1 Jul 05 – We went to the other side for another awesome tuna trip. Departed Cape Marina 0100 hrs. Beautiful night, calm seas (less than 2ft) with a waxing moon (50% vis). Picked up our first pack of birds on radar early and when we got a visual on the fish we could see yellowfin crashing everywhere. We moved in slow after determining the schools direction and maneuvered the boat ahead at an angle that would put the lures right in there mouth. Worked well; 5 reels began screaming and we had 5 large yellowfin burning-up the reels. After a 45 min gut-buster fight we ended up landing three with two miraculously escaping. One fish weighed in over 60lbs. No problems finding birds on radar the remainder of the day. Went from one bird pack to another. Yellowfin bite slowed in the afternoon but blackfin and skipjack action never ceased. Filled fish box with tuna by the afternoon and had a pleasant ride back to the barn. Awesome Day !!!!
16 Jul 05 – Fished in a 1/2 day Boldwater sponsored tournament. Took a family of three to one of my favorite bottom spots where we catch the limit of Red Snapper. The reason this spot is so good is because a major portion of the structure is 400 yards from the posted coordinates and receives very little fishing pressure. As soon as our rigs hit bottom the snapper started tugging on the lines. Nonstop action but most were under 21 inches. We did catch a couple of nice keepers. We also did a little trolling over a spot that’s been pretty hot for the last couple of weeks. Here we caught some mackerel, barracuda, and shark. Great time on the water.
28 Jul 05 – Took Steve,his son and a friend to Pelican Flats for a 1/2 day of King fishing. Started catching fish as soon as we put the baits in the water. Too late in the day to catch pogies in the inlet so we used sardines and squid for bait on our King Buster rigs. Caught most of the fish on the downrigger. Found a nice school over structure with bait pods all around and every time we trolled over that area the reels screemed. We also caught barricuda, shark and bonito. Great action packed day !
3 Aug 05 – Made another trip to the other side ot the Gulf Stream, approx 80 mi, for yellowfin tuna charter. Departed 0100 on a moonless night which made for hungry fish the following day. Seas were relatively flat with minor rain squalls in the area. Shortly after sunrise the birds were painted on radar and we got into the fish. Schools of skipjack were everywhere. We caught yellowfin (some over 60 lbs), blackfin and skipjack tuna. Went from one bird pack to another in a northerly direction. Most of the big tuna were found on the edges of the squalls. Bigeye lures, cedar plugs and rigged ballyhoo were bait of choice. Great day on the water.
8 Aug 05 – Took a family from England(see the word gets around) on a 1/2 day charter to the fishing grounds. Heading out the inlet we had manatees appear at west end of inlet and were able to take many good pics. Five miles out of port we fished behind a shrimp boat with numerous bait fish pods in area and caught four nice King Mackerel. Before departing we were able to coerce the shrimp boat captain out of a 30 LB bag of fresh caught (LG) shrimp at a bargain price. We then headed for the Pelican Flats area where we encountered nonstop fishing action. On the return trip we had a dolphin escort and another good photo op. Great day!!!
21 Aug 05 – Caught our limits of large red snapper in one hour (see pics pg 1 on gallery). All fish weighed between 20 and 30 lbs. Went north approx 30 mi where the big sow’s hang out. We caught our bait on the way to the honey hole with sabiki rigs on a wreck that was saturated with sardines. At the honey hole, on every drop we hooked two or three snapper. The bait didn’t have time to reach the bottom before the snapper devoured it. We also caught three nice cobia and two weighed close to thirty pounds. All in all, another awesome day on the water.
15 Sep 05 Great day, limited out on snapper (18 fish) in two hours. Fish were hungry, bite never slowed. Had six anglers fishing in back and snapper fights were goingport and starboard; snapper won. Very little current over sight and I was able to hold boat over spot with minor engine inputs. Water was dirty with 15 ft vis at surface. Sardines were bait of choice with squid coming in second.
17 Sep 05 Took a long excursion to the honey hole. King George was accompanied by his son Ed and grandson Rick. Water still very dirty (green)from Hurricane Ophelia’s excessive rainfall totals. Water levels are extremely high in the intercoastal with excessive out flow from inlets and rivers to the north expelling this dirty/spinach green water. This water then flows south across our fishing grounds causing the decline in water visibility. Anyway, snapper chew in dirty water so this was our target for the day. Once over the spot we dropped sardines and squid over the target. We’re unable to get live pogies in the inlet or on the beach; they just weren’t there. We caught a lot of nice snapper in the 15 to 20lb range and also plenty of hungry shark. King George and crew returning in Nov for overnight trip. Hurricane Rita is Cat 2 heading west towards the Keys. High pressure north and low pressure south causing brisk onshore flow with small craft warnings through Thursday; typical Sep weather. Hopefully will be back in business this weekend.
17 Sep 05 Great day, 2 ft seas, sunny skies, water temp around 81 deg. Started out 30 miles off shore to fish some good bottom spots on the other side of the cones. I was hoping the Gulf Stream would be further out to the east and we wouldn’t have to deal with the current. That was not the case and over the drop point we encountered a 3-4 knot current that made fishing extremely difficult. We then decided to travel west, out of the stream, to drop on some very productive ledges. Once over the ledges the current was marginal and I was able to keep the boat over the structures with minor engine inputs. Welcome to Shark City!!! On every drop we hooked-up with one or two sharks and the fight was on. We checked-out two other areas close by but the sharks controlled the bottom there also. So after a good work out fighting the terrors of the deep we decided to head to another site. Our next stop was on a famous wreck; a 255 ft cargo ship sunk in 1942 by a German U-Boat. The ship is hard over on its port side in 85 ft of water. Once over the wreck the bottom finder picked up bait pods and large fish over the structures and I knew we were on the jackpot. Sure enough, as soon as or rigs were dropped, the red and mangrove snapper tore through our baits. We boated several nice fish and had two enormous hits that broke the lines before we could see color. We also caught a large gag grouper and released two that were around 22 inches. We spent around 2 hours on the wreck a headed home with some very nice fish on ice. For baits we used sardines, squid, live pin fish and shrimp. Sardines worked best for the snapper. We found no pogies in the inlet but mullet starting to make an appearance. As winter nears, mahi will start making their way south through our fishing grounds returning to the winter grounds. Snapper and grouper will move into shallower waters and will congregate on wrecks and major bottom structures. Cobia will be off the beach not to far behind the mullet and King Mackerel will be plentiful. Good Fishing…
18 Oct 05 Cobia !!! Came across a weed line approximately 10 mi off shore. The line ran for miles with large scattered patches. The first patch we came up to held 3 triple tail(TT) and many more smaller fish. We caught 2 nice size TT using squid for bait. On the third cast two nice cobia popped their heads out. The first devoured the squid and then the fight was on. The second cobia (largest) stayed close by the first and we eventually hooked it up on a pink/white plug. After a long battle we eventually boated both powerful fish. We then checked all the large patches and boated another large cobia and some more TT. Next up was botton fishing. We proceeded to one of my hot spots. Sure enough as soon as we dropped the snapper started chewing. We caught 6 nice keepers and threw back many more just under 20″. The action was continuous and hot! A friend then called on the VHF and reported nice schools of mahi approx 30 miles off shore. He had 15 gaffers in the boat and we also received reports from other Captains doing very well also. So we headed east and fished a scattered weed patch close to an area called the “Cones” in 250 ft of water. We put the lines out and immediately hooked-up. I knew it wasn’t a dolphin because of the lack of an acrobatic show and after a good fight it ended up being a large barricuda. We then quickly hooked-up again and after another good fight pulled in a large shark. The weed was scattered and I maneuvered the boat closer to the larger patches (where the mahi hang out) Sure enough a dolphin came out from under the Sargassum cover and hit the ballyhoo hard. What an aerial display! He performed numerous tail-walks and made powerful runs which made the reel scream. After a long battle he was finally brought along side the boat and gaffed expertly by the mate. Overall nonstop great action, lots of fish in the box, great day on the deep blue!!!
4 Nov 05 Went on a charter with the Eagan family. Found the edge of the stream approx 28 miles offshore. Definite color/temp change on the edge with a nice scattered weed line. Trolled edges and chunked the large patches. Ended up bringing home some nice dolphin, kingfish and shark. We also released a good sized sailfish. Good day !!
26 Nov 05 King George and crew are back. Went to our secret honey holes and man the snapper were chewing good. King George hooked up a monster that brought him to his knees and then to his butt. Took three of us to get the King back on his feet again. I’m not sure who finally landed the fish but it was the biggest of the day. The King not only caught the largest fish but also the most; definitely has the touch. Ended up with a boat load of Red Snapper; delicious !!!!
5 Dec 05 Took Bob Fiedler out for a full day of bottom fishing. Caught some nice snapper over one of my favorite spots and then hooked up to a monster fish. Took over 30 min to get the gargantuan to the surface but when it finally showed its face it ended up being a 196lb nurse shark (see pics on page 16 of the gallery). Took us forever to land the beast. Nurse shark are rated as “excellent” food value. White, good tasting filets but a little chewy like squid. Awesome time !!!