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.
Dan, Dusty, and I fished in Islamorada. The weather was fine and the fish were chewing well. We had snook, barracudas, tarpon, lemon sharks, bonnethead sharks, snappers, jacks, and more. The fishing has been very good. Pro Tip: When casting jigs to fish in very shallow water, begin reeling immediately with the rod Tip held high as soon as the jig hits the water. This lessens the chances of weeding up and keeps the jug near the surface.
Dusty, Dan, and I fished Islamorada. We had a great action and caught well over a dozen species of fish. We had mangrove snappers, mutton snappers, jacks, yellow jacks, bonnet head sharks, lemon sharks, moonfish, and others. We also hooked four tarpon and Dusty released a nice tarpon after dark. The weather and fishing was excellent. Pro Tip: Try and experiment with something new every trip. Try new places, techniques, and lures whenever possible. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't, but you will have fun trying. In addition, when it does work you will add to your repertoire and make the next experiences that much better.
Fished yesterday in Islamorada with the Mikes. We had more wind and things were not perfect but we still caught fish. We had mutton snappers, jacks, blue runners, and a nice gag grouper. The fish of the day was Big Mikes grouper that was about five pounds. We also had a shark on the flats and broke another off. Pro Tip: Don't overfill reels with braided line. Fill them less than you did with mono. This lessens wind knots and other tangles. You need less than you think!
Fished with the Mikes in Islamorada today. We had the usual wind to deal with but we found fish anyway. Big Mike caught his first permit today. It was a beauty and weighed 17 pounds. We also had jacks, cero mackerel, mangrove snappers, and mutton snappers. The flats fishing was slow today due to very murky water. Pro Tip: It helps to fight fish close, especially with light tackle. We had to chase the permit today and staying with the fish prevented us from surely being broken off on structure.
Patty and I fished yesterday afternoon in Islamorada. We hooked up a tarpon on the second cast and the action continued until dark. We released four tarpon, jumped three others, and broke off two more. It was very good. Pro Tip: When fighting fish, the amount of pressure should always change relative to the fishes behavior. Examples would be more pressure when a fish is coming at you and lessening pressure on strong runs away from you. No matter what, line should either be coming in or going out. The static bend in the rod without line coming in or out does nothing but give the fish more time to get off.
Captain Joe Hughes -USCG Licensed 100 Ton Master-IGFA Certified
Joe Hughes has been working in the fishing business since he was eleven years old. Starting at Gibson's Tackle at that age, Joe's passion for the sport of fishing has steadily increased. Joe is a versatile angler who is comfortable poling a flats skiff as well as at the helm of a
sportfisherman competing in big game tournaments. During his years as a professional fisherman Joe has been featured in books and
magazines. His main passion is for salt-water fly-fishing. A teacher by trade, he enjoys sharing his knowledge about fly-fishing, fly-tying, and
fly-casting with his clients.