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Archive of entries posted in the year 2017

Review of the year part two

No review of a year fishing in the Florida Keys is complete without the mention of the two iconic fish of the Keys the tarpon and the permit.  2016 was a good if not better than other years the only problem I now have as people have grown old with us as we enter our 14 th year of doing Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys catching that 100 lb plus bar of silver is no longer top of the to do list.  We have guys who first came out for their 50 th have been coming back year on year past their 60 th and are still coming back.  So when your Captain says see you all at 3 am and yes we still loose 3 in 4 fish, and yes you might be a spectator for 2 hrs, and yes a 1000 lb shark might want your tarpon more than you,  not quite the same replies as I used to get all those years ago.  However saying all that there is still in my opinion nothing in fishing that comes close to seeing your 150 lb tarpon many feet in the air as the sunrises in the Florida Keys pulling you around like a rag doll.  2016 saw the return of two of my hard core tarpon parties  Rodney Rigby and Neil Ford both were still well up for it and both parties did very well.  I know I have said this before and it seems a bit silly but it is so true  ” the people who catch most tarpon are the people who fish for them the most ” I hope you understand that and I cant make 3 am move.






tarpon shark-00-00-10-270

Rodney was rewarded this year and I have to give him 10 out of 10 for effort as for years he has always wanted to catch a tarpon on his beloved Moocha  reel a type of centre pin reel.  Well in 2016 his efforts were rewarded and the fun started with no good drag or any sort of gears he did an amazing job the rest of the boat did not help at all in fact we were all in hysterics.  However he proved us all wrong and in about an hour he had the fish to the boat leader touched and job done stella.  Also during the tarpon season we lost a few fish to the grander  1000 lb + shark they are only doing what is natural to them and it makes the holiday for many anglers.  To see the whole attack is just a once in a life time experience yes not the end you wanted but when an apex predator wants a tarpon its only going to end one way.





Permit again a fantastic year by far the best year ever for trophy fish and also the best year for a lack of shark on the wrecks where the permit spawn.  The big plus facts on permit fishing in the Keys no early start and fight not often over 30 mins and often the case more than one on at a time.  An other big plus we often due to the fact the wrecks are 8 miles offshore get a shot at passing blue water fish feeding birds giving them away and the fact we drift fish for permit we are quick to react   So what will 2017 bring well more of the same I hope but what was the saying  ”  the early bird gets the worm ” so  Tarpon.


2016 Review Part One

First a belated Happy New Year to all and as we start our 14 th year of Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys its always good to look back on a year.  Whilst there have been some changes to Fish the Dream due to circumstances out of my control our mission statement remains the same, to provide small party custom designed fishing holidays.  The paying angler has always been our driving force, start the holiday when you want, fish as many days as you want, fish for what you want, start and finish the day when you want we are always there for our guests and happy to change anything to give you a better holiday just ask.






It was great to start the year with my oldest fishing friend  Martin and  Brian.  Martin has been bringing a smile to my face for over 50 years and I always love to watch the style of Brian a true technical fisherman.  Not the best of the weather at the start of the year but here we have two guys who just like catching fish and with the topography of the Keys bad weather no problem.  I often say on a flat calm day we now have near 500 marks in the GPS as the wind picks up the number of marks drop but you can still fish.  For the traveling angler it often seems surreal but on days with winds over 20 mph we will travel deep into Florida Bay to fish on the leeward side of banks that come up to 6 in deep taking all the wave action off the water.  The one thing you need to keep in mind that in the Keys big fish do not need deep water our all time biggest fish well over  1000 lbs was hooked in just 10 ft of water.




One of my fun memories of  2016 was when Capt Mike asked  Dylan Bruce and Brian what was their biggest fish ever.  Mike was becoming very good at catching our goliath grouper so fish to 400 lbs are common so it was normally easy to give a new comer a new PB. When Mike asked them what was their biggest fish ever the look on his face was priceless when the replies came back, 500 lbs,  600 lbs and 800 lbs they were marlin fishermen.  It was great as always to see at the start of the year my Jersey boys now on their 11 th trip again a group who just get it so right and I have got old with them over the years. Smile of their week seeing poor old Rob destroyed by an amberjack in over 500 ft of water despite good advise letting a very large jig go down to deep I said it would only end in pain and it did.




My local boys the Slater party whilst they enjoy their fishing and are very good at it still like the holiday part of a Fishing Holiday and always have a good time in the Keys when they are off the boat and without fail every year they come on more than one occasion I will be reduced to tears of laughter.  More of the changes to Fish the Dream in my next blog but what ever happens in 2017 we will be ticking boxes and making dreams come true.