Simply unwind and let go with the outgoing tide. You will be, after all, on island time.

Feb, 2015: We have always enjoyed the Florida Keys…  Maybe it’s the “unique” culture, the laid-back atmosphere, incredible seafood, live music, beaches, sunsets, diving, incredible fishing, or the opportunity to escape the Northeast. Perhaps a combination of all those items calls us to this very special part of the United States.

Through my very unhealthy and expensive desire to stalk bonefish, permit and tarpon, my committed involvement with The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) and Kristene’s love of diving, we tend to make multiple trips to the Keys annually, as do some of the other saltwater enthusiasts at Frontiers. I have chased bonefish in Biscayne Bay with Miami on the horizon, looked for tarpon, snook and redfish in the Everglades National Park, dived with Kristene in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park from Key Largo, great tarpon fishing from Islamorada, and taking evening strolls down the famous Duval Street in Key West after jumping over to look for permit and tarpon in the Marquesas.

While the “packaged” lodge type experience is very limited in the Keys, our Saltwater Team at Frontiers can customize a package for our clients. We know a lot of very good and friendly captains from Key Largo to Key West who can fish you on the flats, the reef and / or offshore.  Accommodations range from inexpensive beachfront inns to deluxe, full-service luxury hotels, but the experience is still all about being “casual.”  We also can advise you on the best restaurants where fresh fish, shrimp right off the boat and delectable stone crab can be devoured after fishing while enjoying sunset festivities.  Let us customize an incredible Keys experience for you.

Recently after a Bonefish & Tarpon Trust meeting, Kristene and I celebrated Valentine’s Day and a big birthday of mine (we’ll leave the number out) in Key Largo. While the very cold east coast temperatures dipped well into the negative digits, Florida welcomed us with lots of sunshine and it was a wonderful opportunity to get out of the Pittsburgh snow. The flats were a little chilly for bonefish, but we had shots at barracuda and sharks with the fly rod. We also went out to the patch reefs on an offshore boat, and had lots of fun catching yellowtail, mutton snapper and hogfish. Returning to the dock, we had the snapper lightly blackened over a delicious Caesar salad.  It’s wonderful that the restaurants will prepare your fresh, sustainable catch of the day.

We have not even returned to Pittsburgh, but we are already looking at the calendar to come back later in the spring when the waters are teaming with tarpon!

By: Mike and Kristene Fitzgerald



As son of the Frontiers founders, Mike Fitzgerald, Jr. was brought up in the outdoor travel business. He has handled a number of sporting programs for Frontiers through the years. Today as President, Mike works closely with the Senior Management Team and the department heads and is quite involved with the Southern Hemisphere freshwater programs. Mike loves to travel with his fly rods, shotguns and cameras. He is passionate about trout, salmon and conservation. He sits on the boards of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.