A Captain’s Story : Costa Morada Fishing Charters in Islamorada, FL
By: Capt. Claude Tristram
I remember the moment I decided the breathtaking Florida Keys was going to be my home. I stepped off the plane at Miami Airport April, 2006 and was bound for a Key West fishing trip. First thing I noticed was the weather. It was nothing short of perfection and I’ve never regretted escaping the gloomy icey days in Freeport, Long Island, NY. Now, fishing is my life; it is my passion, and there are very few things in life I love more than the ocean. This trip was different. I was going to fish somewhere I had never been before. As I drove over every bridge, passing what seemed like endless stretches of water through Key Largo, then Islamorada, Marathon and the desolate mangroves of the lower keys, I was absolutely in love with what I was seeing. It’s a fisherman’s dream come true to have everything anyone would hope to experience during their stay or as local residents, within 5 miles of what would become the marina I hail from- Whale Harbor Marina. Going back to the moment, I was so in awe. I couldn’t help myself and every few miles I’d pull over to look into the clean water to see what beautiful tropical fish were swimming around. In this moment, I was beginning to live out the dream. I knew this is the place to be when seeking an offshore adventure in America. It was that much more exciting that it was at the epicenter of what would eventually be my home…Islamorada, Florida.
Now, the boat I was going fishing on was the Gulf Stream 3, docked at the famous Charter Boat Row in Key West. A close friend of mine had fulfilled her dream by purchasing a party fishing boat and had finally rooted herself the Keys. She took us out and my first trip I caught a 14 lb Gag Grouper and won the pool. I was hooked for life! I felt the urge to explore every key and as much as possible immediately. I spent several weeks in Key West and eventually traveling north to Islamorada. During my adventures, I learned each Key has unique features. They truly have their own individual personalities that give each Key such character. Each one is truly a special place on it’s own.
Upon my return, I passed Wahoo’s bar and Grill located at Mile marker 83 in Islamorada. I looked out at the gorgeous fleet of fishing boats behind the restaurant. There was something inside me that knew that’s where I’d be. I wanted to be a part of that more than anything. I couldn’t have imagined my thoughts would come to fruition and I would be an owner/operator of one of those boats. My fishing experience grew with help of many captains and mates here in Islamorada. I had previously owned 2 fishing boats in New York and considered myself a good fisherman both offshore and inshore. Here in the Keys you must learn each Fish and let me tell you if you think you know it all… You will learn otherwise rather quickly!!!
The amazing fishing here is a year round adventure. From back country tours, catching Tarpon, Redfish, Snook, and Sea-Trout to catching Sailfish from October to April. This is a catch and release sport that attracts anglers from all over the world. May to September is Mahi Mahi fishing at its best. The weed lines and Gulf Stream current sending in debris from all over the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean, make great conditions for Mahi Mahi fishing. Wahoo, Blue Marlin, Black Fin Tuna are all targeted pelagic fish offshore of the Florida Keys during these months as well. Coming from the northeast Canyons traveling 90 + miles to find these types of fish, it is a blessing to only have to ride 5 to 15 miles to catch these illusive pelagic fish.
We have some of the best food quality fish here in the Florida Keys Along with world famous sport fishing. Our magestic coral reef is the only living coral reef in America. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are also major recreational activities provided here by some of our fleet. Islamorada is truly a paradise and I will forever love this amazing place.
Captain Claude Tristram
Owner / operator @costamoradafishing located at – Mile marker 83 – Whale Harbor Marina 83413 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
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