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Islamorada is where great sports fishermen go when they want the best there is. This "Sportfishing Capital of the World" has, for decades, been a destination for politicians (like Presidents Hoover, Truman, Carter, and Bush), sports celebrities, writers and media personalities.

Why is the fishing so great? Basically, the Gulf Stream passes really close to these islands, and the Gulf Stream is where the big game fish, like sailfish and marlin, live. Inside the reef line you will find the feisty, and delicious, king fish. Of course, backcountry fishing in Florida Bay is also very popular for catches like trout and redfish.

Private charters are available, with a captain, mate, and crew all to yourself. Party boats offer half-day trips. To bridge fish all you need is a license, your rod, tackle, and bait. Believe it or not, fishing is so good here that game fish are caught from the bridges.

There are a couple of ways to find a charter captain or fishing guide. Go for a walk through a marina, many of which can be seen from the highway, and talk to people. Captains are more than happy to answer questions. Boats usually come back in around 4pm, so you can even catch a glimpse of what you may be able to catch for yourself. Many captains and guides have sites on the Web, so do some surfing to find them.

If you would like to get into fly-fishing, this is the place. You can find classes to learn casting, what fly to use, and even how to make your own flies.

President George Bush holds an annual bonefish tournament at Cheeca Lodge. It's a fundraiser and the stakes are very high. You can't keep the fish; it's all catch and release. Proceeds go to a trust to help restore Florida Bay and The Everglades.

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