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Marco/Goodland to Islamorada

Old 05-27-2019, 06:02 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Prassa View Post
However you exit the Marco area, you need to be mindful of the shoaling around Cape Romono. I would not rely solely on charts for that--read the water and leave plenty of margin for error. Once you are clear of that area it is an easy, straight shot to Key West.

Actually I think the only way you will encounter the Cape Romano Shoals is if you are trying to hug the coast. If you make a straight shot out of Marco - or Goodland via C*** Key for that matter - the Shoals are not an issue. You will miss them entirely.


If you do try to stay closer to the coast, then I would just stay off shore a bit until you are about 5 miles south of the dome homes, ie, Cape Romano, before you cut over.


Dont forget to post pics.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:10 PM
  #22  
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Just got back from 3 days at Marco, no fishing just beach & family. Its our 4th trip from Ft Lauderdale in the last year. We just love it! We stay at Olde Marco Inn, no docks, but across street is Boathouse, right on water near the pass on NW side of island. I have just rented boats or chartered near shore, but it is a beautiful area, and we hope to do a trip from there to Keys in future. Please post any info & pics you collect!
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:44 AM
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Bumping this thread. Considering this run in August. Trailer to Goodland from St Pete and running the boat over to Bahia Honda.

Where are you guys keeping the truck/trailer and how much does that run?

It's going to cost a hell of a lot more in fuel and probably take longer but I imagine the experience would be much more enjoyable.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:43 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Enyar View Post
Bumping this thread. Considering this run in August. Trailer to Goodland from St Pete and running the boat over to Bahia Honda.

Where are you guys keeping the truck/trailer and how much does that run?

It's going to cost a hell of a lot more in fuel and probably take longer but I imagine the experience would be much more enjoyable.

I have not done it yet, but have been planning it for this August as well. Honestly, I don't think it will take longer, especially if your talking about heading down on a Saturday. You get to skip all that traffic and the mess at the ramp in the keys. The issue could be that the weather wont allow you to comeback when you want.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by scrapper01 View Post
I have not done it yet, but have been planning it for this August as well. Honestly, I don't think it will take longer, especially if your talking about heading down on a Saturday. You get to skip all that traffic and the mess at the ramp in the keys. The issue could be that the weather wont allow you to comeback when you want.

We would drive down on a Thursday so less worried about traffic on the way down. Once you factor in launching, parking the truck, getting the boat ready I bet it's about the same time, maybe slightly faster by boat if the weather is nice.

I kept looking into it and I think I'll trailer down this year. I would need to refuel in the keys so I figure it'll be an extra $300 to take the boat down. We have a larger crew this year plus we need to pick up an RV in Miami so half the crew was going to drive and the other by boat. Next time I'm going to limit the crew to 6, rent a cabin and fit everyone in the boat.

I guess if the weather looks too good I could call an audibile and take the boat. But for now I'm going to stick with the drive.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:23 PM
  #26  
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Just ran St. Pete to Marco to Tavernier Creek last weekend. Just under 300 miles. Was able to cruise 35 to 42 in the gulf pretty comfortably. Ran into a hellacious storm in Marco on the way back on Monday, waited it out for an hour at the Snook Inn with a couple beers.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:33 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
3.5 to Marco sounds a bit optimistic to me....I was thinking it was a good 4.5-5 hour trip, unless it was really calm and you could run 30+ the whole way.
This ^^^^^ and on the inside sucks. All of lemon bay ICW is 25 MPH and yes they write tickets for speeding/ sometimes warnings. Multiple bridges slow zones and so on. The outside down the beach is the best on a east wind. This SW wind around the west coast can make that route suck as well. On the nose quartering. : If you pop out at ft Myers heading south from the south tip of Sanibel it's roughly another 56 miles to Marco. A straight line from that point will have you a pretty good ways offshore as there is a big hook in the shoreline bending back east towards Naples if you try to hug the beach.

I have made the run to the keys at least 25 times from the Tampa area in a variety of boats. Mostly to Marathon and Key west.

The OP says August and I have seen that place one too many times that time of year. The winds are typically from the east, southeast. There will be no lee and no place to hide if it gets to blowing. Florida Bay is Shallow for the most part and the water temps in August are around 87 to 89 degrees. Pop up storms are numerous with water spouts and lots of lightening. It's roughly 90 miles of no mans land. The trip going in anything over 10 Knt winds will bring an on your nose short tight chop. 10 to 15 will get ugly.

I have run it in a bay boat and made the 90 miles in 3 hours from Marco to the Keys. I have run it in a 65 Viking and it took 6 hours and green water on the bridge.

Watch the weather pattern closely as at times the shit hits the fan in the mornings for days, then the evenings for days and then all day.

It's a easy trip navigation wise if you pay attention. The Cape Romano shoals stick out a ways but are clearly marked on your charts. The approach to the 7 mile bridge if taking that route requires paying attention. The approach markers are miles out and very far apart and can be deceiving.There are some rocky shoals 9 miles north east of the bridge. Key West we always take the NW Channel into the harbor.

Just watch the weather and treat the run as being at mid point your 50 miles from nowhere.

Discalimer, I hear there is an inside route that is fairly tricky but have never investigated it. Maybe someone can chime in on that but I wouldn't want to try and run a slalom course in a sportfish with PVC poles for markers.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:30 PM
  #28  
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I will be staying at the Marriott on the NE corner of Key West. Is the best route through Calda channel? Hard to tell if I can run all the way to the hotel dock from that channel? Any local intel?
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