Fishermen tend to be fairly secretive when it comes to their prized fishing spots. However, roughly 40 Florida Keys backcountry fishing guides have come forward with information about their favorite fishing holes and participated in a study they hope will be good for the Keys’ most prized backcountry fish — tarpon, bonefish and permit.
The goal is to create habitat maps, which could later be used to implement protections for the catch-and-release species of fish. Early on, Lower Keys guide Capt. John O’Hearn was skeptical about participating, as he was concerned about giving out too much information about his “hot spots.” However, his fears were alleviated and he recognized the overall benefit of mapping the habitat, he said.