Fished with Dave and Paul again. The bite continued with blues up to 16 pounds. Spring fishing is great! Pro Tip: Fish tend to bite when a jig drops. Maintain contact as it falls to notice subtle bites you otherwise would miss.
Fished with Paul and Dave in the bay. The bluefish bite continued and we caught and released blues up to 18 pounds on the fly and on spinning rods. The fish of the day was Dave's 18 pound behemoth that he caught on the fly. Fishing has been fantastic. Pro Tip: Knot-able wire is a wonderful thing. Many of these fish were chewing through heavy fluorocarbon leaders so we switched over to knot-able wire. This can be connected to your normal leader via a double uni-knot.
Fished with Sean, Bill, and Conner in the bay. We caught big blues to about 14 pounds on jigs. The bite has been very good. We also released a flounder and a striper. Pro Tip: Big fish mean your drag will be working. Never reel when the drag is slipping. It puts twists on the line and later on will result in wind knots.
Fished with Doug in the bay for bluefish. We found them and they were hungry. We caught and released blues up to 16 pounds on jigs. It was very good. Pro Tip: Bluefish usually stop biting after sunset.
Chris, Patty, and I fished the bay for blues and found them. The blues were huge and ranged from 8-18 pounds. We caught them on jigs and on the fly. Pro Tip: Everything matters. Check your jig for even small amounts of sea weed after every cast. Even a small amount of grass or weed will cause fish not to bite.
Patty and I arrived back in New Jersey and got right back into it on Tuesday. The fishing is getting ready to bust wide open but it didn't happen on Tuesday. We did catch and release the first weakfish of the year as well as a few flounder. It's gonna happen soon....Pro Tip: Low and slow is the name of the game for springtime fishing. The water is cold and the fish tend to be hard on the bottom. Fish your lures slow and on the bottom.
Patty and I fished the second day in Islamorada before heading home. We only fished for an hour but we jumped three big tarpon during that time. Unfortunately, no pictures, but we fought all three fish for some time before they got off. Pro Tip: You lose more that you win in tarpon fishing. That's the mystique. You have to celebrate the effort, the bites, the jumps, and the screaming drag as much as the "landed" fish. If you don't, you won't fully enjoy it.
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.