A new month is approaching and November brings good changes. I think we just saw our last tropical system for this year/season and hopefully the weather becomes a little less abrasive. Our local water temperatures before the storm were in the low 80’s and following this tropical storm we are in the low 70’s. That’s a big change!! This should trigger a rapid migration of fish from the north to head down our way chasing bait and seeking warmer waters. Mackerel, cobia, sailfish, grouper and……and……American Red Snapper! For the first time in many years, we will have a 6 day red snapper season, so this is a special treat! Not a trick, just a treat!!!! The only days it will be open is November 3,4,5,10,11 and 12th. That’s it! So get your date because you might not see these open again for who knows how long! I have a couple of spots I have caught them on, but have not checked them since spring.
I’m not too sure what to say to what we can expect for fishing, diving or other adventures in November. October was a really turbulent month for weather. The temperatures have cooled off and the heat of summer is well behind us. We typically see really nice weather ahead of the cold fronts that start making their way through here. My schedule is light and there should be room to move your trip around to give you the best weather day on your stay. Just make sure you book with a little wiggle room to push your trip forward or back if the conditions do not cooperate.
The clean up efforts here in Marathon are going along well. Most everything is open or mostly open. The Keys are open for business and there is plenty to do and see. If you have visited the Keys in the past 10 years, you will not see or have quite the same experience. If you are coming to get away from the cold, enjoy the island life, eat great food and meet incredible people you will have a great time. The Keys spirit and vibe is still very alive. The fishing is still excellent. The big difference is there is a lot of storm debris remaining. There is no doubt that a monster storm of unprecedented size came through here. The landscape is going to bear the scars for many years. You will get to see the new chapter that is being written. It will be less crowded and less polished and perfect. Kinda like the Keys in the 80’s! It’s all about perspective. You are welcome back here and we look forward to tourism returning as soon as possible. We are ready!! Get ready for lots of new changes. The old is gone and the new is being built as we speak. There is a lot of stuff to look at! The beaches are full of shells and oddities. The water has been untouched for 2 months plus. There is a ton of exploring to do. I want you to ask me anything if you have any difficulty booking a hotel or have any local questions that may help you make your trip here more enjoyable. I have 30 years of contacts and experience here, so I can help you out if needed.
Going forward with your November booking, fishing is fine. Nothing to worry about there! In the water activities are a maybe. The water just hasn’t had a clam period to settle the sediment that is suspended, so the visibility shows up for a few days and then is goes downhill again. Reports from commercial fishermen say lobstering is good on the ocean side. That’s deeper water and we need the vis to make it possible. I’m going to say it is mostly done for the year. We are now well into wetsuit territory, so count on bringing one or renting one locally if you intend to get in the water. I want to remind you that I do fully custom charters. Maybe you want to do a damage tour. I can do that. Maybe you want to explore an island. I can do that. I can do all the things I normally do. I just am not certain of how the post storm conditions or going to affect my more conditionally sensitive trips like lobstering, spearing and snorkeling. Our reality is we took a Cat 4 hurricane that was massive. Your vacation is going to be just fine. Things are different. Maybe a place you once visited is gone or closed. So what?! Maybe you can find a piece of it down the road and take it home as a souvenir! There are plenty of new places to begin new traditions. If you love the Keys, we need you here as soon as possible. If you are slightly curious as to what a hurricane can do, you have to check this out! It will leave you with strong understanding of what the entire Caribbean went through this year. You and I are very lucky to have what we have. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the islands of Guadalupe and Eastern Caribbean are destroyed. We know how lucky we are here and we celebrate each day more than ever.
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