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Trip Advisor Miami Fishing Charter

Biscayne Bay 

Biscayne BayIt's just before day break as I slip my skiff into the warm waters of Black Point Marina anticipating a great day on our bountiful flats. 

I idle out of the channel past the "mask" and a legal distance away I lower the throttle, jump on plane and skim over the glass calm waters towards the area I know will hold all manner of permit and bonefish.  Heading towards my destination I can't help but recall the rich history that saturates our Bay. 

Long before any of us were around the natural cycles of climate change were making a dramatic impact on Biscayne Bay.  These warming and cooling cycles caused the Everglades and its freshwater flow to stretch past our shorelines to roughly the area around Soldier Key rendering the Bay nothing more than sawgrass meadows.  These cycles also caused the freshwater to recede and saltwater intruded several miles inland.  With the intrusion of saltwater, a natural reef line was created numerous feet in depth.  As the saltwater receded once again, the reef line became exposed and some of the most productive fishing areas were created such as Key Biscayne, the safety valve, Soldier Key, the Ragged Keys and others further south were born. 

Biscayne Bay as we see it today is a "U" shaped basin with rims holding in the water on either side, the safety valve and keys to the east and the shoreline to the west, whose appearance today is radically different than how it originally appeared.  Later, mankind came on the scene and numerous Indian tribes, including the Vizcaynos, inhabited and sailed the various keys all the while availing themselves of the natural freshwater springs that flowed out into the bay from subterranean tunnels originating in the Everglades.  All they had to do was look for an upwelling during calm days and dunk their buckets to get their fill of drinking water.  Although Europeans appeared as early as the 1500's, mainly in the form of Spanish explorers, our area was left mostly undisturbed for much of this time but a short time later pirates would leave their mark. 

Our most famous pirate was Black Ceasar who was a tribal leader in Africa responsible for the sale of many Africans to slave traders.  His time came and he too was sold into slavery.  His slave ship was caught in a storm off Elliot key and Black Ceasar was one of the few survivors.  Somehow obtaining a small sailing vessel, he would tie the ship;s mast to Ceasar's Rock (across from Adam's Key) in order to avoid detection and when the time was right he would sail out of Ceasar's Creek, board passing vessels and take what he and his crew could.  They would also keep for themselves the women aboard these ships and keep them in a rough shelter on Elliot Key as slaves.  Just a few decades ago individuals were still finding pirate artifacts on the mainland shoreline including a small "treasure chest". 

Biscayne BayThe age of piracy came to a close and in the mid to late 1800's individuals purchased land and settled on the various keys with Elliott Key being the main hub.  These settlers would grow pineapples and key limes, transport them by small sailboats and sell them either at the Miami River or at a small outpost in Cutler Ridge.  The area where the C100 canal dumps into Biscayne Bay was called the "Hunting Grounds" due to the large population of hogs, panthers and other wild game while Turkey Point is named because of the large population of wild turkeys that used to inhabit the area.  Settlers would hunt these areas for food while the wealthy that would utilize the Richmond house (built and operated by the Richmond family after which SW 168 St. is named) would hunt for sport.  The Richmond House (now part of the Deering Estate) was the last mainland outpost on the way to Key West. 

The year 1900 came and the Flagler railroad building crew roared into town boosting the local economy but also causing great damage to the area around Key Biscayne as they dredged the bottom in order to allow supply boats into the shallow bay.  The rest as they say is history but what a history it has been.  We have seen declines in the bay and we have seen improvements proving that with some care and wise management, Biscayne Bay is a resilient ecosystem that does and has enriched countless lives from all walks of life.  So next time you pole an Oceanside flat or fish a western shoreline creek, take a moment and absorb the rich and long history this most beautiful of bays has to offer. 

Scroll through the pics to the right to see some of Captain Mo's latest adventures:

It could be you posing with one of those beauties!
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