The fishing was awesome tonight, we caught 4 out of 6 tarpon and i lost count of the number of sharks caught but the best part was Dave and I got to spend the evening with another terrific family.
Tanner, Bennett and their dad Russ did the catching but Michelle (mom) was there to give moral support and Kendall (sister) enjoyed be topside and just observing .
They hope to be back this December but if not then it will be next summer. Thanks folks.
Found some nice mahi although we never saw any above 10 lbs , that said Rusty's sons Tanner and Bennett still had a great time. They had never experienced mahi fishing before so the whole crazy intense schoolie war event was all new to them but they caught on quickly and were moving like seasoned pros after a couple schools.
We do an evening trip with the whole family (including the ladies) tomorrow night.
We looked hard today and we were rewarded with some nicer fish. James caught the seventeen pounder but almost everyone got in the act and caught good fish with the exception of Bruce who was a little under the weather for most of the day. He left it up to James, Alan and Esh do the catching while Bruce had a inner body cleansing experience.
A good time was had by almost everyone and we will see these guys again in the future, even Bruce.
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.
The day didn't start well as Charlie let me know that Steve was not feeling well and was not coming along. Steve has had some serious medical issues and although he drove down and fully intended on going he just couldn't do so this morning.
We headed out, got our bait and around 400 feet it got rough (as it's been the last two days), we caught a few fish under some birds and had a couple other encounters but then I got the word to head back. I know the guys were disappointed and so was I as these are my oldest return customers. As in years past they told me to schedule their annual trip again for next year. Next year will be better guys, see you then!
Talk about stress relief, having 20 fish in the box by 9:30 definitely takes a lot of the pressure off at the start of the day and the catching didn't stop there. We ended up with 40 mahi, no big ones but the way things have been I'm just very happy with legal fish.
Last day for the OZ tournament and we enjoyed having them on the boat. Till next year guys!
While most of the other tournaments canceled due to the virus the OZ tournament was one of the few tournaments that did not. Today was the 1st day of this tournament and although we struggled for part of the day we were able to put together a nice catch of 30 fat schoolies by days end. Tomorrow is the 2nd and last day of the tournament and hopefully we will be able to find a big fish and when it like we did last year.
Short Day today and I felt the pressure, should have stayed out in 300 to 400 ft but decided to come back to the reef as I heard some good reports from there. Wrong, the water was crystal clear and they were not biting, fortunately we found some schoolies in 150 ft and became instant heroes. Can't be right every day!
After a really great day of snapper fishing with Dr Mike yesterday we went offshore for the mahi today and although the mahi fishing hasn't been great lately we found what we needed.
It's CD's and Kirsten's last day with us before they head back to Texas so Kirsten made sure she got all her questions answered before they had to leave. Dave and I really enjoyed fishing with them and look forward to seeing them again sometime soon.
We kept 14 mahi and a couple snapper. There were a lot of big schools of mahi, unfortunately most were too short but it is nice to at least find them.
Dr Mike fishes with us one more time on Thursday and we will have to decide onshore or offshore on that day. Looking forward to it!
Today it was Dr Mike, his son Christopher and his wife Kirsten that put together a really nice catch of mangove, yellowtail and mutton snapper. We caught the mangroves first and than went over to the yellowtail spot, caught them until they stopped chewing and then moved on to a couple more spots to finish things up and caught the mutton snapper.
The mahi bite sounded somewhat better today so tomorrow we are going out there once again with this group to try our luck in the deep woods.
Yesterday we took Harper and her parents Johanna and Blake out for a short trip to the reef to catch some yellowtail snapper. The snapper cooperated well enough that we had sufficient for several meals but the best part was that we also got to see shark suckers, bar jacks, filefish, blue parrot fish and ballyhoo. A good time was had by all and we look forward to fishing with Harper again sometime soon.
A very slow start on the mahi for us today, which always raises my stress levels . We caught four fish under some birds to start out but that was it for several hours until fortunately the big fish ate the rigger bait and we caught him. Not much happened after that until we were headed back to the reef , thinking able trying the yellowtail and in the relatively shallow water I found several sets of birds and we caught another 12 or so fish to add to our catch.
Rick's grandson Kyle caught the 24 lb bull and that was definitely the highlight of the day for Rick as well as Dave and I. Rick is a frequent return customer that we really enjoy fishing with and we will see him and his son next month for another go at it.
We had a really nice day with David and his family catching 20 mahi and a couple skipjacks. We ran out to 15 miles and started fishing a weed line that was there and a large piece of debris got things started for us with 11 mahi. A set of birds pointed out a few more fish and the final few mahi caught came off some large weed patches and a wooden pallet that was near them.
David is talking about coming back to fish for sailfish this winter and we our looking forward to seeing this great family again.
Today Jeff, Peggy and Kevin wanted to fish the yellowtail snapper after the nice day we had off shore catching mahi on Friday. We started the morning with almost perfect conditions but as the day progressed the current changed and it became more and more difficult to get a bite. We left that spot to do a little bottom bouncing, catching one kingfish and an undersized mutton snapper. Not a bad way to end their keys vacation with lots of snapper fillets to go with all those mahi fillets See you again soon folks!
Patrick was our man of the day catching most of the 25 yellowtail we caught on the afternoon trip. We tried three different spots catching a couple tails at each of the first two but really experiencing a good bite at that final spot. Daniel had a little problem with the light seas but I had the feeling that that trip was all about Patrick and his love of fishing and Daniel was along for the ride.
We had a discussion this morning with Zack and his crew about going out looking for mahi on a half day. They knew we may not find them in the time we had and it was looking grim for most of the morning. We got beat to the first two set of birds that were on schoolies by a couple of smaller boats but as we were working our way back in there was a set we had all to ourselves and we were able to catch enough mahi for a couple meals for the guys.
The village people Ken, Dean, Tony and Al almost didn't make the trip down to fish with us because of the concerns over the virus and the travel but after cancelling a few weeks ago Ken called me and wanted to rebook.
Fortunately I still had these days available and so today was Ken's day and although the mahi bite was not much better than yesterday we caught ten and then went back to the reef where we caught 25 nice yellowtails.
Tomorrow we fish a shorter day with the guys and then they will head back to central Florida with their bags of fillets from today and tomorrow. We look forward to seeing these guys in July and again in August as Ken has scheduled future trips in both months.
We spent quite a bit of time out in the deep looking for the mahi today and we managed to catch four out of about eight that we saw and hooked.
All the charter boats was complaining about the lack of mahi and after listening to that for most of the morning I decided it was time try something different and ended up at the yellowtail spot back on the reef where in an hour or so Gary and Jayden were able to catch their limit of tails.
Later we spent a little time around one of the wrecks and we were rewarded with a couple kingfish and an undersized red grouper.
I talked Jim, Daniel and Justin out of going on Saturday because the predictors of such things said the winds would be less today then on Saturday and I was still open for today, Sunday. The predictors were right about the wind but the the waves were still substantial as we headed out to the mahi grounds and it took most of the morning for the wind and the waves to calm down.
Of the three, Justin took it the worse and although he was able to stand and catch a couple fish he pretty much left the heavy work up to Jim and Daniel.
The mahi were shallow again and we caught almost all thirty of them in less then 500 ft of water. I did get some reports of fish out in 1100 to 1500 ft of water but it didn't sound good enough to pull me out there.
The guys want to come back this winter to catch sailfish and we are looking forward to seeing them again. Be safe and we will see you in December !
Tony and his friends have been fishing with me for many years and once again we sent them home with bags of fillets. Most of the fish were shallow, by 9:30 we had 20 fish in the box and I was starting to wonder what we would do with the rest of the day once we got to 30 or so. We stopped by the hump but the weed made it almost impossible to fish there and since a couple of the newbees were not feeling well Tony decided we should go back to the reef. We did not catch many yellowtails once we got there but the one we did catch were beauties.
Another fun day escaping from all stuff we have dealt with over the last few months.
What a great restart to our delayed fishing season here in the keys! Steve, Loren, Ethan, Mike and Katie did a morning half to help celebrate the reopening of the keys and what a morning it was. The yellowtail snappers bit very well (over 30 of them), Ethan caught a fat grey snapper and a black grouper off the bottom, Mike caught a bunch of tails and a very large shark later in the morning. Katie and Loren got into it also with both of the contributing to the big catch.
The calls are coming in and we are starting to fill the calendar for June so if you are thinking about coming down to go fishing give me a call as soon as you can.
This is Captain Don keeping you updated on our recent fishing adventures