Thursday, June 29, 2017

Its 'Tailing Time

Yellowtail Snapper bite all year long but in the summer you have more calm days to get out there plus most folks have vacations in the summer.  Most of the time, catching more than enough "tails for dinner is a piece of cake, but they can make you look bad and like doing it.  So basic refresher course tips are in order.

Clear line/fluorocarbon -  when visibility may be over 100 feet you get the opportunity to see the fish that aren't biting.  Clear line tends to spook fish less and while fluorocarbon isn't required it can make a difference on clear, calm days.  Avoid braid and colored lines unless you are trying to make a sales pitch.

Smaller hooks and baits can make a big difference and help combat the Filefish.  For some reason people like to protect things that drive other people nuts.  Scrolled Filefish are one of those things.  They aren't endangered, but since small ones look good in aquariums, the FWC has size limits for aquarium collectors.  Filefish over 20" are common on the reef and officer friendly might think that they are illegal to keep he/she is confusing hook and line fishing with collecting tropicals.  So if you keep filefish, which are pretty tasty if you like trigger fish, the guys in polyester may or may not cite you for illegally keeping oversized tropicals.  Yes, this is one of the main reasons I tend to be politically outspoken, because the brain dead have become part of the system.  Extremely nice and caring folks without a clue irritate the hell out of old farts like me when they can write citations without using common sense.

Oats -  There is a lot of confusion about chumming with oats.  Dry oatmeal floats more and sinks slower so the fish tend to get closer to the surface.  Wet oats since faster and create a little cloud of oat milk that people like to hide their hooks in.  In the summer on a calm day with clear water I want the fish near the top and close to the boat so I use dry oats.  That way you can bail fish without them taking you into the coral.  Wet oats make a spectacular mess in the boat which some people like.

Cheap or not Cheap -  legal to 15 inch 'Tails are easy to catch so you require less chum, so you can probably catch your limit with two blocks in a half day using a medium mesh chum bag.  Hero 'Tails or flags, are fish over 20 inches and are typically found in deeper water requiring more chum in a landing net size mesh chum bag.   You will probably burn a case of chum at around $7.50 times 6 = $45 for about 6 hours of fishing time.  A 15 inch 'tail makes a good filet and is pretty tasty, just not very impressive at the cleaning table.  If you want impressive, it will cost more and require more attention to details like fluorocarbon, steady line release, various hook, jig and bait combinations, and something that is more difficult to find, patience.

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

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