Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Making comments can be a PITA

Because there are lots of computers with too much bandwidth on their hands most blogs get spammed a lot.  So I had to add reCAPCHA which is a program to figure out if a comment is from a computer PITA or just a regular human, PITA or not.  Things went along pretty well for a while, but now I am finding out some folks have trouble with reCAPTCHA.

I have trouble with it myself at times so there is a too hard thingy you can click to try and find something easier.  Most of the time you don't have to get one completely right, just right enough for the program to figure out you might be human.  Now they have a new version that lets you pick out pictures.  It says something like click on all pictures containing pasta and then shows a picture of something containing pasta which you cannot click on.  You just click on two or three pictures that will let you click and contain past and you are golden.  There are six pictures most of the time so make sure you look at them all.  There is a audio option if you don't like pictures.  Personally, the audio option sucks, but you might be able to figure it out.

There isn't much I can do about the security thing.  Even a non nondescript little blog link mine get targeted by some asshole somewhere and reCAPTCHA is the easiest to use that is comparable with my blog service.  You can simplify things a bit by having some account that is listed, Google, AIM etc., but anonymous is the easiest for most folks.  Since the blog provider is Google, if you have a Google account things should go easier.  If you use anonymous though and want me to know who you are using anonymous just sign or type you name in your comment.

I kinda have it set up so you can leave pictures and videos in the comments with the old version of html coding.   [img]your-image-url[/img],  (without the italics and such) This might help some folks and make it easier to add photos to older blog posts after the crew gets home. Lots of times I don't post about specific trips because I don't have any photos, so if you add a photo or two or email me I can create a post just for your pictures, videos or what ever you have to add. Google Picasa is a free online photo storage service and youtube is the best for videos.  I haven't test a Youtube yet, so you might have to tweak the url a bit.

If you follow this link to a post where I tested things you will see it don't work all the time.  Most folks btw end up with the better pictures after a fishing 101 trip.  Yesterday was a disaster for example partially because the rental boat bottom finder didn't work and there was a lot of boats working the same weedline.  We could have had more dolphin, but part of fishing 101 is figuring out how to catch them which generally means missing a few opportunities.  They guys yesterday will either figure out what not to do and catch fish or talk bad about me.  Such is life.  I do hope they get the bottom finder working though because out of Coco Plum I don't have and bullet proof honey holes for bottom fish without a working bottom finder.  Closer to the bridge there are plenty, but the current or lack of current can make the Coco Plum are a challenge.

Anyway I hope this helps folks.

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, May 11, 2015

West Central Florida Crew Vacation Pics








Your basic May fishing 101 results.  Generally, the day I take guys out they don't catch as much as they do on their own afterwards.  That is because the Fishing 101 is a tour kinda thing and we don't spend time hammering stuff.  After they get a taste of what different kinds of fishing can produce, then they plan their day.

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, May 07, 2015

Fishing the past week



Update:  The fishing 101 crew sent some photos of their last couple of days.


With the from that came through over last weekend and the full moon I have been struggling.  Off shore there are dolphin that are nice size, but they have that finicky thing going on.  You find a floater of a tight weed line and you can pick up one maybe two on a pass.  Most of the time we didn't get any followers so we had to stick with the troll hunt a peck.  Today on the lady Catherine we got 13 in the box plus a couple of tuna,  Most were heavy lifters light gaffers, the biggest two might have gone 10 pounds.   Not great but better than a good number of boats.

Yesterday on a guide trip, we picked up two swingers and saw a few sailfish, but headed in early for some patch fishing.  On the patches and rock piles if you didn't have fresh shrimp it was Gruntsville.   With shrimp though..


My phone battery died so I didn't get any photos, this is on the Wednesday crew emailed, but I will try to post any that get emailed to me.

The weather should be good for the next few days and the bite should pick up.


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

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dolphin Bite Getting Hot

As I mentioned in the last post, if the winds lay down a little so boats can cover some ground the dolphin bite should pick up.  They did and it did.  Quite a few really nice size fish and full boxes are starting to hit the dock.  Capt. Dave for example had a trip yesterday that produced a number of gaffers plu a forty pound big fish.  Capt. Bob Brown has had a few back to back trips with nearly full boxes of gaffers/heavy swingers plus a fish or two over forty.  Most of the kids have been sailfishing, it the Key West tourney and got some nice checks btw, but I expect they will be hitting the dolphin after their celebratory hangovers subside.  There is never a guarantee that you will whack them, but with winds under 10 knots you have a much better chance of finding fish especially, if you are on a smaller boat.  I am open until the first of May if you are having any difficulties and are close to Marathon.   I have had some requests for trips out of Key Largo and such, but that is a bit outside my normal stomping grounds so I recommended guys with a bit more local knowledge.

The reason I am sitting is likely due to the grouper season nonsense.  As you may know, Gag grouper have issues in the Atlantic north of Daytona and Red Grouper have issues in the Gulf north of Tampa.  Since the Keys are stuck in the middle we get nailed by both fisheries management groups and they close down ALL grouper in the Keys from January until May unless you are close enough to run into the Gulf where you can hit Red Grouper, then you get April back.

Since the daily temperatures have gotten in the mid 80s I broke down and stowed the winter clothes and got the air conditioners running.  While I was at it I looked at a few of the projects.  didn't do anything, but I did look at them which means I might restart a few.

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, April 18, 2015

More Family Fun Fun

I got a call yesterday from a young father of two that took his wife, two young daughters and another couple fishing for dolphin and managed to bore the hell out of them.  So I showed him how to keep it simple, catch fish and keep the short attention span crew happy.  There is a lot to be said for simple.  Now the family fun stuff will never impress the big game crowd, but it has its place.

The family fun trip netted about 8 hogfish, a porgie or two, a few yellowtail, a trigger and a lot of releases including one huge boxfish.    It was dinner and a show kinda thing which satisfied the admirals.


I think it was a cowfish, but I have never seen a three pound cowfish before so it might be one of the more exotic varieties.  If they email me a photo I will put that up, but for now it was big and an usual.  That photo is off of Wikipedia and you can follow the link to learn more about the photographer and the alleged Humpedback Boxfish.

The reason I post this is because offshore has been hero or zero.  There have been some very impressive dolphin catches provided you find that magic trip saving floater.  There has also been some impressive sailfish bites, but nothing I can report on that someone might actually be able to match.  However, the winds are laying down a bit so boats can cover more ground which cuts down on the luck factor.  Family dolphin trips with small kids can be a disaster if you actually want your significant other and offspring to enjoy the trip enough to do it again.  So if you plan a family dolphin trip I recommend having some knocker rigs and frozen shrimp as a backup bait should the crew start looking mutinous.

Back up plans are as or more important than plan A.  If you have a big boat with an air conditioned cabin, full bar and galley plus a reasonable dvd library for the appropriate age groups, plans B through Z are not such a big deal.  On a center console though, catching something is pretty much mandatory.  While dropping balleyhoo chunks or squid for last minute trip savers normally works, shrimp is a sharper tool to have around for the short attention span set down here in the Keys.

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, April 13, 2015

This Year's Fishing Product Test



Last year I got two Sea Striker Aries spinning combos at a pretty fair discount and tested them out.  the reels hung in there just fine despite a complete lack of maintenance which is part of the testing.   One of the graphite rods broke while we were fishing for big bottom fish with the drags cranked down.  Graphite rods are great, but they really are pushing the limit in order to get that light weight and fast action, so all it takes is a nick, like say from banging the hell out of the tee top a few times and they are subject to break.  If you buy a big name brand you can send the rod back and get it replaced most of the time, but it can cost some shipping and handling and other hidden stuff along with the time out of service.  Lots of people go that route, but being excessively frugal, I rather just get a cheap replacement.

The Sea Striker combos cost me $75 dollars a piece and I still have one in great shape and switched the reel to another cheap rod so I never missed a beat.  For $31 I can get another matching rod, but when looking I found out I could get another outfit for about the same price.

So pictured are the excessively frugal spinning combos.  The rods are by Sea Striker which I got for $13 each and the reels are a Chinese knock off model DK6000 whatever that means.  I spooled them up with Berkley Big Game clear of course 15 pound line so I have some very light yellow tail/patch/rockpile rods which I only have to tie a hook on in order to catch fish.  The clear 15 pound works just about as well as flourocarbon when it is brand new which saves a lot of rigging time.

Just like last year I am going to fish these til something breaks and not bother breaking them down for maintenance.  With shipping, tax and line, a little over 200 yards each, each outfit cost less than $35.

Don't expect to get a matching outfit for the same price I paid.  I happened to get lucky on the rods which generally sell for $30 online and $60 in your local "discount" fishing/athletic department stores.  The reels though are easy to find, just no one in their right mind would buy one based on the goofy Chinese attempts at marketing.  If the Chinese could get a better interpreter, they would sell more but I have been studying English for a while now and still haven't got it down, so I understand their predicament.

The ads for these reels list things like 11 or 12 ball bearings plus one and things like they are carp catching machines.  The reels I bought actually have two ball bearings in the normal sense of the term and two bushings, with a respectable front drag and composite body.  The composite body will have some flex if you confuse the reel with a winch, but then the other trial combo reels had the same issue.  Not really a problem in my opinion, but it does turn some folks off.  I though can live with the flex thanks to the weeks worth of groceries price difference.  That would be compared to just a mid range reel like say a Penn Battle which retails for around $125 the last time I looked.

 I do have two larger Chinese knockoffs on order, $15 each including shipping from the Far East that should hold close to 300 yards of 20# line, but I haven't decided on what cheap but sexy looking rod to pair with them yet.  It is hard to find a 15-30# rod that is graphite and inexpensive, relatively speaking with the full cork handle.

Fishing wise my book is open other than a family fun half day on the Lady Catherine tomorrow.  The winds are predicted to be borderline PITA for the next week so I doubt I will get many calls until they calm down a bit.  Since the Easter rush is over I haven't seen many reports from the locals and most of the snowbirds are packing to head back north again.

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