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Permit please

The number two fish on the wish list when people come on our fishing holidays in the Florida Keys is a big permit. The power of these fish is hard to describe but we catch them over the wrecks in about 110 ft of water the take is nearly always near the surface then all hell breaks loose and they use all the water depth many times. The only problem with our permit fishing is the spawning wrecks are some 8 miles into the ocean so the weather gods have to be on your side and the spawn lasts only about three weeks or less. So when at our daily planning meeting it all seemed good for Rodney and George the live wells were filled with small crab and south we went. The normal way is to drift what we all call the bridge wrecks and sight fish or cast light jigs with crabs in the top 30 ft or so. The bridge wrecks were made when the old seven mile bridge turntables were blown up and the spoil was dumped out at sea in the sixties not any more but sure has made a neat fishing area. No luck on the drifts so what we do now is to put the pick down have some fun with the snapper and when you see permit cast. George had the first go and soon it was fish on and what a fight up and down many times and when a big permit wants down there is nothing you can do soon a fine trophy 28 lb permit was in the boat a few pics and back to spawn. Rodney joined in the fun and a nice double was in the boat with the permit smile on his face, George lost an even bigger one, a unstopable  run to the wreck a lot bigger than his 28 lb fish.

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The only problem with the permit spawn when numbers  go over 300 fish it is not just the anglers that this attracts the men in the grey coats come to join in the fun. If they are bad all the local guides no say one lost fish per angler then move, also the Florida Keys now has a no take rule on permit during the spawn. This pro active fish control works so well we are very lucky in Florida there are so many other nice fish to eat just enjoy the fight and put spawning fish back not rocket science but it works.