Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Slow Day Yesterday

There is a guy on the Florida Sportsman fishing forum that wants guys to post about slow trips as well as good trips. Generally that is bad for business, but I will post about one anyway. The forecast was for the winds to pick up early and the boat we were on was an 18 foot whaler. So the reef was pretty much out of the picture. Then my job was to teach them how to get around and basic fishing techniques used in the Keys.

That went well, but the fishing was slow. Mike and crew caught enough Lane and Mangrove snapper for dinner and strawberry grouper that was big enough to put in the box. Also caught a big yellow jack which is one of the few jacks I recommend trying. The bite was slow until the front came through then it died completely.

All told we only caught about ten different species of fish. That is pretty low for the types of fishing we tried. We did lose a couple of bigger fish to the rocks and had a larger fish break the line with its tail. Mike's dad had the larger fish nearly whipped when it broke the line. Never got a good look at the fish, but dad had a good time until that point.

The day before I fished with Chicago Joe. The sailfish plan didn't pan out so we hit a rock pile in Hawk Channel. We caught a few nice snapper and a lot of other fish that we didn't keep. Joe got one big hit on his heavier rod and quickly got spooled for some excitement. We could have caught a lot more, but a bottle nose dolphin and her calf decided to steal our fish. That doesn't happen very often. When it does it is fun to watch for a while, but the bite goes to hell.

So there you have two slow days in a row. Both days they caught enough for dinner, learned a few things and had a good time.

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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Plethora of Porgies

The reef is still over run with mackerel and blue runners so we move to the seven mile bridge to try for some big mangroves. We hit the bridge right at the beginning of slack tide which can be difficult. We got a little lucky and had a steady bite of good size porgies in the 1.5 to 2 pound range. Actually it was the best porgy bite I had to date in the Keys. Only manage one nice mangrove and fat yellowtail though because there were so many porgies.

Not a problem though because Chicago Joe and crew know how good porgies eat. All of the porgies were caught on live shrimp though they would have bitten about anything yesterday. Today we are going to try a little offshore action. Hopefully I can put Joe on his first sail.

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, December 26, 2009

The Table is Nearly Ready!


Before I head out to do a little Yellowtail fishing with Chicago Joe I thought I would post the latest on the fish cleaning table. It looks good for production beginning the first of the year. The one in the photo is set up at the Seven Mile Marina for testing and display. I am pretty excited about this new product and all the captains that have seen it have nothing but good things to say about it.

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, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Not much planned today for myself. May go fishing with Chicago Joe or wait until tomorrow. The winds are dieing down so I will be fishing hard for the next five or six days to get a little jingle in my clothes.

If you like fast action and smoked fish come on down to play with the Spanish and/or Cero Mackerel. For those of you not familiar with Florida Keys mackerel fishing it is not uncommon to catch 10 to 12 fish per hour per person. Sometimes the fish can average over five pounds with my largest Spanish being about 12 pounds and my largest Cero about 20 pounds. On light spinning tackle these fish are a real hoot. Not every day is that great but it is pretty hard not to catch a bunch. BTW, Porky's will smoke your fish for a share of the dip.

For you guys in the frozen north country keep a look out for an article on Keys Mackerel fishing in the fisherman magazine. That was a slow day and the author Austin had a blast.

Merry Christmas everyone and have a prosperous new year.

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, December 23, 2009

Mackerel Bite Too Strong

Chicago Joe and crew wanted snapper yesterday. Unfortunately the cero and Spanish mackerel took charge of the slick along with hound fish, needle fish, blue runner, small Amberjack and a huge flock of seagulls. Frustrating to say the least but we did manage enough snapper, Mangrove and Yellowtail, plus a decent strawberry and red grouper to make a big dinner for the crew.

Not many other boats on the water yesterday but at least a few charters got off the dock. Ballyhoo are hard to find with the darn gulls so pesky. If you want to stock up on mackerel though, now is the time.

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, December 21, 2009

New Record Set, But Not a Good One

Chicago Joe and crew tried to fish with me yesterday. The winds the first thing in the morning didn't look that bad. Only they started picking up as we got ready to leave contrary to the weather report. Joe had gotten a tip at the bait store about a good snapper bite close to the shore. So we gave it a shot.

The water was very dirty and the seas just snotty enough to cause some spray. With the cold temperatures that was just enough to make in close to miserable. With nothing but short snapper at the secret spot miserable was becoming more possible.

We moved out to a Hawk Channel rock pile for so lane snapper. First fish was in the box right away. Nice, I though we could make a day out of it. Then the lanes got smaller and the bite died. We tried another rock pile and got decent porgy and a couple small mackerel. So we switch to free lining in the slick for more Macks. That is we we set the record. We caught and released five seagull! There were so may gulls in the slick we couldn't fish. Plus with the boat swing in the wind we were getting hung on the bottom nearly every drop. Now it was miserable so we called it a day.

We will have a do over when the wind lays down a little. 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, December 19, 2009

The Wedding


The wedding of Colleen and Jim went off without a hitch yesterday. Well maybe a little hitch or two.

Performing an outdoor wedding in a monsoon is a bit difficult so the event was hastily move in doors to the lobby of the Old Town Manor. The spacious lobby allow about forty of the attendees to witness the rites and still allow the wedding party cram in front with me plastered against the front wall. Of course as the time approached the sky cleared and the flood waters receded. That is supposed to be a good omen for what I hear.

This was Collen Jim and my first wedding considering our respective roles. Since I am not much of a public speaker I opted for metered liquid courage to relax the nerves and clear my wind pipe. For my part I did a perfect job other than deleting a couple lines, not waiting for the musician to finish and totally blowing my planned tempo. Still a wedding is a wedding so no one noticed other than the mother of the bride. When the newly weds get a chance to view the video I hope they still have a sense of humor.

The reception was of course postponed until today because of the monsoon that no longer existed. So I will probably head back to Key Weird for the great grub and the hopefully light scorn from the mother of the bride.

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Week Ahead

Lots of stuff going on this week. First I will be ring the Salvation Army bell at Publix from 12:00 to 2:00. That will be a first. Then Thursday and Friday I will be in Key Weird for a wedding rehearsal, then Friday I perform my first wedding. Saturday I fish for profit with one of my favorite regulars. Monday and Tuesday I fish with another of my favorite regulars.

Fishing has for the most part been outstanding for the few guys that have been getting out. I hope I haven't how to do it since it has been nearly a month since my last trip.

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

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fishing Guides What They Do?

They are different kinds of fishing guides in the Keys and elsewhere. Some specialize in types of fishing like back country, fly fishing, flats fishing, bridge fishing, bottom fishing et cetera. Some do a little bit of everything. I am one of the little bit of everything variety. Some parts I am very good at and some I know enough to help most anglers. Fly fishing about my worst area and I still have repeat customers that show up every year to add a new species to their list. I generally avoid tarpon fishing unless there is a really hot morning or afternoon bite.

My main thing as most know is teaching the basics of fishing in the Keys. From how to throw a cast net to how to catch sailfish. Since my trips normally don't include boat scrubbing or much of my own gear my rates are lower than most. In other words it is kinda of like fishing with your buddies instead of having paid mate to do everything. There are guys to do do the hired mate thing so they charge more.

I recently met a captain in Islamorada that does the hired mate thing that wants me to fish a few of his trips this year. So the rates for his trip will be variable depending on what the customer wants.

My current rate is $175 a day though I do give repeat customers some slack. The full bells and whistles guide trips will be $300 a day if you prefer to watch me load the boat, bait your hook, clean the boat clean the fish and everything else involved in a normal trip. So that leaves some room for dickering.

My type of guide service is best for guys that are new to the Florida Keys fishing experience and have their own boat and gear, are down for a few days or longer serious fishing vacation. The other is best for guys just planning a one day trip and don't know much about fishing in general or are just squeamish about dealing with bait and fish. Now don't get me wrong I am full service for the ladies and kids that need help on my regular trips.

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, December 11, 2009

Not Much to Post About

This season is taking forever to start in terms of tourists. The resident snow birds are moving back into town. They seem to be hiding in their vacation homes though. While I am pretty bummed about the slow start at least it isn't just me. Some of the most popular captains in Marathon have fished less than I have.

The reports I get are mainly great for snapper, mackerel and sailfish. The sailfish still require a bit of a run to find most days but they are out there. Also they have been shying away from heavier leaders. So start with 30 or 40 pound just in case. Bait is still thick every where with even some good size school of mullet spotted from time to time. Glass minnow for the guy with small mesh nets are pretty thick and the shrimp run on the last moon was productive for the night owls on the bridges.

I am getting a lot of people asking about bridge fishing. That is fishing from the bridge not me guiding to the bridge. Area bridges at night have been very product. My favorite bridge to recommend is the No Name bridge because you have great pizza, cold beer, live bait and good fishing all within walking distance. Tom's Harbor bridge is great fishing but it just ain't the same without good pizza.

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, December 05, 2009

I Added Dan's Slideshow



Dan that I took out last week wanted to learn how to catch sailfish and throw a castnet on live ballyhoo. From the pictures it looks like he listens pretty good.

Dan if you like you can leave a comment on your photos.

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgivings Day Week Report

I got some outstanding reports from yesterday. Bobby on the Pips 36 got into nice size wahoo to 40 pounds or so plus some nice snapper and a keeper red grouper. The wahoo were caught in 100 to 150 feet of water right out front. Paul and Dave on the Papa Pips when offshore and got a nice dolphin and some blackfins so offshore is still a bit slow but some fish what to play out there.

Down to the west near Bahia Honda the sailfish action picked back up for the guys with live bait. They were sight fishing for the sails in the 100 plus foot range. Bayside James a commercial fishing friend reported that the Spanish Mackerel are showing in good numbers. So that fishery should really start cracking with the next cool front.

At the bridge Jeff Knapp and Sam Nelson guided the Wild Welshman to a nice 120 pound tarpon plus a couple of juvies. That is pretty good for this time of the year indicating a great tarpon season should be on the way. I have already been seeing mullet in the boat basin and the pilchard are pretty thick as well. Bally hoo are just about everywhere as long as you can get the wind with the current.

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Plenty of Snapper but Sailfish Were Missing

Friday was a great day with Dan a fairly regular client. Dan wanted to learn a few things like how to throw a castnet and catch sailfish. The plan was to catch balleyhoo on the reef then hit the 100 to 200 foot range for sailfish. That was the plan anyway.

Well the wind was against the current so we couldn't get the balley hoo behind the boat at the first spot. We tried another with the same results. balleyhoo were everywhere except where I could get a net on them. Finally, I moved further to the west where we had a little more forgiving current. Dan wasn't into catching mangrove snapper but did enjoy playing with a good size Goliath Group AKA Jewfish. So I caught nice size mangroves for bait.

Dan hooked the Jewfish up twice but couldn't get him off the bottom. The first time the Jewfish pull his mangrove off the hook and a small amberjack hit the bear hook. Dan was pretty amazed at the bear hook thing and the fact we could have caught nice size mangroves all day long if he had wanted to. Anyway we finally caught a few live balley hoo and headed for the sailfish zone. We had an almost immediate strike but didn't hook up. With the cloud cover we could not identify what kind of fish it was but the bait was still intact. Then another strike on the same bait. The second strike was a toothy critter.

We finished that drift with no more action then came back for another drift after seeing a Frigate bird working on the edge of the reef. No strikes this time until we got ready to try another drift. Then Dan spotted something behind one of the baits. It turned out to be a Mola Mola or sunfish trying to eat the balley hoo. This was the smallest Mola I have ever seen only about 20 inches long. It was pretty comical watching the Mola try to catch the live bait. Dan got a picture which I hope he will email me.

After a couple more fruitless drifts we called it a day and headed back to the barn. After getting in I got some reports that the sails were biting good way to the West and way to the East. So Marathon got the short end of the bite on Friday. Things change every day so with any luck Dan should get a shot at a sail this week. I just hope they move into the sand again for him. It is a pretty amazing sight seeing sails busting bait in 30 foot of water.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sailfish in the Sand

The sailfish bite has fired off in Marathon. Bob Manske on the Pips 36 had a couple shots but the clients wanted to bottom fish so he spent a couple hours beside himself as the sails crashed bait all around the boat. Been there done that so I know the feeling.

While Bobbby was watching sails I discovered that a shovel really doesn't fit my hand anymore. But to help cover a small debt I back filled a ditch. About thirty years ago that would not have been a big deal. Now I am just a touch slower. So come on down and go fishing so I can get back to what I do pretty well. 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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Neatherlands Sportswriter Nico J. de Boer in the Keys

Yesterday was a short guide trip to show Mr. Nico J. de Boer and his lovely lady the Marathon area and Captain Pip's. We targeted fish that would hit artificials and flies during a short half day trip as he had another appointment in the afternoon. With the cold front the fish were a bit lethargic so the bite was slow. The afternoon would have been better as the sun warmed the waters up a bit around the flats. As it was we had to head out to the reef to get the barracuda for his photos.

We spotted several 'cuda's, sharks and some permit, but they just wouldn't take the artificial baits. So I had to resort to live bait to produce a decent size fish. Despite the slow bite they seemed to have had a great time and spoke highly of the Pip's experience. The clear water that it took me a while to find showed them the potential of the area's fishing.

The drop in temperature should push the Spanish Mackerel down withing the week and as mentioned in my last post the Mangroves are fat and hungry in the Bay. So later this week the bite should really heat up.

We saw several other boats fishing yesterday which has be a rarity of late. So things seem to really be picking up. No reports yet from the other guys out yesterday. I will fill that in later. 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, November 12, 2009

Finally a Fishing Report!



Photo thanks to Ray.

The wind cut us some slack yesterday and we actually got to fish. The water was still churned up around the bridge so the bay side was the only place to go. About eight miles back in the bay the water was clear enough to get a decent mangrove bite. Closer in the water was still off color with a weak bite.

The mangroves we got were very respectable in the 2.5 to nearly 4 pound range. We lost several larger fish to the wreck which would have made it a great trip had we boated them. Other than the Mangroves we had a few porgies, cero mackerel and jacks to pull the lines. The balleyhoo were thick and that was the bait that caught the bigger fish as usual.

We did have a first yesterday. One of my clients fell overboard. While there was abundant beer on board the cause of the MOB appeared to be more excitement related that alcohol related. Scott of course had his cell phone in his pocket.

The bite that we had ended as soon as the current started to slow down and the wind shifted to the west. So the afternoon part of the trip sucked other than poking fun at Scott.

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Blow is Nearly Over.

We have had a blow for the past few days that should be over hopefully tomorrow. I lost one trip to it but may be able to get one in tomorrow. The we can a real fishing report for a change.

Because of the blow nobody has been fishing. The lack of fishing is stressing the liquor supplies in town. Bored is not the word for it. The bad thing for the fishing guys is that there are actual people in town that want to fish and willing to pay. Anyway the blow should get the fish moving and chewing.

If you are in town this Thursday there will be a tweet meet at Porky's Bayside from 5 to 7 o'clock. RSVP by calling Pip's at 743-4403. Barb is planning a little social for the social network.

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, November 06, 2009

More On Captain Gator

We got captain Gator loaded up for the trip to his new home near Hernado, Florida. He will be coming back to run fishing trips in season. That's one heck of a long commute, but that what he is going to do.

We have a windy weekend in store, but it is bringing a nice drop in temperatures. The temperature drop should fire the bay side up and hopefully start the Spanish Mackerel moving to our area. That is a fun time if you like a lot of action and fish dip.

There is a late season hurricane that has a chance of messing up a few days next week. It should stay well to our west but you never know with these storms. I have a trip scheduled for Monday that I really don't want to miss. At least we have a fall back day just in case.

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

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More Full Moon Weirdness

This blog is supposed to be about fishing in the Keys but sometimes life in the Keys trumps fishing. I woke up at some ungodly hour this morning and craved a smoke. So I went over to Dion's to get a pack of the cheapest smokes they had and had I guess an alien encounter.

First homeless Steve was sitting on the curb playing his guitar. Since I didn't have much to do I talked to Steve for a while and played some blues while he told me about his getting thrown in jail for a few days.

Steve is one of those people that could really benefit from Chris Rock's how to not get your ass kicked by the police video. Steve was given a new medication that was a little more potent than he anticipated. A cop showed up and asked him if he was all right. Steve being from Jersey and not in full control of his faculties, told the cop that he was not all right, he was F'ed up and needed to be taken to F'ing hospital pretty F'ing fast. There is something about southern cops and the F bomb. Any hoo Steve got free room and board with grits and baloney for a few days.

Now Steve's tribulations with life is not that unusual, at least in the Keys anyway. The weird part was when this kid asked to bum a smoke off me. Smokes have become a pretty valuable commodity of late and bumming a smoke off a stranger normally results in a less than desirable result. My response was a simple hell no. The kid was persistent though so I gave him the last couple of drags. Then he couldn't get his car started. That is a bit abnormal. So he asks me to start his car. That is also abnormal. Anyway, after asking him what the hell he was on and how long he has been brain dead I started his car for him. Real difficult, put the key in, turn, start. So I am trying to figure out if the youngster was capable of driving. He appeared to be sober, but not the sharpest tack in the box. So I let him drive off after a cursory grilling.

Now it is not just the early morning derelict crowd that is weird. The fish have taken to weirdness too. The snapper have developed a case of the full moon lock jaw and the sailfish that have shown up are not feeding. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing sailfish follow your bait and not eat. Well, there is those times the significant other says, "we need to talk." I can handle the poor sailfish bite better than that.

In other news, the Native Son charter business is no more. Captain Pete sold the boat and returned to the real world. It is getting where I am one of the few idiots, er .. guides, still hanging out. Captain Gator at Pips is also pulling the plug and headed north. Little Chris with the walkabout charter boat is up north and may not make it back this season.

On the bright side some people are starting to invest some money in the Keys. Frosty's and Rum Bum's restaurants are both looking at new ownership by season. Herbie's restaurant which has been closed for three months is soon going to open again. The Rum Bum's location has a brand new tiki hut to expand their seating for a full liquor license which I highly approve of. Faro Blanco construction should start next year provided the sewer stays on schedule. We have a new West Marine building nearly finished and the number of for sale signs is starting to decrease. So things are starting to look up a bit.

As soon as we get this full moon behind us the fishing will pick up and all will be well in the Keys again. Until then I have a bottle of Scotch to tide me over. 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

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Not Being Online Sucks

My current lack of internet access is really a pain in the butt. Especially when people are trying to get answers to Keys questions. So since I am not always able to get online I will put my phone number out there for guys with serious questions. It is (305) 395-1923.

A couple of recent questions are about where to stay in the Keys. The answer depends on what you and your significant other are looking for. Fishing up and down the Keys is fairly consistent.

The upper Keys has a large variety of top class restaurants and watering holes that attract many that want to party as does the Key West area. The Middle Keys are a bit more laid back party wise but offer easy access to all the Keys has to offer. Since I am kind of laid back I chose the Marathon area in the middle Keys for my home base.

One of the advantages of the middles Keys for first time visitors that want to do their own thing on the water is that it has the easiest water access. You can get to both the ocean side and bay side without having to navigate too much shallow water. In the winter when we have the most visitors and normally the worst weather for being on the water there are a lot of easily accessible areas to catch fish, snorkel or what ever on the water without getting you butt kicked in the process. Most of the Keys areas offer similar high wind fishing opportunities though it takes a little more training to avoided running aground and other boating mishaps.

The Key West area offers great foul weather fishing for a large variety of species. I chartered out of Key West for a couple years doing back country trips and it was hard not to impress the clients. It did take me a while to learn the area so I highly recommend a guide if you want to do the back country thing own your own. In winds over 30 knots you can still have a great day on the water. The scenery around the Bay Keys, Mud Keys, hell all of the uninhabited keys north of US 1 is pretty awesome as is the fishing. It is just a little tricky getting to them.

Going to the reef or offshore is not that hard out of Key West or any of the Keys really, if you pay close attention to the charts. I have seen times when the tides made it very difficult to fish out of the upper Keys in deeper draft boats. Generally getting to ocean side is pretty simple once you have studies the charts from where your boat is docked.

I do not recommend parts of the lower Keys for people that can't handle rough water and want their boat in the water. The Keys between Big Pine and Boca Chica have very limited access to the bay side for most boat operators. That severely limits your options in the winter season. If you are trailering a boat though this is a great area to stay. There is a link on my blog some where for the boat ramps in the Keys. For guys with a smaller boat this is the best way to experience the Keys. Do be careful though as the waters can be tricky.

The East side of Big Pine Key does provide easy access to both the bay and ocean sides. Accommodations though can be hard to come by in season. That is another of the reasons I like Marathon. You have a good variety of motels and rentals to choose from and easy access.

For the guys that want to sail I am not going to be much help. There are a few sailboats for rent in the Keys but I haven't a clue how good or bad they are. And the deeper keel of sail boats just makes it that much more difficult to navigate down here.

I want to thank the folks that hit my tip jar. It was a big help. I will try to lug the computer down more often to keep in touch with the world. Until then remember, 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, October 14, 2009

Hurry Up Season!


There is nothing more boring than the off season down here when you are short on cash. Most off seasons I have been set pretty good for cash and have a good time. This time it is just plain dead. About all i can do is aggravate Mikey and watch the tube. Boring a all hell it is.

Fishing wise the hot ticket is snapper. Yellowtails and Mangrove are just plain stupid right now. Lots of guys are reporting large numbers of large fish. They is plenty of live ballyhoo showing in the chum slick so the in shore sails should be here pretty soon.

Offshore the tuna bite is pretty consistent, but larger fish are a bit rare. Plenty of sailfish jumping tuna and dolphin baits for the guys trolling. Nice bonus as the dolphin bite is totally inconsistent.

Bridge fishermen are reaping the benefits of the stupid snapper as well. When they take live pin fish or pilchards they a hammering fat Mangrove at night on most of the bridges.

Until next time take it easy. If you accidentally drop some money in the tip jar I may just have to give you a discount on your next fishing trip. And remember, 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, September 30, 2009

New Premit Regulation Workshop?

The Florida Wildlife Commission is having a workshop to get input from area fishermen and divers on the need for further regulation of Permit the fish. It is really nice that they ask for input, but there is no data available online to see if there is even a need to have a workshop.

I found this kind of odd since fisheries management decisions should be base on detailed studies and complex math. Since I missed the previous meeting on the gag grouper closure,I think I need to dig a little deeper in how these stewards of our fishing environment come to their conclusions.

Ill informed is ill advised in my opinion so I think everyone that can should contact your local game wardens and fisheries commissions to have the data used to generate these decisions placed online for review prior to a call for these workshops. Since there is no apparent need to add regulation to a thriving and heavily regulated species like permit, I think review of the field data and methodology could be entertaining.

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

Sunday, September 27, 2009

General Update


Not many boats fishing this time of years as is normal. The bite though is pretty steady on all fronts with the flats guys doing very well in the warm water and big tides. Daytime sword fishing is pretty good for those that have the gear and the boat to get out past the wall. That's out of range for most rental boats so a charter is the way to go if you want to tangle with a sword.

The real job thing is coming to an end at least at the Navy base so I may just have to take the Flatlines out to charge the batteries and collect a little fish fry while I take her down to Little Torch Key. May even take Mikey to collect a few bugs.

This season I plan to spend more time targeting snook. That is going to involve a lot more live Pilchards than I normally use. So fishing 101 is going to include a more intense cast netting portion than normal. So be ready to learn how to throw a larger cast net. Getting the snook to bite can be a challenge, but the by catch while hunting them can be pretty impressive.

Since snook and tarpon share the same areas I will be getting on more tarpon than I normally do since I rarely tarpon fish. Not that I don't know how to tarpon fish, I just find it boring as hell. With live pilchards instead of mullet there is a lot more action which is a good thing for me. If you want a pure bridge tarpon trip I will turn you on to Jeff Knapp or Jeff Shelar. They do the night trips which are more productive than the early or late trips I do. There are times when the morning bite is pretty hot so I am up for a few tarpon trips if the bite is right.

BTW here is a link to the Bahia Honda Bridge camera if you wonder why I like to fish the bridges here in the Keys. Watch it around slack tide for the best viewing.

I still haven't figured out the camera on my new cell phone so try to email me as many fish pictures as you can.

ETA I added a camera photo just to see how it looks. It's a cloudbow.

Also added a link to still photos at the bridge camera location.

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

ETA The link to Florida Sportsman fishing forum is now fixed. They changed the forum and had quite a few bugs to deal with but now it is up and running.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A September Update

I am still alive and kicking. Actually feeling pretty good since I quit taking one of the friggin' blood pressure medications. I think the doctors were trying to kill me with some of that crap.

Fishing wise things are pretty good. The dolphin bite is still on with plenty of good size fish to 15 pounds coming to the dock. Not many big fish, but plenty for the freezer. The Yellowtail bite is pretty strong and the Mangroves are biting good almost everywhere. The mutton bite in Marathon is a little slow but that may be because there aren't that many people targeting them now that the spawn is over.

With the new moon we have been having some wicked high tides. The highest I have ever seen down here. The tides haven't effected the fishing very much but watch were you park or you may have to wade back to your car. The high tides do make it a little easier for the shallow water guys to chase bonefish and permit. Both of which are biting well in the warm water as usual.

Other than the Peterson's poker run there is not a whole lot happening in the Keys. Lots of bikes down here right now if that is your kinda thing. Fantasy Fest is coming up the last week of October. So if you want to get in a little fishing and naked lady ogling that is a good time to come down.

I have one more week of real work at Boca Chica then it is back to scrounging around for odd jobs until the season gets rolling again. So far it is looking pretty good. I have been getting a few calls from customers instead of bill collectors for a change. By the way, Doc and I made the center fold of the Southern Most Flyer newspaper with our little temp job.

If you have the time, pop on down to do a little fishing or bring a bottle of Scotch and just shoot the breeze. The weather has been pretty tame this year so it is not a bad time to do a little catching.

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, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2008

On the eighth anniversary of 911 I was working at Boca Chica. The guys and gals their did a good job of showing their respect. Some of the guys ran PT in bunker gear and with the morning temperature in the high 80's degree, that was pretty inspiring, at least to me anyway.

I was supposed to have a couple of trips this weekend, but due to a death in the family my regular had to head back home just after getting settled into his room at Pips. My condolences to the family.

So now I will have a normal weekend. I'll be watching some football, may fire up the grill and just chill. That is not a normal thing for me because weekends and holidays are meaningless for a fishing guide. Everyday is just another normally, but this weekend I will just chill.

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, September 10, 2009

No Fishing Reports for a While

Y'all aren't getting any fishing reports for a while because I had to get a real job for a few weeks. Working a warehouse delivering stuff for the Navy. It may just tide me over for the off season, but I suspect that Scotch and quality cigarettes will be in short supply for a while.

This whole bad economy thing has me in barter mode. I had a farmer call me today about a trip in February. I gave him one price if he just shows up and a good discount if he brings me a quarter of venison. Now if you want to come down and have access to some prong horn antelope, goat as you may call it, I may barter my price down a touch more. Ain't nothing like goat on the grill.

Until I get done doing work that requires me to wear shoes and carry my reading glasses, the fishing reports will be a bit thin. But as the season gets closer remember.

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, September 03, 2009

It Is September!

September is without a doubt the slowest month in the Keys business wise. It is the time when most folks down here haul their boats for maintenance, close their businesses for vacation and just try to find something to do. In a typical September I spend my time playing online poker and watching the weather channel. This September is a little different.

Rob Harris, the owner of Conchy Joe's bait and tackle in Key Weird sent me an invitation to play Mafia Wars online. I used to like Rob. Anyhow this Mafia Wars thing can be addictive. I thought it was just me being bored out of my mind that caused me to spend way too much time on the computer. It turns out though that people that actually have a life are doing the same thing. All of this online addictive stuff started after I opened a Facebook account. Since then I am being bombarded with all kinds of requests to join different things to waste time. I generally can waste time with the best of them, but Facebook takes time wasting to a new level.

Now back to what I do. Believe it or not I may have a few fishing trips lined up for the month. It is all weather dependent, but I have gotten a few calls. This is a bit unusual since September normally has everyone boarding up and prepared to dodge hurricanes. This year the 'canes appear to be cutting us a little slack. With the nice weather and other people realizing they are getting addicted to cyber stuff there are a few that want to have real world experiences. Fishing in the Florida Keys qualifies as a real world experience so what the heck they are planning a trip.

It don't get no cheaper to vacation down here than in September and October. The fishing is still good and you don't have to wait for a server in any of the local restaurants and bars. As long as you don't wear black socks with sandals, most folks will treat you like a local this time of year.

By the way make a note that my phone number has changed to 305 395-1923. This was one of those economic necessities, my changing the number. I don't know if y'all have noticed, but the economy has been a little on the down side. Which really sucks if you trying to make ends meet, but is really great if you are not.

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An August Update

I have been out of town for a while. Drove up to Maryland to pick up a generator for John at the Castaway. It was nice to get off the rock for a few days and nicer to get back. Driving in heavy rain through construction zones was not fun.

Fishing is still good from what the guys have told me. The nighttime snapper bite is falling off but that just means the day bite is getting better. Don't have many offshore reports since there are very few customers in town. With school starting before Labor Day the season ended early.

The Florida Lobster season is great for quantity but the price is so low that many of the commercial guys are at their wits end. The price at the dock is down to $3.00 a pound. So if you want some great deals on lobster come on down or leave me a comment. I may be able to ship you some.

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, August 19, 2009

My Alter Ego

With the season nearly dead until the last tropical cyclone threat is over I assume my alter ego. Many of you may not know I spent a lot of the government's money attempting to get a higher education. The whole global warming thing that suddenly became climate change piqued my curiosity. I actually spend way too much time following papers devoted to this subject.

With our government poised to commit multi-billions of dollars to solve a problem that may not exist, and since I have too much time on my hands, I am writing a series of articles on things that make you say huh, related to climate change. If this is not your cup of tea bear with me until the fishing season resumes.

For a fishing report, it is all good but there is no one down here to take advantage of the situation. Damn weather channel!

If you care to read my latest article, here is the link.

I will be out of town for a few days shortly so no posts probably. Got to make some rent money.

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, August 14, 2009

The Season Winds Down

After Labor Day the Keys can become a ghost town. It is not that the fishing is bad. Just that the kids are back in school, the potential for disruptive weather increases and the heat runs many off. That is when many local captains take off their fishing hats and put on their construction hats.

This year I was really worried that there may not be any off season construction jobs. Things are starting to look up though. A few contracts have been signed on big projects that may make things get back to normal. Heck, I may even have a good off season job coming in the first of September. That is a good thing. I may have to wear real shoes and long pants, but the rent may get paid.

Fishing wise you can have your way with most anything other than dolphin which are still a little hit or miss. Some captains are coming in with good to great dolphin catches while others are scratching their heads. The tuna though are very consistent as are the snapper.

I haven't talked to any of the flats guys, but snook at long key are biting great. Then the season is closed, so what else is new.

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, August 13, 2009

Planning your Trip

Life is real and some times it sucks. This week I lost a ton of money because people set their dreams based on their agenda and not the weather. What is going to happen weather wise is beyond your control. I don't care how much money you make. The weather will always over rule your bucks. If you want to have a kick ass trip, you may want to listen to someone like me.

That said, if people were not so authoritative, I could have made many people satisfied and possibly ecstatic with their trip to the Keys. But everyone wants to be the man or woman. If you trashed a prop, tore up a lower unit, didn't catch squat, perhaps you should have called me.

The locals in the Keys call clueless vacationers Googans. Googans are basically dumb shit vacationers that would rather pretend they know what they are doing than admit they are clueless. Not a sign of intelligence. ETA: You don't even have to book a guide to be less of a googan. Just calm down and listen to local guides.

The next time you try to save money on a do it your self vacation, think of some one like me that can save you money. You know who you are. Think about it.

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

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A bunch of Little Stuff

Some of you may have noticed that there is a lot of spammy comments on the blog of late. That is just one of the trials of being popular. That is the blog is popular. So be careful what you click on until I can clean things up. ETA most of these comments are on older posts. I managed to clear out a few today, but it takes forever.

Lobster season is a notoriously slow time for me because buggers like to do their own thing. Possibly, because I stick to the legal limits. So someone I though I liked sent me a link to Mafia Wars on Facebook since neither he not I are fishing much. I am not going to mention any names, but he has a tackle store in Key Weird. Thanks to him I pissed away 6 hours between yesterday and last night.

As I mentioned D J landed a nice 45 pound dolphin/dorado/Mahi Mahi on one of the Dallas Darts. D J mates on one of the high end charter boats out of Marathon. It is kinda funny that he brings the darts on the boat in the morning and takes them home with him at night. His little secret weapons of mass tuna destruction.

If you are looking for Dallas Darts they are available at The Tackle Box, MM48 Marathon and at Big Time Bait and Tackle, MM55 or something near Vaca Cut in Marathon. I will try to get them online but I have to protect my retailers. Local captains can get them direct from me at a discount.

Today I am probably headed down to Big Pine to plan our trips on the 11th and the 14th. Whenever serious planning is required a pool, big screen TV and adult refreshments are required if all bases are to be covered.

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, August 07, 2009

Another August Update

Today I was just out getting bait to trade for a few smokes. My mutton trip got canceled because my client has to deal with business. Totally understandable.
After struggling to get bait, I was relaxing with a Scotch and smoking a cig made in some third world country when D J calls me to say he got a 45 pound dolphin on one of my Dallas Darts. I thought it was a Black Fin Tuna at first when he called which would be a new record. But it was just a nice dolphin. Still I am stoked for D J, my Darts and Marathon fishing in general.

I will try to get a picture of the fish to post.

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

My New Niche

There are a lot of folks in the Keys that make mistakes. The down on vacation back on probation thing. They have to do a little community service. One of the things they can do is catch fish for the birds at the wild bird center. So if you want to reduce your community service time contact me. The more you catch the less time you spend. That's my new niche.

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, August 06, 2009

August Fishing Report 2009



The Tuna are still hammering small lures like my Dallas Darts offshore and especially the humps. Dolphin or Mahi Mahi if you prefer are still a little erratic, but there have been good catches brought to the dock. This full may moon put the whammy on the dolphin bite again, but so far so good.

The snapper, both mangrove and mutton are relocating after their spawn to their normal areas. Nice mutton are being caught at the Seven Mile Bridge mainly on ballyhoo either alive or dead. The Hawks Channel rock piles should start getting loaded with nice size snapper of all varieties now that the spawn is ending.

Yellowtail snapper of the reef are chewing provided you get the current with the wind. The East winds we have been having is just strong enough to screw up the deeper water bite. So the shallower areas of the reef is a better bet for those Jonesin' for 'tails. One nice surprise from the reef was a triple of Cobia hooked up by Bill Alch on the Catch 'em Up at the rubble pile. Good eats those Cobia.

The Bayside reports have been pretty good with plenty of Mangroves and the usual summer suspects like Spotted Seatrout and sharks. The larger 'grovers are coming on fresh ballyhoo tubes.

Flats action is still pretty hot from the reports I have been getting and the full moon should not change that other than you have to pick your tide a little better.

The Last Hurrah Pig Roast is still a go. It would be nice to get a few more side dish volunteers and pig sitters. The pig will be about 120 pounds and slow cooked for about 12 hours. Pecan and hickory will be the smoky flavors used in this roast. Should be a great time.

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, August 03, 2009

The Real Lobster Season is Coming

I am a bit of a local now after ten years. Not a Conch by any means, but maybe a local. That means I can probably out fish your butt, drink you under the table and spin a hellava lot better yarn than you can, unless of course you are a local or a
Conch. At ten years I have not graduated to Keys icon status, though someone called me a legend the other day. With all the new slang terms being bandied about, I am not sure what that means. An older woman that likes younger men is a Cougar. So maybe a legend is an old fart that chases younger women. In that case I am a legend, at least in my own mind.

Being a legend, I have no problem getting all the Florida lobster I want. I have a former mate that does not eat spinies that owes me money, lots of newbies I can Tom Sawyer into getting wet and well an eye patch if I have to.

I don't know if any of you guys have noticed, but the economy is a bit weird. On this blog there is this adsense stuff. If you click on an ad I make money. Now technically, or is it legally, I can't tell you guys to click on ads because I get paid if you do. That is a conflict of interest, my mentioning that I might make money if you click on an ad. So don't do that.

Fishing is pretty good. Now the dolphin can be hit or miss, but the tuna are hot. This time of year we catch lots of Black Fin Tuna. Great fighters but they taste like crap. Don't worry, I will take them all off your hands for no extra charge.

I have a mutton trip in the works, a Gulf Wreck trip and a family fun weekend coming up with what may include the pork barbecue of this millennium. With the economy the way it is I may even be taking a sailboat fishing trip. That should make the local papers, me guiding a WAFI. Next thing you know I will be doing plumbing.

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, July 31, 2009

Weirdness

I was going to fish with some friends this morning, but issues totally beyond my control resulted in a no go. There is something about Duval Street and drinking that eludes many touristas. Most Keys residents are trained drinking professionals. I would not approach Tiger Woods and tell him I am going to kick his butt on the golf course. Now if Tiger agreed that a shot of Scotch per hole had to be downed, I am pretty sure the back nine would be mine. You have to be smarter than what you are messing with. So if you come to the Keys thinking you know how to drink, reconsider that thought. I still have a drivers license and can put away a liter of brown liquor in two hours. After the liter of brown liquor, I have the where with all to walk or cab home because, well, I know my limits.

So how is the fishing going for people that don't over serve themselves? Pretty good actually. The Dolphin bite is still a bit spotty, the tuna bite is well, hey, that is what I am eating tonight. Snapper is great if the current is right. The mini lobster guys are gone so I am ready to get real. Unfortunately, this time of the year you have to put in the bucks for fuel to catch the sexy fish. Snapper no problem, but the tuna, dolphin and bill fish you have to stretch your legs.

Most of my regulars are blue collar kinda guys that can't spend the bucks for a great fishing trip. Then some of my more well healed guys have found out that their 401K is now a 101K. It is all about the Benjimans. Scat flows down hill and I am a flat lander.

That doesn't mean that there aren't a few high rollers still kicking around the Keys. There are, just not enough to spread the love. So I may have to go into survival mode. What is that you ask? Living off the land/sea. It is not that bad really, smoked Manatee is nearly as good as Key Deer and much better than Osprey and Bald Eagle. Though Spotted Owl has a unique flavor.

Since the opening price for Florida lobster (Spiny Lobster) is less than chicken breasts, boneless of course, I may have to get into some bartering to get the real deal to the real people without dealing with the middle butt holes er men.

Don't get me started on smokes. Sorry I didn't mean to vent. Screw that I meant to vent. Look around you and see who is getting screwed by the no new taxes.

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 Dallas Dart Manufacture

Some of you have wondered how Dallas Darts are made. They are all hand made in the Florida Keys within twenty feet of water so they know how to catch fish. My buddy Doc took some pictures of the complicated manufacturing process. Note that alcohol, in this case beer is required to keep the worker motivated. Here is the link to the photos

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, July 30, 2009

July 09 Update

The tuna are the name of the game offshore right now and they are eating my Dallas Darts up. I gave out a few to different captains and mates so there are a lot of guys pulling them. There are still dolphin offshore along with wahoo but the bite is erratic. The hero or the goat kinda thing.

Mangroves are still biting at night and the muttons are still out there. Yellowtail are biting and good sized if you can get the wind with the current. The Gulf wrecks have been pretty hot with still some permit and cobia around along with nice tails and mangroves. Of course the ever present Jewfish is there to keep you company.

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, July 25, 2009

Sign of the Times

The day before yesterday I officially quit buying cigarettes. Now before you all start getting all crazy with joy, I said I quit buying not smoking. I still smoke like a stack, I just ain't going to give the government two bucks a pack for my habit. Thanks to third world countries, the internet and my rigging skills, clandestine bartering is keeping me supplied with coffin nails.

Fishing wise it could not get much better. Now my last couple of trips sucked but that was a Karma thing. Steve, mister bad Karma, went fishing own his own and called me with tales of losing tarpon. I don't know what Steve did to piss the fish gods off, but he did one hell of a job. Hopefully, he will get rid of his bad Mojo by next year so I can put him on good fish again.

Back to fishing. With the crappy economy I am planning some fun trips for my regulars. Mutton mania is on the agenda for August with not one but three captains all trying to out do the other. Little Chris, that used to mate for me, Bucko the young guy that is insanely good and myself will all try to put together the trip of a lifetime for one of my regulars. Also in August some of the fam is coming down for a fishing and buggin' get away. It should be a fun time.

Oh, by the way, the Dallas Darts are getting a bit of a write up in the local paper. The little suckers have always caught fish, now they may catch the eye of more fishermen. Right now they are in two tackle stores. The Tackle Box in Old Town Marathon and Big Time Bait and Tackle up by Vaca cut. You can get them direct from me by calling (305) 395-1923 or find me at the 7 Mile Marina, Castaways, Porky's where ever I am hanging out when I am not fishing.

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fishing and Karma

I had a trip Sunday that started off as a hump trip. The weather first thing in the morning was perfect. Seven knot winds out of the Southeast and nothing on the radar. We load the boat and set off for what we hoped would be a tuna and billfish adventure. As we get ready to leave the dock the winds pick up to 12 knots or so. Ofshore it was a bit choppy, 2 to 3 footers but a little sloppy. So we start trolling in 350 foot of water to keep from pounding myself and the crew. By the time we hit 600 feet about 15 miles offshore, one of the crew is violently ill. We were in the Gulf stream with 15 knot winds quartering the current so the seas had kicked up to 2 to 4 foot with the very sloppy water in many current eddies. Weed was everywhere and birds were working. It looked good but we had to come back to the dock.

So we offload the ill crew member and head back to the reef to catch a few snapper. The yellowtails didn't want to cooperate, but I netted some ballyhoo for bottom dropping. We hit a beautiful spot in ninety foot of water that was marking to beat the band. Each of our first 5 drops was hammered within a minute of hitting the bottom. Each resulted in a brief fight and a pulled hook. Five very strong fish lost in five drifts was frustrating to say the least. We tried to anchor but the anchor line looked like a Gordian knot. With time running out we head back in with plans of a rematch the next day.

Day two we catch ballys which took longer than normal and added a few Mangrove to the box while we waited. Tons of legal but not larges Mangrove snapper everywhere in the slick which made it hard to get to the larger snapper. Still we had some dinner in the box. Then we head back to the 90 foot spot to had at the brutes that we had tangled with the day before.

The spot marked up nice but the current was in the opposite direction from the day before. After an hour of fishing without a bite, not a single bite with perfect live ballyhoo on the bottom, we move to another wreck. Same story for two more wrecks. No action at all. We move back to the shallower patches to try the mangs that were so cooperative earlier only to find the devil current. The devil current is a wind current that takes the chum one direction with a deeper tidal current that takes the baits in the opposite direction.

Desperate, we head into Hawks Channel to get a fishable current. We find our current, mark fish and lose two plus the ill crew member from the day drops a $300 dollar digital camera in the drink.

Sometimes Murphy's law takes over and you just can't win. We will take a couple days off to drown our sorrows in adult beverages and try to regain the good Karma we used to have.

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

how is Fishing?

It is fishing. I haven't been out in a few days thanks to this robust economy. I have been weighing my options. Dave Navarro weighed his and put a gun to his head. I am a little more conservative and decided it was time to break out the last of my Cuban cigars. Nothing like a 20 dollar, oh now that the morality police are in office, a hundred dollar cigar to make life a little more tolerable in tough times. Just a few years ago I used to pass out Monte Christo Numero Unos to the crew. How times change. Now the poor have to pay for the research to help the wealthy avoid paying taxes for health care. What a wonderful world.

I am still here fishing and will put you onto fish. Unfortunately, I appeal to the blue collar guys that have been hurt worst by the economy. I will hang in there as long as I can. If you can afford to go I will take you. If you can't, I am always there to help you do it on your own.

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, July 10, 2009

A Change of Scenery

I am taking a break from Captain Pips to decompress for a while. I will be hanging out at the Seven Mile Marina if you want to stop by and shoot the breeze about fishing, charters, whatever. Dan at the Seven Mile said he has no problem with me working on my lures in the mornings. I will probably get a coffee pot so you can get a free cup of Joe.

Now this doesn't mean that I will not be fishing out of Captain Pips. If you are staying at Pips and want to book me, just book me through my blog or "cringe" call me at 305 394-3472 or 305 395-1923. I cringe because I hate getting phone calls all the time when I am trying to fish. So you will probably get the voice mail. I am pretty good about returning calls though. This is not a bad thing because I can better advise you about which boat and gear is better for your desired fishing adventure.

I do request that if you book a trip, room or visit a local restaurant because of something you read on my blog that you mention it to the proprietor. Not that I will get anything for the mention. Just that some folks may become better aware of what I do for the community with stuff I write.

I am trying to make this post a sticky so new fishing reports and other stuff will show up after this post for a while. Y'all have a good one and come on down to do some fishing.

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

A Mini-Season Update

The Florida mini lobster season is the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. This is a big time of the year for being in and one the water in the Florida Keys. It seems that every year someone over does it and gets into trouble. So don't leave your common sense at home, be safe.

For those of you planning a late trip for bug season, you may be too late. Most of the rental boat companies are sold out for the mini season week. If you are trailering your own boat down, don't forget to grease those bearings, check those tires and trailer breaks.

To help locate rental boats if some are available check my General Rental Information

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 Moon is Waning

The July full moon was pretty brutal for the offshore fishermen. The dolphin bite dropped off to nearly nothing. There were football tuna and a few billfish to fill the void. This time of year though many Florida residents come down to fill their cooler with dolphin fillets.

The yellowtail bite on the reef has been strong as well as mangrove snapper mainly at night, but good numbers in the daytime. The average size has dropped a little. That is not uncommon with a full moon so the sizes should be better as we approach the new moon.

Gulf trips to the far wrecks has pretty good action. Goliath grouper are out in force, the permit and a few cobia are still around. If you chum hard enough you can get the yellowtail and mangroves going on the surface which is required to get them away from the Goliaths.

A few morning tarpon bites were reported. These are mainly resident fish that are smaller but a few big girls are getting jumped. The flats guys are in their glory with tarpon, bonefish and permit all available.

One thing that is great for you vacationers is that you will have no problem finding charters or guides. This is the slowest tourist season I can remember. So if you can afford a weekend getaway, come on down.

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, July 03, 2009

July is Here



One thing about July fishing is that the Dallas Darts pictured will catch a bunch of dolphin and tuna. With the calm winds hump trips will be on most people's minds and the dart are great for blackfin tuna, especially the darker colors. More than once I have filled the box with nice sized tuna in July and never used anything but the darts. Dolphin and sailfish are not uncommon by catches when hunting the tuna.

The snapper bite is pretty phenomenal and should stay that way for a while, probably through the next full moon in August, maybe a little longer. Night mangrove and muttons in the daytime are the main event which plenty of Yellowtail action to round out any trip.

The flats reports are very good but I doubt many folks this time of year want to pass up on the other action. The flats action is good around Marathon and just gets better the further west you go.

Viewing the fireworks tomorrow without getting caught in the traffic on land or on water is good at Burdine's and Rumbum. It is so much easier than fighting the crowds and both have good food. Rumbum is planning a pig roast for the event so there should be a fun crowd.

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, June 26, 2009

Today at the Seven Mile marina

I went down to the Seven Mile Marina early today because I needed to make some
Dallas Darts. The best performing Dallas Darts are made within 20 feet of water, just the way it works. When I showed up everyone in the marina that had a boat was getting ready to head out on charters. They all take off to fish while I work on my lures. 30 minutes later they all come back to the dock. Despite the forecast, a pretty wicked storm brewed just offshore of Marathon. Everyone took a three hour chill pill for the storm to dissipate then hit the road again for a fishing redeux. Maybe it is just me but it was kinda comical.

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

Silly Weather

Now that this silly front has moved out of the way we can get back to the true meaning of life, fishing. The fish are chewing too so it will be fun. Some of the guys that came down and got stymied by the weather should be able to get out and do some catching. Alex, if your adults can't put you on fish let me know dude.

So what is biting? Dang near everything. Even though the bridge fishing for tarpon is slowing down, they are still getting a few shots. Snapper fishing is off the hook good, best I have seen in years. It will be interesting to see what the offshore fish do after this weather. The bigger dolphin have been way offshore, but the crazy north west wind we had for a while may have pushed some bait off the reef to bring them in close.

I have to make a few dozen Dallas Darts for a couple guys today and then I will start beating the bushes to get a few trips. The end of next month looks pretty good booking wise, but it has been much slower than normal this month.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Day in the Keys

I went down to the seven mile marina this morning and ran into a guy looking for a half day charter. I turned him on to a few boats to fill his needs plus a weather forecast to plan his trip. While I sat there drinking some coffee, a crew that reads my blog shows up with a bottle of 15 year old single malt Scotch looking for a few tips. Sweet! Alex and his adults got some advice and know where to come if they need more. The weather for the next couple of days is tough, but come Thursday or Friday they should be able to kick some butt.

After Alex and his adults left I noticed a bald eagle on the big power pole just South of the marina. This was the third Bald Eagle I have seen in the Keys in the pass ten years. I am kind of a bird freak so that was pretty cool to see.

Fishing wise, not many people went out due to the squall line that may have been a problem. We got some rain but the 50 knot winds didn't happen. For the next few days every day is looking better.

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

Hot Snapper Action

The Mutton, Mangrove and Yellowtail snapper bite is about as good as I ever have heard for the Marathon area. Nice muttons are being caught from 100 feet out to the 200 foot wrecks pretty consistently. The Mangroves are up on the reef as are the Yellowtails. Night fishing is especially hot for the mangroves but the day bite has be pretty good as well.

Finding people that want to go fishing has been the hard part. Most of the captains and guides are busy for one week and have nothing the next. Since it has been slow I have been making my Dallas Darts which are now available at the Tackle Box at Mile Mark 48 on the ocean side. I do have a few trips coming up but nothing booked like past years. This is good for the vacationers because you can pick from a bunch of good captains and guides for last minute trips.

The tarpon bite at the bridge has been slowing down but I have heard good reports of bonefish and permit on the flats to our west. If you are trailering a boat down you might want to try the Harbor Key and Content Key areas. The Permit have been feeding on crabs on the outgoing tide. That report comes from Shallow Minded Charters.

Offshore the bite is still happening but it is way offshore. With the winds from this little front it is much more of a challenge for the smaller boats.

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, June 18, 2009

Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum Marathon Get Together

The first Marathon Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum Get Together appears to be a big success. Lots of forum members had a good time and got to meet local and not so local members. It was held at Rum Bums mile marker 47.5 and appeared to go off without a hitch. Captain Spider was there with the casting contest that the kids loved. Spider has a way with kids and a good joke.

I have talked to Johnny at pips and recommended that they do a forum special of some kind for the forum regulars. With the power of the internet it is not a bad thing for all proprietors to think of having some goodies for all the guys that peruse the internet in search of a better fishing experience.

Personally, I had a great time meeting people I have read but never met. It was something I would like to see more often. Everyone seemed to have a great time which is what life is all about.

Fishing wise I was at the dock selling my lures. Gator and Bobby got to go offshore. Bobby came home with some nice wahoo, triple tail and dolphin. Gator had a limit of good sized dolphin, nothing over 15 pounds, but plenty of heavy swingers and light gaffers. Jeff had a trip too, but I missed seeing his catch.

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

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Fish Keep Biting

Now that the moon has passed the fish have kicked it back up to high gear. Even during the last moon the bite never got bad, just a little slower with most people still having very good catches.

Dolphin offshore are plentiful. There are a lot of smaller fish you will run into, but if you keep hunting you should find respectable school fish and a few gaffer size dolphin. Most of the larger dolphin and tuna have been near the wall about 28 miles to the South. I heard reports of one yellowfin tuna and several blackfins over 20 pounds plus good number of dolphin over 25 pounds.

My last offshore trip was Wednesday when we got into school sized fish in 650 feet of water about ten miles off the reef. We saw some larger fish but didn't bring any to the boat. Lots of billfish are being seen with a fair number of sailfish hook ups being reported.

The reef is still hot for yellow tail snapper. Mangrove snapper reports are still a little spotty but getting better. Tarpon fishing is still good and the bonefish reports are great.

I have been under the weather for a couple days so I haven't much else to add. There will be a Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum get together Wednesday at Rumbums this week at 6 O'clock.

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, June 10, 2009

The Full Moon has Kicked in

Had my second trip with Joe, Jordan and they brought along Grant and Donovan. We tried for Mangrove snapper first thing. We got a few but they were biting so slow we went back to the Yellowtail spot. Even the yellowtail snapper bit slower than normal. We limited out but it took three hours and three blocks of chum.

The ballyhoo didn't cooperate so the Cero Mackerel bite was slow. Jordan did get seven with live shrimp but the size was smaller than yesterday.

Pete on the Native Sun had an offshore trip, but returned to the reef early because the bite was so slow. Looks like a couple more days of spotty fishing until the moon starts to wane.

Tarpon fishing is still pretty good at the seven mile bridge and I have been getting good reports of bonefish on the nearby flats. So there is still plenty of fishing even with the bright moon.

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, June 08, 2009

Near Summer Ceros


Joe Hobbs and his son Jordan have been fishing with me for years out of Captain Pips. Jordan is about 12 now and has become quite a fisherman. The last time he was down he wanted to catch some Cero Mackerel. Conditions were not that good last time so I made it up to him today. Jordan caught 10 Cero mackerel with the smallest about 6 pounds and the largest about 12 pounds. All but the first were hooked by Jordan and fought to the boat with no help only encouragement. All were caught on live balleyhoo I netted. The balleyhoo were so thick I had to get Jordan's dad Joe to help me lift the first cast in the boat.

While Jordan had a thrill watching the mackerel strike and the sing of the drag, dad Joe stuck to filling their limit of Yellowtail snapper. On the whole it was a slower than normal day, but at the end we had nearly a wheel barrow load of fish.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but this Motorola camera phone sucks.

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, June 06, 2009

Waiting for School to Let Out

This was a very slow week for most guides and captains in the Keys. Gator and Bobby both got a couple of trips and did well whether trolling or on the reef. There are still plenty of larger dolphin offshore and plenty of legal school fish. The reef is still very hot for yellowtail snapper with a few legal grouper and mutton snapper to round out the day. Tarpon are still biting at the bridge though mullet are getting tougher to find.

I have a number of trips coming up next week. With nothing going on this week I made up a bunch of my Dart lures. Now I am running out of skirts. The black and pearl and Pink and white skirts in the Boone octopus ten pack are not to be found in Marathon for a reasonable price.

Monday is my next fishing day so I am just going to enjoy the weekend and get ready to kick some fish butt then.

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, June 01, 2009

Odds and Ends



The photo sucks but I will try to get a better one of the darts.


Since Memorial Day weekend it has turned to deadsville in Marathon. Now that the kids are getting out of school we should be getting some more almost locals down for some fishing vacations. To occupy my time and hopefully make a little change, I have started making my fishing lures again.

Some of you have used my Dallas Darts before. If you feel like it leave a comment on how you feel about them. If you haven't used them, the darts are small bullet head type lures that can be trolled at almost any speed and catch fish. They have caught Tuna, Dolphin, Mackerel, Wahoo, Sailfish, White Marlin, Blue Marlin just about everything that eats flying fish. They work so well that when I take a fun trip offshore I don't bother taking any other bait. With schoolie dolphin I can just jig the lures and catch all I want without messing the boat up cutting chunk baits.

I don't know how well they work outside of the Keys, but down here they are pretty effective. There is a small group of captains in Marathon that start drooling when they find out I have made another batch. Since a client called up a few months ago and ordered three dozen, I thought I might need to get off my butt and make some more. So I am going back into production.

Fishing wise everything is getting back to normal. The west wind had slowed down the offshore bite but the blue water critters are starting to feed again. Tarpon are still chewing, 'tails are chewing, the mangs are ready for the spawn and the muttons should fire up pretty soon. Nothing better than catching in the Keys in the early summer. So plan on getting your butt down here to do a little catching 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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Duval Crawl Claims Another Trip

Marathon is pretty laid back. Guest that come to Captain Pips enjoy the quiet laid back atmosphere of the area. But sometimes they have to check out the wild side of the Keys. My crew from yesterday mentioned that they were heading to Key Weird er. West for the evening after our fishing trip. They had booked me again for today, but I kinda thought things may not go as they planned.

Just as I thought, they got toasted and didn't hit the rack until after four in the morning. Bravo for them! They had a great time. I on the other hand waited for them to decide what they were going to do. Being a nice guy or friggin' stupid, your call, I didn't request a deposit. So I basically lost a productive day waiting on guys that over indulged.

I don't want to change my policy because it is a pain in the butt doing refunds and figuring out why a trip should be canceled and the deposit refunded. So here is the deal. If you book me and can't fish for what ever reason, buy me a bottle of the brown stuff for sitting at the dock for five hours waiting for you to sober up. If I am unable to run a trip, I bust my butt to find a qualified replacement or make whatever arrangements to make the customer happy. Just part of the job. Every captain down here that is worth fishing with will do the same thing.

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

Sporty Weather

Fishing a crew from New York we chose the Bayside because of 15 plus knot winds and a crew member or two that has issues with rough seas. Even on the Bayside it was a bit too much for one of the crew. Until the Mal de Mar set in the Bayside bite was building nicely with decent mangrove snapper and a couple of larger fish that manage to get away. Bait was everywhere including plenty of ballyhoo. Ballyhoo chunks turned out to be the best bait.

While fishing we had a great display of mother nature with a huge thunderstorm about 15 mile to our east. Plenty of lightning and water spouts to view from a safe distance. We even saw a clear air water spout. One were you could see the water spinning a few dozen feet in the air with no funnel cloud to cause the commotion.

We tried a few closer in spots and had decent action for a while but the anchor kept breaking loose spoiling the bite. We will give it another go today. With the winds a little lighter than yesterday we should be able the keep the whole crew well and fishing.

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, May 27, 2009

Half Day on the Reef

Well so much for having the camera phone figured out, got a great pic of my finger. Was supposed to be a photo of a nice 18" Mutton caught by my crew today. They only wanted to catch and release so the mutton is still there for next time along with lots of yellowtail. A half dozen yellowtail were gut hooked, with circle hooks by the way, that were donated to Omar.

The radio was dead quiet and we had the reef pretty much to ourselves. There was about 8 knots of breeze, very little current and clear water. Still, the 'tails bit like they haven't eaten in weeks. One block of chum in a fine mesh bag lasted three hours with no break in the action until the current changed at 11:30. Talk about cheap catching! The ballyhoo got real brave since I didn't bring the castnet.

It looks like the early summer is going to be great for loading the boat with tasty reef fish. 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

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing

The weather for the weekend was perfect. Possibly a little too perfect since the dolphin bite slowed down and the reef water was gin clear. Despite the clear water the yellowtail snapper were chewing. Sunday we limited out with a block and a half of chum and Monday it only took one block to load the box. No flag snapper but respectable 15 inch average size.

Action in Hawk channel was slow, but we did pick up a keeper Red Grouper on the reef. Mangrove snapper should be showing on the reef but they appear to have not gotten the memo. Big mangs are at the bridge, but with the new moon tide only the first hour of the incoming tide has been productive for me.

Tarpon are still biting at the bridge. The incoming tide is still the better bet with live mullet the bait of choice.

Offshore should be picking up as there are plenty of big dolphin being seen just not biting. We even had a few 20 pounders crash our ballyhoo on the reef Saturday. So the fish are here, just moving too fast to catch up to.

Have a half day trip this morning and I think I have the camera phone figured out, so maybe I will have a photo to post.

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 18, 2009

Captain Gator Kicks My Butt.


I had a dolphin trip this morning that turned into a bayside bridge trip because of a 19 foot boat and a lousy weather forecast. After getting my butt kicked in 8 to 10 foot seas Saturday I was up for a rematch in 3 to 5s in a smaller boat. With the forecast I did a snapper trip that was about as much fun as watching grass grow. Don't get me wrong we caught a few nice snapper but the emphasis is on few. The bite sucked but the fish were there.

Mean while, the larger boats made it offshore to calming winds and bigger critters. Gator managed a 46 pounder dolphin to lead the Captain Pips fleet in '09. I hate being anything other that the lead dog. So somebody needs to come down ready to open a can of whoop ass on Captain Gator.

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

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dolphin Tourney and Boat Races

Saturday I guided a crew from Miami for a small corporate dolphin tourney out of Hawks Cay. The weather reminded me why I don't fish many tourneys. With the winds over 20 the seas were pretty sporty. We and every other boat fishing took quite a few waves over the bow. We found fish everywhere, but the biggest we got in the boat was a 15 pound bull. The other boats had trouble finding the bigger fish due to the conditions. The winning fish was 34 pounds with second a 28 pound cow. Our 15 pounder was the third or forth largest brought to the dock.

Fishing in 5 to 7 foot seas was very wet which my cellphone couldn't handle. It was a good phone. The crew I had had very little fishing experience so I will call the trip a tourney fishing 101. They did well and learned a good deal.

After Saturday's soaking, I enjoyed a relaxing day waiting out the rain to watch the boat races. The 7th annual Marathon Superboat Race was today and very enjoyable with a few rum and cokes. The start was delayed an hour and half to let the rain which we sorely needed, to pass. My thanks to the crews of the Blue Magic and Celia Pearl for great drinks, snacks, music and company.

Tommorow is supposed to be another dolphin trip if the weather cooperates. A lot of rain is in the forecast so we will play it by ear.

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dolphin are Thick, But I am Fishing the Bay?

The Dolphin and Tuna are thick off the reef from 250 foot out, but my last two trips have been on the Bayside and Bridges. My job is to show the customer what they want, so that is what I do.

With the full moon the bridge currents have been ripping making fishing them a chore. There are plenty of snapper at the bridges. It is just hard to get the feel for the bigger fish in the strong current. Back in the Bay there are plenty of Mangrove Snapper in the 3 to 5 pound range. The water is very clear in most areas so the bite is slow but the fish worth the wait.

Tarpon at the Bahia Honda bridge are nearly thick enough to walk on. It is hard to boat tarpon at Bahia Honda, but the sight is worth a visit. Permit are still hanging on the wrecks, but getting blue crabs for bait is difficult. You may need to catch your own as most bait shops are selling out fast even at 3 bucks a crab.

My crew yesterday wanted to play with Barracuda. They were really thick around the flats near the 7 mile bridge. Cuda tubes in hot pink and chartreuse got the most action.

With the dolphin in so close I haven't had many reef reports. Now that the moon has passed, they should begin chewing.

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