Key West’s Inshore Bounty

Columbia invites Sport Fishing to Key West to find sharks, permit and more
Some days in Key West, the wind doesn’t blow a stitch, and that’s what we found recently during the Columbia Sportswear “Reel ‘Em In” media outing – pictured here are friends Capt. Jared Cyr (right) and Andrea Pallavicini, who handles Columbia’s fishing public relations and promotions. Mike Mazur
Andrea takes in the beauty of the morning. It was one of those days where you couldn’t even see the horizon, and the clouds reflected gorgeously off the water’s mirrored surface. Requirements for a day like this: good sunglasses, lightweight, wicking apparel and hopefully a little luck on the fish! Mike Mazur
Using live shrimp and crabs, we hoped to find some nice bonefish and permit cruising the flats on this day, and… Mike Mazur
…Andrea stepped up onto the bow, while Capt. Jared… Mike Mazur
…poled us around some of his favorite spots. Mike Mazur
We saw some beautiful sea life on the Key West flats, such as this small shark swimming in just inches of water. Then we cast a plug… Mike Mazur
…to a much larger lemon shark swimming in a deeper flat. He took a good look at our plug, but eventually decided against hitting it! Mike Mazur
Before long, yours truly got a fish; not exactly what we were after, but a jack crevalle is always a fun fight on a light spinning outfit – and I admit I was feeling fairly sporty in my new Columbia crew neck long-sleeve. Mike Mazur
Just then we spotted some beautiful tailing permit. Andrea and Jared hopped off the skiff and pursued the fish on the wade – but, alas, they stayed just out of reach. No huge surprise. They are, after all, permit. Mike Mazur
We eventually took a break from fishing, and Andrea gave us an introduction to Columbia’s new line of gear back at the Westin Sunset Key Cottages. Mike Mazur
Here is a cool new fishing shirt from Columbia, the Airgill Chill. And we even got to meet… Mike Mazur
…Joe Boyle, whose great-grandparents founded Columbia (originally a hat company) back in 1938. Mike Mazur
The water was still picture perfect that afternoon, however, and I headed back out on the water with… Mike Mazur
…Capt. Mike Cyr, Jared’s father. It didn’t take Mike long to get us hooked up into a nice barracuda. Mike Mazur
But it was time for a prize, and Mike rigged us up with a live crab. We began our search for fish. Mike Mazur
Before long, we spotted a beautiful permit and managed a hook-up in the most perfect of settings – shallow, clear water with zero wind. Mike Mazur
And there you have it – a gorgeous 12-pound Key West permit. A prize by anyone’s standards! Mike Mazur