Saturday, November 04, 2006

Florida Keys Fishing - When it Blows It Sucks!

Lost two trips this weekend to the weather. Heck, it's only blowing thirty out of the northeast! Seams all my old customers have taken to wearing skirts. Well I guess it's time for a quick fishing report and some reminiscing.

The report is the fish are here, the fishermen aren't. Great mixed bags are back in the bay, snapper, grouper, cobia, jewfish, big mackerel and the usual suspects. The flats have slowed down with the temperature drop, but will pick up around the next moon. Sailfish, tuna and still a few dolphin offshore. Reef fishing is good, with Yellowtail, mutton and mangrove Snapper cooperating nicely. Grouper fishing has been a little slow, but that just because I haven't been out there charter fishing. I have a few little fishing holes that are hot this time of year. So put your pants back on and let's go on a little fishing charter.

Now let's reminisce, This time three years ago I had a mate Chris (last name with held because I'm brain dead), that I was training. We had a charter with two really nice older gentlemen that had been planing the trip for a bunch of years. After saving they finally came up with enough money to come to the fabulous Florida Key and go on a once of a life time blue water big game fishing safari. One of the gents want to go sailfishing, the other wanted grouper fishing. That's doable out of Marathon, but a little tough on a half day charter.

I told the guys we would try a little sailfishing on the way to one of my grouper hole off Bahia Honda. Thirty minutes from the dock, we crossed the reef and I spotted a Frigate Bird pounding the deck. I put the Topaz in the corner and told Chris to get ready. We were loaded for bear, a couple hundred big lively pilchards in the bait tank. Running to the Frigate, I was seeing single and double sailfish in the water. I started thinking I was nuts passing these fish, but I wanted to see what that bird was on.

We finally caught up with the bird and it was worth it! I told Chris to flip a bait in the water and backed the boat down on nine sailfish balling a school of cigar minnow. As I counted the fish out to Chris, who had never caught a sail, much less seen this many balling, got a touch excited. The first bait, he cast so hard it came off the hook and went about 40 yards straight up in the air. I shook my head while he watched the bait go up, stop, and fall back in the cockpit. Then he got a big dip of pilchards and dumped them on the deck. Manage to corral one and flung that bait off too.

I climbed down out of the tower, baited another rod and flipped it in the water. As I handed the rod to the closest angler, I told him to close the bail and catch a fish, then climbed back in the tower. Chris, by this time, managed to get two more baits in the water with baits still on the hook. Now we had three sailfish on and only two anglers. I told Chris to just stick the third rod in a holder and help the anglers. These where slob sailfish and we were fishing 20# spinners with only 8 foot leaders, so it took a while. The first fish came to the boat about 45 minutes later. Chris billed the sail like a pro and posed it with the angler while I took pictures from the tower. They released the sail and after a few hand shakes and pats on the back, Chris put that rod in a tower holder. I mentioned to Chris that it might be a good idea to hand the angler the other rod. Now we are back to two sailfish on. We managed to boat all three, but the camera ran out of film after the second.

I called down from the tower to see if they want to go grouper fishing now, but my bottom fisherman decided that sailfishing was OK after all. I the next hour, we boated one more sail, a couple of big jack crevalle and jumped off three more sailfish. Then it was time to head back to the dock. Chris mentioned mounting a sail or two to the anglers. At the dock, the angler that had boated three of the four fish asked me if it was worth mounting. After mentioning to him that three slob sailfish in a half day was a bit better than average, sailfish the size we boated are a bit rare and that he may never get a chance to repeat a trip like that he got a mount.

I could not hear their conversation driving from the tower. Chris told me that there was to be three anglers but one of their friends had died a few months earlier. They were just going on about how he would have loved that trip. By the way, that's Chris on the right.

No comments:

Post a Comment