Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ribs are on Sale! Ribs are on Sale!

 So what the heck, sounds like time for standing pork ribs with Cuban garlic bread on the old gas grill.  I have been on light duty the past couple of days which is fine with me.  Part of the fam is down staying at Sugarloaf to do the bug thing and stopped by to pick up a few Darts for a Dolphin expedition prior to serious bugging.
I also picked up the yaks which have been out playing for a few weeks.  If you look carefully you might notice that the 375 also has new crystal clear head lamps.  Ebay can be amazing at times.  In addition to new head lamps the rear window lift gate has new gas struts and a rod rack bar so all the fishing gear fits in.  All of that for less than a hundred bucks. Once I install a new deep cycle battery and the 1200 watt inverter (60 bucks), the beater will double as a back-up generator should we get any serious storms this season.  That 1200 Watts will actually power the fridge, entertainment stuff and both ACs believe it or not.  Since I had to make the drug test run to Taveneir I got to check the beater's gas mileage which is a little over 23 mpg on the road and about 17 mpg just doing the around the island thing.

Fishing wise the Mangrove bite is still on day and night or more accurately, early morning and night, plus the tuna, dolphin and sailfish are pretty close to the reef.  That said, my next four scheduled trips are all bug related.  The first part of August is already filled with trips fishing and to the VA doctors.  Typically things die down after Labor Day so the projects will get more attention then.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day Off

I fished the last few days but no pictures.  Yesterday I was too busy driving the boat to photograph the tuna, mainly skippies that came over the side or the huge flocks of birds working the mix of Tuna, Dolphin and sailfish every where from the reef to about 600 foot of water.  It changes day to day, but the ocean offshore of Marathon is quite alive with lots of critters that may want to play.

Sharks are also crashing the party so the Mutton dropping at least East of the light is not all that productive.  We did catch a genuine (American Red Snapper) which is kind of rare and a spawn Mangrove on one of the Mutton spots.  We lost to the sharks a couple of likely photogenic fish that they wanted more than we did.

My old body is a bit pissed at me at the moment so I am going to be lazy today since I have a stretch of dive and fishing trips scheduled for the next week.  Mini-season is here and I am booked mainly for the scouting trips before the 30 and 31st spiney slaughter proper.

I think I am in the running for procrastinator of the year award.  I have dabble with a few of my projects, mainly installing new head light assemblies on the 375, but  parts and/or supply delays sound like a good excuse for the bus and boat.  Since August and September, the dead of the dead months are around the corner, they may not take priority until then.

This week the plumbers are tearing up my side of the RV park and have dug a nice salt water swimming hole just in front of V20.  They will be tearing up the back side of the RV some time soon, then after the destruction I will relocate my work/hobby shop back into the back 40 where they belong.

The guys sticking with Mangroves mainly have been cleaning up the past week.  A very early AM start can produce a box full of fish and be back at the dock before 10:00 which is nice this time of year.  It is a lot easier for me to get up at 3 AM than it is to stay up to 3 AM so after the bug blast I will likely do some Mangrove expeditions.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tagging the Bear


Part of being a fishing consultant which is just an old fart that has done a lot of fishing, is basic instruction in old school fishing stuff.  On a big sportfisherman that is rigged for bear there are a lot of bells and whistles that hardly ever get used.  Take those pretty Penn International 30 and 50 wides along with the big cow bell and bullet head Wahoo lures.  I had suggested to the owner that he try fishing the back side of the stream off the Cay Sal bank if he wanted to find a fish or two worthy of breaking out the heavy stuff.

Back side or other side fishing, grew popular out of Port Canaveral where fishing rocket scientists ran into fishermen wanting to tangle with Tuna.  By tweaking a high end radar properly, a fisherman could get a fairly good tuna bird target making the longer than normal trips worth the effort.  The Cabo we were fishing had all the bells and whistles only the radar couldn't quite do the birder thing.

Anywho, since we were going the back side with the old eyeballs only I asked the owner where his tag lines were for the tag line returns installed on his outrigger.  That is the subject of today's post, tagging the bear.

A tag line on an outrigger is a heavy line that you rubber band typically your out rigger line to while high speed trolling the big ugly lures you never use.  The real reason for tag lines seems to vary from marina bar to marina bar, but basically the tags reduce nuance knockdowns, set those big assed hooks in the bag ass lures you never use and reduce drop back after hook set.  So when you are trolling at around 10 knots you can enjoy so tropical adult refreshments without having to reset out rigger lines constantly.

Tag lines can be a pain in the ass, but a large part of fishing for "trophy" offshore fish is dealing with the  PITA and expensive.   Tournament quality offshore fishing isn't for the weak of heart or light of wallet.  Trolling a 35 foot Cabo at 10 knots sucks down around 10 gallons of $4.50 to $9.50 a gallon in fuel per hour with the average Mr. Big strike coming around once every 30 hours.  For that reason many elect to fish for Mr. Not-so-big and the tasty Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo that like to break the monotony while fishing for Mr. Big.

To reduce the tag line PITA here is a link to an Australian blog with pretty pictures and a nice video or two.   What is missing though is proper Mr. Big trolling accessories. Typically, a nice mixed fruit bowl, cheese and cold cut platter with a variety of tropical adult refreshments is required to truly appreciate the elegance of "Blue Water Fishing" with the wides.   It is also nice to have a token young stud to clear lines and wire fish.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Different Days

 Since my last office view picture didn't turn out all that great here is a new one.  That is a pretty fair size patch of Sargasso Weed.
 I sometimes get request to swim with the dolphins.  My version doesn't include Flipper.
This is what the dolphin look like going on ice.

I don't have any pictures of yesterday.  Why?  Because it inhaled deeply.  Today though the fish bit and we even bailed schoolies.  I did see a few large fish but not behind the boat.  Still, if you are looking to fill the freezer, today you could have yesterday not so much.  That is just the way the bite has been since the last full moon.

Tomorrow I get to drive to Key Largo to take a piss test so I can mate on a boat as a favor.  That is your government in action folks.  Let's make the minimum wage guys pay through the nose so some warm and fuzzy idiots can think they have helped to save the world from something.  Why am I bitchin"?  It is supposed to be a random drug testing program.  The owners and operators should bear the cost burden not some schmuck trying to be nice.


Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weak in Review

DOB is definitely catching up with me.  Fished the 6th on Lady Catherine then had an afternoon quick tour with a new Fishing 101 customer.  Then fished the 7th on Lady Catherine, the 9th was a Fishing 101, then an AM half day on the 11th followed by a 6:00PM to midnight snapper trip.  What would be  a normal week for local captains has my tail dragging.

Fishing was so so.  Lots of fish but getting the ones that the customers want is a bit of a challenge  with all the blue runners, peanuts and assorted pest fish.  Then last nigh,t along with the snapper, came a shark of considerable size that was hungry.  Instead of limiting out and getting in early we had for fight for a little over half of the limit.  In the dark and fairly rough seas, we managed to lose several "trophy" fish to the bottom, tangled lines and the swim platform.  The two customers did get a memorable fishing expedition though with a dozen pretty fat snapper and sunset photos for evidence.

Since I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew, anyone with a USCG masters license and a reliable alarm clock can apply for assistant part time Lady Catherine bus driver so I can have a longer recovery period.    The pay is not great and you have to work your butt off, but that is just part of living the dream :)

It believe that I will be totally lazy today until some of the throbbing subsides.  Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Office View



When I took this picture I thought the weed line would show better.  Guess not.  Any who, this a view from one of my current office windows aboard the Lady Catherine.   We ran a couple of dolphin trips ending yesterday.  The crew had a good time with action even though we didn't find any slammers.  With all the small dolphin, Little Tunny and various Jacks, the birds are not much help locating the monsters.  Even in close though there is normally enough legal fish to make the trip worth while.

I also had an audition on a 50 foot Bertram needing a more regular Captain.  I am not really looking for a permanent big boat gig so if you happen to know anyone that is let them know that there are a couple of slots open here in Marathon.

Despite my most sincere desire to not commit to night fishing trips since there is always that possible day booking, I will be doing just that if the weather holds in a few days.  An AM reef followed by a 6:00 PM midnight snapper trip.  I am getting way to old to do that very often.  As it is I had a full day offshore followed by a two hour boating 101 the day before yesterday.   So projects are starting to back up while fishing takes the lead.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas