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PB Smashed again

Well Mr John Grindle is one happy camper in the Florida Keys first he breaks his PB by 100 LBS then the next day he does it again with a near 200 lb fish I gave him 175 for. For a first timer our goliath grouper fishing must come as a big shock, hook 22/0 , leader 400 lb mono , line 80 lb braid and most scary of all NO drag reel locked.  Well all this has come from years of fishing over here and it works we have now had fish near 600 lb so as they say if it is not broke don’t fix it. The day we took John to the grouper wreck it was not as easy as normal I think the cold for us seas after the storm was the cause and getting the anchor right was a pain. The other problem for John was when the fish was on he had the three other guys on the boat all screaming instructions at the same time but you have just seconds to get the fish out of the wreck. No gentle art of fishing here more like full on wrestling but it all worked and he did very well and soon the fish was by the side of the boat for the Oh My God moment, I just love the look on some ones face who has never seen one of these fish before.

Lee was ripped about by a very strong fish on for us a light spinning rod but Lee is well up for it and despite going under the anchor rope a few times and diving at the props he had it all under control.  Yes I bring these shark on deck for the money shot, they have no slime and all go back like rockets but more important give the guys a memory of this magical place the Florida Keys.

John’s shark

I do have to keep reminding myself firstly I am very lucky to live and work in the Florida Keys and secondly not every one has caught big fish. This week John Grindle is one of many guys who has not a very big PB in fact he told me that his shark had smashed his PB by over 100 lbs. I am have to say that a even a 100 lb fish is not big for us at Fish the Dream fishing holidays in fact John had one near 200 lb yesterday but this blog is about his shark. For a newcomer he did it all right on his second fish it must be hard shark fishing in just 10 ft and  can be brutal they only have one way to go and blacktip have their own rules. This time it all went well and despite some hard runs at the boat, all blacktip do  we had the fish and like the many hundred’s of other shark I soon had it on John’s knees. This fish did have one last trick which is a reminder to all of us who handle shark and at the point of release made a big jump but lucky for us all it went back in the sea. I dont know how he did it but the jump was caught on camera but John Aplin 10 out of 10 for the action shot.

At the end of the day Lee Jasper or Mr Cobia as he now likes us to call him nail a super 26.5 lb fish which nearly made up for a cobia nearer 50 lb he lost in the day. The wreck we were fishing on one tide the cobia were swimming on the top and we were lucky to sight fish with live baits very exciting and nerve-wracking as well. The one very good part about Lee’s cobia it was taken on the new reel I am trying out for Snowbee the guys at Release Reels have got this one very, very right and that handle just something else.

Welcome to the Florida Keys

Well John Grindle could not have asked the weather gods for a better first day in the Florida Keys as I have said before on a fishing holiday we can fish in any weather and catch as we did last week but on a good day it is even better. The fish gods smiled on Mr Grindle as well he even had his first 100 lb + fish a stunning blacktip shark well over 100 and nearer 120. Things did not go all his way and we had the learning curve of the flat rod while I love braid it is even more important to keep the rod up to take the shock and his first shark the 50 lb test just popped like cotton. Just two down moments yesterday poor John Aplin lost a massive shark first it nearly spooled him on its first run so we had to throw the pick and follow only to lose the fish on a crab pot marker it was a big fish. The other was to lose a serious cobia boatside it was so big we had all call shark then when Lee saw it at the boat just an amazing fish near 50 lb and it would have been a good pic for the guys at Release Reels the reel is a good at sea as it looks.

The up side of the recent storm, and you have to feel for the guys up north,  is the sea temps have fallen 12 degrees and the mackerel and back in the bay. Fish of the day, and we will never hear the end of it, has to go to Lee on the way out I had told lee that this year there had been a 72 lb cobia taken from this spot so when Lee said he was going to target a big cobia we all just watched. He made up his cobia rig and even had the confidence to not use wire as you dont need wire he told us then on the first run back float went under and yes big cobia on just like fishing with Mr Crabtree a cracking 21 lb cobia.

The boys are back

As the song goes the boys are back in town, tonight Lee Jasper and John Aplin arrive for a weeks fishing and they are bringing newcomer to the Florida Keys John Grindle. Lee is how would you say firstly a fish junkie and then a fine tackle lover always a pleasure to fish with and has made the change from client to true friend. Lee also holds the base PB fish a hammerhead well over 1000 lbs. I still remember the look on his face when he told me the second hour of the fight sucked as much as the first to go with my faveroite saying when a big fish is hooked, the first hour hurts ! Well this trip Lee wants to do some serious offshore wrecking and yesterday I got some new numbers so fingers crossed.

John Aplin again first came on a fishing holiday then after many more trips I was so impressed with him I asked him to run the boat when I was back in the UK  and all who fished with him said what a top job he did. Check all he does back in the UK at  as some one said about John he does what it says on the tin and more when you take the lid off.  John also runs some of the finest chalk stream fishing in the SW and with it some very neat accommodations as well if you find yourself in that part of the world give him a call. John is bringing his friend John Grindle ( two Johns on the boat fun me thinks ) who also is better known as the West Dorset Foodie check his website out at  and if you love your food you will not be disappointed. I have been told all John Grindle wants on his first fishing holiday in the Florida Keys is big, come on guys give me a challenge.