One very main thing that happened in 2012 was by beloved cat was treated to new engines. After 8 years and nearly 3000 running hours and still going very strong I decided to repower. For 2012 Yamaha had done some very major work on the 115 hp and were at the Miami boat show offering some very good deals including a full 5 year warranty so deal done and boy are they good.
After the summer hurricane break our new wreck was on fire and one lady guest just showed us boys how it should be done a stunning african pompano still with all its streamers on. On the boats lightest rod and just a very small jig just amazing using a very light touch she had the fish beat and to the boat job done , take note.
The same wreck also produced a Florida Bay permit miles and miles from any flats just a very fishy place this mark is becoming my number one spot going north and has always produced and then some.
In the autumn the same place became cobia central I do know this year it produced for a friend a 72 lb fish now that must have been some fight. The one thing about cobia fishing it is often done sight fishing to surface fish and it does not come more exciting than that.
After losing a lot of tuna to shark we loaded the boat with the big guns and went on one trip loaded for bear. This trip no tuna but bull shark over 500 lb and for us a new shark the silky. One guy aboard said these are like 250 lb tope on drugs, long fast runs and on the tuna grounds they have 1000 ft of water to play in.
So go make 2013 the year when you stop dreaming and come on over to the Florida Keys and Fish the Dream !!!!
To all our past, present and future customers at Fish the Dream fishing holidays in the Florida Keys Helen and I would like to send season greetings and best wishes for 2013.
Talking about 2013 we are booking up faster than in any year with very few places left in the whole year so if you to get away from this weather and catch the fish of a lifetime don’t wait get in touch.
Helen and Rodney Goodship
Well what a year at Fish the dream fishing holidays in the Florida Keys when you think it can’t get any better it does and then some. More species ( now 110 ) more boat PBs, more personal PBS, longest fight ( now 3hrs 40 mins ) and more top new marks just amazing. I am one very lucky guy I love running fishing holidays but I still like to fish and when the guys at the SKA fishing team Bandit invited me to fish at the Key West round just my perfect start to the year. Just to many Wow and OMG moments, first trip in a 900 hp boat, first time at nearly 70 mph and my first mackerel over 40 lb.
February saw a boat PB for blacktip shark and a possible Florida record this fish was well over 200 lb and took two of us to get it in. I have always wondered what I would do if this happened but the angler did not want to kill such a fish and neither did I so she went back.
Tarpon season was a mad as always these big bad boys just get under your skin and tarponitis is never cured you just must take the medicine every year. What did happen this year was just amazing two very ,very large fish on two days one after the other. Last year we had our first 200 lb fish at 80 in x 44 in it came out at 209 lb and these two fish were as big if not bigger. The first one took 3 hrs 40 mins to get boat side and the next day same place the fish took 3 hrs 20 mins we were all shaking out heads. Recently some one has said was it the same fish I personally don’t think so just a very big year class.
The permit spawn also just as mad and for the first year for a long time the shark were not as bad. Strange the shark numbers in other areas are well up but they just left us alone this year on the permit wrecks. It is interesting that some guys who have ticked the 100 lb tarpon box now prefer the permit even saying it is a harder fight and they like the lighter gear.
During 2012 we were given numbers for a new wreck in the bay and what a wreck it has every thing and the big surprise very large barracuda. It is the only wreck I have for big barracuda in the bay and in the shallow 14 ft water they jump very high one did nearly 20 ft and one even jumped into the boat.
One of our top fish is the goliath grouper and 2012 saw a new boat PB at over 500 lb and a lot of guides have put this fish at 600 lb. Just how we got it out of the bridge I will never know but we did, for 2013 I am trying to get some accurate length and girth figures for goliath should be interesting.
So what will 2013 bring, the joy of the Florida Keys you just never know !
I was very pleased to see that a new reel I found in the US a short time ago is to be sold in the UK and Europe by Snowbee. I have been working with Snowbee for some time now and when I told just how good this reel was and they looked at the specs and the fact it was made in the US they were very happy to add it to their products. I have been using a prototype for some weeks and the few minor problems have been sorted out by the manufactures and the final model is just out standing. The handle just works I have never used a better handle on any fishing reel ever and at last we have a lever drag reel that is just a joy to cast. Snowbee yearly produce a quality catalogue and Russell Weston the owner of Snowbee has kindly allowed me to put up the page that shows all the reels specs, I recommend that you get a copy of the catalogue as Snowbee are adding more and more top quality sea fishing items to an already extensive range of products.
I was just as pleased to hear the first dealer who has signed up to have the new reels is Gerry’s of Morecambe. I have known Gerry for some years and I think he runs a top operation out of Morecambe, a first class shop with very good staff, a very efficient old school mail order operation and a state of the art website with online shop. A few years ago Gerry came out to see me on one of our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys and to say he did well a understaement, sailfish one day then a white marlin the next. Not only a top business man but a very good angler the marlin was taken on a light rod and did not want to come in.
If you want to get one of these new reels get in touch with Gerry as you read this the first models are on the way to Gerry but as they are made by a small company they will be in short supply there is a link on this page.
Snowbee www.snowbee.co.uk ( 01752 334933 )
Gerrys of Morcambe www.gerrysfishing.com ( 01524 422146 )
The one thing all anglers say when on our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys say is ” Why does the last day come so quickly ” well I am sorry but it does seem to be so. Most guys just book an other holiday or even come back the same year one thing is sure the Florida keys gets under your skin. This last week with Martin and Brian has been a reality check for me, I am one very lucky guy and have to tell my self this very often and take notice. We have had to fight very strong winds all week and did not manage one day offshore but loads of fish many over 100 lbs and scrap after scrap. The last day started with winds down a bit so lets go to a wreck in the bay but once there not a nice sea and a very soft tide so off to an other wreck.
A much better tide and soon Brian was into a near 200 lb grouper a plan was coming together but again the tide was going so up again with the pick and a final sharking session. Some fine blacktip over 80 lb but it was Martin who put the seal on the week with an awesome lemon near 200 lb. The seas were getting very nasty and no straight run home hiding behind banks but the cat is fine in rough seas so back home no problem. So a tough week and not to even one of my new marks but friends fishing and catching in the Florida Keys where else can you catch fish of the numbers and size but in the Florida Keys.
We all know by now that the Florida Keys bring on the pheromones and wives, partners and girlfriends seem to very well on my boat but now we can say daughters do the same. On his last trip my mate Martin brought along his daughter Jenny who was on her way to south america to join a dive centre. Well between dives Jen came out with us for two trips and did very well indeed on more than one occasion had to have a rest from catching so many fish saying ” wow this is fun ” just full on. The Florida Keys are so much more than tarpon and the autumn is becoming my favorite time much better weather and just so many fish the other day the only way we could have lunch was to take all rods out of the sea.
On a more serious point the powers have decided to have an other 4 month ban on keeping all grouper. This has come about to help the gag grouper the only problem it looks very like the black grouper, so there is no problems ban them all. Yes it is working and a no brainer for the enforcers if you keep a grouper you will be done and it will hurt your pocket. Back to the UK for Christmas so please if you have any questions about our fishing holidays please call 01668 216173 or email email@example.com and I will call you.
In all fairness the odd windy week does tend to put fishing in the Florida Keys into perspective. No we did not get into the Atlantic on a single day, none of our new numbers in 200 ft of water but we were boat fishing and catching every day and had a shed load of fish. I think it was Brian who said if this had been his first trip to the Florida Keys he would have been blown away, fish over 100 lb every day and on a lure a fish a cast. In fact even in the bad conditions some places to many fish our winter bluefish can be a bit of a pain making big baits very small very quickly. Bluefish look just like bass but have very serious teeth and a very bad attitude all baits must be eaten and size is not a problem just one bite at a time.
The other day we did have a few hours of less than 20 mph winds and got to the cobia wreck this years new top find. Martin had a 26 lb fish not only gave hin a serious work out but all of us a very fine meal. Sight fishing to groups of fish to 50 lbs certainly is fun some people say they are easy but in my mind this is not the case and the very big ones can be hook shy. They do go very big and the one thing everyone says what the hell the fight must have been on the record fish this now stands at 130 lbs god knows.
The only problem with doing a regular blog about our fishing holidays here in the Florida Keys is that I have to feel for some of our customers. They book many months in advance and keep in touch by phone and email and then when they get here exceptions are of course very high and after doing this for nearly ten years I know I can deliver. The one and only thing I can not do is the weather and when, as it is this week it is your oldest friend and fishing buddy of nearly 50 years it sucks big time when it is bad. This week it has been blowing near 20 mph every day yes we are catching fish every day and many over 100 lb but we are not going where we want. Yes we are more than lucky and here in the Florida Keys we can go out in the boat every day but we had so much planed for this week and it looks like it will not happen. At yesterdays planning meeting, Helen’s Florida fry with an other day of 20 + mph winds we decided to go deep into the bay to a sheltered channel and do some sharking.
Stopping after some 10 miles to get fresh bait we were having a ball mackerel, trout,bluefish and lady fish the shark would be spoilt for choice. On to are mark and yes it was blowing but as this channel is near some flats still very fishable so in with the chum and over with our standard shark rods. First few shark were not the 100lb + lemons we had hoped for but hard fighting blacktip around 60 lb and were some what out gunned on our big shark rods so a change of plans. I was once told by a guide in the Florida Keys the correct rod and reel is one that you lose half the line on the first run so it was on to the 20 lb rods and light gear we went. What a blast, this was as much fun as you can have with a rod long fast runs madness at the boat and smiles all round. Then it happened as I thought it might Brian hooked a big lemon on a very light rod oh dear but the shark did not have it all his own way and after some very skilled angling Brian had him to the boat. One of those days when plan B worked very well only as they say in the Florida Keys.
Later on today I am driving up to Fort Lauderdale to pick up Martin and Brian who make our last trip of 2012 and what a year I think in will take three blogs to review 2012 it has been such a year. Martin is my oldest friend and next year we will have been fishing together for 50 years. Who would ever have guessed that two young boys catching sticklebacks in a pond in surrey would end up offshore on a sportfishing boat in the Florida Keys. There have been so many fishing trips and holidays in the past just to many to mention but Martin at a very young age came very close to braking the wrasse record on one of our trips to Alderney. Well this trip of Martin and Brian is a very low key trip I still have numbers I have never fished so if all goes well we will be trying out some offshore wrecks in 200 ft big AJs , grouper and mutton snapper I hope.
Release Reels are sending me the all finished reel and I think Snowbee are very close to taking them on for Europe I think the new reel will be awesome they have done a few mods to an already very good reel. As a small company making reels here in the US and not having a massive range they are offering a lifetime warranty that are that sure of the reel. The handle which in my opinion is one of the main selling points just looks wrong but when you grip it it is just so right. Keep a look on Snowbees website and I am sure the reel will be on sale soon. Trying some new rod holders this week they go at 90 degrees to the roof and work very well for mini outriggers and would work in the UK for bass or pollock trolling at very little expense giving a good separation between baits.
It seems all you guys in the UK are going through a bad period of weather, well one cure to get the feel good factor back is to book a fishing holiday. A few years ago I ran an advert in UK mags under the theme ” Just how much time and money do you spend not catching fish ” and I am sure if you do the maths you will be surprised. While I can’t promise every day here in the Florida Keys it will be flat calm but I can promise we will catch fish every day and we will be out in my boat every day. The Florida Keys are a chain of small islands surrounded by deep and shallow water, bridges, banks and mangroves offering fishing no matter what ever the wind. Best of all many years ago the powers realized the value of sport fishing and all our fishing is very strictly controlled and getting better.
Here at Fish the Dream fishing holidays we must be doing something right as we are at nearly 75% repeat customers and some guys now on the 8th trip and some even coming twice a year. From the start I have always tried to put the angler first, start when you want, fish for what you want, and finish when you want. I only have two weeks left for the first half of 2013 one in Jan and one in Feb a very nice time of the year our dry season and cooler temps high 70s and low 80s. All our winter fish will be full on expect sailfish, tuna, mackerel and shark to name just a few we have now had 110 species to the boat and an average week it is always nearly 50. Normally after Christmas the airlines have a sale so tickets can be very affordable and we give free car hire. To fill my diary I am willing to talk deals so just get in touch and let me take away the blues and put a smile back on your face.