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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Alligator Reef Light House Area Fishing 9-28-13 to 9-29-13

THE FISHING TRIP: Fishing in the  Alligator Reef Light House Area Alligator Reef Light
Aboard a friend’s boat. Yellow Tailing
The Spot : Alligator Reef Light House Area close to Tavernier and Islamorada Florida
Weather : Saturday night ESE up to 10 to 15  knots, Sunday morning ESE up to 17 knots, some rain
Water: Up to 4 foot seas in the cloud covered area is my guess. Up to 2 feet in the outside of the rain clouds. Water color clear and barely any current
Fish catches: Yellow tail snappers, mangrove snappers, mutton snappers, groupers, and the usual bait fish
Biggest size Type : 24.25″ Gag Grouper
Techniques : Live bait, dead bait and unfortunately no Vertical Jigging

Yello Tail Snapper Chum

Menhaden oil, cracked corn, oats, and glass minnows

Well, it’s been a while since I last went fishing I think that was August 6th. so I was itching for a fishing trip, The Reward Fleet in Miami called me and told me there was an Ironman trip scheduled for the 28th but unfortunately it did not happen. A couple of friends called me and told me they wanted to go yellow tail fishing and so here another fishing trip was well on the way. Jeff one of them owns a double wide trailer home on the water in Tavernier Key and as he is updates his vacation home and converts it into a weekend rental home  he goes fishing on the weekends when he has no plans to work on the trailer) so I went on my way in the afternoon, I stopped at Jacks Bait and Tackle where I saw some not so fresh threadfin herrings you know if they are fresh when the scales are visible and their eyes still have white around them, when these are too long in a brine solution (more than a couple of days) and people constantly move them they loose their scales and become very greyish. Well it was a big NOOOO on the threadfin herring I then looked to right and saw another cooler with so called fresh scaled sardines and I liked the color of the eyes and the fish still had scales on the, so I sifted through as many scaled sardines that I could find. I ended taking about 24 or so. I also got two blocks of tournament chum (the brand) and a dozen or fresh ballyhoo. The fresh ballyhoo at Jacks are always a surprise because you don’t see them until they give them to you. So I will tell you, be courteous to the attendants and put something on the tip jar and ask them to give you some fresh ones and they will pick them for you, very quickly but you will get a few fresher than the rest. I got a dozen of them. I kept driving on my way to Tavernier Key and stopped in Key Largo at this new bait shop called Captain Bad, they had a sign that read fresh speedos that caught my attention and so I went there and asked for 5 speedos ($3.50 each as if these were gogs!), guy walks in to the freezer where they had a cooler filled with ice and says “never been frozen just brined and kept in ice”  I told him “don’t worry these are just backup baits anyways.I walked around the shop and looks like they have all the basic need for real fishing situations. I did like the place and the people were very friendly. I will go back again. My friends called me and asked me what they should add to the chum they were making, they already had cracked corn and glass minnows so I told them to get menhaden oil and oats. As I got there Jeff had started the mix in a 5 gallon bucket and the proceeded to use a power drill to finish it off. I told him not to use all the glass minnows and add a block of them at the end. The mix looked good and smelled like fish and not a rotten mix to attract all sorts of sharks and thrash fish. Some people love nasty smelly chum, I rather use menhaden oily chums, a few dollars more to make or buy but it is worth it in my opinion. We had some time left to finish setting up the rods and catch some bait at the dock. There were a few dork jacks (tiny jack crevales) and a couple of pinfish that were not so plentiful this year. I remember a couple of years back there was an outbreak of pinfish to the point that they were caught just about anywhere they would normally not be and all of a sudden they went back to the same old numbers and almost vanished in some areas.

So off we went and arrived at the spot being careful to stay as far away as possible from that dotted line in the GPS that marked the imaginary sanctuary line. We sure did not want trouble with the authorities. Looking at the depth finder we chose an area with some fish markings near the hard bottom and we were lucky that the current was taking some of the chum all over the place. We could see the chum slick zigzagging all over the area.  We started using the scaled sardines and then the ballyhoo, when things slowed down I decided to break out the speedos. I took the first one out and crap! It was a freaking popsicle, LOL  I still remembered the guy saying “never been frozen just brined and kept in ice” LMAO!!! WHAT HAPPNS NEXT? NO FREAKING KNIFE IN THE BOAT!!!! Oh no, had to cut the frozen speedos with my bait scissors!!! Jeff was like but you always bring one in your bag, I was like, not this time! Not good, not good, but got over it. Fishing was steady the yellow tails were cooperating one after another kept coming in, I let my line out every time we threw a scoop of the glass minnow mix and in came a yellow tail, Jeff did the same and then worked the bottom catching some mangrove snappers, Victor was freelining and got some tails but many were small. We put out a regular chum bag that was kept in the water at all times. Unfortunately some remoras came to visit but left, then it was ladyfish and we got some of them and used them for bait and they worked quite nice. I put a head out and got the grouper and then some tails and mangrove snappers like the lady fish as well. Every time the bite died down we switched our baits, sardines, ballyho, speedo, ladyfish, dork jacks and picked more fish but it all became a sifting process. So many 12 inch yellow tails, we only kept 12.5 inches and above to ensure that when these shrunk in the ice they would still be a bit bigger than 12 inches and so the same we did with the mangroves even though those only had to be 10 inches. Yeah, I know fish weren’t flags but to Jeff and Victor it would be a nice weekend meal. In the end we went back to shore got more supplies and a knife. Daylight was here and the day looked very promising but the bite was not there so we moved to 150 feet with no luck and decided to try the ledge in 96 to 100 feet. We anchored in a sandy spot away from the hard bottom and let our line on top of the drop. We set out the chum and almost immediately a swarm of speedos came by. I ran to get sabikis but left the bigger ones at home since I wanted to downsize and not take everything with me. I always keep thinking “don’t do it, every time you do it you leave something you will really need”  and I did, I left the right size sabikis at home. Well tons of ballyhoos joined the party so I cast the net and landed a few but the speedos were like, well, speeding out of the way of course. I tried the small sabikies but the ballyhoo were nailing the sabikis hard and would not let the speedos even look at it. The dam ballyhoos ended wrapping themselves so quick in my sabikis that I lost three of them. We prepared small hooks with bait and let it drift in the water and the dam ballyhoos would eat it all, LOL sometimes I wish I had fresh ballyhoos. This time I had too many. Well I tried a few live ones and a few plugs, then a few chunks but no bites it was mostly small fish under us. Jeff was the only one that hooked a mangrove that was a keeper and we also hooked and released several baby mutton snappers and some 15 and 3/4″ muttons, not a single one was a keeper all of them were tiny muffins getting ready to grow in the oven. Midday came and we decided to call it the quits. In the end we got 15 yellow tails, 5 mangrove snappers, and a decent size gag grouper. We had not time to go jigging I wish I had tried but we were too shallow for doing so. Here are a few pics of some of the fish caught and some of the surrounding areas we navigated by.

Victor and a sifter yellow tail

Yellow tail Snapper

My gag

Gag Grouper

A marker and Alligator Reef light.

Reef Marker   Alligator Reef Light

Getting the bait close to the boat

Geting bait close to the boat

Jeff and a throw back muffing mutton snapper

Mutton Snapper

Jeff and his mangrove snapper

mangrove snapper

Well until next time, I hope to go fishing again very soon. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments

Yankee Capts Mutton Marathon 8-16-13 to 8-18-2013

THE FISHING TRIP: Yankee Capts Mutton MarathonYankee Capts Boat
Aboard the “Yankee capts” with Captain Greg
The Spot : Dry tortugas
Weather : Friday ESE up to 10 to 15  knots, Saturday ESE up to 17 knots, Sunday E  up to 20 knot winds, some rain, cool temperature
Water: Up to 5 foot seas is my guess. Water color clear and mild currents
Fish catches: Quality muttons but very low quantities, plenty yellow tail snappers enough for everyone on the boat to get their limits, and the usual bait fish such as bonito and blue runners
Biggest size Type : Mutton up to 15 pounds (is my guess didn’t see it on a scale)
Techniques : Live bait, dead bait and Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 80 to 150 gram,  butterfly jigs, blue, pink, and green jigs worked best. Only caught bonitos on them.

My buddy Ed had been itching for the experience to fish on the Yankee Capts and he knew I was planning on a trip, so we decided to hop on the Mutton Marathon trip. Well,  for starters I knew I was going in to a trip with a big possibility in bad omen of weather. There was a Low Pressure system in the Yukatan Peninsula and a High pressure system in the Carolinas it would have gone both ways. I normally like to fish before or after a storm, this time it was in between. Sometimes we have to do what we can to get an opportunity to fish and so it is my luck that this year I have been against a wall of bad luck. It is called fishing not catching so no excuses of bananas on board. I will blame the cause to this trip to my lack on getting fresh bait for my self on this trip. I only went out once to get fresh bait and it was only micro blue runners and jacks that I found, plenty for yellow tails but no mutton snapper bait. I could have gone and tried harder to get some good goggle eyes but I just did not have the time and did not want to kill my self over the bait and so I made the wrong decision of calling the Captains in the keys and depended 100% on them. Well, there was no bait in the Keys, no one had it and even ballyhoos were not accessible for purchasing since it is commercially closed in August. Out of 4 Captains called and 5 bait shops visited and was only able to acquire frozen old bait and I mean freezer burnt old bait. Our only chance was to get fresh bait on the boat.

As we got to the dock it was the usual unload and get all ready for the trip, after doing so we enjoyed a nice Hogfish Sandwich and a few drinks. The boat left the docks and we arrived at the grounds at around 4am in the morning. First stop 110 feet deep. At this dept you are usually able to acquire fresh bait. I got my net ready as a few flying fish were visible, dang it they left as soon as the engine stopped running, crap! I tried the sabiki for some gogs but had no luck and the sun came up a bit later than usual giving us more time but the bait just wasn’t at this stop. OH well, we tried getting yellow tails and we got plenty of that, a story that would repeat over and over during the day. It was now night time Friday, the boat was anchored at 110 to 120 on all the stops and the flying fish came close to the boat and I was able to secure at least a dozen or so of them but about 8 were only 3 inches long which was not so useful when you are in yellow tail City. The yellow tail would just chump at the small baits and when using the old frozen baits those would just fall right off and when hooking them in the spine you would just bring the cleaned out bones, if you are a fish bone collector this was the time for you to appreciate, not for me. It was time for a super hot shower get a little cleaned up and drink a beer re look at my strategies and see if I could do something on Saturday to turn my luck around.

The clock kept going as it always does, it was now past midnight and the Captain tried moving to deeper water the current was good for 8 ounce fishing but the wind and the current were on opposite ends, it was tangle city USA. New Yorkers against Canadians, against Floridians blaming each other for the tangles when it was nothing but wind to be blamed, LOL. It all got quiet everyone looked at each other and kept on trying to fish with some relocation to other places on the boat. As the day came by us the captain again moved to shallower waters this time to some ledges in 85 to 90 feet of water.  Well it was another bust, hardly any bites and sad to say maybe the reason we weren’t catching much is in the video below. My buddy Ed dropped a Gopro in 90 feet of water with a small contraption we devised, take a look and just pause it when you see fish.

Later in the day we made another move and when I saw that ledge on the screen I was so happy, I hurried down and grabbed my jigging rod, jigged and jigged but nothing happened. We actually had arrived in shark city USA, shark are always all over the Dry Tortugas and up to date I have been able to avoid them by using crabs, octopus, and squid, well nothing else was interested on those offerings other that yellow tails that were chomped by the sharks anyways!  But then the sharks moved out and up came some action with a few muttons and some nicer size yellow tails and juvenile red groupers. As the sun started to go down Ed gets a blue runner, I immediately cut it and tell him how too hook up the chunk. He sent it down and only a few seconds when BABAM!!!! ZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZ he thinks is a shark and Jarvis and I at the same time say “iIT’S A NICE SIZE MUTTON RUN MAN!!!” Ed did his thing and got the fish up inch by inch. “UFFF!” he said, “got him!” and so he retired for a little while in the afternoon right after that, the man sure was happy of the catch, LOL.

Ed and his prized catch

Ed's happy with his biggest mutton so far

As the night fell on us I went back to bait fishing, the bait was hitting small sabikis and guess what? I only had huge sabikis that worked in the past, I left my smaller sabkis at home because I tried to downsize on the tackle I brought. ARRRG! I only got one goggle eye and 2 blue runners. The blue runners were taken by sharks and the goggle eye was lost because Rodney the Rod Holder failed me. the rod holder was in a spot that when I pulled it out the lever went on free spool as I got a bite. CRAPOLAS AGAIN!!! OH well again, the afternoon came by and the weather turn for a bit and we lost some of the wind and the clouds, Nice! WEED! WEED! WEED! Not the one you smoke the good stuff lots of Sargasso floating around. I got prepared and setup a rod in case dolphins got close by. Nothing came close by so I went to the stern to try and sling a knocker rig with a whole ballyhoo on 30 pound test braid line for a shot at a mutton and what happens to pass by as sling my bait out into the depth? 3 dolphins, 2 cows and a bull. Art a quick thinking fisherman also had the same Idea as I did and had a rod ready so he sent the chunked bait out and hooked on to a small cow and kept it in the water long enough for other to throw some bait out. I already had the whole ballyhoo on my knocker rig so I brought it  in to the top and got nailed by a bigger cow. At least I got a 10 pound mahi mahi on this try and did it by chance since my prepared mahi mahi rod was at the front. After that it was nothing but yellow tails and yellow tails for me. Art and Jarvis who are regulars on the boat had fresh goggle eyes and speedos, they were hauling one quality mutton here and there at a few stops. Art won the pool with one of those fish and I think Jarvis ended with 8 muttons or so after Jarvis no one had more that 3 or 4 muttons and I only got a short  one I had to let go.

It was past 12am on this night and Sunday had arrived, Ed spent a lot of time sleeping because he developed a big back pain but he kept on fishing in between naps, I woke him up to help me with the bait.  I went on to try and try and we did nothing but try. In the end I only a small strawberry, a 10 pound mahi mahi and had kept only 20 yellow tails since I used the rest for bait. That was all I had to show for this trip. I didn’t even take a pic of me with the fish. It was not a worthy catch. Here are some more pics for your enjoyment.

On left a nice vintage modified for fishing, you get to see so many creative stuff in Key West. On right a look at the boat from the Hog Fish Grill restaurant

My dream car  Yankee Capts Boat sign

The boat now has some nice front racks!

A view of the Yankee Capts front rack

Ed working the bow and Lindon with his watchful eyes always ready to help someone

Lindon and his watchfull eye

Richard the new mate with one of Jarvis muttons

the new mate holding a mutton

The New Yorkers working the transom. They sure looked like they had fun.

The New Yorkers doing their thing

On left Captain Yuri, flying right by us. We were fishing the same waters he was. On right an Andy Griffiths boat also went right by us

Captain Yuri passing by   Andy Grifiths passing by

A nice weed patch we worked on Saturday

One hell of a weed patch

On the way in a look at the yellow tail filled totes

The trip's catch

The tourist boats from the Keys on the left and on the right the Catamaran from Fort Myers to Key West, talk about speed

Key West tourist boats   Talk about speed

I wonder how the winds were in Key West, this sailboat got stuck on a sand bar, expensive mistake.

In trouble

Fishermen gathered around waiting for their catch to be distributed

fish distribution

Yankee Capts 4-8 to 4-10-2011- A Wreck Trip

THE FISHING TRIP: April 8TH through April 10th, 2011
Aboard the “Yankee Capts” with Captain Greg
The Spot : Offshore West Coasto, Florida into the Gulf Of Mexico
Weather: sunny, 5 to 10 knot winds
Seas: Calm
Water: Clear in the morning and less visibility in the afternoon
Fish catches:  Amberjack, Almaco Jacks, Yellow Tail Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton snapper, Cubera Snapper, American Red Snapper, Red Grouper, African Pompano, kingfish, and bonitos in the mix
Biggest size : Type : Cubera Snapper 37 pounds
Technique: Jigging and fishing with live and chunk white bait and speedos
Jigs :100-300 gram; pink worked the most on this trip.

Prolog:
Hi all, it’s been a while since I’ve written a fishing report but here I am giving it a try. I apologize in advance if the story line is not in the order in which the events took place. I went to fish and not to document the catches. So here it goes:
I was supposed to go fishing to the Bahamas in May but changes in my schedule forced me to cancel, but I had the itch for some jigging fun and catching something that could bring some pain to my shoulders, arms or my back. Well, I guess I am trying to say I needed some stress release so I booked a newly opened trip on the Yankee Capts “A WRECKS TRIP” OH boy, this sounded great for the stress release situation. A chance to really work some flutter and vertical jigs on some AJ’s and hopefully some grouper or snappers to gain some “PAIN” and get the stress out of my mind!

Chapter 1

CRAP! We ain’t fishing in the Tugas? Somebody brought bananas?
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OOOPS! I guess I did not read on the trip well enough. We were to fish wrecks in the gulf, wayyyyyyy up from the Tugas! When I found out I re read In my mind I thought “hmmmmmmm, king fish, cudas, lots of groupers, AJ’s, maybe some cobes, and a chance for permit in the wrecks”. Again I have a busy schedule so I had a very short window to really prepare since my rule to fish from a boat is “as much fresh bait as possible” and by that I mean the bait cannot be caught more than 3 days before the trip and the countdown first day starts at night. I started checking my goggle eye spot sources and those did not look promising, but then I thought I am looking for pain so I need to gather bait for the bait to target bait to catch pain species (In case you did not understand what I meant is that I was looking for bait to get legal size bait to catch big fish with shoulder and back wrecking strength). OK, so that meant bait like pilchards, threadfin herrings, small pin fish, blue runners, etc…. Well things started bad as planning had to go down the drain since we weren’t going to the Tugas, and to top it off someone (cough, cough) brought bananas in the boat?

Chapter 2
Preparation.
I am used to fishing by myself or a few friends form bridges, jetties, or beaches “I’m a BOATLESS individual” so I pack HEAVY! We have lots of space to run for the rod that gets the hit, this did not make it difficult to choose the basic needs to get the basic pain I wanted.
1- A spinning rod to jig with guts to get something away from the wrecks, a reel with enough drag and line to pull anything that could inflict pain
2- A spinning rod for bait that could be possibly used to get a 30 pound king fish in the boat
3- A conventional rod and reel to get nice legal size baits ( in the pound range)
4- A conventional rod and reel to get the big pain givers at sunrise and sunset
5- A conventional rod that could be used as a back up for 3 and 4 above
The above is my own list for a limited fishing trip (limited amount of fisher men or women on a single long range trip)

Chapter 3

The bait gathering

On the 7th of April It all started bad, I was supposed to go to a bridge that holds cigar minnows, small goggle eyes, (especially since I had to be at the dock in Stockton Island before 10 pm on Thursday). I started the day with the OHHHH boy I ain’t got bait in my coolers! I am lucky enough that I live close to the keys so I went straight to the Yellow bait house in Key Largo and haggled on some goggle eyes ( I know I said I may not need them but you never know what bait is the preferred bait of the day so I got them), and got some live shrimp (did not keep live, just placed in bag in the cooler). I went to the first bridge to get herrings and whatever else I could, I saw Jarvis and his friends said high to them as they left and I continued getting bait. I jumped to a second bridge to cast net some ballyhoos after a few one by one tries I went to the third bridge where most of the people fishing in the trip where there. Got the pins and separated them by size in zipper bags, small medium, large, and mixed bag (different baits).

Chapter 4

Fishing:

On the 8th of April after a loooooooong ride to the first wreck right before sunrise we all tried for some groupers and then did the switch to other baits and styles of fishing. You could see knocker rigs, fish finder rigs, free lining, heavy bottom weights, and light weights. My observation was that all in all everybody was trying something different and everybody was watching each other to see what worked at the moment as if we were on a pier where someone gets a fish to bite and all of a sudden you see 10 other fishermen in the same spot. Them not knowing that the fish are all over but it’s up to them to get them to bite where they are.
I and a few people got what we wanted, nice fish. And I definitely got what I wanted, PAIN! I started jigging and got on to some AJ’s while everyone else tried hard to get other fish. After my Aj’s a few African Pompanos came up, we got a few very rare Red Americans( cough, cough) and that was promising. As always the captains and crew worked hard and moved from spot to spot trying to make sure that all got into some “QUALITY FISH”. Yes, this trip was not meant to be about numbers or just Muttons, but about quality in size of fish that inhabit the wrecks.
I kept saying I am going to battle with the AJ’s, and so I did. I got 12 out of about 20. My shoulders were hurting, my back was in pain, my arms had a great work out, ended up got bruises all over, and ended up keeping the smaller ones to eat. The night came and so we started targeting snappers and groupers, to our surprise a ballyhoo going down produced a nice black fin (sorry I am bad with remembering names)…. So I tried jigging at night with no success, I went back to bottom fishing.
On the 9th (or my birthday) fishing was going very slow so I decided to break my rules and target the yellow tails using a guppy rig ( chicken rig) I know it sounds bad but I did it and I said it “aint no shame in this game, fish don’t know the difference! I went with the smorgasbord buffet special baits, LOL…A big mixed bait on the top, a smaller mixed bait on the middle, and a tiny single bait on the bottom… I dropped it and then POW!!! Rod tip bent, tangle with 3 people is on, I kept on reeling in, captain Greg ran to the bow to help, and Jarvis started s creaming don’t pull he’s got a big tail on… A nice tail comes up I say it’s a flag but Mr. Caesar says “NO!, is not a flag, IT’S A BANNER!”….Thanks goes to Jarvis and Capt Greg for the help on landing the nice y-tail. It was 26.5” total length as the picture shows it and may be even more if I had pinched the tail some more…. Instead of shrinking this thing grew from 24.5” inches to a nice 26.5”. After that a nice 15 or so pound red was landed and a real NICE 24 pounder mutton was landed as well. The day kept going with the moving from spot to spot. Others were having fun with jigging and on the same day Roberto was able to sneak the jig in between all the Aj’s and got a nice 25 pound or so black fin. After that a nice surprise came in the form of a cubera snapper, the Yankee fan was able to pull the pool winner 37 pounder, which rumors had it was around 50 pounds but that later was confirmed to be 37 pounds on the scale. A one of a kind for many, but just smaller one for the person that caught it ( he got a bigger one in Panama), but HEY!, this one was in Florida during our trip!
On the 1oth, things kept going slow with blue fish and lanes in the mix and finally Capt Matt decided to make a last minute move to arrive at sunrise city where we prepared for groupers and got hit hard, rods bent all over and a few Goliaths came over the rail but no reds or blacks, then all of a sudden the nice size mangrove snapper started to show until Mr. Sharky showed up and capt Greg gave us the last call for the trip.

Conclusion:

The bananas in the boat had to be eaten before we all started catching some fish. All in all fishing was slow for those that did not want to fish, we got nice quality fish, and we had a great time. The Captains did their job so did the mates and it was up to us to get the fish. We all did what we could and some of us landed something very nice. Numbers didn’t matter, quality did. The trip was fun and smelly because (cough, cough)” middle bunks situation” with someone bringing bait in their clothes and leaving it somewhere in there. I ended up taking lots of bait but ended using mostly artificials, (it’s what I asked for, “PAIN”). I did not fish for cudas as it was just to easy to do so, they were all over and a tube lure would have been just too easy.

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DSC01038 DSC01040

                       DSC01039  DSC01048

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DSC01037   DSC01038

                   DSC01041-small   DSC01027

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