Florida Keys Fishing Charters Struggle Without Tourists – CBS Miami

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The coronavirus pandemic has killed South Florida fishing rental businesses in the water. In the Florida Keys, they are suffering without tourists.

Captain Marlin Scott’s FishMonster Charters in Key West has a fleet of four vessels that operate out of the A&B Marina. He hasn’t seen a tourist for quite a while.

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Captain Scott says: “There is no way in the world that the local people can support a fleet that was built during one of the best years in history. The last few years have been a huge market. Boats that have been purchased. Investment. You cannot support this locally.

Key West is pretty much open for business, but the local market isn’t enough to support the overhead costs of FishMonster, let alone the small staff that remains.

“We had locals who wanted to go out. They have been at home too much. When they get on the boat, oh my god, they’re so excited to get out on the water, ”Scott says.

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The captain says he’s getting booking requests that start almost immediately, but guests can’t get into the keys. Blocked by a checkpoint, where only residents are allowed to enter. Perhaps this is the reason the Keys have such a low occurrence of the coronavirus.

“It will help us a lot when they decide to open US-1. It should be closed all May. We don’t know if it will be one in June. Once opened, I know you’ve seen that when the boat launches open, we are sure to sink! Scott said.

This crowd is used to hurricanes, but never to a global pandemic.

“I must be optimistic. I’m not going to be here on an island and be sad. So I will be happy.

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