Mosquito Bank and Basin Hill Shoals
Two popular patch reefs in the Key Largo Area are Mosquito Banks and Basin Hill Shoal. They are both a short distance from the Pennekamp State Park boat rentals and boat launch. Both reef areas hold tons of fish but are both much better fishing in the winter months. They are also great places to catch bait all year round. Both places are usually loaded with ballyhoo and Basin Hill Shoals in the warmer months is a great place to catch small blue runners.
Both reefs are great on windy days, especially Basin Hill shoals if the wind is blowing from the east. It is very common if you are coming here on vacation in the months of December to February for the wind to be howling. So knowing some sheltered spots where you can at least catch dinner is a good thing.
To get to Mosquito Bank from Pennekamp and Key Largo sound you just head out what is known as South Creek, just look for a short tower to the south, it marks the inland side of the patches. Pretty much even if the wind is howling you will be able to see the patches. I would suggest finding a deep edge a little outside the patches to fish. Otherwise, you will be smothered in tiny grunts.
To get to Basin Hill shoals you will go out of “north creek” from Key Largo Sound and head northeast following the shore. You will see a short tower after you have been driving for a minute. This marks the inland side of the shoals, and pretty much you will see the patches all to the ocean side of that tower. Now the beauty of the shoals is that 1-foot area you see to the east of shoals, this will pretty much kill the waves coming from the east, so even the windiest day the water is pretty comfortable inside of that bank.
For tips on how to fish these shallow reefs please check out the reef fishing page