Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dolphin Bite Progress

As usual the offshore bite changes with water temperature.  Two weeks ago we were hunting for water warmer than 77 degrees now we are looking for cooler than 80 degrees, which would be coller than the inshore and reef water temperature.

With all the water warm there are small peanuts everywhere which makes finding the big fish a bit harder.  So you end up guessing on burning fuel heading way south or burning time staying close and looking for magic floaters.  This is where switching over to rigged ballyhoo can produce big fish or lots of cussing as the peanuts eat your rigged 'hoo.  I am still a fan of using pitched baits live or rigged for the big fish and using the darts to pick up whatever then be real slow getting the whatever to the boat.  More than once I have traded up from a peanut on a dart to a slammer.  It is not something I count on but it does happen.

More often you will spot a bigger fish checking out the peanut which you tend pitch to or just pitch a bait past the peanuts if you don't have a tower and hope.  Staying close is often a good thing, especially when there is a color change caused by the tide.  That is a great reason to like the old Seven Mile Bridge.  With more current flow you tend to get good color changes if there is a little wind.  That color change can be way down near Bahia Honda, but if the Sargasso is fresh and bunched up nice there is a good chance you can find your bucket list Dolphin.  That does take patience though which is not a common commodity anymore.

This time of year bigger fish can be 10 pounds to 70 pounds with a lot more on the smaller end.  Most of the really big fish I have seen in June and July where trade ups, whether the captain knew it or not, in under 400 foot of water.  There are of course big fish deep, but most folks tend to stay closer so they can shift over to mutton or grouper fall back plans during the dolphin hunt or just blow off trolling and hit the reef for flag yellow tail or fat spawn mangroves.  It is all good to me, but I do get a lot of bucket list fisherman wanting their trophy.   That means sometimes I am a hero and sometimes a goat.  Such is life.

There are some "secrets" that work from time to time if you find the right floater or patch of weeds.  In addition to the usual trick of letting your baits sink deep, you can add a deep diving lure to your spread or if you have enough energy use a butterfly jig around the patches for the deeper running fish.  Currently, the butterfly jig thing is getting talked up a bit more than normal but a grunt or pinfish works about a well since they tend to swim down.  Live ballyhoo or mullet can be fun and productive as both create a good deal of commotion which tends to attract larger fish, including sailfish and the occasional marlin.

Because of the sinking action, some boats swear by combo rigged ballyhoo on the shotgun or riggers which will tend to sink behind the peanuts attacking the flat lines when you drop to boat to neutral.  This is like an automatic pitch bait set up.  Heavier lures in general sink better so you can go with that or plan on deep with the deep divers, butterfly jigs or the amazing Tomtate grunt.

There are also a lot of smaller blackfin tuna moving in closer which means there are bigger tuna underneath most of the time.  Pulling a 30 plus pounder from under a school of runts is another bonus of thinking deeper.  Doesn't work all the time but is worth a shot.

Also keeps you eyes open for tripletail.  The last trip on the Lady Catherine we ended up with a mixed bag of Skipjacks, Dolphin, tripletail and some larger than usual almaco jacks which the customers wanted to try.  No pictures, mainly because it was just a tad sporty that day.

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 20, 2015

Making comments can be a PITA

Because there are lots of computers with too much bandwidth on their hands most blogs get spammed a lot.  So I had to add reCAPCHA which is a program to figure out if a comment is from a computer PITA or just a regular human, PITA or not.  Things went along pretty well for a while, but now I am finding out some folks have trouble with reCAPTCHA.

I have trouble with it myself at times so there is a too hard thingy you can click to try and find something easier.  Most of the time you don't have to get one completely right, just right enough for the program to figure out you might be human.  Now they have a new version that lets you pick out pictures.  It says something like click on all pictures containing pasta and then shows a picture of something containing pasta which you cannot click on.  You just click on two or three pictures that will let you click and contain past and you are golden.  There are six pictures most of the time so make sure you look at them all.  There is a audio option if you don't like pictures.  Personally, the audio option sucks, but you might be able to figure it out.

There isn't much I can do about the security thing.  Even a non nondescript little blog link mine get targeted by some asshole somewhere and reCAPTCHA is the easiest to use that is comparable with my blog service.  You can simplify things a bit by having some account that is listed, Google, AIM etc., but anonymous is the easiest for most folks.  Since the blog provider is Google, if you have a Google account things should go easier.  If you use anonymous though and want me to know who you are using anonymous just sign or type you name in your comment.

I kinda have it set up so you can leave pictures and videos in the comments with the old version of html coding.   [img]your-image-url[/img],  (without the italics and such) This might help some folks and make it easier to add photos to older blog posts after the crew gets home. Lots of times I don't post about specific trips because I don't have any photos, so if you add a photo or two or email me I can create a post just for your pictures, videos or what ever you have to add. Google Picasa is a free online photo storage service and youtube is the best for videos.  I haven't test a Youtube yet, so you might have to tweak the url a bit.

If you follow this link to a post where I tested things you will see it don't work all the time.  Most folks btw end up with the better pictures after a fishing 101 trip.  Yesterday was a disaster for example partially because the rental boat bottom finder didn't work and there was a lot of boats working the same weedline.  We could have had more dolphin, but part of fishing 101 is figuring out how to catch them which generally means missing a few opportunities.  They guys yesterday will either figure out what not to do and catch fish or talk bad about me.  Such is life.  I do hope they get the bottom finder working though because out of Coco Plum I don't have and bullet proof honey holes for bottom fish without a working bottom finder.  Closer to the bridge there are plenty, but the current or lack of current can make the Coco Plum are a challenge.

Anyway I hope this helps folks.

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 11, 2015

West Central Florida Crew Vacation Pics

Your basic May fishing 101 results.  Generally, the day I take guys out they don't catch as much as they do on their own afterwards.  That is because the Fishing 101 is a tour kinda thing and we don't spend time hammering stuff.  After they get a taste of what different kinds of fishing can produce, then they plan their day.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

 Tight lines,

 Capt. Dallas

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Fishing the past week

Update:  The fishing 101 crew sent some photos of their last couple of days.

With the from that came through over last weekend and the full moon I have been struggling.  Off shore there are dolphin that are nice size, but they have that finicky thing going on.  You find a floater of a tight weed line and you can pick up one maybe two on a pass.  Most of the time we didn't get any followers so we had to stick with the troll hunt a peck.  Today on the lady Catherine we got 13 in the box plus a couple of tuna,  Most were heavy lifters light gaffers, the biggest two might have gone 10 pounds.   Not great but better than a good number of boats.

Yesterday on a guide trip, we picked up two swingers and saw a few sailfish, but headed in early for some patch fishing.  On the patches and rock piles if you didn't have fresh shrimp it was Gruntsville.   With shrimp though..

My phone battery died so I didn't get any photos, this is on the Wednesday crew emailed, but I will try to post any that get emailed to me.

The weather should be good for the next few days and the bite should pick up.

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