A Random Islamorada Skiffmas

Skiffmas (n) – Skiff-mas : The day when you day take delivery of a brand new skiff. Kind of like Christmas, but for obsessed flats fishermen.

“Did you see that brand new skiff Mike got for Skiffmas this year!?”

I got a call from my buddy Matt (@chevystroked3833) this week to accompany him on the drive down to Islamorada where he was to pick up his new Maverick HPX-S skiff. The answer to this was a resounding “Yes!”, obviously. He wanted to fish the skiff after pick-up for the day in Florida Bay and around Flamingo. Who could say no to that?

I don’t care if someone calls and tells me they’re going to pick-up their brand new green canoe in Islamorada. I’m going down there to fish! Islamorada is my favorite place in the world. Each and every time I launch from Indian Key Fill and run across the bay to various spots I always see something new and exciting. Birds, fish, wildlife, it’s all out there.

We loaded up the car at 1AM on Saturday night (morning?) and got to Islamorada by 7AM for the opening of the marina where he purchased his HPX-S. Little sleep was had (on the side of the road), but we made and and he signed the paperwork for his brand new skiff.

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Once all of the formalities were done, we got the skiff loaded on the trailer and…drilled holes? Yup.

The first thing we did, not one hour after taking delivery of a brand new 2014 Maverick HPX-S, was drill some holes in it.

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Relax, it was for the GPS. We (he) needed all of his tracks to run through Florida Bay from Islamorada all the way up to Flamingo to fish.

Once that was over with, we filled the cooler and hatches with all the essentials and started our run to Flamingo.

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The skiff was amazing, but more on that in another posting where I’ll do a review.

We cut through Peterson and ran up on the gulf side through to the West channel into Tin Can. One problem for the day, though. The wind was HOWLING at 20MPH non-stop. It was insane! We needed to find some protection from the wind and we needed it fast. Fishing the open flats was a no-go with 25MPH gusting wind. I don’t care what skiff you’re on- that sucks!

We finally found a leeward shoreline out of the wind that as holding fish, and I managed to pull out a small snook on the brand new skiff. First fish…check. Not epic, but it works!

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Cheesy hero shot. Notice the blasphemy? (Hint: my buff, and the skiff)

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After that, we headed down back to Islamorada through the dumps and found a few reds feeding on some shorelines. The strong wind kept the water level high all day leaving us with few options to fish in the wind. We were refused by said redfish and flubbed many shots in the wind, but it all worked out in the end because after all- we got to randomly fish Florida Bay for a day.

To close it all out we grabbed dinner at the Lorelei, as is custom for fishing Islamorada. A cold Kalik is the best thing to finish off your day, but unfortunately I got to watch ‘Bama lose to Ole Miss while surrounded by Ole Miss fans in the keys…who would have thought?

Check out the palm fronds in the photo below for a wind gauge.

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