Friday, May 27, 2016

May '16 Roundup


I try to avoid tarpon trips mainly because of this.  You get out there sometimes and you get to see thousands of tarpon not wanting to bite.  If you fish tarpon a lot you get into the crazy bites, but just going once and a while and during the normal 8:00 to 4:00 schedule you can get skunked.  I believe the bite on this day started around 6:00 which is pretty normal, a strong bite from 8:00 to 4:00 is fairly abnormal, but you get to see plenty of fish that are not biting.

Since most of my clients rent boats and rental boats are not allowed out after dark, I rarely get a chance to fish the peak times for tarpon.  When I get to change the schedule I do all right, but I have had a large number of crack of dawn starts turn into crack of noon starts thanks to Duval Street and finding lots of live bait not being so lively, a lot like the clients that did the Duval Crawl.

In any case, the tarpon bite has been hot for them that are dedicated to fishing for tarpon.  Crabs are the primary bait now that it is May, but when they are biting they will eat just about anything.

As usual most of my trips were more generic catching/drinking excursions designed to avoid rough water.  Thanks to the luck of the draw, I didn't get offshore the past two weeks which has also been a pretty good bite provided you are willing to travel a good bit.  The Gulf Stream has been spending more time well South than normal so some of the "hot" spots aren't.  I heard the Islamarada Hump was dead for a few days so the Islamarada gang was fishing the 409 hump and the Marathon gang was having to go a bit past the wall.  There are plenty of fish in closer but you have to be a bit luckier than normal when the current is dead.  Because of this a lot of charters are doing the deep drop routine or hitting Mutton wrecks to make their day.  Nothing wrong with having plans b through d to fall back on.

Booking has been a torment as usual.  More walk-ups than prebooks but such is life.  We are moving into the "easy" offshore season when the ocean seems to be full of schoolie dolphin.  My last few offshore trips have been nothing but gaffers, meaning not a lot of fish but a lot of good fish, and now it will become lots of fish and not a lot of "good" fish requiring a gaff to get into the boat.  Its all good.

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 05, 2016

Fun Offshore

While everyone else is fishing for grouper it seems, we had an offshore trip yesterday.  Over all it was slow but the fish were worth it.  In spite of losing two dolphin that would have gone over 20 pounds, we still ended up with four nice dolphin to twenty, all gaffers, a pair of Skipjack tuna, one nice Blackfin tuna and a tripletail.  One of the dolphin was caught on a fly rod while trying to get tripletail.

We saw a good number of fish following lures that didn't eat and it was just rough enough to make it a challenge.  We had a bit of Bermuda Triangle phone and camera day so about 30 minutes of video was lost along with one of the 20+ pound dolphin being fought on light spinning tackle.  Even the first set of photos at the dock didn't take but the customers did get a few which they said they will email me :)  We'll see, but it is pretty rare for them to remember.

The electronics issues were likely due to salt spray.  While it wasn't really rough the wind and seas were sporty enough to keep everyone fairly wet during the day.  The little Lady Catherine is a dry boat most of the time but with the front coming through the southwest winds proved there is no such thing a dry center console.  The highlight of the trip was a white 55 gallon drum that had nothing but large Tripletail holding on it that we found on the way in.  We managed to hook one of the Tripletails before a school of gaffer dolphin mugged us.  Damn the bad luck :)

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, April 28, 2016

It's not all fishing


Hey, sometimes they want to swim with the fishes.  The water temperature isn't over 80 yet so most of the swimmers are tourists.  Visibility was okay, about 40 foot or so.  They got about two hours at Sombrero Key Light, then an hour at Molasses Key Beach for lunch and cruise along the Seven Mile Bridge aboard the Little Lady Catherine.  I thought the fish would show better in the photo, but what the heck.

The weather is getting a bit more predictable and the fish along with it, so I should get busier pretty soon.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tough Tuna

I don't know why the Gulf Stream had to wander 36 nm south of the light but it sure made getting a Black Fin Tuna request filled today.



Plenty of small Skip Jack around and a few good size skippies, but only one Black Fin Tuna at the Marathon Hump.  Found a couple of great floaters with nothing happening.  I had hoped to get Mr. Black Fin out of the way early and try some of the Mutton Snapper spots, but such is life.  Anywho, scratch Black Fin Tuna off one bucket list.

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fishing 101 Student Photos




Ray and crew set some photos of their latest trips.  Lots of Tuna, nice reef mixed bag and some AJs.


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

The Slammer Dolphin search continues

We worked all the way out to the wall, over 1000 feet of water yesterday and nary a sign of big dolphin.   I noticed that a few charter boats found one or two in close while fishing for other things but I didn't see enough weeds and floaters offshore to really target the big fish quite yet.

We hit the Marathon hump again with two boats pulling darts and combined for about 20 tuna.  The Blackfin are mixed in with the Skippies.  There were around 30 boats fishing the Hump and yesterday most were hooking up.  I worked the top of the Hump for a while since the boats out there yesterday were a bit more organized and the other boat worked the outside.  We did a little better but not enough to write home about.  We also found tuna a few miles west of the Hump under birds so if you don't want to fight the crowd you can do your own thing and save a little fuel.

I noticed that all the tuna caught were filled with krill so it might be fun to drift some shrimp on light spinning gear if you  want some exercise.  If you are really looking for a workout, yesterday you could have hooked up with a fly rod without too much trouble.  For bigger fish though, live white bait in 200 to 300 foot of water is probably your best bet.  I am a fan of easy so unless I can get bait quick, dragging lures works just fine.

Since we have an iffy weather forecast and the gang will be here all week, I probably won't fish today.  A number of the crew have tarpon on their bucket lists and right now the tarpon bite is pretty spectacular, so they are likely to give that a shot this evening.  Pinfish have hooked most of the tarpon from what I hear but there are mullet around which are never a bad thing to have tarpon fishing.

As usual, I managed to not get any good photos and as usual I have been promised plenty, but time will tell.

 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