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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