Catch You Outdoors

By: Capt. Rob Modys

The Florida Keys have long felt like home to me, even though I’ve lived for a longer time on both the east and west coasts of Florida. I grew up in Clearwater and later in life found my way to Miami. From there I traveled slightly north to Fort Lauderdale and then over to Fort Myers. During that entire time, I made repeated trips to the Keys for fishing and fun, and on one of those soirees, I met my wife in Key West. That was over 25 years ago!
While living and working in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the 90’s we kept a flats skiff in Islamorada and fished just about every other weekend on Florida Bay between Little Basin and Cape Sable. That was before the proliferation of GPS, so we learned to navigate the old-fashioned way, with charts and a compass.
We eventually wound up in Fort Myers where I spent almost 20 years as a charter fishing guide near Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach. But job offers for my wife moved us back to Fort Lauderdale and then eventually down to Key Largo.
No matter where I was over the last 40 years or so, my heart was always in the Keys. It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure many others that live here feel the same way. This amazing string of islands running from Key Largo to Key West is what I call the longest small town in America.
The fishing here is better than anywhere in Florida, in my opinion, and I’ve had the pleasure of wetting a line in just about every part of the state. The Florida Keys offers outstanding backcountry, patch reef, offshore and flats fishing for just about any species an angler might be chasing. You can also fish from a kayak and off some of the bridges along the Overseas Highway.
My contributions to Coastal Angler Magazine will be mostly about what anglers like to do besides fishing. Yes, I know it’s a fishing periodical, but let me explain. I was the host of a weekly fishing radio show for 11 years on the ESPN local network in Fort Myers. The original show was an hour, then soon increased to two hours and then eventually three. Believe me, it can be tough to talk about only fishing for two hours, much less three.
So, I branched out and started adding information about things that I thought fishing folks would be interested in, like places to visit, great fishing locations and even recipes for cooking your catch. The audience grew and so did the popularity of the show.
So that’s what I’m hoping to do here in my column in Coastal Angler. Thanks in advance for reading my column and please do your best to get outside and enjoy all of what the Florida Keys has to offer.