Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sara and Jim Bernardin

This is my wife Sara and me in front of Pines & Palms Resort. We have 25 cottages, suites, and rooms on the oceanside at mile marker 80.4 in Islamorada. 

It's a family friendly resort and we're there everyday to help you have a great stay here in the Keys.

Give us a call at 800-624-0964 or outside the U.S. at 305-664-4343. Visit our website by clicking the here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Florida Bay Fishing is Hot

Spent Saturday out in the boat with a couple of friends from England, Glen Taylor and Philip Fidler. All I can say is Florida Bay fishing is just about as good as it gets right now. We fished a few cuts on our way to Schooner Bank and boated some nice snapper. When the tide stopped we headed a few miles west and put out the chum bag. Within minutes we were catching a fish on almost every cast.

Using a basic jig and shrimp on 8 pound test with a 40 pound leader, we caught over 14 different species of fish including some extra large Spanish Mackerel. The list includes Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Lane Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Bluefish, Grunts, Ladyfish, Blue Runners, Jack Crevalle, Lemon Sharks, Spinner Sharks, Leather Jacks, Pinfish... you name it!

If you want to do some fun fishing and catch a lot of fish, head out a few miles past Schooner or Sprigger Banks. Make sure you have 2 or 3 blocks of chum and plenty of shrimp. It should be excellent fishing out there for the next 4 months.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Islamorada Fun Facts

The name "Islamorada", meaning "purple isle", is thought to come from early Spanish explorers.

Islamorada, "Village of Islands" was incorporated on November 4, 1997 and includes the islands of Lower Matecumbe Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Windley Key and Plantation Key in the Florida Keys.

Prior to this date, Islamorada was only considered to be the little town on the island of Upper Matecumbe Key, which is where our Pines & Palms Resort is located.

As of the 2000 census, the Village had a total population of 6,846. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 7,033.

Islamorada is considered the Sport Fishing Capital of the World due to the number of world records and the number of different species which can be caught within a short boat ride of town.

Fishing Update

If you want to find out what's happening with fishing while you are staying in the Keys, all you need to do is tune in to WFFG 1300 AM and listen to their morning show, Monday - Friday from 7 to 9 a.m. It's a bit corney at times but they speak with lots of different captains and usually provide some good fishing information. By the way, WFFG stands for "worlds finest fishing grounds."

You can also click here and find the Fishing Forecast link to Florida Sportsman. It's updated weekly towards the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Just had dinner at Ziggie and Maddog's. If you want steak, this is the place. Most every restaurant in the Keys specializes in fish or has a lot of fish on the menu. Ziggie's is one that specializes in steak. The atmosphere is classic, white table cloths and big wine glasses. My recommendation is to order the filet medium rare, (it's the biggest I've ever seen) with spinach (trust me, you'll like the spinach). Come hungry, this place piles on the food. John runs the place and will take good care of you.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stone Crab Season

The best thing from the waters of the Florida Keys are the Stone Crabs. The season started October 15th and runs through May 15. No need to pay the high restaurant prices for these sweet ocean treats. Go to a local fish market like the Islamorada Fish Company and buy them by the pound. You'll need a wooden mallet to crack the claws and don't forget the honey mustard sauce. Sooo good!

You can also have them shipped across the country by visiting the Islamorada Fish Company web site. The photo above shows fresh Stone Crab claws shipped all the way to Chicago from Islamorada for Thanksgiving. They arrived via overnight delivery, fresh and delicious... mallet and honey mustard sauce included!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weather in Paradise

Some of the best weather of the year is November through April.

Our average daily highs will be 75-80 degrees F and our lows, 62-70 F. It's also the dry season and we'll have on average, less than 3 inches of rain per month.

The warmest month of the year is July with average highs of 89 degrees, lows of 79. The highest recorded temperature was 98 degrees in 1957.

Our coolest month is January with average highs of 75 with lows of 62. The lowest recorded temperature was 35 degrees in February of 1981.

June is our big month for rain.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Florida Bay Maps

If you are planning on fishing the backcountry (Florida Bay), you will need a good map. The best are from Waterproof Charts. The one I use most frequently is #33E. It shows an overview of all of Florida Bay and most of the cuts.

Another good one is #6F. If you don't want to venture too far in, it provides a view of about 6 miles out with the added advantage of about 6 miles out on the ocean side too (lots of great reef fishing).

If you do fish the other side of the Bay, chart #39 gives a close up view to about 4 miles out from East of Flamingo all the way around the corner to Shark River. You'll also see plenty of cuts and rivers penetrating into the everglades.

If you like to fish further out into the Gulf, chart # #03 is a good one.