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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.