Fishing at Robbie’s Islamorada 8-9-2015

I received a text from an old fishing buddy asking if I wanted to join his party to go fishing at Robbie’s in Lower Matacumbe Key. For those that don’t know, this area is part of Islamorada. I was not expecting much from this trip since earlier trips had been catchings lots of grunt fish. Those that know how can get some nice yellow tails or get lucky with other fish as well. Our trip was no different this time around but it was nice to get out there and fish once again and just to be fair if you really want to catch fish on the Capt. Michael boat, go at night, this is when they are very likely to catch a lot of yellow tails and or mangrove snappers.

We got to Robbie’s and walked through the area. I think this is where those not so familiar with fishing have the most fun, an encounter with Tarpon fish and sometimes Jack Crevale fish. For a few dollars you can buy a bucket of sardines to feed the fish and so it is what our crew for the day did. You and your family will definitely have a good time doing so. They have a very decent restaurant and if you feel like having an adventure they rent kayaks, jet skis, and boats.

Below is the Capt. Michael party boat.Fishing at Robbies05

Don’t you dare bring bananas on this boat!

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Looking around you will see many Tarpon swimming under the docks.Fishing at Robbies01

Here is my son having fun feeding the Tarpons. Fishing at Robbies10

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Here are my nephews and their friends having fun with the Tarpons.Fishing at Robbies12

A look at the docks and the bait pens. There are charter boats that leave these docks and if you don’t have a big party you can call to get in a shared charter. The cost is very reasonable and you will have a chance at very decent fish.

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Once all the fun was over and the Tarpon were well fed we headed on to board the boat. Below is the mate giving instructions on how to use the overhand fishing reel that are available for rent.

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Below is how they normally set up for fishing. You pay the fare, you get a rail number and you stay at that rail number fishing with your equipment or their rentals.

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Below is Alligator Light, which is near the fishing grounds where you will be fishing

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Since the boat was booked to capacity the Captain had us fishing in very shallow water, it was about 30 feet according to my metered line. I was hoping for a little deeper so I could use my slow jigging gear. The mate said we couldn’t go deeper until the current would slow down. At all stops the boat anchored and the mates deployed frozen chum and also chum from a bucket. At 30 feet 99.9% of the catch were grunt fish. I and a few others managed to land a yellow tail each. On the last stop we went fishing in 90 feet of water, this is when the Glass Snappers were biting consistently. It is not what I was after but it was what kept on hitting our slow pitch jigs. In the end with 4 Glass Snappers caught with my slow pitch jigging set up and one yellow tail caught on bait. Our group filled a 5 gallon bucket with fish. Not so bad for only 4 hours of fishing.

On the way back we could see people fishing under the bridge. Sometime you can get good quality fish from those areas.

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Below is the size of my yellow tail, it made it one inch passed the legal limit so it will be a dinner for two or two sandwiches. Well, it’s better than no meals.

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Below you can see the catch for the boat, most tourist were using squid and small strips of sardines. We were using jigs and silver sides.  Fishing at Robbies41

Below is some information from their site in case you want to try your luck at Robbie’s of Islamorada.

The morning charter casts off the dock at 9:30 a.m., returning at 1:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. the boat heads back out for an afternoon charter, which returns at 6:00 p.m. Robbie’s also offers night trips, which leave the dock at 7:30 p.m. and return at 12:30 a.m. Half-day adult is $40; half-day child (12 and under) is $24.50; these rates include bait, tackle and fishing license. Half-day rod rental is $5. Night trip adult is $45; night trip child is $26.50; night rod rentals are $5. Stern spots for all trips are $10 extra (limited spots available). Taxes not included in all rates. Military discount of 50 percent with valid I.D. Purchase two trips on the same day and get a $10 discount on the second trip.

Thanks for reading or looking at the pictures.

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Fishing on Outta Control Florida Sportsman Trip August 2nd 2013

THE FISHING TRIP: Florida Sportsman South Regional get together fishing trip
Aboard the “Outta Control IV” with Ralph Hawkins
The Spot : Fort Lauderdale to Islamorada Humps
Weather : Friday ESE up to 2 knots, Saturday SE up to 7 knots, Sunday SE  up to 7 knot winds, rainy
Water: calm up to 1 foot seas Water color clear and strong currents at the beginning slowing down on Saturday afternoon.
Fish catches: Monster AJ, Monster Banded Rudder fish, Over 100 mangrove snappers
Biggest size Type : AJ upto 80 pounds
Techniques : Live bait and Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 80 to 300 gram,  butterfly jigs, blue and pink jigs worked best.

This trip had been planed months ahead, I made all possible to be able to go on it. The plans started in the Floridasportsman forum by a member named Ryan  (copout@castaways). many members have been in other outings but I had not. When I arrived I did not expect a bout full of joyful and great people. From the minute I got there it was all about comradery, helping one another load gear talk about the plans ahead and expectations on the trip. It all started to get together and then BAM! a bottle of Seagram’s and some Ginger soda hit the bait cutting table. OH BOY!!! Steve said and ain’t gonna touch that stuff, some one else said  beer only for me. But it didn’t take long for everyone to become even friendlier. Yeap! the drinking did get started, the fishing stories were told, and then little by little some started talking on how they fish where we get bait what gear we use. As always the boat is spotless, the showers even have cold water and hot water, but you have to be careful on how hot you put it, it does get extremely hot.

Loading up   Who is gonna start

We went to Bent bait and it seemed like it was drunker than many in the boat or was that the buzz? Well we were using plain sabikis but since there were no threadfin  herrings or pilchards we tipped the sabikis with squid and off everyone went helping, some catching some de hooking some cutting bait and others, well drinking, what else? Not all fit in the back so why not let the other catch the bait. In the end everyone helped one way or the other. The bait caught was the good o’l mighty BooRunner (blue runners), a few pinfish, a few dozen spot tail grunts. We were set and off we went fishing.

Bent Marker   Catching bait

A beautiful sunset over the Miami scene as we left the old Bent Marker

Sunset over Miami-Picture by Herbert Hans Muller

The first few stops did not yield much, a mutton snapper caught on pre frozen sardines caught by Ralph and winning the biggest snapper pool the as we moved and moved finaly there was a wreck closer to the keys where the AJ’s where hungry at night. Steve paid with the drinking and almost ran out of gas catching this AJ, the current helped the AJ fight stronger. Then as they stopped feeding the Captain moved to another spot, this time it was a sharkathon, all was shark after shark so he captain made a longer move, again , and again.

Steve's AJ

It was morning time and we arrived at Carysfort to try and get some yellow tails. The crew went on the mission of putting two 15 pound chum blocks (one blood and one tiny silversides), that rallied up some of the fish but the current was still going Bob Marley on us, it just kept JAMMING!  i was able to get one yellow tail while another 2 muttons were landed. Then it was nothing at all. Carys Fort Reef Light is where we meet a very happy waving youngster, dad, and family moving next to the boat and drifting with their anchor all the way around to the propeller of their boat, wonder why it didn’t start and dad had to dive in the water for? Well they had their anchor rope wrapped around the bout and in between the propelers. Fellows be careful when renting a craft you do not know how to use, there are motorized crafts not bicycles. Well the Captain made a few more moves that were still pickings of small fish.

Carys Fort reef Light House

Night time came and what do I see? BANANAS? What? BANANAS? BANANAS IN A FISHING BOAT? YOU AIN’T GONNA CATCH NOTHING MAN!!! “No problem, I did not buy these bananas, the crew did” I think the trick is eat the banana while drinking water at the same time, the water sucks the bad mojo away. Then drink a beer an hour so you forget the banana bad luck thing.

Oh Crap bananas

Well, the very next morning while fishing for big AJ’s at the islamorada Humps he hooked up to a sailfish on a kingfish jig and let the sailfish go unharmed, so Karma got his back.

Ryan on the sail   Sailfish

The first big, well I should say monster AJ came on board. it was Doc’s first ever big fish and he was happy to have caught it and was undisputed for the big fish pool. After this fish he was ready for another when most people would just sit down.

Doc's pool winning fish

It was BBQ king Doug’s turn and this time he had an AJ on a small jig and was very happy for the battle and chose to continue as well. brave people I tell you most would just rest.

Doug's AJ

Then came my turn and Jeff’s turn to get into the AJ’s and were reward with some nice decent size fish.

Herb's AJ

Herb's AJ 2

Coming back from the Humps Captain Ralph decided to anchor by Alligator Reef light and catch bait plus what ever mangrove snappers we could catch. We loaded with mangrove snappers and bait and as we were doing so Jimmy caught another sailfish, DO NOT FREAK OUT!!! This was the second Sailfish of the trip. Jimmy thought it was a flying fish, looked at it closely and realized it was a sailfish after he took it out of the dip net. Took a quick pick and released it.

Jimmy's Sailfish

After the bait gathering and getting the boat’s limit on mangrove snappers it was off to the Isla Morada’s humps again. Where the battles began. We caught many fish on jigs but some were still trying to land a MONSTER AJ. Ernie took his turn with the kingfish jig and had a great battle with a big fish. We all thought it was a wahoo until the line came back up all frayed. Hmmm wahoo got very shark teeth, may be a shark but better think the boat was following a big wahoooooo. below is the Captain guiding the Co-Captain to following the fish.

Ernie on his shark

My skipjack on a jig

Herb's skipjack on a jig

Lots of rare size (for Florida waters) Banded rudder fish were caught. below is the one I caught on a vertical Jig.

One of my banded rudder fish

Eddie is below showing off his AJ and in the background the rest of the fish caught by all 14 anglers.

Ralph sneaking in the pic

Taking pics at the dock

For more pictures you can go to the main report written by Ryan, he is the one that set up this trip. We were all very thankful for him taking this long awaited task on his shoulders.

http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?123765-Outta-Control-IV-48hr-FSFF-trip-8-2-4-Absolutely-wide-open-fun!-PIC-HEAVY

Fishing with a friend around Molasses Reef 6-29-13

THE FISHING TRIP: Trolling for Dolphin and jigging
Aboard the “Seaquest ” a friend’s boat
The Spot : Islamorada to Tavernier
Weather : 15 knot winds, Fair weather, some rain clouds
Water: 2 to 4 foot seas
Fish catches: Amberjack
Biggest size Type : Small AJ, no big fish found
Techniques : Vertical Jigging produced and cut bait did not
Jigs : 250 gram,  butterfly jigs

I was supposed to go fishing the Florida Keys bridges yesterday since the mangrove snapper and permit action has been good, but a friend called me letting me know he would be working on his trailer in Tavernier Key, which is just before Cudaman's Amberjack two 6-29-13Islamorada. He said he wanted to go fishing and try and catch some Dorados (mahi mahi), so I accepted the invitation. My first stop on the way was at Jacks Bait and Tackle in Florida city to buy some ballyhoo and ice. The ballyhoo where on the big side but look like had been brined for too long. I got to Tavernier around 2:30 am and started to rig some ballyhoo and get the stuff ready for the fishing trip. After a few trips to the gas station to fill the boat up we left with about 1/4 of a tank which is about 20 gallons of gas. We noticed it was very windy, according to the weather channel and some websites the wind was supposed to be less than 10 knots and 1 to 2 foot seas but the wind was about 15 knots, at first we thought it was because of some rain clouds passing by but as we headed out we figured it was not the wind was just blowing a bit harder than it should have been and the waves were about 2 to 4 fot seas with some higher rolloers in between, but were not choppy so it was all good for fishing. Hmmm, we noticed that not many boats were heading out, there was no sewaeed stacked, there were no birds, but we kept on trolling towards the Islamorada humps (basically an under water mountain on the sea floor). As we got to 380 feet deep the seas were getting higher and higher so we were forced to head shallower where the waters are much calmer and headed towards the Molasses Reef area, we kept trolling and finally were able to see some birds but had no luck the birds were moving too fast circling and moving, circling and moving fast (sometimes a sign they are following bonito or blackfins). I put on a small squid on one trolling rod and a ballyhoo on the other, but still no luck. I usually get the small blackfins on the small plastic squids and even get small dolphins on them as well. Since the birds just disappeared into the sun we decided to head to the wrecks close to Molasses Reef. On the first wrecks I set down a jig and BAM!!! almost get pulled into the water and was hooked up to a nice fight, so I figured the big amber jacks are still hanging around but then, slaaaack! Oh well let the jig back down and started jigging again then Bam! I get hooked up again, but this time it was a small amber jack, I unhooked it and released it after a few pics. There were lots of bait in the water and all of a sudded they all disappeared and with the the hits. My friend Jeff tried fishing with cut ballyhoo and with squid but it did not work out. We moved to another wreck and as a diving boat approached we decided to go to another one but the action just died and so we decided to head back to the docks. It’s fishing not catching. The luck has not improved but I will keep on trying.

Cudaman's Amberjack  6-29-13    Cudaman Releasing an AJ 6-29-13

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The trailer Home   The Waterway in Tavernier  

Bridge Fishing the Keys With My Nephews 7-2-2011

After a long time of saying I will go fishing with my nephew’s (from my wife’s side) we finally came up with a day to go bridge fishing, Friday July 2nd, not such a great day since normally the 4th of July weekend is full of people rushing to the Florida Keys to have fun in the sun and water to celebrate this great country’s independence. Well, they had great expectations of this trip as they have seeing many pictures and heard great fishing stories from the Florida Keys, only one of them had gone fishing with me before and that was to Channel #2  on a Memorial day weekend that was a nightmare to drive to and from the Keys, but was a great day of fishing to catch and release sharks and keep some dinner snappers.

The only fishing experience they had were some previous bass fishing. I set them up with the basic rigs. I decided: Knocker rigs and troll rights with jig loop knots should be the best choice. They were fast learners and had it good after 2 hours of fishing, WOW! That was quick!.  I worked hard on getting them on a fish, no matter what it was, but absolutely wanted to get them on at least one quality fish. Expecting many fishermen and fisherwomen to come to the bridge that weekend I thought that it would be best to scheduled our trip to be on the bridge at a time in which most bridges are empty.  All bridges in the Florida Keys are good and you can catch many species of fish from them but in this task I had to bring them to a place where they didn’t have to drive so much, walk so much,  and catch some keeper snappers for dinner and at least one quality fish to keep them interested.

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The time went on and we discovered that we were surrounded by alien looking like creatures that kept on giving us the finger, but as you can imagine they were scared of these creatures, and what is the first thought? Get rid of them or they might bite us! LAND CRABS all over! There were dozens of them at a time. One of the family members I brought was a peanut that had the courage to try and grab one and guess what? OUCH I GOT PINCHED!!! They all panicked and started pushing them back to sea. I had to watch them and constantly tell them they were creatures that were more scared of us than us of them. The crabs were appearing claw less and come to find out there was a group of people hopping bridges looking for their claws, locals that knew what was going on.

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Now the fishing report: The weather was great, no rain (which I wanted some) the water was not clear and this was great, the current was not ripping when we got there and almost seemed slack to a point until it changed to incoming which is when all the action started with the clouds gathering and the winds picking up a bit.

Well, the fishing story/ report got too long so let’s go back to the report, this time with pics:

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The peanut got his first fish ever and a keeper 12.5” snapper, which he told the story on how he caught it and fought it for the whole night and ride back home, LOL

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The oldest nephew got his first fish, one hell of a Hog Snapper!

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My nephew’s brother-in-law got a bonnet head that he didn’t want to touch, LOL

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I was able to get a nice size permit

Herbert Hans Muller Permit Keys Bridge

One of my nephew’s went home blank so I still owe him another trip. My other nephew also had no luck on this trip but he had come bridge fishing with me before and caught some nice lemon sharks and snappers. All in all it was a successful and very nice bridge fishing trip. I just have to find the time when they all can get off work at the same time again to go fishing with them again.