Sunrise is The Time

By: Capt. Greg Poland 

Summertime in the Florida Keys means it’s a good time of year to start your day on the water at sunrise if you really want to catch fish. I have been meeting my clients at dawn to catch the live bait, then finding great fishing spots in the Everglades for small tarpon around the creeks or shorelines but it’s all over by the time most people are on the hitting the snooze button for the 3rd time.

Even though you may be on vacation and you want to sleep in, there is nothing like watching tarpon rolling around at the start of the day. Honestly, I don’t like getting up in the dark either, but I know this is the best time of the day to get started. If the backcountry is not your idea of a good time the same goes for being one of the first guys to head offshore in search of Mahi Mahi.

Most guys are running a long way offshore, so getting an early start will ensure you of being the first guy to find that elusive floating tree stump that has a cooler full of schoolies around it.

When I leave the dock, I always turn on Fish Mapping which is a SirusXm subscription that will overlay onto your chart plotter, and it gets me headed towards the optimum areas.

After using this for a few years, I find that it not only works but saves me running all over the ocean burning extra fuel. If you don’t have a satellite to help, my advice would be to run out to 700ft and start looking through your binoculars until you see something floating, or a flock of birds diving and run over to check it out.

Once you get around the birds, slow troll a squid or if you took the time to catch live baits toss a few freebies out and if anything is in the area. I have a feeling you will get a bite. After loading the Yeti with a few slammers and washed down the boat it’s probably time to head back to the reef line to see if there is a lobster lurking under a rock.

Summertime in the Florida Keys is a magical time of the year, whether you are out to catch that fish you have been reading about since childhood or snorkel for a lobster dinner there is no time like the present so get out on the water after all that’s what the Florida Keys lifestyle is all about. If you are looking to get out on a charter, I would love to show you around the Islamorada area, my contact info is below or stop by the Lorelei sometime to say hello and tell me a fish story!

— Contact Capt. Greg at 305.393.3327 or email