   The Bulls were fast, skittish, agitated and they just made me nervous.  OTOH, I've been up close to big Tigers on a couple of occasions and a big hammerhead once.  Neither of them bothered me.  They were very calm and laid back.  They swam slowly, more inquisitive than anything else.  As long as you were also calm, they didn't seem to take much notice of us.  The most important thing is don't act like or look like food to them.  

As an aside, one of the cooler sharks SWMBO and I have seen recently was an Oceanic White Tip.  We were doing our safety stop after a dive in the Red Sea last year and a small-ish one came and hung out with us for a while.  She just slowly swam around our group for about 10 min while were were at 5 meters.  Very cool and very beautiful animal.

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I don't believe GW are requiem sharks. Bulls and Tigers yes. GW no. However slight taxonomic differences aside....those three species are responsible for the most unprovoked attack humans. and the Bull is the meanest SOB of the lot.

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I was being sarcastic about kayak fishing the 7 mile bridge.  We've snrorkeled at the parking areas near the bridges, the current moves more quickly than id appreciate in a kayak.  

 

In Venice/Indian rocks i didnt notice more than a few feet between high and low tide 

 

I was a little shocked to see the boats raise/drop several feet between tides on our first trip. Glad i didn't bring the boat and tie her up tight to the wall our first trip.  Currents, tides, shipping lanes, all stuff we don't have to deal with at the lake.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Point Break said:

I don't believe GW are requiem sharks. Bulls and Tigers yes. GW no. However slight taxonomic differences aside....those three species are responsible for the most unprovoked attack humans. and the Bull is the meanest SOB of the lot.

Requiem sharks are sharks of the family Carcharhinidae in the orderCarcharhiniformes,”

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1 hour ago, Max Rockatansky said:

Requiem sharks are sharks of the family Carcharhinidae in the orderCarcharhiniformes,”

Well....your link is correct when describing Requiem sharks which are -  as you linked - in the Order Carchariniform and and Family Carcharhinidae. Those may be called carcharinids. You will note the GW is NOT in the same Order or Family and are therefore NOT carcharinids aka Requiem sharks. They are only in the same  Class of fish with cartilage instead of bones. They diverge there. As I said in my post, GW are not Requiem Sharks. 

 

classification-powerpoint1-of-great-white-shark-powerpoint.jpg

animal-project-dr-terdal-8-638.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

I did not refer to a GW as a requiem shark, if you would care to reread my post. Carcharodon is, though, archetypical. 

You said they were both carcharinids. They're not. I suppose I should have driven by as its a minor error, but I did not. Sometimes I get locked up on detail. Sorry.

 

Quote

Carcharhinid, also called requiem shark, any member of the shark family Carcharhinidae, which includes about 12 genera and 50 species found worldwide.

 https://www.britannica.com/animal/carcharhinid

 

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11 minutes ago, Point Break said:

You said they were both carcharinids. They're not. I suppose I should have driven by as its a minor error, but I did not. Sometimes I get locked up on detail. Sorry.

 

 https://www.britannica.com/animal/carcharhinid

 

What you are is an expert at passive-aggressive. My compliments. We should mutually ignore. See ya

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22 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

What you are is an expert at passive-aggressive. My compliments. We should mutually ignore. See ya

I guess you hate being wrong to the point you cannot acknowledge it. Mutually ignore is one way to deal with it. Other way would be to say "gosh I was not aware that Carcharinid was the same as Requiem. Thanks" 

I might also point out, you pressed the question. 

I can do mutual ignore as an option though.

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56 minutes ago, TonyFromSheepsheadBay said:

Have had lots of big tarpon snatched by Bulls at Boca Grande.  Before seeing that I was telling my guide, a long time local and top guide, how I liked to go for a swim at the beach at Gasparilla Inn.   He said 'don't do that' and explained there are more attacks then you read about up north.  Chamber of Commerce dosnt like to advertise that stuff.   

By the way, this guy is the bomb for tarpon on the west coast .  

Capt. Frank Davis was born in Florida and grew up fishing the waters surrounding Boca Grande. He specializes in Pass Tarpon fishing aboard his custom 24′ Morgan “Native” from May through August. The remainder of the year he targets snook, redfish and Speckled Trout in the backcountry in his 21′ Lake & Bay flats skiff. He is experienced in both live bait and fly fishing. http://cocohibbitts.com/GCCBwp2012/?page_id=306

Attacks?   
Did y'all get out to Sombrero Reef? 

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I second snorkeling at Sombrero Reef...easy to get to from KCB and a good dive.

Kayaking off Sombrero Beach into the mangroves at Boot Key is fun too...you’ll get an occasional manatee escort between the beach and the mangroves.

While you’re out that way, pop over to Burdine’s...they’ve got the best burgers on Marathon!

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We motored out past the reef in 150+ ft and trolled for mahi, looked for birds...no luck thanks to sea grass fouling hooks and gave up in less than an hour.  Found out days later the tuna were now in 650 ft (10 mile range on boat so we wouldn't have gone anyway as wed be pushing our range)

Motored out to sombrero reef but no mooring balls were open.  Went to try the reef again on Monday but boat didn't want to stay idling, back fired, hard to restart.  This did scare away the 5 manatee that would not get away from the boat.  Got it restarted but died at the end of the canal. After a hard restart we heard thunder and called it a day. Had rental place come look at it but would not duplicate the issue. A 4 stroke efi shouldn't be backfiring!  Was a wash that day but shit happens. Maybe a bit of water in the fuel, either way the chance of a break down when storm cells are brewing in the distance wasnt worth the risk.

 

Day 3 of the boat it ran like a top. We motored out to the sand bar off of grass key.  Great snorkeling and relaxing.    Had to have boat back at the seawall for pick up by 4pm.  Not nearly as much wild life in the shallows compared to last year.  Last summer we had to be careful not to step on conch or upside down jellies.  Didn't see the first upside down jelly and less than 6 conch (only one queen).  This was the same out at the horse shoe at scout key(i think it's scout key) just south of veterans park beach and on the bay side. Plenty of fish and some large lobster but only one or two conch (one queen) and no jellies.

 

Paid a local charter to take us out to the bridge and some patch reefs for half the day. Grass killed the bridge fishing on both sides, went out to the patch reefs, grass was much better (35 ft or so of water)  lots of chum, lots of oats/meal/smelly chum and couldn't keep the yellow tail off the hook.  Lost more than we caught.  Sharks tore up the bottom...my son loved fighting the sharks.  The little lady who was disappointed i took half a day of vacation to go fishing had an amazing time reeling in everything from shark to grouper to blues.  Had one 4 ft or so cuda eating the fish off the lines, as well as breaking the line. Got a small fish and put it on a hook,  took less than 30 seconds for him to bite.  After and intense 30 second battle he jumped some 10ft out of the water and spit out the head/hook.  Didn't lose another small fish after that.  Never saw him again.

 

Once sharks took over the bottom we went to top water and caught plenty of nice yellow tail for dinner.

Next year we either bite the bullet and tow down my 26 ft sailboat, come a day early to set up and sleep overnight on the hook, motor to the sea wall and take back down the day before coming home or buy a 20ft or so boat just to bring to the keys on vacation.  Living in an area where there's no salt water and boats sit all winter pre Christmas deals will net you a nice boat for 3k or less when someone needs year end tax money or xmas for the kids money.   I love the relaxing on the sailboat and slicing waves vs the pounding a modified v hull takes in heavy wake.  However, i did appreciate getting to and from destinations at half speed in less than 30 min in the motor boat.  My sailboat doesn't have thrusters so docking at the seawall would be a night mare.  It's always windy and it's a tight fit on top of that.  Id have to park like jesus.   With a 20 ft motor boat i had just a few ft clearance between me and 2 other boats forward/aft. With my 26 id have been pusing them out of my way.  There are no sailboats on my side of kcb, plenty of depth for my shoal keel, no issues with height obstructions as some of these huge pro angler yachts have towers nearly at my mast height. Lack if sea wall space and narrow canals are probably the deal breaker. 

 

 

 

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Cool

Man, I miss the Keys.

How's the hurricane recovery progressing ?

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Slow.  Lower income housing (90% of all who work in the keys) is lacking and price has sky rocketed. The capt we chartered with is a live aboard (why we used him) and said he spends nearly 1k a month to just live aboard a sub 32 ft boat.  Lots of storm debris still lying around in piles, parks with torn up trailers plus debris piles of buildings that once were, powe lines and/or catv lines still hanging in water along the bridges.  Lots of work left to be done. I really hate if for the working class locals, 1900 a month will not be easy to afford on a 1br/ba efficiency apartment on tips...hell a family wirh combined income of near 60k would have to budget pretty strictly to scrape by.  Look at the boats kids...maybe one day we can afford one.  I love it down here but it's sad, i try to tip all the people to serve us, clean up after us very well.  The keys are full of old people and sadly many times those people feel a 2 dollar tip on a 70 dollar meal is ok.  Not all old people...but if you can afford fuel down here and a week plus rental, please tip at least 20% or stick to McDonalds.  The struggle down here is real. 

 

I haven't seen this much devastation since Hugo. I was in middle school at the time but it was back to normal much more quickly if memory serves me correctly.

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