Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day Three Islamorada

Fished last Sunday with Darryl, Jim, and John in Islamorada. We stayed close and caught a bunch in the morning. We caught some big jacks, mangrove snappers, mutton snappers, blowfish, parrot fish, and blue runners. Pro Tip: Make sure to point the rod directly at the fish there is absolutely no bend in it when using circle hooks. Reel until the drags slips before lifting the rod. Any rod bend will dramatically reduce the chances of the hook catching in the fish's mouth.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Islamorada Bonefish

Fished with Darryl, Jim, and John last Saturday in Islamorada. Darryl is an Islamorada regular with me and has caught permit and tarpon with me. On Saturday he caught his fish bonefish so now he has caught and released all of the big three fishing with me. We came across a nice school of bonefish and Darryl made a nice presentation and caught his first bonefish. Pro Tip: A "grand slam" is catching the big three gamefish in a single day. Catching a bonefish, tarpon, and permit in a single day is quite a feat. That feat was accomplished on my boat last December when Shane Duffy did it with me in late December.

Islamorada Saturday

Fished last Saturday with Darryl, Jim, and John in Islamorada. We had a great day. We started out catching jacks, snappers, Spanish mackerel, parrotfish, pompano, barracuda, and more. We moved to the flats and caught lemon sharks and bonnet head sharks sight-fishing. Opportunity presented itself in the form of two bonefish schools and Darryl made a nice presentation and hooked and landed his first bonefish! Bonefish pictures to follow in an upcoming post. Pro Tip: The swing is king. Jigs are most productive if you cast your lure up current and "swing" it past the boat. The faster the current the further upstream you need to cast. Most bites occur directly perpendicular to the boat when the jig is at its deepest. Vertical jigging in a current usually results in your jig being pushed, or "floated" out of the strike zone.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Three Permit!

Fished with Darryl, Jim, and John on Friday. Awesome. Each of them caught a permit with Darryl's weighing in over fourteen pounds. We also sight fished barracuda, lemon and bonnet head sharks on the flats. In addition, we caught jacks, mangrove snappers, yellow jacks, surgeon fish, blue runners, and a few more I left out. We also jumped three tarpon. It was a busy day. Fishing in Islamorada has been terrific. Pro Tip: Minor changes in jig weight can make a huge difference. Sometimes going up or down 1/8 of an ounce can make a huge difference. The golden rule of jigs is the lightest jig that you can get away with in a given set of conditions usually produces best.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Islamorada Day 2

The family and I fished last Sunday in Islamorada. We caught a bunch of fish. We started on the flats and caught and released some big lemon sharks up to about 70 pounds. At one point we had over ten lemon sharks in our field of view. We made a move and caught pompano, jacks, Spanish mackerel, snappers, gag groupers, and lookdowns. We also jumped three tarpon. Pro Tip: While sight fishing, learn to read the fish. Twitching or moving your bait or lure is entirely dependent on the fish's behavior. Moving or not moving the bait at the right moment makes the difference between a bite and a refusal. This is a skill that comes with practice. Just remember to let them eat when they want to! I watch a lot of people pull the bait or lure away from the fish just as they are about to eat!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Islamorada Sharks

On Saturday, Patty, Ryan, Brady and I fished in Islamorada. We hit the flats first and sight fished three lemon sharks. After releasing them we moved and caught snappers, jacks, mutton snappers, and more. It was a beautiful day. Pro Tip: When casting light baits or jigs and accuracy is important, use an overhead cast like you are throwing a ball. Side arm casts will not get the job done. Everybody thinks it will work, and everybody throws WAY left (or WAY right if you're left handed). This results in blowing the first (and possibly only) chances you may get.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More Islamorada Pics

Here are some more pictures from my trip with Dan and Dusty. We had fabulous weather and the finale was great. We had big snappers, a pompano, snook to about ten pounds, bonnet head sharks, barracuda, and lemon sharks. Fishing had been great in the Keys. Pro Tip: There are several good connections to use to connect your leader to braid. I typically use a double uni-knot to connect the two. Three turns on the thicker leader and six or seven turns on the finer braid.