Unfortunately the wind didn't start backing down until it was too late for Logan and his sister, the kind thing to do was get him and his sister back to firm ground which we did. They had stuck with it long enough to catch a bunch of yellowtail snapper and a few of these yellow jacks but they finally said enough They plan to come back but only when the wind is quite a bit less. See you guys then!
I heard that expression a number of time today (sporty) as we headed out into the teeth of it. This morning I had given Nicole and Will the option of not going due to the wind but they did not want to back out so off we went. Caught a schoolie mahi on the way out and caught some tunas at the hump but only a couple were decent size. Yesterday the reports had been of mahi out beyond the hump so I tried that first but I started hearing about fish back in 400 ft and didn't see anything to make me want to go deeperand the waves were only getting bigger so we turned around and headed back to the shallow water. Found our first school around hump depth, another decent school in 400 ft and our limit fishes in 300 ft. Will and Nicole did an admirable job keeping lines untangled in some pretty extreme conditions. I complimented Nicole when we got back on her strong stomach and she did admit to not feeling 100% but she certainly hung better then most people would have.
Tough group today as the wind was still cranking and the current was strong as we headed off shore on a half day. Hoping to find a few mahi in the deep water but ending up on the hump catching a few smaller tunas and with no good mahi reports we went back to the reef. Decided to try a wreak where the yellow jacks had been biting a few days ago and fortunately still were, as we caught a dozen before having to head in toward the marina.
The tunas were biting but so were the sharks and we even put Dave on a rod to see if he could beat them, but to no avail. They are just too aggressive and fast to get the bigger tunas up before they got eaten. The kings bit for a little while till the current came up and the yellowtail and yellowjacks were biting at the wrecks so did that towards the end of the day. It was Jim's honeymoon and he invited his buddy Steve to come along to go fishing with him, leaving his new wife Sharon to enjoy the pool. Guess you can make your own guidelines when you get married at 60 years of age. Whatever works, right!
It was Andy's birthday and his wife Chrissie surprised him with a fishing charter. We caught a variety of fish and sharks and kept everyone busy throughout our morning half keeping enough fish for the folks dinner this evening. Looking forward to fishing with them again in the future. Good times!
Ed and his family went out with us a couple evenings ago and although it started slow as soon as the tide changed and the current picked up it was game on. No tarpon that night but we did have a big spinner shark on for a bit and he did put on a show. Probably caught 8 or 9 other sharks and one ray so it was pretty active for most of the evening.
TJ and his friends were not intimidated by the 20 knots of wind coming off the ocean this morning so off we went into some fairly heavy seas. Once passed 200 ft the seas actually got a little better with the waves spreading but then the rain started. Undaunted by this new addition to the weather we continued on, getting a little help from another boat that had found a nice school of mahi. We caught a handful out of that school, continued on to the hump were the tunas were biting well and we were able to catch our limit of them. I got the "word" as we were leaving the hump to look for more mahi so we changed our heading and pointed the boat toward land. Found another school of mahi in 350 ft on the way back and caught another 7 or 8 fish to add to the total. Everyone had a great time and TJ wants to come back and catch a swordfish so we will definitely be seeing him again in the near future.
John, Julie, Crystal and Brandon had a special day catching a 200 lb blue marlin on the KK today. They took turns winding on the beast so they all get credit. Caught the tunas to start the day, headed out to find some mahi and we were just getting to a current edge when the marlin ate the right rigger. It took about an hour to get the fish up along side the boat where it was released unharmed. Never got a good picture of the fish as the sun was behind us and all I could see through my phone was the glare. Pictured is a blue we caught a couple years ago.
The sharks once again drove us out of one of our yellowtail spots but it all turned out for the best as the big vermillon snapper were biting well. Caught what we needed for Jerry and Kitty by mornings end and they got to experience what deep dropping with electric reels is all about and they liked it! Kitty did say that the first day was more exciting when we were standing in the pouring rain with lightening striking around us but I definitely preferred the nicer sunny day that was today. Had a good time with these folks and I'm sure we will see the again soon.
Jerry and Kitty got really wet today as once again the skies opened up and drenched us. The yellow jacks were very aggressive and we could have easily caught 20 of them with the wellfull of pilchards we had. These jacks are really good eating and they definitely helped us out as the sharks were making it tough to get the yellowtail snapper to the boat. Just a half day today and another half scheduled with these two on Wednesday.
After taking a few days off we are back at it with an evening trip. As you can see from the picture there was some rain around but it didn't affect us and certainly didn't stop the sharks from biting. JT and Silas probably caught 15 to 16 sharks, missed one tarpon and had a mystery fish on that probably was a blacktip or small bull shark. Great time with JT and Silas and we look forward to another outing with them next year.
I was a little concerned with the wind today as we had James's group of young gentlemen on board and I had heard the stream was running pretty close in. We hit the current around 300 feet and the waves began to grow but the boys hung in there pretty well through most of the 3/4 day. Robbie finally succumbed to the motion and at that point dad pointed to the beach. and we headed in. The guys did well in relatively rough conditions catching 28 mahi and most importantly catching more than their compadres in the second boat that was out there. We have a half day scheduled for tomorrow afternoon with this group and will probably stay on the reef and catch the yellowtails but you never know, things can change.
Normally when the water is clear, the bottom is visible in 80 feet of water and there is no current I'd say the chances of catching a bunch of yellowtails was going to be extremely difficult but with 500 pilchards in our live well is was just fun. Throw the pilchard , wait till the tails come up to eat and throw one with a hook right in the middle and hang on. Our only problem were the sharks once again but we were able to get most of the YT passed them. John and Sara are just fun to fish with and everyone had a fabulous time. Looking forward to fishing with the again soon.
John and Sue were supposed to fish with us last Thursday but John had a problem and they couldn't go. Today was another one in a string of great weather days and a perfect day for John and Sue to do an off shore trip. Caught the pilchards, went to the hump and once again the tunas bit, unfortunately Sue had problems getting the tunas up quick enough to beat the sharks so after catching five we headed off to find some mahi. About a mile from the hump I found a set of birds and there was a large school of mahi under them. We called another boat in as there were plenty of fish and after 45 minutes or so we counted up our catch a realized we had reach our limit on mahi. John said they had all the fish they needed for today and we trolled our way home. Tomorrow we try the reef for the snappers.
The weather has been on it's best behavior the last few days after hurting us a bit last week and the fishing continues to be good. Started with the tunas again , did well there and then went looking for the mahi. Once again had to find that one piece of debris that held a good number of mahi and we succeeded in catching most of our mahi off that one piece. Later we also found a couple other schools that either were borderline size wise or refused our offerings and we only caught a few out of each of them. Charlie, Cat and Adam did a masterful job of catching the their fish and they were warming up the vacuum packer while I was still filleting fish. Enjoy Folks!
Caught the tunas again at the hump once again and with a little help from another boat we found a good group of mahi under a small 2 x 4. Found some more under a plastic bag and another group we couldn't get to eat under a piece of styrofoam. Good group of guys today that was headed up by Phil who's wife had set up the charter for his birthday. That was back in February, then of course Covid arrived and the keys round block went up and other stuff came up that kept them from coming down but they finally got the right day and a great day it was.
After a lot of wind and a cancellation early this week, today we finally got to go fishing. This was a two boat group and both groups did well making everyone happy with plenty of fish for them to take back to Ohio. We caught our limit of tuna at the Islamorada hump in the morning and 30 mahi off a pallet in the afternoon and all of that made our day. We will see these guys again next year and possibly a few of them late this year for the sailfish season. Thanks again guys!
With tropical storm Laura slated to brush the keys tomorrow, normally we would get some really nice weather before the storm get close, that's not the way it was yesterday. With the gulf stream in close and the wind from the east at 18 knots or so it was fishable but still very rough. Wes (big guy to the right) and Rufus (skinny guy to the left) were our only anglers for most of the day with an occasional appearance by one of the others. Once again the tunas bit well and although the sharks got some, we got more to the boat. We struggled a little with the mahi but then started finding some bigger schools and by the end of the day had put 25 in the fish box. There were 6 other boats involved in this company trip and we hope to see this group again next year but with better weather.
Mike and his crew fished with us about a year ago after purchasing a trip we had donated to the Tara Miller Melanoma Foundation. Last time we fish yellowtail snapper on a half day, today they decided to do a full day and see if we catch the tuna and mahi. The sharks were brutal on our first pass over the hump, we were unable to get a single tuna passed them. We were successful on our next few passes and limited out after a few more boats showed up and spread the shark out. The mahi took some time but we finally found some debris we gave us a good start and then a turtle which had some nicer fish fish on it. Mike will be back with his family to fish with us again and Dave and I will be looking forward to it.
Had another fun day with Doc and Patsy and although we stayed on the reef most of the day it was very busy. Caught our limit of yellowtail, a few vermillons, bunch of bonitas and some yellow jacks and never got deeper than 200 feet . We caught most of our tails on the small pilchards which is a lot of fun as the come to the surface chasing the pilchards and then we throw a pilchard with a hook into the middle of them. It's a lot like catching tunas with the pilchards and you catch some of the bigger tails doing it that way. Patsy and Doc will be back (probably this fall) to go out on another fish killing event. Always a Pleasure!
Another fun day with the Duncans, although today we concentrated on the mahi after catching our tunas. We found several packs of fish through out the morning and by noon we had caught our limit of 20 fish. Thursday Doc wants to stay on the reef and do the snapper thing so I hope there is current early and then dies off in a couple hours so we can catch the vermillons. Should be fun!
Only one tarpon bite this evening but lots of activity with sharks, rays and barracudas. We had Stephanie, Robert and their son, Nathan out with us and we kept them busy catching, all evening. Lost count of the number of sharks but it did include a couple lemons and the tarpon of course was the highlight with Richard doing a great job catching it. See you again soon folks!
Dr Mike and his lovely wife Patsy were on board today and we took them right to the hump after filling our live wells with pilchards. Dave could barely get the net over the side of the boat it was so full of baits and we headed straight out to the hump to feed them to the tunas. We had Doc hustling from one side of the boat to the other as Dave would net one tuna and have another hooked up in the other corner for Doc to catch. From there we headed back inshore to catch some snapper and one large margate. One thing we did that Mike had never experienced was to catch yellowtail snapper on the live pilchards. It's a lot of fun if conditions are right and although the conditions were only partially good we still managed to catch quite a few. We still have a couple more days with Mike and Patsy but they are taking tomorrow off.
Yosea brought a few of his associates to fish with us today and a great time was had by all. These guys haven't done a whole lot of fishing and we had a bit of a learning curve to climb over at the start but we saw a huge improvement in their technique after catching a few fish (at least for almost all). By the time we headed back we had close to 30 yellowtail snapper and additionally a couple stories about the big ones that got away.
Well, the tunas bit well and we got enough passed the sharks to limit out on them. I then drove out to same distance we were yesterday where we found all those nice fish but they were not there, very few birds, not much weed and a long way back to the shallow water made for a frustrating few hours. We did find some fish back in 500 ft but it was a struggle for us. The boats that found debris did pretty well, unfortunately we were not a boat that was that lucky but we still had plenty of fish.