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Archive for March, 2010

March 27th Fishing Report

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

It has been yet another beautiful week on the water here in the Florida Keys! The winds were light, the waters were clear, and the fish kept anglers of all ages grinning from ear to ear! Each angler leaving my boat had plenty of tall tails to tell their friends and family.  The most tails will be about the Silver King (aka Tarpon) we were stalking this week!

 

 

The tarpon are now showing up around the bridges. Tarpon are powerful game fish with hard rough mouths, sharp gill plates and abrasive scales.  The largest tarpon caught was almost 300 pounds but on average they will range from 80 pounds to 150 pounds. The female are larger then male tarpon and can grow to lengths of over 8 feet and reach weights of near 355 pounds, The female Tarpon can live more than 50 years. The males generally are smaller and live approximately 30 years. Tarpon will not reach sexual maturity until they are 6 years old and at least 4 ft long.  

 

Fishing for tarpon takes skill and planning. I primarily use live bait such as crabs, shrimp, pinfish and mullet. It’s important to know what the tarpon are eating for the day as their taste buds change from day to day. It’s also important to rig the live baits in the most natural way possible. You can also use artificial such as Zero Spook Plugs and any kind of plastic swimmer bait such as Silver Shad Paddle Tail and or a Jerk Shad.  

 

Casting is also very important. You need to cast cross current and adjust your depth by casting different distances up tide and down tide. The further you cast up tide the deeper your bait will go by the time it reaches the tarpon hiding under the many brides that pepper the Florida Keys landscape. When you feel the bite, resist the erg to set the hook! Let the tarpon do the work for you because if you don’t you are sure to be stomping your feet due to the loss of the magnificent fight you could have had!

 

 

In conclusion it is time for you to book a fishing trip here in the Florida Keys. There are some great game fish regardless if you decide to hunt the open ocean or venture into the Everglades. There is fun to have any which way you go. It is easy to find great guides here in the Keys, just visit the closest marina and you are sure to have your own fishing story to bring home making your friends and family jealous!

 

So until next time ask yourself this one question, Are you fishing yet?

Fishing Report March 20th

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Fishing captains are in full force as the spring breakers are here for some warmth and fishing frenzy!  The waters have not been disappointing for most who ventured out. I had some great luck with some wonderful rod bending excitement and most of the guides I spoke with also had great luck! If you are even thinking of going fishing I suggest you take a quick look at the wonderful guides listed in the Weekly Fisherman or take a drive around to the many marinas. Things are heating up and many of the best guides will be booked if you wait. Remember the early bird gets the fish, right! This coming week will be no different!

 

We had some great luck this week with lots of rod bending action!  In Flamingo the bite was mainly Speckled Sea Trout, Ladyfish, Pompano, and Redfish. The most action of all was on the patches reefs. The patches were on fire with Mangrove Snapper, Hogfish, Mutton Snapper, Cero Mackerel and Jacks.  I have to say fishing the patches takes an experienced guide if you want to have success.

 

The Florida Keys are home to an incredible system of patch reefs The Patches serve as habitats for a variety of marine life. The key to fishing the patches is to find a good spot and anchor your boat up-current to the reef you intend to fish.  Please be aware that anglers and divers damage the reefs by dropping on top of them. It is much less damaging to the reef and better for your fishing if you drop anchor in the sand just up-current to the reef. Another added benefit is you will lose much less tackle by not snagging it on the coral, sea fans and any other life at the bottom.  This week I chose to fish between the depths of 10-30 ft because my clients were under the age of 10. Shallow patches produce lots of action for small children.

 

I predict that this week will be the same as last with lots of activity on the water. The mackerel and trout are biting in full force! The bonefish are moving onto the flats as the waters are warming and the Tarpon are on their way back to fill our days and nights with endless excitement!

 

So remember, as you see all the vehicles driving our newly recognized scenic highway, these spring breakers could be looking for a fishing guide. Don’t be left on land, call a guide today to help you make amazing memories here the beautiful Florida Keys!

 

Until next time ask yourself this one question…. Are you fishing yet?

Florida Keys Fishing Report March 13, 2010

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

There is no competing with a day on the water here in the beautiful Florida Keys!  All of you spring breakers will regret it if you skip a chance to experience the Florida Keys true beauty: the turquoise waters and the wildlife hiding within it.  Taking a private charter allows you to make the decisions. This cannot happen while chartering a larger “cattle boat” .  The larger boats are unable to scream across the shallows of the bay while clients witness stingray being chased by Hammerhead sharks. You will not stop to watch a pod of dolphin trap their dinner because unfortunately they have an agenda to fulfill. For this reason taking a private charter is well worth the money and you are sure to come home with wonderful memories as well as beautiful photographs. This week was definitely one to remember for all of my clients as the temperature and the winds were ideal for spotting many fish and other creatures of the sea!

 

The waters are warming and this brings in many different species of fish. On Monday I took my client Tom and his wife out west and we had luck with Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, Bluefish, Ladyfish, different varieties of sharks and one surprise bonefish.  I have to say the highlight of my day was that surprise bonefish!  Most amazing was we were not in search of bonefish, we were mackerel fishing!  I could not believe my eyes when Tom reeled in the 2.5 pound bonefish. Yes, a small bonefish but a bonefish none the less!  As we continued to fish the bonefish were steadily teasing Tom with nibbles but no more takers.  This is a great sign that the bonefish are moving back to the warmer spring waters! So make sure you practice your casting in order to have the most success catching these usually elusive bonefish.

 

The rest of the week I spent my time scoping out the backcountry. We had luck with Speckled Sea Trout, Ladyfish, Black Drum, and a few Redfish. As we move into spring and the waters warm the Tarpon are becoming more prominent. I am noticing many juvenile Tarpon scoping the waters for their next meal.  As the warming trend continues the larger more desired Tarpon will make their debut.  If your dream is to catch a trophy Tarpon make sure to book early as the experienced captains are already receiving bookings for the most desired months; March, April, May, and June.

 

Until next time, ask yourself this one question….. Are you fishing yet?

 

March 6, 2010 Fishing Report

Monday, March 8th, 2010

There is exciting action to report this week in the backcountry. Since January’s unusually cold weather most fishermen were wondering if the bite would ever return. Well I am here to report that I have had great luck this week. The beginning of the week brought good sized Snook, Redfish, Black Drum, and Sea Trout. The latter part of the week I fished with Captain Lain Goodwin with Dirty Water Charters and had luck with lots of Black Drum, Redfish and Trout. The backcountry fishing is returning slowly.  As we begin to move into the warmer months I predict the fishing will be red hot for many of the species listed above excluding the Snook.

The Snook took quite a hit from the January cold spell. In response FWC took action by temporary closing the Snook as well as the Tarpon and Bonefish fisheries. This means you may only catch and release these species until further notice. This is a precautionary measure while they compile data from fishermen and research staff who are actively monitoring and collecting information. You can access the most up to date data at http://research.myfwc.com/fishkill/ . This website will give you an actual count of the number of species killed during January’s cold spell. It is interesting to see the enormity of the impact on our beloved fishery! As more research is completed we should have a better understanding of the future impacts January’s chill will have on our future fisheries.

Although Florida residents were rightfully concerned about the prolonged cold we experienced, the FWC reports that January’s cold was not all bad. A few positive impacts were that native freshwater fish species were largely unaffected by the cold temperatures however, non-native species that were introduced to Florida’s waters were seriously impacted, which I have to admit I am very happy to hear. Another positive attribute is the cold temperatures killed Burmese pythons, iguanas and other invasive species that have been invading Florida. Although the cold has not eliminated all of them, it has sharply reduced their numbers.

As for now things are literally heating up and the waters are more productive then they have been for the last few weeks. As you are planning your fishing trip to the beautiful Florida Keys make certain to be well versed in what is biting.  The last thing you want to do is try to target a species that is not active.  Talk with your selected guide to get the scoop on what is biting and be flexible with your dates. As they say, “Some days are better then others!”

Until next time ask yourself this one question….Are you fishing yet?