Yesterday is a distant memory as we found a lot of nice fish today for the Southern Freight tournament Guys. We fish them every year, it's always a good time and we won it a couple years ago. Don't know about this year as our big fish wasn't that big coming in at 16 lbs. See you next year guys and gal!!
Overran them today and I knew it as I got out over 20 miles that I was out too far. There were fish caught out there by a couple boats and I thought I would be able to find a school also. I was not alone in the struggle to find fish today, many boats had the same problem but I still felt frustrated. Fortunately tomorrow is a brand new day and we do it all over again, but bigger and better.
I make a lot of decisions every day as to the direction I take the boat and I will never know how many fish I catch or never see because I decide to go left instead of right. Today I made the right decisions, I drove right to a piece of bamboo that had a bunch of schoolies on it and the big fish, I then found a turtle that had a few more and topped it off by finding a large school of migrating mahi where we caught a bunch more. We ended up with 27 mahi and 8 or 9 tuna on a day when most of the feet struggled and we could just as easily been as unlucky. Miguel and Kameron had a blast. To my surprise Miguel wanted to know whether mahi was good to eat, I thought he was kidding but he convinced me he had never eaten mahi, he is in for a treat!
They wanted some yellowtails so we started on the reef, catching a dozen tails and then moving on to the hump where we caught 8 or 9 tunas. The mahi eluded us for a while but we did finally find a few big schools with some legal size fish in them catch a dozen. The guys had a great time and will be back (God willing), hopefully they will not wait 3 years for their return.
I have not see Curtis and Duncan for three years but they called me a few months ago and set a two day trip up for them and their fishing buddies. The rain shut us down for a spell several times today shortening the time we could search for the mahi but think we caught the tunas because it was so overcast. We will do it again tomorrow with these guy but may start on the reef in the morning to see if the yellowtail want to bite.
Caught another big bull today but not as big as the one that won the tournament, this one was probably 25 lbs or so and we also had a cow that would have gone at least 20 lbs. Phil and his group preformed well and caught all the fish they had hooked up. We stopped by the hump on the way home to let Zack and Phil junior catch blackfin tuna which were easier to deal for the smaller people then the mahi. Everyone had a good time and they will be back.
Jessie did it! Was not sure it would hold up but I heard this morning that our 34.4 lb mahi was big enough and Jessie took home the trophy and the money. Congratulations to all of our anglers and we look forward to fishing the OZ tournament again next year.
The 2nd day of the OZ tournament and we found a big fish out 21 miles. Jessie struggled a bit but we got him close enough for Dave to put the gaff in him and we added him to the nice catch of heavy lifters and gaffers that we already had in the box. He weighed in at 34.4 lbs and I'm waiting to hear if this was the winning fish.
Steve and the ladies came to Islamorada to fish the OZ tournament and although we did not have the big fish today we did have a 15 lb mahi and a bunch of other nice fish. We will have a different crew tomorrow on the 2nd day of the tournament as they change boats every day. The mahi fishing continues to be very good to my relief and the relief of all the captains out there looking for mahi and we just hope it continues thru the rest of the summer..
David and his group sat for an hour or so as we ran to 17 miles and then put the spread out. Most of the mahi caught yesterday were out 20 to 25 miles so we ran out there to get in on that bite. It didn't happen quickly for us but after an hour or so we started finding good fish and ended up catching a 20 lb bull and a 16 lb cow to go with the other 15 smaller mahi that we caught. David said they were going to make it a yearly event and that they will be back to fish on the KK.
Joe and Lisa wanted some fresh tuna so we headed to the hump and we caught four before they shut down on us. There was no current at the hump and I decided to try the bottom as the snapper are much easier to catch with light current and you lose a whole lot less gear with no current. The vermillon snapper bit very well, the silk snapper bit a little and Joe got to catch 3 jacks along with all the snapper. Joe had a ball deep dropping and they are already talking about scheduling their next trip on the KK.
After all the tough days, 30 fish in the box by 9:30 in the morning felt really good! It was a short day to start with, which adds to the pressure so finding a large school of mahi early was just what we needed. Chris and his crew did a great job under Dave's tutelage catching almost every fish in the school even though several of them had never been experienced a mahi battle before. Great job by everyone and we will see you again next year.
I needed a nice short day with good weather and fish that cooperated, we got it today with Joe and Lisa. This past week we had a a couple open days, a cancellation, a day we hardly fished due to seasickness and another day where a broken shift cable that sent us home real early, so a day like today was very pleasant. Caught 15 tails, a blackfin tuna and a few barracudas (dropping for verms) on our morning half and look forward to fishing with this couple on Tuesday as they have a 2nd half day booked then.
We caught bonitas, tilefish, mutton and yellowtail snappers today but the story of the day was Joe, who at 99 years is still getting out to do a little fishing. He told us that his bucket list fish is a sailfish and he plans to come back next year to catch one after his 100th birthday. See you then Joe!!
I have been putting off going off shore for mahi because mahi fishing has been so slow lately but today Bill and his guys elected to try it and since I have been getting better mahi catch reports we went. We did ok and I just hope it gets better and better as we get closer to June and for all those folks coming down that want to catch them.
Lots of sharks and two missed tarpon were what happened during the 1st couple hours of our evening trip tonight. Later in the evening Michael was hooked up to what turned out to be the last and the largest shark of the evening when this tarpon bit, he quickly turned over the shark to his wife Donna and after a 15 minute battle got the tarpon close enough for the release.
These guys bring a big group down every year and with the 20 knot wind, the shortage of mahi and a lot of current, my group decided to stay close. The tails bit well and we ended up with over thirty snapper, a king and a few bonitos.
Tim and his crew wanted to go mahi fishing even after we told them it has not been good at all. We caught a couple early and a few more that were not big enough and that was about all we saw through out the day. Got to 21 miles before we turned around, did a little dropping on the way home and caught a grouper, snapper and porgy to help with dinner for the guys. Long day!
The sharks are back on the yellowtail spots which makes catching the tails a challenge. We lost a bunch at the first spot we were at but did a lot better at the second spot on our short day. Steve and his guys did pretty well today, catching a couple dozen tails and a bull and nurse shark. They fish us again Sunday so we will probably go out and look for the mahi or tunas that day.
There have not been a lot of cobia around this year but one found us today as we were catching yellowtails. We had the big rod down for a grouper but we were pleasantly surprised when this cobia ate the bottom bait. We caught 30 or so tails at a couple different spots and later a bunch of bonitos in the deep water for the guys from Vero Beach. Along with the fish caught by their relatives on the other 2 boats they had plenty of fish for dinners and to take home.
Cliff is holding a 28lb mahi he caught on our trip today. We also caught some schoolies, keeping some and returning some to the ocean to grow up. The last fish of the short day was this big fish and he surprised us by showing up in the green water just as we were starting to bring in the baits.
For two months the yellowtail snappers have been easy to catch at Davis reef, an incredible bite that has been slowing down recently and today, came almost to a halt. We caught a few and the boats that stayed caught a few more but I think it's time to look a other areas for our yellowtail. Jason and his crew caught this nice yellow jack (one of my favorite eating fish) , almaco jacks, kings and porgies, a little slower than it's been but plenty of fish for a few dinners.
Ryan works for a pillow company and a couple years ago promised to bring my wife and I these awesome pillows, today he showed up with two. Perhaps that is why he got to catch the largest mutton snapper he has ever caught or maybe the pillows were not a factor. In any case he brought along his brother in laws and we kept all of them fairly busy with snapper, jacks, bonitos and kingfish through out the day. Still not a lot of mahi around but I have heard slight improvements.
The weather was great , our clients were great and the fishing was very good. what more could you ask for? It took a little finesse to get the yellowtails to bite but once we had them figured out we could have caught our limit, as it was we decided we had plenty and went on to something else. Jon wanted to try the kings and there was a good bite of them at the mako of which we caught five. The nice mutton and assorted other fish kept Jon , Jessie, MJ and Mike busy through out the rest of the day until it was time to head for home.