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What a week

Hard to put in words last weeks fishing I have yet to meet a couple who have such a passion for pure fishing just the enjoyment of having a fish and I mean any fish on the end of their lines.  Yes we had a dream start then the weather gods said no play but as you know bad weather does not stop a fishing holiday in the Florida Keys you have so many plan B’s and fish can and do go anywhere.  So mainly tucked in behind banks the serious competion started now every year and I have to tell Lolly has only been fishing 3 years the two of them have a numbers competion.  The one good thing about this is that they kept records for each day which even came as a big surprise to me, for the week they had 277 fish and 36 species now when you consider in my opinion we were scratching how awesome is that !  I do have to say for a person who has only been fishing for 3 years Rich has done a fantastic job of teaching the gentle art yes as I have said before ladies do very well out here.  Guys if you have always wanted to come out here but the other half is the main reason why you have never come then bring her as well you might be very surprised.  Back to last week the best thing to do is show you lots of photos of one very happy lady doing what she does best catch fish.

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On our last but one day the true magic of the Florida Keys came to the front about 18 back into Florida Bay in just 9 ft we were in the lee of a bank and having fun on light tackle when a serious shark came up the chum it was a big lemon so out went the shark rod but nothing.  This is often the case I think they have to see what all the chum is about but as we all know fish don’t feed all the time.  We left the shark rod out and I am not sure after how long but both Lolly and I shout shark as a big sett of fins were swimming round the float.  Float under then shark on but there was no stopping this one line just peeling off reel so off we went to chase this one down, again I am not sure about time we all got our first sight of the fish and at the same time we all shouted TIGER !  Full marks to Rich he did everything like a seasoned pro and soon the fish was by the boat for some pics a quick release what a fish and  an other boxed ticked and that is not an easy box.

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So there you have it an other very special week in the Florida Keys with two very special people who I hope to see again, the video one very cool hammerhead at the boat well done again Rich  (  Shark man )

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In all the years we have been doing fishing holidays here in the Florida Keys something happened yesterday that has never happened before or I have even heard about. It was a windy day but we were some 15 miles out in Florida bay behind a bank with seas no more that 1 ft having a fantastic days fishing in fact Loraine and Rich had nearly 50 fish to the boat with shark  over 100 lb. Then at the back of the boat a cormorant turn up nothing strange there, then he swam right up to the boat jumped aboard held out his wings as they to dry out, then when all ok and dry head under wing and fell asleep.  It was not worried at all even during a shark fight just stayed there keep its butt out of the water in fact after the nap went back out to sea caught a few fish then came back to dry out again.

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Tough few days fishing winds over 20 mph but you know me and the beauty of the Florida Keys there is calm water some where and fish every where.

Dream start

This week I have Loriane  and Rich who have both fished the Florida Keys before but I was surprised and shocked how few fish they had on their last trip. It is the sad case I am afraid all round the world that there are guides who are just happy to take the money once and see customers as a quick cash cow. With our fishing holidays here in the Florida Keys this is not the case and in the last 10 years it has always been our number one object to turn customers into friends and see them come back and unless they have had a good trip they will not be back. Well some of our guys are now on their tenth trip enough said.   Well  Loraine and  Rich had even printed out a wish list that we went through during their first famous Florida Fry  (  Helen’ breakfast ) so all the pressure on me I love it. So weather sett fair and calm seas the boat was loaded for bear a crazy amount of rods for just two people but you never know what you will need and in less than 40 mins the pick was going down on my best wreck in Florida Bay. Hard to say what happened over the next few hours but I was ticking boxes as fast as they were putting baits in the sea at one stage they were speechless and after a stunning fight on a light rod with an african pompano Rich was not sure if was dreaming the dream or fishing the dream.

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Well the fishing was just out of this world, grouper over 100 lb, cuda near 20 lb and just so many more I was killing my customers and it was only day one as the tide started to ease as on Rich’s list was a big shark I suggested a move so up pick and a short 5 mile move to a wreck that has been known to have big shark. Well this wreck was also very fishy and soon Loraine was having fun on very light rods with yellow jack that would make a nice tea then we all saw a very big and I mean a very big shark so Rodney into first gear and shark rod out with half a fresh jack a known shark candy. Now seeing shark and catching them can be two different things and this was not instant but after some time the float went under and fish ON !!!.  Rich was losing line fast so off the pick and boat it hot pursuit, Rich did it all so well and this was a very big puppy not sure how long the fight but at last a monster nearly 12 ft long hammerhead well over 500 lb to the boat a truly stunning fish well done.  So ended day one and when they told me they had more fish on day one with me than all week on their last trip job done and more to come.

Fun in the sun !

Wow what a week I think I can safely say as Pam, Deane and Andy left I completely blew their minds away after six days fishing here in the Florida Keys and I am sure I will see them back. The last few days Pam had a few days off and even did two trips on one day, Deane and Andy early in the morning then after lunch just Andy. That is how our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys work just tell me what you want and I do the rest, start when you want finish when you want and fish for what you want. The wrecks in the gulf have been fishing their heads off shark around 100 lb all days and a lot of spinner shark just so cool to see a shark jump then to realize it is on your line. The barracuda have been insane if you are a lure fisherman get your self out here these fish have been nailing lures all week and jump better than tarpon some days. Near one of my wrecks I have a keeper grouper mark and Andy duly put a fine keeper red grouper in the ice box I make no bones about it in a well-managed fishery, here the grouper have a four month closed season, I like eating fish and we all dined very well on just one fish.

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Very high up on Andy’s wish list was tuna and on the last day we had a sort of tuna forecast with calm seas at 5 pm so a late start and a slow push out to the tuna grounds. Very strong currents offshore in places nearly 5 mph and in the rough water boat down to just 12 mph but I will always try to please people if safe to do so.  When we got their some 25 miles out very calm seas and very few boats  not many birds not what we had hoped for but a few tuna busting so hopes were high.  First fish took a small live bait but after a short fight was nailed by a shark and out here they can be a right pain in the a*** but on we went. Well the same thing kept happening tuna on short fight shark on so I said does anyone want the shark rod but good to him Andy wanted his tuna and at last he had one back to the boat the smile said it all. Then shortly after Deane had one as well so box tick so lets see just what critter is eating our tuna so over goes the shark rod half way though the drift shark on. Well I am sorry no happy ending here after nearly an hour and four miles from hook up and three beat anglers I decide to wind up the drag and at the same time the shark did a dive rod hit gunnel and snap.  This was one very big fish 1000 lb tigers live here eating the tuna, we will never know but that is why they call it fishing not catching just have to come back and catch the monster any time you want boys enjoyed fishing with you.

What a start !

Yes it’s so nice to be back in the Florida Keys this has been my second home now for over 15 years and as we start our 11th season of fishing holidays in the Florida Keys this place and the fishing still blows me away. Yes the boat has been a bit of a pain after the hurricane lay up like an old guide told me ” they are a bit like a mistress unless you are spending time and money on them they let you know ” well all is good now and the new engines are running so sweet.  This the first week of our autumn, winter session we have newcomers to Fish the Dream  Pam, Deane and Andy and is just three days I think I have nearly killed them fish to over 250 lbs and just so much full on action hard to where to start, so loads of photos to show happy anglers.

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In all fairness we have only been in Florida bays so far but the mackerel seem to be here already and with the macs come all the shark and they are just such a good grouper bait. Still like to see the look on a newbie’s face when I put a 6 lb whole fish on a 26/0 hook then the look of horror when the float goes under. Yesterday my barracuda wreck was mental, fish just nailing lures the to see a near 20 lb fish being chased by barras well over 40 lbs just insane and the jumps of hooked fish were putting tarpon to shame.  Why they are on this wreck I do not know but I hope they stay for a very long time, one very strange thing they always do is get some shade by lying right under the boat and if you look at the video you will see two barras just coming to have a look at Andy’s fish as he gets in near the boat.

Back in the Keys

Well after a long a very eventful summer in the UK, Italy and Norway I am back in my beloved Florida Keys as we start year eleven doing fishing holidays how time flies by when you are having fun. Must start by again saying a massive thanks to Rupert Dury who gave me the first shark that day out of Whitby in the UK , what a fish and what a day you are a top guy.                                                                                               After doing fishing holidays for this long I have a massive photo library and looking at it the other day we have one fish out here that seems to put plenty of smiles on faces that is the big bad barracuda.  Often they seem like they are going to be a very easy catch just slowly swimming on the surface or just sunbathing on the flats but this is not always the case. Some times on the offshore wrecks it is impossible to get a snapper in but if you put a bait down just no interest the just want the one on your line.

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I was talking to an other guide he said and it is probably very true just look at the size of their eyes they can pick out wire no problem where as the snapper on your line is just on mono. The nice thing about cuda is they love lures and one that still does the job is the very old cuda tube why this works so well  I am not sure but it does. Last year Robin a regular from Jersey even had one jigging with a cuda tube right under the boat, now that was fun and one of the cuda they had that week even jumped into the boat !                                                   An other interesting fact about the cuda here in the Florida Keys they are responsible for more human attacks than shark to often you hear about people wearing watches and other hand jewelry that just catches the fishes eye then with a sett of teeth like they have you can guess the end.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Well as it starts to get light just four days to get all the gear shipshape and start putting those smiles on faces.

Release reels new model

Just before I start this blog I do not work for, or am being paid by Release Reels I just love well made tackle that works and boy does this latest model work. With the success of the SG  model in fact it now has the nickname little big reel it was doing far more than the makers original had hoped for so Wes Seigler the president of Release Reels decided to slightly up grade the reel. One of the reasons the reel has so much power the drive gear is at the back of the reel and not at the front transmitting the cranking more efficiently.  With this in mind Wes decided to change the ball bearing in the handle to a failsafe double-sided brass bush top marks. Then Wes looked at the anti reverse system while the roller bearing is very good some guys are now using braid up to 65 lbs and with over 30 lb drags there might be problems in the future so on with the thinking hat again. What Wes came up with just amazing and so good he has patents pending and I bet there are many other reel makers thinking why did we not think of that. By cutting a 30 pall system on the inside  of the main gear he has an instant ratchet system that works with the anti reverse bearing for a seamless and failsafe anti reverse.

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Wes got one of the new reels to me for a work out in Norway and all I can say is just stunning with halibut and cod taken in very deep water the reel takes it all in its stride.  It is design touches like these that shows at last we have a thinking fisherman who is not only designing quality fishing reels but making them as well. Wes was also keen for me to have a go with the Magnum handle on the SG while I absolutely love the formed power handle on the original SG some people still like a good old ball handle.  Guess what Wes has done it again by making large slots on the handle you fingers just fall in no slipping at all. So there you have it the best just got even better and this is all available in left hand if you want but the most important words on the reel box are LIFETIME WARRANTY some thing you will not find on any other reel.

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To see the full specs for this reel or to find out where in the UK to buy one go to www.snowbee.co.uk  or give them a ring on 01752334933