It wasn't to be today. Although we spent quite a bit of the day trying we just didn't get in front of a sail today and with the wind freshening and the seas growing John decided to call it a little early and get Loren the younger back on solid ground. Dr john, his daughter Loren and their young friend Loren returned to fish with us again and although we get to see Dr John fairly often it was a pleasure to have his daughter Loren on board again and first timer Loren "the younger". We spent some extra time at the bait spot catching some mangrove snapper and went to a few deeper spots for the vermillon snapper and the almaco jacks. We also caught one decent king which Dave is going to smoke for Doc and Lauren. Thanks folks, as always it was a pleasure.
Got our bait (catching a few mangroves while doing that), got off the edge, put them out and 20 minutes later hooked up the sailfish. Will did a great job catching that fish while following Dave's detailed instructions. Tried a number of things after that but ended up at a vermillon spot where Tim (dad) caught the 40lb AJ on a fairly light rod and we also caught one smaller AJ while catching verms.
Skyler caught her first sailfish with us today (right next to Dave) and we got the whole family in there for the group picture. Lots of undersized muttons to start the day, along with some small yellowtail snappers and a couple undersized groupers. After catching the sail we finally caught a legal mutton and a few vermillon snapper but we still didn't have quite enough to feed this group dinner. We were out in the deep when I ran over a spot i had marked but had never fished. Today I decided to stop and drop on it and it produced a bunch of vermillons, silk and red (released) snapper, plenty to feed this crew several dinners during their stay in Islamorada. Another great family of good people, hopefully we will see them again sometime in the future.
Second day for Paul, Tiffany and Jack and today the main pursue was to catch a sailfish. We caught a few runners for the kites, then caught our ballyhoo and took them out to a hundred and fifty feet to put them out. Dave put a couple ballyhoos out first and was starting to get a bait out on the kite when a sail came up and ate both the flat and the rigger baits. Caught that one but that was all the sails we saw until they started spaying baits in the shallow water and although there were a bunch of sails there we could never get any to eat our baits. We ended up catching some vermillon snapper, a mutton, jacks and a couple kings to finish up the day. Looking forward to fish with these folks again as the are planning a return in January.
I wasn't booked for today but I did get a call from Steve late in the afternoon yesterday. He said he wanted to fish this week but as i told him I only had today open, I expected that would be too soon for him. He surprised me, called back an hour later saying he would be here today with his boys. Not sure how he pulled that off as today he told me today he was calling me from Atlanta yesterday. He made the accommodation, flight arraignments and was at the dock by 6:30 ready to fish with his sons.... very Impressive! He did mention his wife works for the airline, which I'm sure helped. Bait was tough first thing in the morning so we ended up deep dropping to start and the vermillon cooperated well for us. We went back in to get our bait later and while waiting for the ballyhoo to show caught 7 or 8 mangrove snapper, one giant yellowtail and a couple smaller ones. We added to the catch with some silk snapper, a couple kingfish and one almocco jack. Another great day on the water with nice people!
Everything clicked well today as we started out catching some mangrove snapper, a couple kings and then a tuna. Heading up to another spot we caught a few mutton snapper off the bottom and finally a different place were the vermillon snapper and almaco jacks were biting well. Paul, Tiffany and Jack were just great. Tiffany wanted to learn everything she could about the types of rigs and styles of fishing we do to catch different species here in the keys and was a huge help to Dave down there in the cockpit. We will see them again in a couple days and hopefully introduce them to a few more fishing techniques that they are interested in seeing.
With a fresh coat of bottom paint and and a good coat of wax on the hull (thanks Dave) we dropped her back in the water today. She ran great all the way around but when we got to the drawbridge the bridge tender said they had a mechanical problem and could not open the bridge. The tide was low and by dropping the riggers out and lowering our antennas we were able to just sneak under the bridge saving us a long run to another bridge or a unknown number of hours waiting on the snake creek bridge to be repaired. A win, win for today!
We did not run over any sharks today which kept my adrenaline levels nice and even all day, a good thing. We did have a couple muttons get eaten by sharks and one mutton would have been a big one so that hurt a little, but we did get a few muttons by them and we caught a half dozen mahi to go with our snapper. The sailfish bite was very slow, probably due to a lack of current but Mat and Kevin really wanted to catch one so we put in quite a bit of time trying. The weather is getting really nice again and tomorrow should be awesome. Looking forward to a nice calm day on the water finally.
JD and Alec were kept busy as we caught mutton and yellowtail snappers, kingfish, cero mackerel and bonitas on our full day charter. We did see a sailfish early but did not get a bite out of him. The interesting thing about today happened on the way back home. I was about two-thirds of the way home when we hit something (it was raining and I had my wind screen down). At first I thought it was a piece of debris but I also knew that whatever it was it was large. I pulled the throttles back, turned around to see what I had hit and to my amazement in the prop wash was the dorsal fin followed by the body of a very large shark . It only took a second for it to disappear back under the water and I never got a chance to I.D. it but I suspect it was a large bull or tiger shark. We circled back over the area and could see a large amount blood and the body of the shark down on the bottom. Never heard of nor have I ever hit an animal like that in a boat driven in relatively deep water as we were. Wierd!
Molly was pretty excited about catching her first sailfish, she couldn't wait to tell her older brother that he had missed out by not coming along and he got to catch the sail. It was a perfect size for her and put on a good show but not so long that it would have wore her out. We also caught yellowtail and mutton snapper, cobia, sharks, grouper, jacks and kingfish so it was pretty busy throughout most of the day. Molly had to rest and take a nap at times during the day but when need she rallied to help out her dad Omar. Looking forward to fishing with this family again soon.
Tracy was our hero today as we kept our streak going catching one sailfish each of the last three days. We had another short day so when we hooked up and caught that sail early it took some of the pressure off the captain. Steve, Kate, Pat and Tracy are from Minnesota, down here for a wedding and they booked us off the dock there at whale harbor. Had a good time with them and hope to see them again sometime.
Chris called me last night about eight and wanted to know if we would take him and his new wife fishing. After answering Chris's questions and changing our start time a couple hours he said he had to make sure it was OK with his wife to go, now this is usually the kiss of death for a charter and I didn't expect to hear back from him with a positive answer. I was wrong, Shelby said let's go and a few hours later Chris was holding his first sailfish. Along with catching the sail Chris caught a nice mutton snapper that I filleted and they were going to take to a local restaurant for dinner. Nice going Chris and Shelby see you again soon!!
Brook caught her first sailfish today on the KK. Bait was difficult at the spots we have done so well at the last few weeks so I went to a spot I hadn't been to in a while and up they came. Saw a couple fish in the second bait shower we went to after getting rejected by a sail on the first shower. We were able to hook up one fish out of the two and Brook did a great job getting the fish to the boat after a 20 minute fight.