Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bonefish Are Back in Key West

it's not Andros BUT!

The last couple years, we have seen a few more Bone fish here and there, more Bonefish in place's I have not found them in 30 years.

Last March, while poling "macho grande flat" which is Wilbur's code for shut up I'm not telling
you, I bumped into the mother load of 4lb'ers.
I was looking for Permit and Cudas in very skinny water with a pair of brothers that fish with me a few times every year and at first I thought I was seeing a large school of jacks crossing the flat, I swung the skiff to intercept and Richy launched a Merkin ahead of the pack.
Wack!......"christ it's a Bonehead... their all Boneheads!"

Richy hauled him in , while Afro his little brother ( why Afro? don't known why I named him afro, doesn't matter) hooked up on a shrimp.

We dug out another fly rod and now both guys are hooken Bone's one after the other (when they are'nt wrapping fly line around each others head) great fun!
Anyway.......More Bonefish in the lower florida keys is a good thing......................mike


Friday, April 15, 2005

Tarpon Fly Fishing in Key West

Key West Tarpon Fishing

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My Favorite Key West Fishing Guide

Who is he? well let me start this way.

This is the guy who guided his angler to the first Blue Marlin on fly in Cabo, in the 60's
He pioneered saltwater fly fishing on the wrecks, reefs, flats and backcountry of Key West, Marquesas Keys and Dry Tortugas.

This is the guide mentioned in fishing articles,stories, how to manuals by Stu Apt, Mark Sosin, Lefty Kreh and dozens of other sport fishing writers.
Ask anyone of them in person and they'll remenisce with a chuckle about
this whiskey drinkin, cigar chompin, skinny ol' fishing guide.

Wearing a white shirt, his name on the pocket, Sears blue work pants, back and forth keys guides hat and a big smile evertyday!

You would see him navagating around Key west in his 59 Tbird convertable, rusted to the door handles and back window missing, had to be 50 fishing rods sticking out that back window!

Everybody loved Lefty Regan!
Lefty guided until he was 89 years old, then for a couple years he was the Phluger Taxidermy Rep. I would see him everyday on the Key West Charter boat docks, smiling and laughing at him self for losing his big old Dodge Phluger van..in the parking lot!

Then he was gone from the dock... at home with his wife, who at that point was guiding Lefty.

Last time I saw Lefty was in the grocery store in Key West.I was standing infront of the
popcorn display, staring a the selection, when I felt eyes on me. There he was beside a potato
chip rack pointed in my direction with that glazed Alzheimers stare.

I looked up and said "hey you old Barracuda, you just layin there waiting to strike?"
and after a long look, he whispered......." Chaser"

Everybody loved Lefy Regan................mike


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Key West Fly Fishing Report

We are at it again, changing fly lines, sorting through Tarpon fly's and getting
ready for sustained Tarpon Tusker battles that have been ongoing in March and April.

May and Junes Tarpon wars will be even more intense as the migrating schools from central
America, Mexico and the islands south of us, converge on the lower Florida Keys for the annual
love fest.

Most of the spawner Tarpon will be in the 40-80 lb class but the big cows from the gulf will be here to do their share and those Tarpon can grow into the high triple digit numbers, many over
150lbs a few 170's and who knows how many in the 200 lb class, a few anyway.

All Tarpon are a blast on fly rods and the smaller fish can be more acrobatic, having power to jump 8-10 times without the burden of the extra 100lbs to carry skyward.

But there is nothing like that big Brahma Bull like roaring Tusker, snorting fire out of his nostrals and lightning bolts out of his arse.

Softball size angry red eye balls and a stare in your direction as he launches 61/2 feet of iron
plated badness in the air........... gets you out of bed at 4AM!


Monday, April 11, 2005

Key West Fishing Shakespeare Tackle Update

Last Month I was bragging about Shakespeare's new fishing tackle

I can report the Pflueger Metalist spinning reels are really great!
I am hard on everything I own, tackle, cars, motorcycles, hell shoes.
So far Tarpon, Permit, Pompano, sharks everything has been smoken the drag on these
Medalists and they have great. Sure I did repack them with good silicone grease out of the box and rinse them everyday, great buy and look like a 200 dollar reel!

Now I will tell you about another surprise from this old American company.
Pflueger Trion fly reels, large arbor, machined aluminum, super drag and very light weight.
This reel looks like and has the same features as $400-$600 saltwater reels.

First fish on a 8-10 Trion was a Permit that went about 18lbs, kicked his butt bad.

Buy 3 and have cash for new fly lines.........mike

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Kermit err Permit fishing in Key West

Why this guy?

Many fishing and hunting guides can relate to this story, you know, biggest buck you have ever seen.........and your client is Ronald McDonald.

One day, years ago, I started out with a guy who is "best bass man in Arkensaw" off to the Permit flat.I was rigged 8lb test on some stiff graphite spinning rods and had a good stash of
Florida Green crabs in the live well.
I ran west of Key west and came off plane down in the lakes region after a short pole I saw
tails, big tails, three very big black sickle's

" Wow!" look at those tails!.....You see them? ahh yaw....OK OK wait tell I get you a little closer, ........Good put that crab on the big one on the right!......Good cast!

Poo, the smaller one ate it.. Got him? ahh yaw....Ok he's going to run alot just hold on I'll get the motor started!........30 minutes later.

I have him at the boat grab this Sailfish size Permit tail with both hands and he pulls me
almost out of the skiff, up to my waist, ball cap in the bay, wet shirt, sunglasses gone!

I could not hold him..........but wait we're still hooked up...........10 minutes later
I grab him two handed again, hook my knee's under the gunnel and hoist that sucker over!

My god! " Thats the biggest Permit I every saw, mens world record on 8 I'm sure!
If you were ever going to mount a fish that's it mister!"

SOOO we race to the dock, Bob Hare the Taxidermy rep and a long time guide, all the
mates and Captains come down to to at the monster Permit.

Bob Hare started to write up the IGFA forms and gave the guy a price to mount the fish
everyone was excited about a 54+ lb Permit on 8.

Arkensaw asked Bob what the price would be to mount the fish, did the curly shuffle,
exclaimed he was'nt going to pay that kinda money to mount a "Kermit!"

He jumped in his car and left without signing the IGFA form's!

Bob Hare looked at me and asked, "what ya going to do?" I said "I'll Eat Kermit Bob!"

mike chaserkeywest

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Key West Tarpon Fishing Agogo

Fly Fishing Key West Tarpon

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Key West Tarpon (allowing pop ups)

Tarpon fishing has always been about pop ups.

Years ago, I had a girl friend that was really bright, not just smart, but
very preceptive and had clever ways to express her observations.

One night we went Tarpon fishing just north of Key West in lower Jewfish basin.

It was one of those hot oilslick calm evenings that promise good Tarpon sightings if not action.

As I idled into the basin you could see silver faces in all directions, happy slurping, Poondogies. I slipped the push pole into the edge of the flat and tied off.

Not a long wait, maybe four turns on her spinning reel and a tusker of about
125 lb. was in the air, headshakin, gills rattlin, really pissed Tarpon.

This guy out weigthed her by 30lb but she hung in even when he jumped close to the boat and wetted both of us several times.

When it was all over she stood in front of me, quite a picture, naked except for the fighting belt, and a big grin.

A few months later we were in Davey Florida to see their little rodeo, she had never been to a rodeo before.

We walked in and leaned against the corral just as the chute opened and out sprang a big big bull with a very small cowboy aboard.

In seconds the bull was splitting the fence right in front of us, throwing the cowboy to the ground and stompen all over him.

She looked up at me and said, " jesus, thats just like Tarpon fishing!"

mike chaserkeywest.com

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Fly Fishing Key West Spring Tides

The big moon tides are pushing the Big Gulf Tarpon in and we are cook'in.
With clear warm water and south east winds, we are excited about feeding the poons fuzzy fly's
and plopping some merkin crab fly's in front of a few Permit also.
I have a big bag of small baitfish flys and want to wear out Tarpon Tuskers before they wear me
We all have the fever and look forward to the early AM run to the flats.
Most of the Permit I have been seeing on the flats are bigger fish and with a good breeze
are easier to approach.
Feeding them a Merkin is another matter, but if they were easy to catch we would call them

Monday, April 04, 2005

Key West Fishing for Permit

Key West Fishing for Permit

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Key West Tarpon Tango

Key West Tarpon Fishing

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bouncing Key West Tarpon

This morning's treat was finding 4 big happy Tarpon schools on the flat.
Rolling high, sniffen, snorten, fly sucken, Tusher Tarpon!
We had no problen seeing them from hundreds of yards away but, our predicted 9 mph
S.E. winds soon turned into 15 then 20+ mph and getting on top the fish without getting way
on top of the rotating schools was work for the Ol guide.
Suddenly, we were surrounded by three big globs with 20-30 Tarpon in each.
"Tarpon rolling at 9 oclock, Tarpon rolling at 11 oclock, Tarpon at 1 oclock no 2 oclock! Cast dammit!" I laughed and laughed again as Peter struggled with the wind, fly line and bouncing flats skiff.
But Peter's a great caster and fast on his feet, which are hardly ever planted on our bucking skiff.

Finely it all comes together at the same time and after a few charges and misses at the fly,
a Poon Dog , aka 70lb Tarpon, grabs hold and Marlin jumps north towards Texas.

Judge, we pleads insanity, cus we crazy bout Da stuff!