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100 th Blog

Looking at my blogs the other day it came to my notice that this is my 100th.  So its sorry to all of you that you have had to put up with my poor English and substandard photos but I hope I have over time given you a flavour of the fishing in the Florida Keys. With this being the 100th I have decided to try and list my top ten fish in the 7 years of running fishing holidays. One thing that became evident very early on its not all about the fish but the people have become very important as well. Take John Aplin he started of as a customer and over the years has become a good friend. So much so when I needed help to run Fish the Dream he was my number one choice and a very good job he did. His passion and professionalism is hard to beat just take a look at his website  and now he is offering accommodation and exclusive chalk stream fishing. He is a guy who does what it says on the tin and then some. The photo is John and Jim Whippy with a stunning tarpon just look at Johns smile it says it all.

Number two, and these fish are in no order except my number one, is the first near 400lb grouper we got to the boat. When we found a mark that has a big number of very big grouper we had a problem getting them back. It took an elder statesman of boat fishing Jim Whippy to come up with what we now call the Whippy walk. This entails striking the fish at the transom then walking with the rod under full load to the bow then walking back down the boat to get line back. Well this works big time not ever allowing the fish to turn its head and has accounted for grouper to near 500lb, thanks Jim.

Back to tarpon in at number three is are first and maybe last over 200lb tarpon. Last year we started to use the length and girth tables from the bonefish and tarpon trust to give us weights to 2lb on all are tarpon and this one went to 209lb. It also started the boat rule if it is a good one more than one camera as we lost over 20 photos as the boat camera had gone of auto and we lost all the pics. Never mind Chis and you had on very proud dad and maybe a bit jealous you will just have to catch a bigger one Kevin.

Coming in at number four maybe the strangest fish we have ever caught and we have had two, the giant sawfish. These fish have changed little since the cretaceous period over 100 million years ago when they reached their final evolution then just stopped and survived to today. They do go a lot bigger than our two in fact they get to over 24ft in length and reach weights over 5000lb so our two both at 16ft and 800lb are just pups. In fact I have to admit to a little jump when pull the leader up on our first one and being greeted with a 5ft saw.

Number five are the two big king macerel of Rob Shipley one of our Jersey boys. Coming for over 5 years Rob always comes up with something special. What still brings a smile to my face is that after the first big one had nearly killed him the second he put his bait back in he had the other one. Gultton for punishment or what.

Next five on next blog and yes my best fish ever in the Florida Keys you will have to wait.