Permit Fishing in Florida Keys Bridge 4-6-14

I wanted to go fishing to one of the Florida Key’s bridges this weekend. I had very little time to fish in mind and had to make the best out of this 1.5 hour drive plus stops at the bait shops in the hunt for blue crabs since I wanted to get a shot at catching a Permit Jack.  Anywhere I go fishing  is about 1.5 hour drive upwards to a 4 hours drive so I have to plan things to work out for the best. I had no idea where I needed to go until I saw the tide tables and figured I best go fishing to a bridge where I can fish both sides of the fishing bridge. The closest to me where I could do that was Channel 5 Many of the old bridges have been updated with new railings, and some with platforms. Channel 5 has not fitted with platforms but they did redo the parking lot. In my opinion they did great by not adding these platforms. Lots of people like them, I just have to get used to having them. They kind of get in my way when I have a big fish on, but I have to live with it. Back to the trip; I was happy when my wife offered to come with me since it is a pain to land a fish solo plus I had my personal photographer, what else could I ask for?

We were up by 2:30 a.m. and loaded my little square box of a car, off to get gas and to the first bait shop. We stopped at Jack’s in Florida City and I told my wife “if there are no blue crabs we are going back home”, well, they had 5 crabs so I was ok with 5 since I was only planning to fish 1 hour before the tide change and about 2 hours after the tide change. More than enough time and had to hope that no puffer fish would eat my blue crabs. I also decided to get some of the brined sardines and thread fin herrings they usually keep in a cooler. As always I picked the ones that had better eyes than the others. No glassy looking eyes.  After Jack’s we went to the gas station next door grabbed a few snacks and by now I had wasted 1.5 hours of my time. We got back on the road and wanted to stop at Bud and Mary’s bait shop since they open early sometimes but this time it was closed and would open at their normal 6 a.m. schedule. No time to wait so I kept going. As I was driving I was going on my list of things to bring and realized that I did not bring a bait knife so I had to turn around and make another stop for te knife and also got some frozen shrimp that did not look bad so at least I would have a backup plan in case the permit did not go for my blue crabs. Back in the car and off we went, after so many stops we got there at 5 a.m. right at the slack tide. We unloaded everything and went on the way. When we arrive we took some pics of the sunrise.

Channel 5

We got there, we setup our rods, and a FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) officer passed by inspecting our cooler. I was glad to see the officer doing his job. After he left I cast one of my blue crabs as far as I could and another under the bridge. I used 9 foot long fishing rods and reels loaded with 40 lb test line and 50 lb test line. The one with 40 lb test line could cast farther out and the one with 50 lb was just placed under the bridge and the thicker line could take the abrasiveness of the sharp edges.  The third rod I had was a light tackle rod and reel with 6 lb test monofilament line, this rod was set up for snappers with a troll right jig head (hookups lure). I started using the shrimp and sardines to see what was biting best and found the shrimp was the bait of the day for snappers. A fourth rod was kept with a white buck tail jig in case a school of jacks or mackerels made an appearance.

Below is what the jig head looks like and how I was using the frozen shrimp with it.

 Hookup lure

I started catching a few snappers in the 11″ range, like the one below, but I released all of them.

Mangrove Snapper

It was the almost 6 a.m. and the tide started to change. Then all of a sudden I hear click click and my wife screams the reel is clicking. I ran to it and it was just seaweed so I tighten the free spool a bit to avoid that from happening again. I cast  again and walked back to the snapper rod. As I cast the rod I hear click click again on the same rod I had just cast, knowing it might be seaweed again I still ran to it. I pick it up engaged the lever, undid the clicker and started to reel it in when zzzzznnnn the line starts going in circles, I immediately tell my wife to please get the landing net and as she does the fish starts to run against the current and heads under the arch of the bridge. I walked left and extend the 9 foot rod out as much as I could and started to reel as slow as possible hoping for the fish to go the other way towards open water and he does, but then again the reel starts buzzing with the fish dashing through the water, another run and this time parallel to the bridge as I run with it reeling line in and keeping tension trying to guide the fish to open water again the fish went under the bridge and doing so while rubbing the cement arches a painful hold and pray the line does not fray. I pointed the rod’s tip towards the water and I asked my wife to hold the rod a second while I went under one of the bridge’s cement rails and this time I had my rod tip pass the concrete arch and was able to slowly reel in the fish as the line rubbed against the opposite end of the bridge. Patiently I reeled inch by inch and I finally had it next to the bridge and with it’s head out of the water so I asked my wife to lower the landing net. It took a few tries as these fish are a bit wider than most, but she finally did it.

Fighting the fish from under the rail


Permit in the water


Blow is the rigged Blue crab as it would be used to fish for Permit.

Blue Crab as bait

Below is one of the rigs as it would be used for Permit.

3 way swivel rig

Once this permit was landed I did loose a bite on a big strip of threadfin herring due to a ghost lobster trap. I could feel the line rubbing against it and as I was reeling it in I felt the weight of the trap coming in. The line snapped and I lost the fish never to know what it was. I continued to fish for snapper and it was one after another keeper over 10″ mangrove snappers (Grey Snappers), grunt, and under size yellow tails, were caught and released.

Yellow Tail

The water started to clear up a bit and a big school of Tarpon were showing up and a few Permit were with them so I moved to another bridge footing and started to toss the jig head with shrimp on it when all of a sudden I get a bite and my line starts to move sideways typical of a Tarpon bite and then followed by a jump. I was using 6 pound test and so there was nothing more I could do other than wait for it to jump and come loose from my hook hoping not to loose my jig head. There was no jump and so I started to reel in the line and what do I see? I nice big head of a Hog fish, one of my favorite table fish. I call my wife and asked her to once again bring the landing net because if I tried to flip this fish over the line would snap. She brought the net and easily landed my fish. As always she was a trooper and took some pics for me. I have thank her so much for keeping me company and helping me with everything.


The water became clearer and clearer as time past and the almost rule of thumb is if you can see the Permit you will not hook one up. So we decided to leave. On the way out we snapped some pics of the Tarpons.

Tarpon swiming under bridge

More people started to show up and also many birds looking for an easy meal. While I was fishing my wife took some nice pictures of the birds.

pelican flying over us

Pelican and Friend

As we left the bridge I took some pics of interest for others that have never been there and plan to go there.

Common fish from the Florida Keys Bridges   Fishing Bridge Rules

After all the fishing was done we passed by Anne’s Beach Park and took some pictures of it. It is a nice beach with free parking as all the fishing bridges are. It is a very nice beach with small boardwalks that lead into smaller and then more open beaches to be enjoyed.

Florida Keys Anne's Beach Park

 Florida Keys Anne's Beach Park 3    Florida Keys Anne's Beach Park 2

Florida Keys Anne's Beach Park 6 Below are the rules and hours of the beach and a nice set of bicycles. Some days you can observe many colorful and unique bicycles around the Florida Keys.

Florida Keys Anne's Beach Park 4   Kewl Bikes

Before we left we made a stop at Bob’s Bunz for a nice breakfast and a taste of the hot sauce.

Bob's Bunz   Bob's Bunz Hot Sause

 And one last picture for this fishing report slash small tutorial slash public beach information slash restaurant information report. A cool biker taking his belonging that includes a fishing rod into his next destination. Good luck to him and the many others that visit the Florida Keys year after year for a small or big adventure into these eclectic islands.

Adventure Bike


Fishing in the Florida Keys Bridges is always fun, a lot of work sometimes and a lot of walking, but it pays off the more you go. The peacefulness of the night and the sound of the line buzzing out of the fishing reel is what gets the adrenaline jumping and is what many fishermen seek. Again thanks for reading and I hope this post helps someone in the future to land their prize catch or at least dinner.



Iron Man 10 hour fishing on the Reward Won 3-29-14

Via a social site The Reward Fishing Fleet announced their “Iron Man 10 Hour Trip”. It was to take place around Elliot Key which is right before Key Largo Florida.  I accepted the invite and hoped that the big AJ started to arrive for the usual April spawning season, and guess what? The big Amber Jacks’s started to arrive and Captain Wayne was able to get us on them. My intentions on this trip was to catch and release and so it was on many others mind.

The trip began as it usually does we all met at the Bayside Marina around 5 am, when the Captain arrived he needed to get some item from his newer boat “The Legacy” so I got a chance to take a look at the boat and I have to say, they are doing some great work on it. I can’t wait to get fishing on that boat. As we went back we loaded our gear into the boat, and Captain Wayne Conn gave us the fishing plan. We were to go get live bait, we would troll on the way out from there taking turns as people caught fish, we then would go bottom fishing on hard bottom, and then we would hit a wreck or two. I love fishing with a Captain that takes his time before the trip and plans what can be done and “can” is the key word. Many Captains plan a trip thinking what “will” be done. If a Captain plans what “can” be done he/she takes into consideration that not all things can go as planned. On this trip the Captain came prepared to anchor but the forecast was once again wrong and so he didn’t anchor, he drifted his boat over the spots. At the spots that were hard bottom, bait fishermen had their chance at bottom fish. The ones vertical jigging with small jigs also had their chance at bottom fish like snappers and groupers.

Here is the fishing report in pictures:

We got to the lighthouse and fished for some bait. Like all the other boats around were doing.

boats getting bait   boats getting bait 2

Captain Wayne Conn bought live bait which was covered in the $100 total fee for the 12 hour trip. Live bait was white bat and the very expensive goggle eyes.

Getting bait   Goggle eyes

After we left from getting bait we started trolling. I trolled with a home made daisy chain of lures. I had gone to a local tackle shop and purchased 12 small plastic squids that I found on sale for $1.00. I rigged them as follows: 150 lb test swivel, 24 inches of 50 lb mono, red bead, plastic squid, 150 lb swivel, another 24 inches of 50 lb mono, red bead, plastic squid, 150 lb swivel, on the third one I used 36 inches of 100 lb test flouro carbon a bigger plastic squid, a 1/2 ounce weight, a red bead, and a 3 times strong live bait “J” hook. It always pays off with a black fin tuna or a dolphin of any size. This time it was with a 30″ inch mahi mahi. One mahi mahi was kept in the water so it would attract the others, then other fishermen tossed cut baits and got some more mahi mahi.

Here is the color with the catches.

dolphin catch

After the dolphins we got back on the way but this time only small bonitos were the takers. As we got to the bottom fishing grounds a few undersize mutton snappers were caught as well as trigger fish and porgies. The jigs worked and started making their presence. Here is William with a Toro Snapper that was released.

Willie toro snapper on a jig

Along came the Captain’s plan and so we went fishing at one of the wrecks. It was my first drop and my line became tight and at the same time 3 others. I was close to the boat and my line went slack and so did Bernardo’s line. But the person fishing live bait landed his. It was a nice 30 ponder cobia. The Captain did two more passes over the wreck but the wind pushed the boat leaving the transom close to the wreck and all of us at the bow farther from it so I did not get another chance but other jig fishermen like Willian and Bernardo did.

The Captain got in the jigging on the transom hooked a fish and gave the battle to one of the fishermen, he then gave the fish to battle to his friend below.

AmbarJack 2

Below is William on the fight using the right equipment gets the fish in with no problems or lengthy battles. He was using a Jigging Master Terminator II 300 gram rod and a Talica 12


William with Jigging Master Terminator II

Below is William and his Amber Jack

willie and AJ

Here is William releasing his fish.



Below is Bernardo and his priced catch. It was also released.

Bernardo AJ

After the fishing battles people that were bait fishermen wanted to get some other types of fish to be fair the captain moved to a hord bottom spot to give then a chance but that spot did not produce much. The captain also raised the fishing kite at many of the stops but at this stop we staued the longest as a chance at sailfish was probable, but there were no bottom fish and no sail fish takers. Captain Wayne Conn moved the boat once more towards a small barge wrecked, I got a nice size barracuda at this stop, and then to another wreck where I would have another chance at a fight with a sea donkey (Amber Jack).

Below is my Sea Donkey (Amber Jack) I released this fish as well.

Herbert AJ

As we drifted towards Fowey Rocks Light House, the small kingfish mackerel started to show up, here is one of them caught by a fisherman that had tons of patience waiting on a chance at fish.

kingfish mackerel

I give kudos to Captain Wayne Conn and his mate for working hard on getting everyone on the fish. He takes us to the spots and is upto us to get on the fish but he goes out of his way and catches fish to allow others to fight the fish and even allows them to keep the fish if they wish to do so. I love to hear his first question before landing a fish; “if you want to release it’s great, we can release it and if you want to keep it it is entirely up to you”. He always strives toward conservation and does not like it when someone says lets keep it just to leave it at the dock. You can hear him talking about releasing fish through out the entire trip which encourages people to do so and they leave the boat with a clear conscious mind when doing the right thing. Off course there are times when a fish just won’t make it because the angler took too long some time because the fish was foul hooked (hook was not in the mouth) or because the angler’s tackle was just too light for the task. When this happens there nothing else that can be done other than to keep the fish if is is legal size and legal species.

All trips come to an end and so we had to say good by to one of the great light houses of Florida “Fowey Rocks Light House”

Fowey Rocks Light house

On the way back I took a shot at the Rickenbacker bridge and below it you can see the fishing bridge. It was the original driving bridge to Key Biscayne Florida but a new and much higher bridge was built. The great thing was they left the old bridge standing to be used as a fishing bridge. The South side of the fishing bridge was knocked down due to structural damage (so they say).



Summary of the report:

THE FISHING TRIP: Iron Man 10 Hour Fishing Trip which in the end ended being a 12 hour total trip so thanks to the captain for that.
Aboard the “Reward Won” with Captain Wayne Conn of the Reward Fishing Fleet
The Spot : Elliot Key to Fowey Rocks Light House, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday South South West winds 9 to 14 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet with occasional seas to 5 feet. The real weather was: Seas 4 to 6 feet with occasional 8 foot rolling waves, cloudy and no rain all day.
Water: Choppy up to 8 foot seas and slow current in the morning strong currents in the afternoon.
Fish catches: Small Dolphins, Big Amberjacks, Mutton snappers, trigger fish, Groupers that were released, porgies, kingfish
Biggest size Type : Amberjack estimated at around 60 to 70 pounds
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 gram, butterfly jigs,silver, blue, pink, and orange worked the best.

For more information on their fishing trips you can visit their website at

Man Day Fishing Trip on the Katchmore – A jigging trip?

Since the last trip we decided to fish more often and what day to start doing so better than on Man’s Day? So it was decided, we are men and we go fishing on this Man’s day. And what more manly thing to do than for all of us to ask our wives for permission? Permission was granted to us men and the trip was on, LOL. I had to prepare my rods, check and make sure all were sprayed with a non odor, environmentally friendly petroleum based line, lure, reel, and rod protector solvent. Why do I do this? Well, it protects my stuff from the sun and salt water deposits and it does make the braid lines and mono filament lines exit the the reel smoother and faster. Yes, that stuff really works. This is not a commercial, I haven’t mentioned brands. All my rods, reels, lines, and metal jigs were sprayed. All reels were checked for loose screws and drags were set at 15 and 9 pounds respectively. I minimized my selection of jigs to a couple dozen. six 250 grams, six 150 grams, and the rest were 100 grams and under. I took one kingfish mackerel rod, a seven foot spinning rod with 30 pound test braid line and a little reel that is supposed to have 32 pounds of drag. Also with me were a 250 gram jigging rod with a Stella 8000PG and color coded PE8 line, a 200 gram jigging rod with a Saragossa 10000 and 50 lb test white braid , and a 150 gram jigging rod with 40lb test green braid that could double as a bottom rod. Enough of the talk about gear here is the report:

Well, we were supposed to be on the way at 8 am but the captain called us asking if we still wanted to go out with the bad weather, then he called us back saying he had trouble with starting the engines, then he called us back saying that his father (the mechanic) was on the way and would be another hour. Well we were thinking on going on a party boat but decided to wait and see what luck would bring.


We waited and waited so I started to take some pics of the seagulls that were taking a sip of the available fresh water.

Haulover marina seagulls

We got a call from the captain and finally the engines were working and so they came around 9:45 a.m. and we boarded the boat.


Katchmore 2

As we loaded we started setting up the gear.

Katchmore 3

As we got on the way we decided to pass by Lester’s Live Bait boat that basically anchors on the inlet waiting for people to pass by buying some live bait he sells it at $20 for a 5 gallon bucket full of white baits.Not bad considering that you don’t waist time looking for live bait. Live bait and so pirate Nilson was now happy and we got on the way to fishing.

Lester's Live Bait   Nilson

We passes by the Balharbour jetty so I snapped a few pictures. Word was they were catching pompanos.

Balharbour Jetty

Balharbour Jetty 2

On the way out we saw the Hurricane (from the Kelley Fishing Fleet) fishing in about 50 feet of water which was not a good sign for us.


The plan was to go jigging in 350 feet of water but the captain did not want to because of the waves, there were one too many small storms making it difficult to maneuver and so he asked us if we wanted to go catch Lane Snappers and then try the vertical jigging. So we said what the hey let’s do it. On the way we saw some dolphins (Mahi Mahi) jump and asked the Captain to give us a shot and so he did but not for long. One of the engines was having trouble and kept shutting off. When we got to the Lane Snapper spot out went the chicken rigs and a few Lane Snappers came in the boat. I did not catch a single fish, oh well. We then decided to go trolling and that did not work out. Then the captain offered for us to drift with our live baits and as we did i threw out a few as chum but that did not work either. We gave it one more shot at Vertical jigging but the winds around the storms made the boat advance way too fast over the only wreck the Captain seemed to have on his numbers.

Katchmore 5

In the end the total catch was placed in a small cooler. Sad day of fishing for us so we decided to end the trip early and only do half a day.

Lane Snappers

On the way back we saw a few people fishing in Haulover under the bridge, unfortunately if this fisherman would catch a fish he would loose it since he is using the reel backwards. We got back to the dock and were disappointed on the bad day of fishing, but that is how it goes. We call it “Fishing” not “Catching”. If you are interested the Katchmore Luhrs is for sale at $20,000 U.S. Dollars. The boat is really nice for fishing but needs some work, I think it is a bargain at that price.

Googan   Katchmore 4

THE FISHING TRIP: Key West Crew get together for Man’s day
Aboard the “Katchmore” with Captain
The Spot : Haulover, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday East southeast winds 9 to 14 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet with occasional seas to 5 feet. The real weather was: Seas 4 to 6 feet with occasional 8 foot rolling waves, cloudy and scattered rain all day.
Water: Choppy up to 8 foot seas and strong currents all day.
Fish catches: Lane snappers and one blue runner
Biggest size Type : A blue runners was bigger than the snappers caught, LOL
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 gram,  butterfly jigs, no jigs worked. The current did not allow for the jigging.

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.!-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


The trailer Home   The Waterway in Tavernier  

Bait Trip on Out of Control IV June 1st 2013

THE FISHING TRIP: Saturday June 1st 2013The Fishing crew
Aboard the “Out of Control IV” with Captain Ralph

The Spot : Fished from Port Everglades to Hollywood Beach area

Weather : Rainy, Very Cloudy

Water: 2 to 4 foot seas with a few bigger swells in between

Fish catches: yellow tail snappers, small throw back mutton snappers, blue runners, a lion fish

Biggest size Type : Dusky Shark over 100 pounds

Techniques : Vertical Jigging, cut bait, and live bait

Jigs : 250 gram glow jig

Other terminal tackle used: 1/8 oz Jig heads for bait strips, 1/2 ounce weights knocker rig style for bottom fishing

This trip was another one for the books. After getting my jigging trip to West Palm Beach canceled because the Charter Boat’s bottom machine burnt out we all scattered looking for a make up trip. So we got a nice deal on the Out Of Control party fishing boat. It was yet another slow trip. We began with the cutting of the bait and since this was going to be a yellow tail and small snapper catching trip I brought some king fish bellies to at least bring one fish home for dinner. I was not expecting much from this trip since all other party boats were reporting slow fishing as well during that weekend. It was a rainy day and there was no current at all. Conditions were again a plague for good fishing. On the first few stops some yellow tails were caught, a nice lionfish came overboard by Ricky and all hell broke loose as soon as the bite got better then the sharks showed up.  Small muttons, a couple we keepers and some nice mangroves were caught, the biggest mangrove caught by Adam was bit in half by a shark. I was catching some blue runners and was using them for bait. I caught a nice yellow tail that later on was dinner for two at home. SO! I got bored and decided to put on a show I later came to regret. I took my jigging rod and decided to go after the sharks, well I hooked one up and the battle was on. The shark fought nice, at the beggining for a minute I tough it maybe a grouper, nice runs no head shakes. I reeled in then it would run again and again. I was sweating up a storm when on one of the runs PAW! an explosion MY ROD BROKE! Not what I expected a $300 fishing rod would do. I had caught fish over 50 pounds on it before but I guess it just couldn’t take a mad over 100 pound shark. Well I tdecided to finish the battle get the shark closer and recover the piece of rod I lost. Got the shark boat side took some pics but the line busted making me loose the rod piece. HOT DANG IT!!! I will not do that again! Next time  I will not drop unless I have a shark rod.

For a description of the pictures just place your mouse pointer over them.


Ron the photographer on this trip. Thanks for the pics bro

Preparing Bait The Galley on Out of Control IV The Bunks on Out of Control IV Bait stations and coolers on Out of Control IV Fishing space on Out of Control IV Fighting a fish on Out of Control IV Got some bait  Ricky with a nice Lion Fish- an invasive species The boys playing around Got eaten by a shark Fighting the shark Getting a little tired putting pressure on the sharkThe shark The shark The shark chewing on my rod tip The shark  Loney the mate-cook