Wow – the last two weeks have been wonderful for me. Excellent weather and simply amazing fishing. For the life of me, I still cannot understand why more people don’t fish down here in June…the ocean is simply an aquarium.
If you want to catch mahi-mahi (aka dorado or dolphin) – YOU NEED TO BE HERE NOW! I have several open dates in the next two weeks – LET’S GET THEM!
What is the big news? The GAFFER MAHI-MAHI – they are here, in great concentrations, and very close to shore. No need to run to the gulf stream – my favorite 8-25 mile jaunts are producing lots and lots and lots of nice 10-20lb mahi…and we’ve caught a slew of cobia, king mackerel and a couple of sailfish hookups!
What else is going on? How about the incredible sheepshead bite – picking up 30-40 in just 3-5 hours of fishing!
6/19 – Wonderful day with Tom snr., Tom jr. and Tom’s buddy Conner. I always have a ton of fun with these guys, and they always seem to bring good luck to my boat. Today was no different – and the mahi bit was simply unbelievable.
We started off the day at the dock with me losing my footing and falling into the water between my finger dock and my boat…in front of my clients and an entire charter boat. I’m very lucky I escaped unscathed, and we all laughed our rears off about 10 minutes later.
Once we finally got underway, I arrived to my destination in short order and deployed 4 lines at 600 rpms…and within 30 seconds of throttling up to trolling speed – both riggers get nailed. We land 1 fish – a really nice 15lb gaffer and jump off the other. I redeploy both riggers…and before I can throttle up, both my flat lines get nailed. As we are fighting those big gaffers on our 20lb tackle…we see fish in the swells just cruising by and start pitching live menhaden to them….hooking up several 15-20lb fish on 12lb test spinning gear (we could have worked them on the fly today!). After a couple of hours and only 30 seconds of actual trolling – we had at least 10 fish hooked up and landed or released.
It was like this all day – we never went more than 10 minutes without a strike. We had at least 20 fish hooked up during the time we were fishing landing about 15 and releasing about 8 of those. With everyone worn out we stopped trolling after only about 6 hours and ended the day yanking on a couple big amberjacks.
Another sailfish encounter today too – twice, within 5 minutes, we had a flat line just get crushed….and as i free-spooled the bait back, it got picked up 5 or 6 times with the fish never taking it. Bait came back – both times – barely crushed and only missing a few sails. Classic bite from a small sailfish.
It was gorgeous when it was rough and breezy in the morning…but the wind died about 2pm and it was SCORCHING HOT!
Always a pleasure y’all!
I stayed inshore today with Hadden and his sons…and my oh my we had an awesome day. Started off the day playing with some menhaden balls that were getting crushed right off the beach. Hadden had the first fish – a 6lb spanish. After a bite off, our next fish was a little bit too big for the 12lb test spinning gear we were using. 70 minutes later – 40lb COBIA. Awesome y’al! By that time the bait ball action was slowing and we decided to look for some kings.
The king bite was red hot and we had our first fish as i was deploying the lines…and we were picking them up steady all morning with several break-offs, a couple pulled hooks….and then some cobia decided to crash our party. A 35lb and 25lb fish showed up in the prop was and Manly made short work of the 35lb’r….with Hadden’s fish pulling the hook. While we were messing with these guys, one of my live bait lines gets nailed with a nice kings – absolute chaos! Love it!!!
Great job with cobes and kings – not bad for a 3/4 day!
Paul, Ken and I had an awesome day. The weather was amazing and the fish were all over the place – and we weren’t more than 20 miles from the beach. After I fought through some scattered grass – we found a hot hot hot bite. Every pass over a ledge we’d get multiple knockdowns with most fish being really nice 10lb+ gaffers.
Instead of talking about all the fish caught – I’ll talk about the 1 we didn’t. After landing several dolphin right away, with four lines out we had an explosion on a flat line – SAILFISH. She started tailwalking and somehow managed to jump over both my riggers before me and Paul could clear them. After several minutes and getting 1 line unwrapped – and the sail dumping the reel, tailwalking her heart our – I had only 1 line to go which was wrapped several times…and right as i was about to get it undone…and danged dolphin came up, wacked the hoo wrapped around the line we had the sail on…and tension broke off the sail. Ken and I were crushed – but we were all effort on that one. If we would have got it unwrapped – she was as good as landed.
So we went back to catching the mahi – I dont know how many we caught – probably 20+ gaffers? We released a bunch and kept probably 12 or so. Ended the day finding a 55 gallon drum 5 miles from the inlet while riding in – was hoping for a cobia but found a couple of big gaffers under it. Released/Landed 1 and screamed in to get Paul home for his wife’s b-day dinner!
Incredible day y’all!
One of our smallest fish of the day – but we didn’t take many photos today (too busy!).
Lisa, her husband Al and their son Mike – they all biked down from Wisconsin for a wedding and wanted to get out for some bigguns’. We decided to look for mahi and everything else. Mike had never fished in the ocean before, and we wanted to keep him busy.
The grass was thick and scattered so I started off running some live baits – and we found gaffer dolphin instantaneously. First bait out got hit on the drop, another in the propwash before I could get it 10 feet from the boat – but our luck was mixed. We had a couple fish jump off, another break the line – I knocked one off with the gaff (I’m allowed 1 every once in a while!). After a a really nice mid-teens king, everything started to fall into place. Then we started to wack ’em.
We ended the day in absolute chaos – several triple headers with 10-20lb gaffers jumping all over the place. While they put up an incredible fight on 20lb test gear and spinning rods – today was one of those days you actually wished the gear was a bit heavier – because our arms were really tired! After boating probably 10 big gaffers, losing just as many and releasing several we decided to call it a day and leave them biting! Awesome day y’all – look forward to having you down again!
I don’t report my off days very much – but one of my best friends, Anthony, was in town for a couple of days and we did some serious hard core fishing with the slick calm conditions we had. We mopped up the dolphin on the troll and found a really good king mackerel bite that we tried to avoid. We kept several nice gaffers and released a bunch more – which is not easy to do.
Our goal was to get mahi on the fly but it was simply so incredibly calm (with no concentrated grass) that most of our bites were coming a good ways from the boat. We did do some serious chumming and found a bunch of sharks and a few cobia. Anthony did manage to hook a big cow on the 10wt and she just put on a show – after about 10 minutes she jumped off at the boat but we’ll take the quick release.
Our real highlight was we decided to chum over a wreck – there were two dive boats on it and we arrived just as they were leaving. We dumped the bag – and imeadiatly up came about 6-10 HUGE 10-14″ sharks in the 200-300lb range….with a couple of cobia with them. I am waiting on a pic so I can get a proper identification but they were not our typical wreck sharks (which are sand tigers) – these guys had flat faces, big pec find and smaller flatter teeth….they actually looked like huge sandbar sharks. Anthony hooked up on one of the sharks on a penn torque and while he played that fish I got to mess with a couple 40lb cobia. Ant actually landed his shark – a measured 12ft and god knows how much it weighed (the POWER of a penn torgue with 30lbs of drag and a shimano XXH trevella!). He has the pics and i will post them he sends them.
I meanwhile wacked the 40lb cobe who was incredibly picky – giving me a couple for the weekend 🙂
Very, Very Large 12′ Shark
Yes – I look like a total dumbass.
Today I had Robert and his brother JAck for a short 3/4 ocean trip – it was a little choppy but we had a pretty nice ride and found the fish chewing. We started off the morning playing with the Jacks – they were very numerous and extremely hungry. We tried for a bit to get Robert hooked up on the fly but we couldn’t seal the deal and Jack really wanted to try for a king mackerel or a dolphin.
Well, we only trolled for a short while and we hooked up with two really nice mahi-mahi both in the 12-15lb range. Jack scored first with the nice cow and then Robert, 20 minutes later, with a beautiful Bull that put on a wonderful show. Rob really wanted me to release the bull for him (as they decided they had enough meat from their one fish)…and i did something crazy. I tailed the fish, boga gripped him and handed him off for a pic…mahi are absolutel nuts out of the water and i have never tried to tail one before. This one really wanted to cooperate for some reason – he was released in excellent shape!
Not bad for a 3/4 day only a few miles from the beach!