Bertram's Destination of the Week: Islamorada, Florida
Ok, so I’m not objective about Islamorada. After all, these are me home waters, and for a committed boating and fishing family like ours, it’s hard to imagine a better place to live.
Here’s why—it offers an almost limitless number of fishing on our Bertram 37 and even our flats boat. (I’m trying to convince the good folks of Bertram to let me “evaluate” a new 35 from behind my house for a few months. Please Tommy.) Anglers can find outstanding sailfish, dolphin, tuna, king mackerel, and reef fish offshore. Or redfish, bonefish, tarpon and snook in the beautiful and protected waters of Florida Bay and Everglades National Park. Everything you could possible ask for is right at your back (or front) door, with an incredible diversity of species.
And if you tire of fishing, there’s beautiful snorkeling on numerous shallow-water reefs, and gorgeous backcountry sightseeing. You can also visit many historic Islamorada landmarks by boat, including Alligator lighthouse, Bud-n-Mary’s Marina—one of the most famous fishing-focus marinas in the world—the iconic Cheeca Lodge, and the Lorelei, Islamorada’s most popular sunset watering hole. Visiting boaters will enjoy the hospitality of Plantation Yacht Harbor. Make your reservations for a transient slip in advance, it’s been awfully busy down here recently. The dockmaster and staff go out of their way to welcome you to their slice of paradise.
It’s almost an overkill to mention the great food the town has to offer. My favorite breakfast is at Mangrove’ Mike’s (know locally as the Islamorada Cultural Center).Then it’s lunch at the Hungry Tarpon or Lazy Days, and finally dinner at Ziggy & Mad Dog’s is a nice way to end your day.
It’s all here—excellent fishing, including some of the best guides, beautiful scenery, and great people. What are you waiting for? I’d welcome your picks and tips as well.