Friday, June 15, 2007

So Where's the Gaff?

I have been doing the fishing 101 thing for nearly eight years now out of Marathon. In that time I have gotten pretty good at making do with whatever is at hand to catch fish. While I have a pretty good checklist, sometimes the crews bring so much stuff that I don't get everything. Today, about 12 miles off the beach I noticed that we didn't have a gaff.

About ten minutes later we hook up a thirty pound dolphin. While my angler Troy fights the fish I am trying to figure out just how the heck am I going to get the fish in the boat. I make a tail rope for the fish just in case I can get the fish to play nice.

The fish of course doesn't want to play nice. So I start thinking I am going to have to lip the fish. Normally, I have a pair of pretty heavy gloves in my bag, but since the boat was so overloaded with gear, I left my tackle bag at the dock.

Grabbing a hand towel, I lip my first thirty pound dolphin. This is not a technique I recommend. While it worked, it was not exactly fun. Anyhow, here is a photo of my first bass handled dolphin.

Back at the dock, a buddy uses his Bocagrip to weight the fish. Twenty-nine pounds at the dock. I mention that the Bocagrip could have come in handy. My angler Troy, says, "Oh! I have one of those on the boat."

Oh well, Troy has now ordered a mount for his personal best dolphin which was fifty-seven inches long. Troy seems to have enjoyed fishing the Florida Keys even without a gaff.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June So Far Report

It has been a little weird for June so far. The dolphin are more of a challenge than normal. Peanuts are every where, but keepers are tough to find. More of the captains are taking deep drop gear to help ensure no skunk trips. I have been heading to the reef early if the dolphin bite sucks.

On the reef the tails have been biting good if you have a desent current and we have been getting a few nice mutton snapper. So use a little heavier tackle tailing because many of the muttons are hitting the yellowtail baits. With the price of fuel right now I have been steering most of my customers towards reef fishing and keeping an eye offshore.

Some pretty good size Cero mackerel are on the reef so have some short whire leaders if you want mackerel for dinner or fun.

Ballyhoo are showing up in the chum slick most days on the reef. If you cast net a few dozen livies, try slipping off to the color change and do some live bait drifts. A few good dolphin are being picked up this way and even some sailfish.

The grouper bite at Marathon sucks! I am going to have to check out some Bahia Honda numbers to see if they are still around.

Tight lines,


P.S. Big mutton snapper love live ballyhoo. Drop one back in your slick to see if they are chewing.