I would have been pleasantly surprised if the mahi had shown in numbers today but there has not been much on the dock the last couple days to change my expectations as we headed off shore this morning. I
t's Mandy's birthday, she wanted a mahi and she caught one (actually a couple) but we only were able to keep a handful that we caught that were legal.
Our group was aware of the downturn in the mahi fishing in the last week, so there were no surprises there and I do hope we see them again when thing pick up.
Once again we were able to keep everyone busy today ( a necessity with boys of this age) winding on fish. Caught all the grey snapper we could catch and quite a few yellowtails to go with them. We finish up with another nice mutton snapper, a handful of kings, missed a bunch more kings, including some big ones and a few the sharks got.
Everyone had a great time and Joe will be back with his family if only for a half day as harvest season is coming.
It always adds a little more stress to the day when I take friends or family out because you don't want to disappoint anyone but especially the people you know well. Today almost everything I tried worked.
We started with the gray and yellowtail snappers, searched for a while for the vermillons snappers ( found a reasonable amount), moved on to a great kingfish bite and finally we targeted the mutton snappers and caught two.
Dr John, his daughter Lauren, her friend Sheldon, his daughter Lauren and her friend Emily all got plenty of catching time as we moved from smaller fish in the morning to larger fish in the afternoon. Always a pleasure to have Dr John, his family and friends on board and we look forward to many more fishing days with them out on the blue water.
No wind today and very little current at the hump contributed to a lack of tunas when we stopped there. Tried the bottom at the little hump with the same result so we headed for the reef. My good buddy Arin said the mangroves were biting, he was done and invited us in to the spot he was leaving where we caught close to our limit of snapper.
Moved on up the reef were we struggled once again until I found a good bite of kingfish and between the kings, jacks and bonitos the action was almost non stop.
I did hear of a better bite of mahi off shore today but it was somewhat localized and we will have to wait to see if that change is coming.
Tired of catching just a few mahi I talked today's folks into coming back to the reef after catching a half dozen tunas. There wasn't much current and the water was clear but we did catch 27 yellowtails once we got there. Poked around after that catching one kingfish and a big barracuda, tried the vermillon snappers with no bites and then giving it one last try in the deep water catching the 18lb king and the nice mutton snapper to end the day.
Steve and his posse hadn't fish with us for 4 or 5 years but I'm glad they came back to do it again.
Nancy and Mike have fished with the KK for numerous years and we always look forward to seeing them again. This year with the mahi bite off I decided to go to the hump for the tunas and then go off shore to see if we could find some mahi. We caught a handful of tunas and I got a couple miles off shore from the hump but after listening to the boats that were already out there, I made a u turn and headed back to the reef.
We stopped a couple times on the way back to deep drop but not much going on there so we anchored up on the reef and proceeded to catch 30 yellowtails in a couple hours. Mixed sizes but Nancy and her family had a couple big bags of fillets to take home with them. See you soon folks!
I wish the current would come back so that maybe the mahi bite would improve. A lot of rain today did not help but we really need an influx of new fish to brighten up everybody's day. I did see that the tuna bit some today so that will help somewhat. Good guys today, wish we could have found more fish.
The mahi fishing got a lot more difficult, with lots of new skiffs running around and not as many fish today it was a trial to put a catch together for almost all the charter fleet. Jason and his family were happy to catch what we did but there is always a desire for more. The good news was, no one felt at all sick today!
It was to be a 3/4 day and with the wind down along with the seas I expected to do the full 3/4 but it didn't work out that way. After we caught our third fish I got the word that we just needed a couple more and we would head for home. We caught 6 more while heading back and I finally had to have Dave pull in the spread so we could get these folks home. It's a nice problem to have when the fish are finding you.
Dan, Danny and Britney had a good time and with the exception of Britney plan to do it again soon.
With just Brent and Christian on board I though we would be able to limit out on mahi and maybe do something else for part of the day. We tried the other thing first which was catching something that pulled hard for Christian and jacks seemed the likely candidates. Unfortunately we got crushed by the sharks once again and although Christian got to pull on a big fish the shark turned out to be the ultimate winner of that contest.
We spent the rest of the day gathering up the mahi and got within a couple fish of our limit. These guys will be back again, perhaps before the year is up. We look forward to it.
Brent and Christian are back and we started with an evening trip and will do the full day tomorrow. Christian was pretty bummed after going 0 for 3 followed by his dad catching his own tarpon but he felt better when he caught the next one. We caught 7 or 8 sharks and Christian missed one more to make his score 1 for 5. It was all good as we headed back and get ready for tomorrow.
I can count on one hand the number of folks I have fished from the great state of Utah and this is the second group in less than a week. Great folks that caught a bunch of fish with us today on a day that was definitely better then the previous one.
We got off to a good start and picked away most of the morning and into the afternoon but the big school was the last one and I hope it's an indicator that we are going back to schools that contain more than one or two fish. We caught 10 out of that school and should have done better but I was happy with what we got and so were our clients, all that matters!
At noon today we had 3 mahi in the box and my stress levels were pretty high, I even went to the hump and tried dropping hoping the snapper were biting (not). Yesterday the fish really started to show late in the afternoon so hoping that it was going to happen again today we left the hump and went back to looking for the mahi.
The first set of birds I came to had 10 fish under them and we were able to catch 6, caught a couple singles and then another 4. Things are looking up and by the time we had to head back we had over 20 fish.
Perseverance paid off today and more importantly we made Eric, Matt and Lewis very happy.
It's deja vu all over again as we caught 1, rarely 2 fish out from under each set of birds. It take a while to put a catch together but by the end of the day you have caught 20 fish or more. Kregg and his family have fished with us before and it's always fun. Looking forward to the next visit Kregg.
Between pulled hooks and other mishaps we got off to a slow start this morning but persistence pays and as we got further out and deeper the fish began to cooperate. One fish off each set of birds for a while but they were adding up and then we caught 6 off a set and 3 off the next set. By the end of the day we had 2 dozen heavy lifters in the box and happy clients with plenty of fish to take home.
Newton and his wife just wanted to catch a mahi or two so he booked us for a 3/4 day hoping the weather would cooperate. We did start catching at around 7 miles where the current began and waves started getting bigger. It wasn't long before Newton's wife began to feel bad and it wasn't long after that Newton said we needed to head back. Short day but Newton was happy to catch a few mahi and his wife was happy to be back on solid ground.
I should have ask if they were related to any of the famous Fords from Texas but I didn't think of it till they had gone on their way. Famous or not they had a great time and we caught some good fish on a shortened day. The rains held off right up until it was time to head in so we didn't get too wet and the current was less then it has been the last few days which made sea conditions more tolerable.
Tomorrow the wind is supposed to be down even more and Dave and I are really hoping the got it right this time.
I did not think we were going to fish today due to the strong winds we experienced while standing on the dock meeting Peter, his son and his friends. At that time the decision was made not to go and everyone was disappointed but a half hour later when the winds had dropped to half of what it was earlier I got a call from Peter reversing his earlier decision and Dave and I quickly scrambled to get the boat ready a second time and off we went.
Lots of bird sets with one or two fish under them got things going and we kept catching until we had a dozen. At that point Peter decided to call it and we headed back to the dock so the boys could recover from their adventure. Peter could not stop thanking us for making it happen and getting the boys out so that the could catch some mahi.
There are only a few guys that have been fishing with me as long as Steve and Charlie have been and it was a pleasure it get them out once again on a day they could enjoy. The last couple trips have ended quickly due to high winds and high seas and I was a little concerned after yesterday adventure out there but the wind came down last night and it was no where near as frightening in the rips today as it was yesterday.
A lot of single fish today but we did find one normal school that contributed 10 or 11 of their fellow classmates to us and with those and the others we had caught earlier, it put us over 20 for the day. The guys did great, no one fell (always a concern with 70 and 80 year olds) and Steve has already scheduled his next trips for 2022 and 2023.
It was John's day today, with the light wind and two foot seas John had no problem holding onto his breakfast and his lunch as we targeted the almaco jacks at various spots up and down the reef.
A lot of people do not think highly of the members of the jack family when it comes to table fare but I would choose to eat an almaco or a yellow jack before almost any fish caught here in the keys. John, Scooter, Jordan and the rest of the family will have some great meals from these fine eating fish.
John is planning his return with the family in November perhaps to do another successful swordfish trip as we did with him last year.
This is Captain Don keeping you updated on our recent fishing adventures