Left Palm Tree
Right Palm Tree
Leaving the La Jolla by water, you will enter one of the most pristine estuaries in the United states, -- Florida Bay. Here is a unique world, a living aquarium featuring countless species of tropical birds, reptiles and marine life.
Actually, the Florida Keys themselves are a barrier, separating the Straits of Florida (on their southeastern side) and Florida Bay on the North. West of Florida Bay lies the Gulf of Mexico. The boundaries of the Bay end just south of Marathon, and from there, it becomes the Gulf of Mexico, while the Straits of Florida remain separated from the Gulf by the middle and lower Keys. In other words, if you walk across the street from La Jolla, you will be looking at the Straits of Florida, which runs through the Atlantic Ocean, but from the docks of La Jolla you will be viewing Florida Bay.
That being said, the geography becomes one of the main reasons Islamorada can claim title as Fishing capital of the World. On one side of the Overseas Highway the angler may pursue sailfish, marlin, dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, yellowtail, tuna, grouper and many more species. Almost a hundred offshore charter boats are available in Islamorada, many located in the three largest marinas which are Holiday Isle, Whale Harbor and Bud ‘n Mary's.
However, for the angler who likes calm water, fast skiffs and powerful fish, it will be Florida Bay which beckons you. There's just something about a 150-pound tarpon, erupting from mirror-like water, second only to the launch pad at NASA. We call this wonderful adversary, who shows up in April and stays through August, the Silver King.
For year-round fishing, the bonefish has also earned his own special name and reputation, a specie which has attracted anglers from all parts of the globe. Bonefish are called the Gray Ghosts of the Flats. They are spooky, elusive and very fast. Like the marlin offshore, the bonefish in the backcountry is considered the ultimate angling achievement. Like hooking a speeding bullet, the bonefish will most likely be the one fish, compelling you to a rematch.
Deeper in the backcountry, about a 45-minute run from La Jolla, is Flamingo, the headquarters for Everglades National Park. The complex is virtually isolated in the
Everglades, allowing easier access by boat than car. Located on the most southern tip of Florida's mainland, Flamingo is a small oasis of civilization, featuring a small resort, marina and restaurant.
Almost every angler who ventures into the backcountry for snook, redfish or seatrout is treated to a brief (sometimes relief) stopover at this unique outpost. Most importantly, the waters surrounding Flamingo represent some of the most productive fishing grounds in Florida, if not the entire country.
Here, it is not uncommon to see the prehistoric sawfish, an odd combination of a fish and a ray. Or, you may see crocodiles, alligators, porpoise, sharks, tarpon, permit, jewfish, drum, barracuda, jack crevalle, ladyfish, bald eagles, osprey, white pelicans, flamingos, rosette spoonbills, osprey and white, gray and blue herons, just to name a few.
Better than all that, you may just find the best part are the moments when you cannot see another boat, a building or a tower. Here, you are in direct contact with nature, as it is now, and as it was thousands of years ago. The trip becomes a rare and personal opportunity to be totally surrounded by the most pristine and beautiful environment Florida has to offer.
Sometimes, fishing becomes irrelevant and Florida Bay becomes a quiet place for thought, a refreshing concept in our otherwise busy world. Regardless of how you started your morning, at day's end, you will feel slightly different about the world in which you live.
One thing's for sure... it all starts at La Jolla Resort.
La Jolla Resort, 82216 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036 | (305) 664-9213 | Toll Free! 1-888-664-9213