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The Keys on fire

Yes I know I have used that title before but after over 12 years of running fishing holidays in the Florida Keys and lack of sleep  (  thanks tarpon  ) sometimes at 5 am the brain is a little tired and guess what with the tarpon running, massive permit on the wrecks and the tuna grounds loaded I reckon it is.  The bridges are loaded with the annual migration of tarpon through the Keys and this year as most its not only the tarpon there but an ever increasing amount of big and I mean over 1000 lb sharks who let us poor anglers do all the hard work then take your fish.  Yes I know its all natural that big fish eat smaller fish but when you have worked your butt off and fought the fish all round the bridge and got it into open water its just not cricket ! Photo shows the end of poor George,s first tarpon of this trip its not the first and certainly will not be the last such is tapon fishing in the Florida Keys.

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Even lost a huge permit yesterday on the deep sea wrecks to a shark good news so far this week both Rodney ( an other Rodney ) and George have both had good permit to the boat.  There is this year enough tarpon at Bahia Honda bridge to fish and catch all day is you want and no crazy early starts in fact a first for me we had a tarpon the other day a long way away from the bridge in the open sea.  The strange thing about the fight was the fish went all the way back to the bridge much to the amusement of the captains fishing there with a  ” where the hell did you guys hook up ” my new secret spot.

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The good news about the Keys it is just a week to go to the end of our closed season for all grouper maybe four months is a long time but boy am I looking forwards to those big creamy white fillets its been to long for me.  Just to rub it in one of George’s first fish was a keeper black grouper bet he went back telling his mates  ” bet that pissed them off ” guess what it did try you luck again next week my ice box awaits.

My Bromley boys

Sorry yet again and it is still thanks to Windows 10 my blogging is way behind and a very short tip back yo UK to see my 34-year-old son get married on very proud and happy mum and dad but boy the weather up in the far north of the UK not good at all but back in the Keys nice and warm again.  So with the sage of Windows 10 and being told at a well know computer store to get the wrong new laptop  ( now on  number 2 ) it’s a shame that my oldest group of anglers My Bromley boys  Graham, Steve, John and Dave have missed out on web time sorry. As normal with them it’s so much more than the fishing and so it should be they are my number one banter crew and I just smile all the time.  Weather not perfect and our struggle with conditions but we fish ever day and Capt Mike even got them a four rod hook up at the Tuna grounds Mike is learning so fast cant praise enough.

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John even tried and had success with a UK pike float rig that takes the bait on wind drift away from the boat and even against the tide and photos to prove it.  If you take the time to think about it the wind does take all the smells and good stuff away as much as the tide so it makes sense to have the wind take away a bait away as well, well  done John. Still more than impressed with Dave’s battle with that monster bull shark at near 500 lbs Dave at over 70 yes 70 had it all under control from start to finish at boat side top marks and old guys rule.  Waiting on some more photos from the guys so hopefully there will be a Bromley boys part two and yes I am still smiling.

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One thing did happen on their trip species number 126 came to the boat but we are having to wait on an official ruling to see if it counts.  The problem yes the fish came to and on the boat but it was in the mouth of an other fish said poor pipe fish’s day was just not getting any better first eaten by a grouper and then dragged on to boat will keep the world informed.

Big baits big fish

The one thing I love about our sport is how it evolves over time in now 12 years of running Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys we are doing things we would never have done all those years ago. Take baits for instance one of our much-loved quarry is the goliath grouper reaching near 500 lb of raw power a feared opponent indeed.  Strange but true the bigger the bait the bigger the fish baits of over 5 lb are common and a few years ago we due to the lack of big baits we tried a small shark.  Now before all the tree huggers jump on me in the Florida Keys despite what you read we have huge amount of shark and two of the smaller species the blacknose and the sharpnose can reach plague numbers and the Florida regs say I can use them so we gave one a try.  Well just yards from the boat float under and massive grouper on in fact it is such a good bait it is now the number one go to bait if you want a truly big grouper.

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The way we fish for shark baits can also be a problem with all the chum, oil and blood over the side often we are surrounded by fish which just tear the baits apart before anything big will even see them most of these being small shark which destroy a bait a bite at a time.  So as Baldrick said a cunning plan not that cunning last year we started to use the small shark as bait and guess what it worked better than ever, here you have a bait that stays on the hook and is left alone by smaller shark and if you cut one in half the trailing guts send all the right smells out.  However at Fish the Dream it is all about the guests and before I kill and use a shark we always ask them if it is alright to do so and if they so no we dont.  My Bromely boys were more than happy to use half  shark and a few days ago had one of the biggest bull shark of the year an over 400 lb fish that took us on a near half mile trip before coming in for a photo shoot and well done Dave showing old guys still can get the job done.

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With big fish you need a safe pair of hands at the boat and I have to say Capt Mike is proving yet again to be more than capable of handling these big fish I must admit he is turning out to be a very capable and able captain and an asset to Fish the Dream.  Not sure if it is the steely stare or just his power but the big fish just seem to give up well done.

Beware !

Sorry about the lack of blogs this time we have those kind guys at Microsoft to thank.  After their many pop ups and pressure from all around I gave up and did the free upgrade to Windows 10 well I have to say for a few days I was impressed and my old lap top was working great and for the first time in ages very fast indeed.  All was fine or a few days then for no reason it failed to start but with the help of Fish the Dreams tech support  (  Capt Mike ) I was up and running again.  However Capt Mike was worried and he backed up all my files on an external hard drive and boy was I a lucky bunny as the next day it crashed again this time Capt Mike decided to wipe it and take it back to complete reset.  Fine again but a pain to reload all my files ect but we were back running again then guess what down again and this time it would no longer allow a reset.  Many long calls to Microsoft who said I would need to get soft ware to take it back to pre Windows 10 so many days offline and all for nothing. I am on a short break back to UK so I decided just to get a new lap top and with all the Easter deals I think I have got what I want and most important back on-line and blogging again.

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Interesting last few days with the Jersey boys and did we break a State record, in all the years of doing Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys we have only come close to record once this was a very heavy and pregnant blacktip shark.  Both myself and the angler were not going to kill said fish which you still have to do to claim a record which still seems wrong but it is what you have to do to get the record both of us being more than happy to see the fish swim away and pup. The fish the Jersey boys caught was a blue runner a fish we use mostly for bait but they pull way above their weight and we once had a fly angler who was just trashed by blue runners in the near 2 lb bracket more fun then he had ever had on a fly rod.  It was Chris who had the big one unfortunately I was in my shut down mode due to my heavy heart attack meds I go into shut down and just have to sleep a pain but I have to.  So photos were taken and the fish put back again thanks to Capt Mike and he also took the very moody shot of Rob just at the start of our epic day on the tuna grounds.  Back to the huge blue runner state record is 8 lb 5 oz was this bigger was it a record we will never know you will just have to come back and catch it again, great to fish with you guys yet again and as to Rob  ” I don’t want to big ” enough said.