Fishing was slow again today with a few kingfish and snapper caught. There were also probably a dozen sails caught and and Mike was one of the fortunate ones that caught one. Not a huge fish but it put on a good show and was the highlight of the day. They will be back.
We fished with Paul and Tiffany a month or so ago and their son jack caught a sail. today they were fishing with their friends Jessie and Katrina and it was Jessie's turn to catch one. The last couple sails we have caught have been up and putting on a show from the start but neither had the hooks in their mouths. Today's fish was hooked in the the mouth in the traditional way and didn't start jumping until we were well into the fight, it shows that how a fish is hook really effects the way they fight. There wasn't much else going on for the day although we did catch a large yellowtail and got back some kingfish heads as the sharks had eaten the bodies. Paul has already booked us for next December so we know he and Tiffany will be back.
Getting 2 out of 3 AJs passed the sharks was better then I expected and I'll take it. We tried a lot of things that had worked well in the deep water the last week or so but today it was not working at all. John was out with us a week ago and it was a really good for snapper bite, today they were not biting so we had to be satisfied with our 40 and 50 lb AJs and we will wait till the bite improves.
We fished with Alicia and Ryan a few days ago and caught a bunch of eating fish, today the target species was sailfish. We struggled with bait at the start of the day and after getting bait spent a couple hours sailfishing without seeing one. Did a couple other things after that, catching a couple kingfish missing a few more and catching a legal mutton snapper. we still had a couple hours left when I went back to the area we had fished in the morning and put them out once more. A little bit later a sail ate the left rigger and we were off. I had both engines in gear and throttled up as this fish was on the surface coming at the boat in a hurry. He finally settled down and although it took45 minutes we were finally able to get a picture and turn him loose. A very happy lady with a husband that is coming back to get his opportunity.
Craig said they just wanted to catch yellowtails snapper today and if there was time some tuna. The yellowtails have not be very cooperative the last couple weeks and since the cold front last week they have been almost non existent but the temps have been coming up so I agreed to give it a shot. It obviously work out as we caught 30 tails, a porgy and a nice mutton snapper with some of the tails were in the 2 lb range. Craig and his folks will be back, possibly as soon as next month and we will ready to do some more yellowtailing to keep them happy.
CP said that he didn't need any more fish to take home after Mondays catch but John said he has some folks in town and he would like to get some fish for them to eat so to change things up we decided to look for the rose porgies and do a little wahoo fishing. Caught our limit of porgies along with three (out of season) large snowy groupers, spending the balance of our time pulling the wahoo stuff and finally sailfished for the last hour or so. Cp and Pat are planning to come back in March and there is a rumor that Joe and CP will be down in February. As always we are looking forward to their next visit and good times.
We got a lot of help today from Nicolas and Noah with these little guys doing their parts to get these fish in the boat. Nicolas had a little problem with the seas to start but he rallied and was in high spirits after that recovery. We fortunately extended the day from a half to a 3/4 as we started slow and it took a little while to locate fish that were hungry . Caught a few huge vermillon snapper and some silk snapper, a couple jacks and a porgy so by the end of the day there was more then enough fish for Ryan and his family to take home. Ryan and his family will be out with us again on Monday and we will probably stay close as the wind is supposed to return.
Pat was looking for a sail today but although we put several hours into sailfishing , we did not see one this day. This is a picture of Pat catching a sail a few years ago with us with Dick helping to get the picture. Today (in between sailfishing) we caught mutton, silk snapper, jacks and kingfish keeping CP and Pat busy most of the day.
Sam said they were not sure if they wanted to do a 3/4 or a half day but as we were leaving the dock they decided on a 3/4. With not much happening on the reef we headed off shore to the hump to try the snappers and jacks once again. As we we getting to the hump they started to drop and with only two still standing it became obvious that the 3/4 was going back to a short half. A few snapper and an AJ later we headed back to the marina for the cure. Had enough fish for dinner tonight so it was not a total loss for Sam and his guys.
We miss Dick and Eddie this year but were very happy that CP and Pat could make it down on their annual migration to Islamorada. We always have a great time with the four of them and hope all four can get down together at some point later this year. John was a fill in today and although he had never deep dropped before today, he pick it up quickly, The silk snapper were biting well once again and we also were able to catch a few blackfin tunas and a margate along with a couple large vermillon snapper. A busy day for the guys, plenty of fish to take back to Jersey and we have two more days of fishing with them this week. Fun as always!
The bait situation has gone from incredibly easy to incredibly difficult in a short few days so after trying a couple spots for live bait and then trying to yellowtail fish, I decided it was time to head off shore. We caught some small vermillon snapper at a couple spots, then move out to the deeper spots catching the silk snapper well and finally ended up at the hump where the large vermillon snapper were biting. Caught a large margate snapper and an almacco jack also out in the deep while dropping to add to our impressive catch. Edwin and his friends loved the day, are planning their return for next month and we are looking forward to fishing with them again.
There was a small mixup today but it worked out for the best as I thought we were on a full day but turns out we were on a half day. The first part of the day went as planned with Brad and his daughter catching some beautiful silk and vermillon snapper but once the mistake was recognized we knew it was time to head back to the dock . We did catch one small blackfin tuna on the way home and one almacco jack while dropping. Brad is taking their fish back to Iowa minus a small amount they will be eating in the next few days.
We fished this morning catching some yellowtails , bonitas and jacks with a couple out of Miami. It was a struggle but they went away happy. This afternoon we decided to go deep taking our neighbor Steve and his friend Rick out to the blue water where the electrics reign and the silk snapper are waiting. Plenty of fish for them and all the rest of the folks that had a part in the trip. Nice job by Steve and Rick who learned quickly the ins and outs of deep dropping.
Jessica went one for one today as per our group's request this morning that they didn't need any more meat fish (we did well two days ago) but they did want a sailfish if possible. Bait was difficult in the morning and we only caught a few ballyhoo to start the day. After catching a couple mackerels and a couple large yellowtails we went back inshore and tried catching the ballyhoos again with much better results. I had talked to another captain that told me he had a sailfish that came up on his baits while he was on a wreck but didn't eat so I decided to go to the wreck with my fresh ballyhoo and see if that sail was still in the area. Half an hour later we had the sail in the boat for pictures. Jessica, her new husband and family members were in the keys for their wedding and we hope they will return to fish with us again someday.
Tris waited till the last minute to catch her 15 lb tuna but that was probably for the best as it wore her out and made the decision to head for home an easy one. Caught all the silk snapper we wanted at the start of the day, then returned to the reef to get our bait and try for that sailfish. We did put one in the air but that was our only opportunity for the rest of the day. Caught a king, one big yellowtail and finished up with that tuna. Tris and Micky will be back and they will be bringing their kids next time!
Jessica ask for meat this morning as her group got on the boat and we were discussing what their desires would be for the day. The last few days have been very good as far as eating fish go and I was just hoping we could produce again knowing we had worked some of our spots pretty hard lately. We did catch some fish in those same areas but I ended up going to an area that hadn't been producing recently and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole new school of silk snapper there for the taking. The folks got to pull on a couple big cudas but we pretty much stuck with the electrics to make sure this wedding party/vacation party had plenty to eat over the next few days. They will be back on Saturday to fish again and I think the request was to spend some time trying for a sailfish.
After a little discussion with David we decided to do similar things as we did on the morning half and it turned out to be a good decision. Caught some lane and vermillon snapper on the electrics and then moved on to dropping with long leaders and caught a couple really nice mutton snappers along with the almaco jacks and couple more cudas. David couldn't have been more happy with his afternoon half, especially with his nephew and son having such a great time. See you again soon Dave.
It was a little chilly this morning as Dean and his family got on the boat and I noticed that even though they are from Detroit they soon went down below to put on some additional layers after we started down the channel. I decided to go out to the deep because Dean had said they really wanted food fish and conditions have been very difficult for yellowtailing on the reef. Turns out that was the right move as the vermillon and blackfin snapper were biting along with almaco jacks and cudas. A good time was had by all including Suzy (Dean's wife, not pictured) who was thoroughly entertained by the morning's activity.
When Chris showed up this morning he felt compelled to tell me he has had really bad luck when it comes to fishing. I was beginning to believe him after we started the day watching boats on both sides of us hook up with sailfish and after an hour we hadn't seen a fish of any type. After a couple hours with the kite up and ballyhoo in the riggers I'd had enough and we went out to a deep area, caught enough vemillon snapper for a few meals and moved down the reef to try again for the sailfish. After missing a few more bottom bites I was starting to think more and more about Chris's bad luck story and that's when a sailfish chased a ballyhoo Dave had thrown over right up to the transom, two more sails ate the rigger baits and all the sudden it was game on. Lost one of the sails initially but Chris caught the other one after a 30 minute battle and crushed the bad luck curse in the process. Nice job Chris and we look forward to fishing with you again.
Diana caught this beautiful mutton snapper out of 300 ft of water today and she will be eating it tonight for dinner. We didn't stop there though as the bite was a lot better today then it's been the last couple days. The vermillon snappers bit well at the start and we found a legal cobia and jack a little later. We will use the cudas for our stone crab traps. Josh and his family plan to fish again later in the week on our evening shark trip. Looking forward to it Josh.
Late start today as we felt a blessing of our boat was more important than ever after events of 2020, therefore we, along with 30 or so other boats paraded down the whale harbor channel to secure our blessings. for the coming year, then we went fishing! Caught a few fish on the bait patch and had a shark eat a big mutton out in the deep but generally it was slow and rough for most our half day charter. It was time to go and Dave was winding the baits in when a sailfish ate the last remaining bait out there. It took half an hour and a lot of water over the transom (really rough today) to catch this fish. and we later learned that it was Jeff"s first fish, not his first sailfish but his first fish. We suggested that it might be time to retire after today..