Two and a half big tunas and 18 big vermillon snappers made Don and his crew smile big smiles today. We caught one mahi on the way out to the hump under a black bird and then once at the hump caught quite a few smaller tunas on the feathers and later the big ones we caught on live bait. In the afternoon we bounced the bottom near the reef and finished up with a couple muttons and one yellowtail snapper to round out our day.
Billy had fished with us a couple years ago on an evening charter and was hoping to have as much activity as he did the last time. I had explained to him that the recent cold snap probably would slow down the bite and it did. We caught just two sharks during the evening but one was a spinner which jumped 3 times and took us around the boat three times before we caught him, so we still had some excitement during the evening and additionally fought a big bull shark we could not get stopped.
Lots of kids today, the morning group was from Brazil , spoke very good English and had a great time catching yellowtails. The afternoon group had dad, grandpa and the 3 brothers. Jack was high hook with the nice mutton but we also caught yellowtails, a smaller mutton and other fish All in all a good time was had by everyone and although the seas were not very calm, no one complained or didn't feel well.
Awesome day on the vermillons today with some of the largest I have caught in quite a while. We started the day with a few kings, mutton and yellowtail snappers and assorted other bottom dwellers. We then went deep and caught the tuna, a few bonitos and ended the day with the big vermillons. Nice job by our 3 way split with our 3 couples, Sam was a huge help to Dave, spending the day working as a second mate and then paid for the privilege, not bad.
Very few sails caught today, some kings and blackfin tunas around the wreck, a fair number of good fish we didn't get to the surface, that's my report for today as the west wind and strong west current slowed the bite today.
Finished up a few things yesterday and we are now back in the water and looking good. Bottom paint, a couple bearings, changed some screws, a new dripless coupling and we are ready to rock and roll through another season.
Jim, Joe, Justin and Josh were with us the other day, on a day that started a little rougher than I expected but got nicer as the day went on. We caught our bait and headed to the hump to try the tunas again but when we got there the bite wasn't as good at the Islamorada as it had been at the 409 hump the day before. We did catch a few tunas and then tried the bottom for the snappers, that would have been great as the snappers were biting but once again the sharks would not allow us to get more then 3 snapper to the surface. We ended up back at the reef where we caught a few more tunas, small cobia and assorted other species.
I decided to try the tunas again today but changed the tackle somewhat to get more pressure on the tunas and hopefully get some passed the sharks, it met with limited success. We ended up with some decent size blackfins but the sharks got the really nice ones. It was a lot of fun though as the tunas were biting really well and Duncan and the guys were trying their best to get them to the boat before they got eaten and these were really big sharks. It was very exciting.
We were only able to get one and a half tunas past the sharks at the hump today out of the 7 or 8 we had hooked up. Tried the bottom there also as there was no current but the sharks would not allow us to do that either. We ended up at the reef where the yellowtails bit fairly well, much better then they have been biting an we caught a few kings, a legal mutton, a yelloweye and a large cuda as the center piece. Duncan and the guys are fishing with us again tomorrow and want to go deep so that's the plan for the morning.
One of those days where we missed a lot of fish. Several big tunas and a sail did not come to the boat for various reasons including our forever nemesis, the sharks. We did catch a few kings, some undersized cobia and assorted other fish but for Bill and Jill it was more about having a good experience and learning some stuff. They did both, and they plan a return in the not too distant future.
Thought we were going to catch that sail but he went ballistic (fishing term) rolled up in the line and swam away. Even though we missed the sail there was plenty to feel good about today as not long after the sail Cody caught a 20 lb blackfin tuna and the kingfish were very active all morning long. We also caught a couple rainbow runners at the very end of our trip went the wind had picked up to 25+ knots, which added a degree of sport and difficulty to the catching. We got safely back into the boat slip after our 3/4 day and Cody told me he is coming back for that sail sometime soon. Looking forward to it Cody.
Allie and Lori were at it again today (hammered the sharks a couple evenings ago) catching everything that bit their hooks. We started at the Islamorada hump with the blackfins hoping that we would get a chance at some mahi on the way out or the way in. Yesterday there a lot of mahi around hump depth but today we had to be satisfied with the good bite of blackfins. We got back to the reef, discovered there was no current there but we were able to catch a couple snapper before moving on to a deeper spot where the kings were biting and we were able to catch a couple big blackfin tunas. Another great family that we got to fish with and we look forward to fishing with them again sometime soon.
Allie and Lori are awesome young ladies, they picked up on the whole "lift up wind down""don't wind against the drag so quickly, I just sat back in amazement. We lost count of the number of sharks we caught which included bullsharks and blacktip sharks that were hooked up through out the evening. They want to go out to the reef to fish this week so we are hoping to get them out Friday weather permitting,
Russ booked the trip but he let his good friend catch the sail today. We caught a king fish while trolling for wahoo and a few vermillon snapper a bit later but the highlight of our morning half was running in on a bait shower were 4 sails were eating baits, getting one hooked up and getting a picture with it a bit later. Fun, fun!!
Here is another kid that lives to fish, Quinn had so much fun tonight catching sharks and learned so much doing it, he was a joy to watch. He is a quick study and i really hope he get to use some of that newly learned expertise tomorrow as he goes out looking to catch a sailfish. Good luck Quinn!!
It was very pleasant today with fairly light winds so I was a little surprised when Jim's wife was not feeling well just an hour or so into what was supposed to be a 3/4 day. Fortunately we found some mahi on our way to the hump and a few tunas once we got there before we had to turn and head home on a half day. Just one of those things, some days it happens.
Not a great picture but it is a 150 lb bull shark. We caught him this evening with John's group, the same folks we had out the other night that we could not get the big sharks stopped. We stopped this one after he dumped half a spool while I was getting the anchor up and we chased him all the way down the channel until he finally gave up.. What a first run!! We caught a bunch of smaller sharks but this was the best one.
Just got back from the UK a few day ago and who do we fish with yesterday? Adam and his family from London. We had fished with them a few years ago on an evening trip but it turned out to be a little too rough for the kids yesterday and so we cut the day short. On the way home I spotted a sail on a school of bait and Adam got to catch his first sailfish. Simply brilliant!!
We had the very best time in the UK and all the credit goes to our host Paula and Bev, we will never be able to repay for all the kindness they showed in opening their home and hearts to us. Thank You.
After a two week hiatus we stepped back on US soil on Saturday afternoon and got right back into it fishing a half day in the morning and an evening trip last night. Mike and his family caught 20 snapper in the morning to take back to central Florida with them and even Meg "fishing is my life" had a great time. It turns out that my wife Pati, her brother George and Meg's brother had roomed together in the distant past so they had a lot to talk about and catch up on. The evening trip was interesting as we got schooled by several sharks that we could not stop even with the largest rod and reel combos we had on board. We did catch a few smaller sharks but what an impressive bite on the big ones!
I called Anthony yesterday to let him know that the wind was still blowing and I expected it to be rough today. He said they had fished the backcountry yesterday in the wind and they still wanted to go off shore today even though they knew it would be rough. It was very rough with 6 to 8 footers at the hump, but we did catch 4 mahi off a pallet and a couple blackfins that we managed to get passed the sharks. When we finally got back to the reef it was very pleasant as the wind and current were the same direction. That really helped with the yellowtails and we ended up with 30 tails which was plenty for dinner and for the guys to take home.
It just didn't come together the way we wanted it to today. From the slow tuna bite to my inability to find that magical piece of debris where all the mahi seemed to be hiding today it was a struggle. We did catch a few tunas, a mahi and two dozen yellowtails but it wasn't what we had hoped for, fortunately Joe and his guys have done a lot of fishing and know that the effort doesn't always show in the catch and there was a lot of effort put in today.
Shane and John were married on the KK Tuesday evening at Alligator Lighthouse and today we took the newlyweds out for a full day of fishing. Tunas and Mahi in the morning and as we did not hear of much going on off shore in the way of mahi we came back to the reef and caught yellowtail snapper and assorted other species. We wish these two the best and I'm sure we will see them again soon as the sailfish season heats up.
Finally after days of brutal wind and rain we get a reprieve and Steve and his buds picked the right day to go looking for mahi. We did the tuna thing at the hump early and then I went too deep only to discover on the way back to the reef that there were mahi in 450 ft of water. These guys have obviously done quite a bit of fishing as it didn't take much to get them into the rhythm of a mahi war. We caught 18 nice fish and headed back to the reef where we caught a legal mutton and got a gold star from the Coast Guard by passing their safety inspection with flying colors.
Tom, Mary, Richard and Gwen are going to be eating tuna for a while as the sharks left us mostly alone and let us get almost all to the boat while we were at the hump. We stayed at the hump for a couple hours waiting to see if the guys running off shore would find mahi but all I heard were isolated incidents. We did finally go off and got to 20 miles or so before turning around and working our way back to the reef. Did catch the one mahi teenager on the way back and 3 undersized groupers once we got to the reef along with a king and assorted other scallywags. Happy folks even with the lack of mahi due to the strong northwest wind. We will see them again.