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A windy day in the bay

Well with the weather gods not playing ball every day they did allow Keith’s boys to tick the tuna box early in the week as their return Fishing Holiday in the Florida Keys has gone on the winds have picked up.  However as I have said before we are more than lucky here in the Keys with lots of windy day options so it was a case of load everything on boat and head to a bank some 17 miles in Florida Bay that would gives us some fresh mackerel bait and if the wind died a bit a jumping point to Gulf wrecks as poor old Mick was still a cobia virgin.  The mackerel were on fire and with them came a very acrobatic spinner shark and despite its jumps we won, also and on a personal note we had a grouper grand slam and to see those creamy white flakes go back will hurt for the next four months but the boffins say we must so back they go.  As it often happens by late afternoon winds dropped and off to a wreck and see if we could help out the cobia virgin, first cobia was so big one of the crew was heard to say  ” there is a big brown shark after your bait ” no just a 50 lb + COBIA.  It came back and Mick nailed it by sight fishing with a live bait but this puppy had other ideas and despite being on a tarpon rod with very strong 30 lb mono just screamed off on an unstoppable run and broke the line.  Next one was a lot more manageable still a very good fish and put up a good scrap and at 19 lbs a good starter and at least Mike is no longer a cobia virgin.

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As you know I am an official tester for Garmin UK and for the last few months have been testing the Garmin Virb Elite and as you can see a pretty amazing piece of kit so while working on the boat and being buzzed by the local vintage bi plane doing holiday rides I had and idea.  All my life I have worked the  ”  If you don’t ask you don’t  know ” so I went to Marathons airport just two blocks away and asked the pilot could I fix the camera to his plane and he said straight away yes. So this blogs video is part one of my little rock Marathon in the Florida Keys and as you can see not a bad office.  To sum up last weeks fishing with Keith and the boys three great guys who just love fishing and have caught the Keys bug in a big way, best box ticked for me at the farewell breakfast talk of booking their next trip job done.

 

 

Back again

I have to consider myself a very lucky guy firstly I have got to 60 secondly I run Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys and thirdly I have caught a lot of big fish all over the world.  However my biggest kick I get is that email on a dark morning when I do most of my computer work that starts   ” Can we come back again ”  Guiding is a lot harder than people think so much can go wrong and does and on a boat in the Florida Keys four guys and a load of fish can be fun and frantic.  However when I get that  email as I did from Keith Moore could he come back again it is all worth it so this week Keith, Steve and Michel are back again and doing what they like doing and I like seeing bending rods and screaming drags more than twice so far this week I have had very worried anglers looking at me and letting me know  ”  I think I am running out of line ”

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Three out standing fish so far this week a 28 lb cobia for Steve a 14 lb african pompano for Keith and a 13 lb king mackerel for Michel could not have worked out better and the mackerel and pompano both taken on the lightest rod on the boat which I had made my self.  It all ways seems to work so well when how shall I put the slightly older angler gets a big fish on a light rod they just have soft hands and play the fish not fight it.  Bay still stuffed with big spinner and black tip shark and yesterday we found our selves  in a mess of blacknose shark up to 30 lbs options move or just scale down and enjoy.  So for these tope like fish we just enjoyed and had 26 so some very tired anglers on the way home but the smiles said it all.  Second video this week just shows how many shark we have it the bay at the moment when the remora leave their shark hosts and come for the free food from the chum bag.

 

 

What a week

I kind of know how a week has been as I tire out anglers with big fish as the week goes on and often sneak a peek at the odd power nap on the boat.  As I said on the last blog this was Ian’s, Simon’s and Bob’s first time in the Keys and I always know its been a good one when at the last breakfast they are already making plans to come back and become one of my regular crews job done as they say.  Yes I have now been doing Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys for over 10 years but I still get a big kick out of it and just seeing the look on guys faces when they see their first grouper over 300 lb just awesome.  We had more than one this week and feat of the week has to go to Ian who had one way over 300 lb on the light ledger rod not our normal locked drag 80 lb outfit but a normal rod with just 50 lb gear well done the boy.

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I soon get to know a newbie crew and as it was with this one they just loved their sharking and in the Florida Keys at this time of year with the mackerel run on this for me is a very easy box to tick. So with the weather offshore not playing ball most days it was hit the bait grounds load up with mac and jacks then hit a deep wreck have a go with the cobia and grouper and wait for the shark to turn up. I still think blacktip shark are right up there as a sport fish they run and jump and scream the drags what more do you want and last week we had so many were able to freeline baits just under the boat.  The only downside about blacktip is that they are a right royal pain in the butt at the boat if you let them they go round and round and under the anchor rope just for fun.  So thanks for a great week boys and hope to see you all again soon.

A blast from the past

Well 2015 is starting off much as most of 2014 was for our Fishing Holidays here in the Florida Keys with lots of big fish and action  ticking peoples wish lisst as much as I can.  The first party of 2015 is Ian, Simon and Bob the strange thing about this crew is that I last took Ian and Simon fishing 21 years ago when I lived in SW Scotland so the last few days has been for me a fantastic trip down memory lane.  Like  ” do you remember when that porgie came to the boat when we were tope fishing in Loch Ryan ” no but I do now it seems like a different life ago but I am so pleased the boys are bringing it back for me.  Back to this week my orders were a few big, we had two over 100 lb on the first day a bull shark about 150 lbs and the thickest lemon I have ever seen near 250 lb and lots of action to go with big.

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So with the bay full of mackerel where catching the best bait in the Keys is way to much fun the week is going very well then the weather gods had to say ” this guy Rodney is having it to easy lets pitch a curve ball ” so yesterday not quite to plan ” A ” as they would say.  So the float plan with a winds dropping to 2 yes 2 mph by the afternoon hit a few deep wrecks then of to the tuna grounds for some all round fun and those amazing silky shark.  Well it was all going to plan fun on the deeper wrecks where we even added a new species to Fish the Dream  vermilion snapper so the count is now 125 species to the boat but from nowhere the winds started to pick up. Why oh why in the year 2015 with all the toys they have do the weather guys get it so wrong not 2 mph as forecast but near 20 mph so with our tales between legs back to the bay solid mackerel action so bait well very full for today’s action and old stories of my past life.

Review of the year part two

An other epic year for shark fishing during our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys shark tick the box for a lot of our anglers a true sport fish and one you dont need to get up at silly o’clock for and for the most part they stay on.  2014 was our best year ever for tiger shark seven came to the boat and even in the Keys a very rare fish.  For two anglers the box well and truly ticked at last Lee Jasper had one and he has been trying for many years but just to show how it goes sometimes Andy Griffith a top UK shark angler had one on the first day of his first trip.  Bull and hammerhead to near 500 lb and now we always have shark rods on our tuna trip while the tiger I think is the best looking silky shark over 300 in 1000 ft + water on the tuna grounds just take pain to a new level.  Last year an other first we saw more than once the big 1000 lb shark during the tarpon run just killing 100 lb + tarpon just because they could strange.

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Mackerel king, cero, and spanish again in big numbers and on the right balanced gear as much fun as you can have on a rod also they tick more than one box fun, food and bait.  Tuna fish when we can get there spectacular and now very rarely trolling jigs and lures just as good and much more fun bring on the barbie.  A good year for sting ray and the speed of the runs often a surprise for anglers and my trick of guitar playing to get sanded up fish back on the move makes people laugh but gets them back on the move.  Barracuda fun as always but they can be very annoying as well when you have near 30 lb fish taking the shade under the boat but never a bait but try getting a nice snapper past them.

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Fish of the year has to be Brian Ironman’s near record almaco jack taken on a live bait on the tuna grounds at a solid 46.75 lbs he had the misfortune to have the take in 700 ft near the bottom.  This fish was very unlucky to have Brian on the other end there was only going to be one out come Brian very rarely looses so to the boat it came and we were all very surprised just how well the steaks tasted well done again.

 

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So what will 2015 bring not sure but with 124 species to the boat and fish over 1000 lbs not sure the fun of the Florida Keys and this year new toy a drone to do some very cool boat, angler, fish videos hope to see you very soon.