Awesome day with Paul and Jennifer visiting from Miami. I had the last couple days off myself and the wind kicked up while I was away. Bit crazy but blowing a good 15 knots or so northeast. We caught bait early which was productive thankfully, that has been the hardest part of the day often lately. We checked a few tarpon areas that were hot the last time I fished. Did not see much today though we spent a good bit looking around hoping for a roll or jump. So I decided to run further out where some fish had been as well to take a look. We didn’t see much visually but we put our baits out to just give it some time. Sure enough we got a bite soon after and Paul caught nice 30 lb fish. We got a little rally going after that and then Paul got a big fish about 100 lbs we had to chase down! Got some good pics and released her to fight another day. After that it was Jennifer’s turn, she got an 80 lber and then a 70 lber soon after that. It was fast and furious for a little while but after that things slowed down. We had a few more shark bites and then it was about time to go. We checked one more area quickly on the way home but didn’t see much. Overall great day though we got lucky and got on the right spot, otherwise we didn’t really see much but the wind sometimes makes it much tougher in the respect. Back at it Tuesday. 4 for 4
What a day with Todd and Farrah Mitchum! They were visiting from the Carolinas and were suppose to fish with me a couple weeks ago. The big hurricane changed our plans though and luckily we were able to reschedule for today. We headed out early and found some bait right away. Had to work at it but caught what we needed. Using our power pole anchor and barracuda tackle net we made quick work of the bait. We headed straight out where I had found some tarpon yesterday. Saw a signs of them in the area but didn’t seem to be a big concentration, so we set up and gave it a whirl. Nothing in the first stop so we shuffled around and then we got a few bites. First one zipped us and we weren’t sure what it was but seemed tarpon-like. Then Farrah hooked a fish that we fought for a couple minutes but came unbuttoned. Then she finally got one that stayed on there, a nice 60 lber good size fish! We got him to the boat for some good pictures. After that things seemed to slow down so we moved again. Tried another area that was pretty hot last week, but today we did not see much there. No bites so we packed it up fairly quickly as I wasn’t seeing what I wanted to. I got word from my buddy that some fish were in an area we found them yesterday afternoon, so we high tailed it over that way. We pulled in and saw some fish right away – just what I hoped! We set up and soon Farrah was hooked up again with a nice 40 lb fish that she caught. Then we missed a couple and then it was Todds turn. He got a nice 60 lb fish as well. He had told me he’d only ever gotten one to the boat before, so we took our time and chased the fish down, and were rewarded with some good release photos. We got back in position and it didn’t take long, Farrah hooked and landed another, then a final one to finish our day. She really had the hot rod today, though that’s no surprise women always seem to! What a fun day and so glad to see the fishing so strong it really has been an unbelievable September. Extra glad it was good for these clients as I know the stresses of dealing with a hurricane aftermath from last year! I’m off for the next couple days headed to Miami, then back to work on Sunday hopefully the fish keep chewing. We do look to have some wind coming which may change things up somewhat. The only good thing is it’s a good direction, northeast, which may not bother things at all. I hope not as we are suppose to do a TV show next week! Give me a shout if you are wanting to get out in October, I think we will still have some good fishing up until it starts to really get cold. 5 for 9
Today I had Charlie out for a full day of fishing. Tarpon was on his bucket list as was a larger size snook. I told him tarpon fishing had been really good and we’d try for snook as well. He also was hoping for some dinner fish and there had been some triple tails back there too. We went after bait first, it wasn’t easy we didn’t get many where I’d been getting them the last couple days. So we gave it 30 minutes there then ran to another spot. Didn’t see much but eventually we found a good school in a channel. Got two good throws and caught a couple dozen, enough for what we needed. We tried an area for tarpon and where there may be large snook too, jumped off 1 tarpon then hooked some big sharks that cut us off. I could see some tarpon off in the distance which looked like bigger ones so we moved out there. Soon after we hooked a big 90 lb tarpon! Charlie fought her well and we got some nice jump shots and boatside pictures. After the 30 minute battle they seemed to be gone though. We ran out where some smaller tarpon had been, didn’t see a whole lot but a handful. Nothing in the first stop but the second stop we hooked a couple tarpon, jumped one off right away and another Charlie had on for a few minutes before he threw the hook. We tried a few areas for snook after that with some pinfish we had without much luck. Kind of muddy water in most those areas though it didn’t look great. So we tried one last spot again where a big snook may of been. Tide was starting in and after 20 minutes or so, Charlies rod took off! He got a nice big 18 lb snook, a true trophy size one for Islamorada! After that we looked for triple tails, we had seen some swimming around while tarpon fishing earlier but only got a couple shots on some which didn’t bite. We didn’t see any now at this point where I had saw them yesterday, so we ran to check one more area. No triple tails there, but a load of tarpon! We had about 15 minutes left and I told Charlie we probably had a good shot at getting a tarpon, so we opted to try that and sure enough within about 5 minutes Charlie caught another 30 lb tarpon to finish the day. Fun day and nice to cross a couple fish off his bucket list, and quality fish at that! 2 for 5
Got out with Eric and Justine today for a full day tarpon trip. Eric really wanted a big tarpon and had caught some small ones before. I told him we found some larger size ones yesterday though it wasn’t the time of year for the big migrating fish though could possibly get lucky. Bait was a little tougher than yesterday but we managed to get what we needed plus some leftovers from yesterday. We checked the area where we fished yesterday but did not see much in the AM there. A couple fish after a long pass through, we did get one bite out of them we missed and then some big sharks. But definitely not what was there yesterday. We continued on and found some fish in the other area I’d been going too lately. Not showing much but my tarpon senses led to believe they were there. Sure enough we started getting bit up. We were having trouble keeping them on but ended up landing 5 fish – 3 to the hand, 1 to the main leader, and 1 to the wind-on leader. The rest kept flopping off every which way! They bit right through the slack tide which was nice. Also a few big sharks out there, a couple lemon sharks and blacktips. Later on we decided to check that other area for the bigger fish again on the way home. They were there now, we saw one jump and got set up and Justine jumped off a nice 60 lb fish! After that we moved in further and saw some more, but no more response out of them. Some more big black tips and did get a nice 11 lb tripletail to finish the day. The banner fishing continues this September has been one for the ages! Don’t sleep on this time of year, it’s a great time to come with very little fishing pressure and barring a hurricane, good calm conditions. 5 for 18
Got out with Brandi and her parents Sidney and Carol. Brandi was down from NY and her parents live in South Carolina, taking a break due to the recent hurricane up there. They had wanted to fish a few days ago but I was booked, but were able to make it work out today. Sidney wanted to catch a tarpon and I told them I was their guy! We headed out early and went after some bait. I went yesterday just to try and stock up on some bait as I’m booked all this week now, but it was tough we didn’t get much and by the time I found good bait, it was too late and they weren’t very catchable. But we went to the right spot early today and we got them fairly good which is nice so I have a bit of bait for the next few days too if they are hard again. We found some tarpon in closer then where I had been going, thanks to a good report from a fellow captain. They were flopping and jumping around pretty good and some larger fish too, 30 to 60 lbers, not like the 20-30 lbs I’d been getting lately. We hooked a double header to start and landed both fish, but the bigger one took a while as he was foul hooked so we didn’t get a picture with both as I didn’t want to take a chance of the smaller one dying while we fought the bigger one. After that we got another nice one for Brandi about a 60 lber! After that we moved around a bit, I could see tarpon jumping about as far as I could see so a lot of fish spread out but wow what a school. The next move we started to miss a few fish, we jumped off two big ones right in a row and had a third one grab a bait and make a huge boil and drop it, and then Carol got to land hers about a 50 lber. We called it a morning after that. Just great fishing and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. It was a full moon which I sometimes don’t like but that did not bother the fish at all. Back at it tomorrow as I said I think we will have another week of epic September tarpon fishing. 4 for 7.