birthday girl and big fish

Today I got to take Elizabeth and her awesome family out for a morning half day charter. We started on the reef catching some bait and a few Yellowtail snappers for the cooler. We then headed to a deep wreck for some big Amber Jack action. After rigging the lines and setting our drift we got what we came for in a big way. Hooking and landing a few before the sharks moved in and ate the last 3 we hooked. We had a blast landing big fish and making memories before heading in for some fresh fish for lunch.

Monster Sharks

Today I headed out at 4 pm. on a sunset charter with 2 clients. We had our sights set on catching some groupers and snappers off the deep reef 6 miles south west of the island. After anchoring the boat and putting out the chum is was just a few minutes and the fish were responding. Little did I know at the time that the sharks we also responding in a major way.

After catching a nice Yellowtail snapper we sent him to the bottom on some very heavy tackle for a big Black grouper. Getting the bite we were after in just a few minutes. We had the fish off the bottom and were gaining line when a huge shark grabbed our fish and started dumping line off the reel. The shark cut through the line shortly after and we lost the fish. Knowing the sharks were there it was time to go on the offensive. We tossed a few nice snappers in the box and then put a big Blue runner freshly caught down again on the grouper rod with wire this time. On our next bite same story but this time we had the shark on wire he was going nowhere. After a long fight we had him boat side it was a monster Bull shark all of 300lbs.

We tried once more for grouper and this time the shark bit first and we landed another big Bull this one 250lbs. With need of a new strategy we moved off the reef to the edge near by in search of Mutton snappers. We had better success with less sharks we landed 2 out of our 3 Muttons and a few extra by catch fish before heading back to home. As we headed in we had a beautiful Key West sunset off our port side. Was a great ending to a great after noon.

 

Monster Tails and Tunas

We loaded up just before 8am this morning before we headed for the reef to do some snapper fishing. I set the boat on my all time go to Yellowtail snapper spot. To my dismay the conditions were not very good and the fish were unresponsive. Given the wind and tide conditions I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I have an awesome patch of reef in 90 feet of water that always has huge Yellowtails and Black grouper with the current conditions. We set up and in no time we hit pay dirt. We caught huge Yellowtail snappers and 2 monster Blackfin tunas on 17lb test as we were trying for Yellowtails.

Tuna town Key West

Today my crew wanted to head out and do some Mahi Mahi fishing offshore. We left the dock early and headed south for deep water with a  full head of steam. We made it 15 miles with out seeing much of anything at all. We had landed 2 small Skipjack tuna in our first 2 hours of fishing. Then seemingly out of nowhere the Blackfin tunas started going bonkers. We ran from spot to spot following the birds and tuna crashing and jumping clear out of the water. We started catching one after the other. Before we know it we had our limit and headed in with little room at all left in the box. We had set our sights on Mahi but ended up with more tuna than we knew what to do with. That’s Key West Florida fishing for you one day its one thing the next its something totally different. Fishing will keep you on your toes so you have to be ready for anything and everything.

Black after Black

As we left Key West behind we headed for the reef to start our day off by doing some Yellowtailing. The bite was not as good as we had hoped so we took a few for dinner and put a few of our bycatch in the livewell. We next headed to a deep wreck in 280 feet of water where we made a few drifts unsuccessfully. I was determined to get it right on my 3rd spot and boy did I ever. We anchored on a wreck in 190 feet of water where the bite was nonstop. We caught 4 Amber jacks to start off with all in the 30lb range. After changing our fishing tactics we started catching Black after Black grouper. All in all we caught 5 black grouper, 6 Amber jacks, and 2 Mutton snapper before heading home with a full cooler.

Key West Mahi Mahi mixed bag

We started our day out catching some really nice Yellowtails as we often do aboard the ALL IN. With meat in the cooler and a perfect start to the day we decided to head further offshore in search of some Mahi Mahi the fish so nice they named it twice. I didn’t have to run more than a few miles before finding a school of birds feeding on the water. My crew quickly put out the spread and were hooked up in no time at all. We landed another 20 Mahi in that second part of our trip running from flock to flock of little birds. We kept the better sized Mahi and let the borderline ones grow up to be caught on a later date.

Jigging trio

Today I had an great family fishing trip consisting of a father and his 2 son out with me. There only request was they wanted to catch fish on vertical jigs. To those that don’t know jigging is an effective but exhausting  style of fishing. We fished some deep wreck most of the day in over 200 feet. Dropping the jigs to the bottom and yanking them up at a high rate of speed. The bight is very aggressive and the fish can be extremely powerful. Jigging is not for the faint of heart. I was proud of my crew and all the effort they put in. We stated steady then caught fire catching fish so fast the boys needed breaks between drops. At days end we had landed countless jacks Bonita and even one monster Red snapper.

Shark Attack

This morning as we were catching Yellowtail snappers we had a few Lemon sharks lurking 30 feet or so behind the boat. Swimming in and amongst our Yellowtails. Every time we hooked a snapper it was a race to get the fish in before it became shark food. Once we had our snappers along with a dozen nice sized Blue Runners in the livewell we set off to a wreck in 300 feet. Sharks are always present at every single spot I have ever fished here in the Florida Keys. When it come to shark there are few places with the shear size and verity we have here.

We hooked up right away on our first drift as we got to the wreck. To our dismay we were greeted again and again by the sharks not able to get a whole fish to the boat. We landed a few jacks before waving the white flag and moving to another wreck to only meet the same problem once more. We did land a few but, paid a heavy tax this morning before heading home to clean what was left of our catch.

Action and a black bonus

Today was a great day on the water. We had calm seas clear skies and the fish were hungry. We started and stayed our whole morning on the reef in about 60 feet. We started off by catching lots of Yellowtail snappers. We then caught a few Nurse sharks along with some pesky Barracudas that had been eating our snappers. Shortly before the end our our morning half we landed a beautiful Black grouper and a few nice Mangrove snappers. Very close to our limit of snappers we headed home to beautiful Key West Florida in time for lunch.

go big or go home

I ran a charter this morning with a few awesome friends of Cory the son of Alberto who I had fished with the day before. We had intended to head right back out and catch Mutton snapper as we had so easily the day before. The ocean had different plans however. The fish had moved on and the the bite we previously had was dead. We immediately switched gears and settled the boat on a section of deep reef that always has big Yellowtail snapper and Back grouper.

We fished really hard and after some blood sweat and tears we got exactly what we came for. We had huge snappers just behind the boat all 3 lb or more. We fished hard bottom for grouper and lost a few nice Black groupers in the bottom. with just minutes left before heading home we hit the jackpot. Jett Perry a friend of Corey’s hooked a monster and maxed out himself and the fishing tackle to best and near 35 lb Black grouper. We all cheered and hugged as we had been working for this fish for almost the last 4 hours. After taking tons of pictures we stuffed the fish in the ice and headed home to Key West Florida.