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Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

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Flemington, New...
posts: 4
reviews: 2
Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

My husbands first time in the keys and he is considering retiring there in the next 5 years. He LOVES to fish. Can someone tell me how the bottom fishing and reef fishing is there during the year and the best times of the year are down there? He has a 21' center console and wants to know if that is what most people fish with down there? I appreciate the help.

Marathon, Florida
Destination Expert
for Marathon, Islamorada
posts: 11,031
reviews: 32
1. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

Check out The Florida Sportsman Froum.

the Bottom fishing and reef fishing changes throughout the year. Many people have center consoles. Why is he considering moving here having never been and fished? If he's here he would have a lot of these answers.

South Florida...
Destination Expert
for Miami, Key Largo
posts: 3,522
reviews: 14
2. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

There is always something to catch. I like the summer and fall best because I like to get in the water. But winter is our busy season. Previous poster is right that you need to come for a long visit and check things out. Very different vibe in Big Pine and Marathon

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
posts: 7,127
reviews: 22
3. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

Center consoles are quite popular. I have one. I reef fish and I fish for dolphin and tuna in it.

Los of fish come out of the water, year round. The sails are coming in now, dolphin starts to get better in the spring. Yellow tail seems to be good, in any month with more than 25 days in it.

Grouper is closed from 1/1 until 4/30.

posts: 7,741
reviews: 37
4. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

A center console can be great to fish the Keys in. For offshore we prefer one a bit larger, ours is 31 and I am comfortable in it even if we get caught in a small storm which can happen quite quickly and often in the Keys. For inshore and reef fishing a 21' is great. That being said, we know someone who crosses over to the Bahamas in a 21 so to each his own!

I would def advise against buying a retirement home in the Keys based on one visit. Each area is quite different in nature and in amenities as well. Paradise to some may be a hot humid torture for someone else. Rent for at least a year,experience all four seasons and do your research on what place feels right to you. Lots of people retire and live happily in the Keys, my Parents did but had visited dozens of times and stayed in places from Key West to Key Largo over 20 years. Almost chose Key Colony Beach but after a multi month stay decided Tavernier was what worked for them. We have friends who invested $$$ and missed the luxuries and convenience of the mainland plus the advanced medical services that can be harder to find in the Keys all in the first year. They lost quite a bit on the "dream retirement home" becuase they didn't really do their homework. Picked a place after visiting for a week. Then came Summer boredom and heat, stressful hurricane season and heavy traffic of Winter...some take it all in stride, some don't. Not unlike many vacation destinations, things are quite different year round than a vacation wk can show. For us, the Keys are Paradise 12 mos a year.

Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 37,198
reviews: 22
5. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

If you are considering retiring there year round, then you should come in summer as well as winter. Spend longer periods, and rent for a time.

Take into acct the higher living costs, and high cost of property.

Try City Data.

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
posts: 9,463
reviews: 83
6. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

Agree with the above, visit in the late summer, July, August and early Sept are very hot most everywhere in Florida. Nothing wrong with retiring there but many people move here without realizing that winter vacation becomes work when here your round.

I would do as suggested, contact a local realty company and find a rental, maybe 6 months in one location and 6 months in another (if they will do a lease that way). If not then 1 year in Marathon or Big Pine. A realtor can also give you data on property taxes, home insurance rates (make sure you can even get hurricane insurance). Also being there during some of the holidays can be a little aggravating if you need to get somewhere. I have seen traffic backed up for miles over Memorial Day weekend.

Also if he is fishing are there things you want to do? Do some research for yourself too! Its a way of life that many people love and others only last a year or 2 and then leave. We love the keys too but like to keep it as a special place to visit.

Flemington, New...
posts: 4
reviews: 2
7. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

I want to thank everyone for thier help and comments on our possible relocation. We are planning to take it slow. We have stayed in Key Largo and plan to stay and explore the middle and lower keys and see what works for us. We come from the Jersey Shore so we are familliar with the "busy season". However, we still would like to experience a possible paradise for ourselves. Thanks again..

Marathon, Florida
posts: 5
reviews: 10
8. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

I fish a HydraSport 34 which suits me fine in the ocean and backcountry. Reef fishing is best anywhere and the offshore is second to none! His 21 footer is fine, but bigger is always better. Good luck!

Flemington, New...
posts: 4
reviews: 2
9. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key

Thank you once again for the great advice. Well, we took some of that very valuable advice. After several visits and making friends along the way, we found our PERFECT home on Big Pine Key. For us, it has everything we could ever want. Very quiet, clean, and just a few short miles to either Marathon or Key West. Best of both worlds. Shopping, fishing, resteraunts etc,,, We bought a home on the canal ocean side. Crystal clear canal, 5th house in from the ocean. For now, we are renting it out until we are ready to make the permanent move there. Once again, my sincerest thanks for all the help.


Key West
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 5,451
reviews: 75
10. Re: Possible relocation to Marathon Key or Big Pine Key