Sunday, July 22, 2007

Season is Winding Down

Now that the lobster season is getting ready to open, the fishing season for charter captains and guide starts to slow down. Which really doesn't make much sense to me. This is the time of the year when we have some of the best catches. While April and May are known for being peak months for dolphin (mahi mahi), it is July through September that we have the best weather to chase these fish meaning more tuna, wahoo and marlin are caught this time of the year. The Humps are about a half hour closer than normal because you can run faster in the light seas. For those wanting to streach their legs, the Cay Sal bank is accessible for Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and other critters if you want to spend a few more bucks on fuel.

On the reef, the flag yellowtail are biting and you have the best chance of catching a more diverse variety of other fishing while stocking the freezer with fresh snapper. Of course there are slow days, but with the light winds, you can normally make quicker runs to find other things to do if one bite is slow.

This is the time of the year to hit the Gulf wrecks for Cobia, Permit and Goliath Grouper for those silly enough to want to tangle with one. The Goliath are catch and release only. Larger fish are not to be lifted out of the water so no more photos with the big girls (thank goodness because those suckers are heavy). Permit are also catch and release only on my boat unless you have a potential record fish. While it is rare, my customers have hooked a potential record or two. In addition, there are a variety of other species including blackfin tuna that might show.

So while the fishing season may be winding down the fishing is not. After the second week in August, after the buggers are gone, is a great time to tangle with some big fish. If you like, you can even add a few Florida Lobster to the box for dinner.

Tight Lines,

Captain Dallas

Monday, July 02, 2007

More Fishing 101

Considering the full moon, we had a good trip yesterday. I was disappointed with the yellowtail bite though. On two of my favorite spots the tails were all mixed up with shorts and barely legals. Normally, we would have plenty of fat 14 to 18 inchers with very few shorts. We could have kept a bunch of 12 1/2 to 13 inchers, but that's like robbing the cradle. Still everybody caught fish and there was enough for dinner with the snake king mackerel thrown in.

The rubble pile was pretty hot but the big fish won. We lost six or eight bigger fish to the wreck and/or toothy critters. The bigger tails were biting when we first got to the rubble pile, but the king mackerel moved in and ruined the tail bite. Still, it was fun hooking up with the Kings even though most of them managed to either bite above the wire leader or got ate by something else. Brandon, boated the King for dinner (about 28 inches) and his brother Dillon managed to get in an 18 inch tail. A big wake broke the anchor loose or we would have stayed longer to try and even up the score with the big critters that were making us look bad.

We missed the current in Hawk Channel so we didn't get any big lane snapper. Still there was plenty of action for about 45 minutes with short red grouper and one just short mutton snapper (Dillon's first which he was pretty proud of).

Anywho, the crew caught fish and learned some new areas to fish and eat here in Marathon.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas