Fish in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys fish

We’ve been spending a few weeks in the Florida Keys, enjoying life oceanside. We took a “party boat” out one day, the term for a charter boat that packs in customers and takes them out to fish on the ocean. We chose to go with Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada, a sportfishing capital of the U.S., and, luckily, the boat wasn’t packed. There were 15 customers, which meant plenty of room to hang out on the deck.

The boat took us out about 45 min. from shore to a spot about 150 ft. deep. I’ve never been fishing before, but working a rod and reel is pretty easy to get the hang of. I enjoyed the ritual of putting bait on the two hooks, letting down the reel, and chillaxing while waiting for a bite from some tasty creature below. This being my first fishing experience, I wasn’t expecting to catch anything, but I did bring up a few fish; most of them too small to keep, but hubby and I each caught a nice snapper as trophies for the day. One guy to the left of us, an old-timer from the Florida panhandle, caught an amberjack that was more than 3 feet long. A beautiful fish. We couldn’t rival it, but we were still happy with our catch of the day. When added to the 3 lionfish we caught while diving earlier, it made for a full and lovely dinner.

After I scaled and gutted the fish, we laid them on foil and surrounded them with parboiled potatoes, or potatoes that are boiled for 15-20 min. to start the cooking process. We placed pats of butter on top of the potatoes and the fish, as well as chopped onions, tomatoes, and bacon. We baked the dish in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 min. You’ll know it’s done when the fish flakes off easily. We enjoyed our meal on the screened porch of our rental home, overlooking the ocean, taking in another beautiful day in the Keys.

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About Aileen Torres-Bennett

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