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Review of the year part one

2014 was a fantastic year yet again for our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys as we start our 11 th year and with the species count now 124 and many boxes ticked for our guests I always wonder if it can get better and it does.   The learning curve never stops and the list of marks just gets bigger so roll on 2015, will start the review with the two iconic fish of the Keys the tarpon and permit.  In all fairness the tarpon season was a bit quieter than normal whether it was the new tarpon regs  (  all tarpon over 40 in have to remain in the water so no more on the boat photos )  or the early starts 4 am or the fact all my regulars have ticked the 100 lb tarpon box but less trips than normal.  The  FWC  ( fish police )  now have a dedicated internet unit for what they call brain dead law breakers who take their own photos of the crime then post it on social media, dumb or what.  The permit season was to make up for it, off the charts  offshore spawn fantastic with those over 30 lb fish at sunrise when we are normaly the only boat there but best of all we now have a wreck in the bay with permit.  At just 10 ft deep it is possible to sight fish to again near 30 lb fish who use their massive tail to see just how good your drag and knots are a true find for 2014.

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A massive plus for 2014 was more wrecks in the bay for our goliath grouper with fish near 500 lbs I still don’t have the words to put over the power these fish have bringing big men to tears and we have found by chart works an area of under water caves with goliath.  So no more depression when we get to a wreck with an other boat on it just put a new number in the  GPS and off we go, an other first for 2014 we have found by accident the new top bait, small shark, not sure why but it just works.  All the wrecks in 2014 had the best show of cobia for years an other fish you can sight fish for and the bonus one off the finest table fish in the Keys.

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One of the stand out fish of 2014 has been the african pompano a member of the jack family just as hard fighting as any of the jacks and again an out standing table fish.  One wreck in the bay had them on nearly every trip and they did not seem to mind the odd cold front so many day saved the trip and with their streamers and silver colour just photogenic. There pals the normal jacks made many a drag scream in 2014 not good food fish but a top bait to see them hunt down top water lures will be the take home memory of many an angler.

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Part two sharks, macs, tuna, rays and a few more

 

Season’s greetings

Fish the Dream’s  fishing holidays in the Florida Keys wishes all our past, present and future customers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.  2014 was a fantastic year ticking the boxes and trying to make our fishing holidays even better nearly all 2015 has been booked with an over 75 % repeat and now running two boats on our prime weeks.

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Full review of the year will be the next two blogs always hard to do to try and pick out a top ten, best year ever for tigers and at last a large permit mark in the bay that I can do with my boat seeing the guys casting to 20 lb + permit and seeing the fish take the bait just awesome.  Personally I want to do more with sails next year and my new neighbour is maybe the top sail captain in Marathon so I am booking a few trips there is nothing like seeing and learning  (  even at 60  ) from a top pro.  So have a fantastic time and get ready to shed the pounds with our battling fish in the Keys

£ 100 Off

As you may or not know Fish the Dream’ Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys was chosen by Garmin ( UK ) as field testers for their new action camera the Virb Elite for my full review go back to the blog post on 12 th Aug.  Even an old guy like me has found this very neat camera very easy to use and their editing software just as easy since they sent me the camera the price to the public has just gone down by a £100 to a very reasonable £ 249 maybe a selfie present.  Next year I plan to do even more with it I want a more stable under water mount and the fairies have told me santa is bring me a Quadcopter to video fishing from out side the boat and with the play back screen looking for weed lines.  A very good underwater video of the massive coral head in Hawks Channel with this blog, this feature comes up from 40 ft to just 23 ft always very fishy and you can see just why we lose so much tackle and what a Hog snapper.

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A few more pics of Andy’s tiger shark to let you see way up there in my personal top shark just so awesome and they often get to over 1000 lbs.  Had a long chat to Andy in the week to mull over what might have been and it seems despite the poor weather he has seen the stunning potential of the Florida Keys and this is with out once being in the deep water on the Atlantic.  So much more to show him if there was ever a guy I want on the tuna grounds it is him not for the tuna which are always fun but what feeds on them.  If there is ever a place to get the  (  Jaws ) experience with the click click of a reel as a very big shark takes it is there and I can just see his face as he knows what has taken his half tuna could be way over 1000 lbs.

White Water round up

Now back in the UK for our Christmas break I have had a few days to reflect on White Waters trip.  The problem that I get when it is a partie’s first Fishing Holiday in the Florida Keys with us that most guys have rather large wish list which is the norm and I understand. After fishing in the Keys for over 15 years and doing the fishing holidays for 10 years it is not to hard for me to tick most boxes but one thing I have no control over is the weather.  The day the White Water crew arrived was a record high of 88 and the entire week had been very warm and sea temps had got to a near summer high of 76 and as can be seen from our first day the fishing was on fire, shark and grouper to 300 lb and plenty of action on all the big rods.  Early on the second day a very deep cold front hit the Keys and with strong winds and night temps in the low 60’s the water dropped 6 degrees in the first night then 5 the next night and the winds stayed strong all week with water just 64 all week.  The only fish that took all week was our mackerel with spanish nearly in double figures and the stunning run of pompano stayed on the feed but the big boys had the week off.  I have to give to White Water crew they stuck to the task of big not a species hunt in sheltered waters but tough it out on wrecks in the bay but the big did not want to play ball but catching bait was fun.  Talking to local captains most who just tied up for the week the bigger the fish the less it has to feed so a week off the feed is no problem at all as was the case with our week but the smaller ones have to feed so at least we had action on the smaller rods.

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After fishing with Andrew Alsop for the week I can see just why he is Britain’s top shark captain he just gets and understands  shark and if you have a look at his website www.whitewatercharters.co.uk  or his facebook page you will see he gets results big time and this year has been his best so far.  If you want to tick shark of your wish list then I suggest you get in touch on 01446 710815 or 07970936443 or email on andrew@whitewatercharters.cc.uk but he is very busy but will get back to you.  So reality check for White Waters trip not what they or I wanted but totaly out of my control but we did have 7 species of shark up to 300 lb and a total species count of 27.  Most of all I hope Andy realizes just how lucky he was a big tiger shark on his first day of his first trip I have many regulars who would have paid me a large premium for his trip.

 

Putting the fun into fishing

Have to say it this week has been one of those tough ones after a very deep cold front the sea temps have dropped 11 degrees and the winds just have not stopped.  Many local captains have cancelled trips but my White Water crew have stuck to the task and we have been out ever day but big have been very hard to find.  Not the shelter of the mangroves and the creeks with a small fish species hunt but these boys just want big and the policy of our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys is that the anglers call the shots so wrecks it has been.  On all but one day bait has been no problem this being our mackerel season plenty of spanish mackerel everywhere and a lot of fun on light rods but the big boys have just stayed at home.  In all fairness we have lost a lot of big fish this week with Andrew having the worst luck losing three big grouper one just a train, one a 380 lb clip broke and on took the end of the trace over some coral that’s why they call it fishing not catching.  I had been warned strange things might happen this week and how do I put they did the crew have a thing about dressing up and masks certainly put a smile on my face and the many locals who saw them.

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The other day we stopped at a local marina to top up the petrol and while I was inside I heard some noise and the marina owner said wait I have to get a photo of your boat, yes there was chicken at the helm !! Then many times when I went to get blog cam the angler had gone and it was Porky or Spider who had the fish and I was laughing to much to get a good photo.  The best had to be the full fancy dress crew shot yes White Water had come to Florida and despite the bad weather they were here to have some fun.