Monday, December 18, 2006

Pompano Fly Fishing Key West

Winter fishing in the Key West Back Country means Sea Trout, Cobia, Barracudas, Jacks, Bluefish and the pee wee Permit AKA Pompano.

They are cute and tuff for their size and you have your hands full with a 7-8 WT fly rod.
Most of the Pompano will be on or near the bottom in the shallow basins and channels, usually 4-6ft so, a slow sink or sink tip line is a good idea.
I use a full floater also and a long leader with a lead eye Mylar Minnow Fly.

Dredging will produce a good jolt/strike and several powerful runs, sometimes he'll come up and flash for you only to dive and smoke off a few dozen more yards.

Sometimes Pompano will FLOAT, holding in the current a few inches down and you can swing the fly infront of the school and watch a strike!

Last winter this happened to us several times and we had a field day landing dozens of Pompano in one shallow basin.

They were apparently sucken in very small minnies that were being washed to them with the tide.
We used a small 1/0 epoxy minnow and the Pompano went nuts, so did we but, we put all but 3-4 back.

They will be much bigger this winter, the one's I released, not the one's I fried in butter!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fly Fishing Key West Flats

Winter fly fishing provides some shots at fish other than the usual Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit Targets.

Cobia moving in, out of the Gulf of Mexico, following Sting Rays and sometimes Nurse Sharks.
They move up onto the flats as Wing Man, picking off the bait fish, crabs and other small wigglers that are on the move trying to avoid being lunch for the rays.

They spring out and get wacked by the Cobia who is better equipt with eye sight and speed then the slow moving rays.

Any good sized fly will sucker a Cobia, bait fish patterns, Crab Fake's even a good Bass Popper works well on Cobia.

Many of these guys will be over 20 lbs and can be much bigger.

Last years big Cobia was near 60 lbs and on the flat in 2ft of water, when you hook a big Cobia you had better get on the stick, because, he will spool you quick on light tackle.

Tossing a fly on a Sting Rays back will sometimes produce Jacks and even Red Fish or the Flats Snapper prize, Mutton Snapper!

We'll have some big Barracuda and Shark Flies along too.....just because.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas fishing Key West

It's that time of year, Snow Birds sneezing and coughing their way up and down every isle in the grocery store.

They just arrived and need to restock the condo with Key Lime Mustard, dishwasher soap and batteries for the 3-4 remote controls.

Another clue is the Ol' guide, building Barracuda Tube lures with 3 layers of super glue on said guide's every finger in the effort to have enough flash jigs for the Pompano,Sea Trout,Blue fish war.

Line on reels, reel lube, Flu shot, order in to Shakespear for more AMO!

My regular Christmas/New Year croud will be here, glad to see some winter fishing action and tell me about last summers Trout trip to Montana.

Some ofcourse Tarpon fish with me in the spring and we'll relive a few Tarpon Tale/Tails.

The weather has been delightful, a little wind and clouds but with the cooler water around the inshore action has been great!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Key West Flats Fishing for Barracudas

Everyone knows what a Barracuda is, to offshore trollers he's the bad guy that eats up your perfectly prepared Sailfish bait.

On heavy tackle drug behind a Sportfisherman he's not much fun, winching him on 50lb test, the mate bitching about the varmits.

Well how would a Rainbow trout fight using the same menthods, funny huh?

On the flats in the winter, lots of big Barracudas come up in a foot or less of gin clear water to gobble bait fish.

They move in "Wolf Pack's" and rocket into the bait fish schools or lurk on the edge of the flat waiting for the bait to move to them on the falling tide.

We will be there also with out light spinning or fly rods with artifical lures.

Hooking a big Barracuda that may go over 25 lbs on a 10lb test spin out fit and watching him bolt 45 MPH, turn 180 degrees and jump 6ft in the air and then do it again.

I can tell you that over the last 30 yrs I have had many SPORTS tell me " Oh I've caught Barracudas before, they were not much fun"

I always ask if they ever caught them on the flat?...err NO!

After the first good Cuda and a whole lot of WOW'S, LOOK at HIM JUMPS.

The opinion changes!........."let's get another CUDA!"

That's just part of the winter Key West Flats Fishing, some of the just plain fun.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cobia's on the Key West Flats

I took a little ride this morning, even though it was rather choppy.

I was wondering if the back country was sturred up from the cold front winds.
It turns out that the channels were still pretty clear and as I poled in along the bank, I saw moving down the river edge a dark shape that you would assume was Mr.Shark.

It was Mr. Cobia, a nice one about 40ish lbs, I tossed a rubber fish in his direction and he leaped on it "like a chicken on a June Bug."

Its a little early for the Cobia's on the flat but, then again we have had some early winter like weather.

A little cooler water and some north winds pushing the bait out of the Gulf and behind the bait the Bluefish,Cobia, Sea Trout and Pompano.

Ofcourse the down side is the near freezing temps .....of 78 degrees

Anyway the Cobia broke off at the boat after I fooled around long enough, worrying about no ice and where he was going to ride on my way home.

I'll get him latter and throw his ass on the Barbee.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Winter Fun of the Key West Flats

Can you believe it ? December already?

Last trip out we found winter back country fishing at its best.

Great comfortable 80 degrees, low humidity and non stop action from our winter fish friends.

I did go thru 3 dozen jigs but, we dont care.

Much Jack attack action, dozens of leaping Lady Fish and 15 perfect Pompano kept us busy for hours.

We had a run in with a school of Blue Fish that gobbled up some jigs until a switch over to wire leaders helped to land a few.

Several black Tip Sharks and one big toofy Barracuda added to the fun.

We headed for the Barn with few weapons left in the tackle arsenal, but a lot of laugh's

Thats the way it is in the back country this time of year, Permit on the flats and the seasonal fun guys chasing bait in the rivers and basins.

The Barracudas with show up anyday now for their winter flats buffet.

And I'm Watching the nightly news and tying jigs every night!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Permit and Tarpon Ocean Side Key West

We were surprized by the Tarpon we ran into yesterday but, we expected a few good Permit shots.

A little too much wind and some high clouds made it a tuff day.

We were on top of most of the fish before we could see them, they had conditions in their favor.

There they gooooooo! the ol' guide exlaimed..^*%@& fish.

Eventually we got lucky with a nice lazy Permit over the sand, jumping on the crab like a chicken on a June Bug.

After 20 mins and a hug and kiss, he was back in the sponge bottom, counting his blessings.

Later a nice 60+ lb Tarpon appeared and although the cast was in his window, he was apparently looking for a nice minnow.

So better light and we'd O wacked um!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Key West Backcountry Showing Life

Looking in the basins that lie inside the Gulf of Mexico Flats, I've been finding a lot of bait fish.

Mullet and Pilchers being bombed repeatedly by big Grey Pelicans with some Sooty Terns picking up the scraps.

These are some of the Fall signs that will eventually bring in the Sea Trout, Pompano and even a few Bluefish.

But thats getting ahead of things by a month or so.

We will not see any of those guys for another month, we'll expect to see the Bonefish and Permit show up in greater number this month though.

I did a little sniffen around in a few of the eastern Gulf side basins and the inner Mangrove Islands that float inside the flats.

Just looking for the Baby Tarpon that are born up under the Mangroves and live there until they decide its time to move on with the bigger Tarpon.

They will travel in and out of the rivers and basins but spend much of their life a few miles out in the Gulf, coming in close for some munchies once in awhile.

We found a few here and there although we could not coax them out from under the shade of the mangrove roots.

I always wonder how many thousands of years these baby Tarpon have hatched and grown in these same little Mangrove nooks feeding on Finger Mullet, Pin Fish and crabs until graduation.

I wonder how many of the Babies that we jumped on little Mylar Flies in and around the Mangroves, 7-8 years latter fed a orange Tango fly, fought and landed him now weighing 120 lbs.

I like to think we'll see him again at 170 lbs.

Not sure the feeling is mutual!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Permit on the Fly Key West

I went to the Gulf side flats this morning and just east of Snipe Keys, pushed the little skiff up as high as I could and waited.

Watching for Bonefish or Permit moving up on to the flat with the incoming tide,saw a couple Mullet sized Bonefish as I pushed west and continued to look for Sickel Tails.

I did see two small Permit that bolted before I could slide close enough for John to get a small Merkin fly launched.

After the usual Barracuda, Sting Ray and Bonet Shark "fooler's" we pushed toward the Gulf edge to run east a few more Keys.

John started to come off the casting deck and I warned him "if you put up that flyrod
15 Permit will swim by us!"

Just as I said it, I spotted two tail tips breaking the surface 25 yards at 1 oclock.

John sprang up and as I got closer we could see 20-25 "Floater" Permit hanging over some sponge bottom.

John launched the small blond floating Merkin and sure enough we saw a Permit turn on it, this is where the angler expects a bite and the guide doesn't...usually.

I heard John exclaim " He's on" ol guide thought.. Mangrove Snapper came out from under the sponge and ate John's fly.

Wonderfully, I was wrong and 30 mins later we snapped a photo of Johnny's 14-16 lb Permit.

We had drifted west and north of the sponge bottom and after putt'n in a big half circle were now 100 yards east of the Permit schools.

We put on another Blondy and both jumped onto you battle stations, few mins latter I found the fish and we closed once again.

Knowing we may have worn out our welcome but, we had to give it a try!

John cast the Merkin and wiggled it a little as it drifted through the School.

I saw the fly line jerked from his hand, he recovered guickly and grabbed the loose line, sinking the hook in another Permit face..

As I put the skiff on plane at the mouth of my home canal this morning, I was dreading a looong hot day!

It was good to be wrong... had a Hot Day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Key West Fall Fishing

No one is more elated than I that October is here and with it the cooling of the inshore water.

Looks like this year we will have some early cold fronts and thats a good thing!

Dont get out your parka's just yet, this is the Lower Florida Keys we're talking about water temps in the mid 70s and low 80s after summers water running 10 degrees warmer.

Every fall the annual bait run starts down the East coast, shifting small bait fish south and moving the Sail Fish, King Fish and other off shore monsters into the keys and southern Gulf of Mexico.

What does this mean to Flats Fisherman?....Nothing and everything, we're not expecting and Sailfish on the flats but we have simular results from the fall cooling temps.

The crab and shrimp population along with other small bait fish move into the basins, chanels and flats.

Their finding cool water where a few weeks ago it was boiling and uncomfortable.

Along with this inshore bait movement comes ofcourse the guys were interested in, Bigger Bonefish come in from the Gulf of Mexico along with larger groups of Permit.

In a month or so we'll start looking for Sea Trout, Pompano and Cobia, all looking for some winter hunting in the now cooler inshore waters in the Florida Keys.

October is always a fun time for me, pursuing the Bigger Bonefish on the Gulf Flats and finding bunches of Permit wher a few weeks ago there were...some.

The Tarpon will show but dont look for bunches, we'll get some shots but not spend alot of time trying to make it happen.

Those that have fished with me in the past will remember I dont spend a lot of time with small Bonefish.

October gives me the chance to Bonefish more often....looking for the Big Boys!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Feeding Barracuda Tarpon?

Not exactly..... a few weeks ago fly fishing for Tarpon on the Key West Atlantic side flats.

We were having a fairly good morning with a couple of "Trout lift" mistakes and hoping all the patient...kinda patient, instruction from the fishing guide would finely result in a Tarpon hook up at least getting us to the next phase, losing the fish on the first jump! Ha

After a few more shots and refusals we got our chance in the least likely way, a last second back cast at a Tarpon that had just snuck up on us from behind.

Ten feet from the boat a 60lber grabbed the Cockroach Fly over a sand hole and jumped,
tail walked away, just as this happened, right infront of us a 5lb Barracuda raced out of the same sand hole and bit the flyline/butt section knot cutting our Tarpon loose!

As we watched the Tarpon celebrating his freedom by jumping down the flat,
the baby Barracuda that was stopped in his tracks with a puzzeled look on his face, all we could do was laugh!

It was a good day, good laugh.

Albino Permit "This Time I Have a Witness"

I wrote some time ago about finding a Albino Permit in a school of "Floater Permit" and although we about caught every other fish in that school, we could not feed Mr Albino.

I just wanted to touch him and take his photo.

Well, It happened again, a few weeks ago we were having one of those great mornings and after three Tarpon in the air and one up to the boat to touch the Tarpon's head, we stumbled on to a very big school of a Floaters.

We managed to get close and hook two Permit right away, drifted off fought and landed both.

I came back and slid up on them again and my Sport was having trouble seeing them in the glare.
I noticed a white something at the back of the school and asked if he saw it?
At that moment I realised it was a Albino Permit, I got excited and we attemped to toss craps in his direction, this time I was going to touch the Abino!

Again and again we threw and hooked every brother and sister but the Albino never beat the others to the crab.

I lost count, I think it was 11-12 Permit landed, biggest one a Slambo of about 28lbs

But no Albino...again.

A guide pal of mine Lindsay Harper was a few hundred yards away fighting a Tarpon, I called him and said " break off that damn Tarpon and come see the Albino Permit!"

Later Lindsay did just that,saw the Albino and caught a Permit too, not my Albino!

I told him, the last time I came to the dock telling our friend Todd Bowen about the Albino Permit, Todd just laughed and accused me of "smoking something"

So next time your looking for an Albino Permit Guide call me.....

How To Hire a Key West Fishing Guide part Three

Apparently I upset someone when I suggested that it was not a good idea to book a $500 fishing trip with an "outfitter" that owned three of four skiffs and hired hourly workers to drive you around to the six or eight SPOTS that the boss showed them.

I'll tell you first that more than a few of my new customers that fished with me in the last few months have commented that they had read my earlier posts on this subject and asked a few questions while looking for a Key West fishing guide.

The answers they recieved when they knew what questions to ask, led them to me or another professional and they avoided the bait and switch.

You have to understand that I was the kid with fishing rods and shot guns in the trunk of the 62 Chevy.

Many of the fine fishing guides of the Lower Florida Keys dont have three or four fancy web site's and a bank of operators ready to take your credit card number.

Anyway this is what happened, I got a call a few weeks ago from someone looking for the job " Fishing Guide Wanted No Experience Necessary Start Today" seems some one put this ad in the local paper with my phone number....ha

I thought it was funny but, better than that I realised that the fellow that took the time to go to the newspaper office and give a false name, pay cash for the ad has a very short Dick!...and I know who it is.

Funny stuff.....As I said before in my Key West Fishing Blog. ( check Archives! }

If I am booked you will get a few names and phone numbers of REAL Key West fishing guides at no cost to him or you.

Hell, even if I'm not booked but, you dont want to fish with an crusty old guide, I'll give you some phone numbers.

July Key West Flats Fishing

The Tarpon and Permit fishing has been really good for me in July.

Yesterday we found a Guppy Hatch and dozens of hungry Tarpon taking advantage of the falling tide to chow down.
Guppy Hatch's are really just a timing issue,stronger tides pulling glass minnows off the flats to a drop off, edge of a channel or basin.

The Tarpon and sometimes Permit will slide in during the hatch far as they can dragging their belly's in the grass to grab a tasty treat.
You'll see alot of surface action and a small Minnow Flys will produce great
exploding strikes.

Gergler Flys creating a surface wake will bring Tarpon Faces out of the water to suck in the tempting treats also.

Yesterday we jumped eight Tarpon, many were in the 80 lb range with one around 50 lbs. and one Big Tusker of over 150 lbs.

These are the mornings we ol' Tarpon Fags live for.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Summer Flats Fishing Key West Style

After the May, June Tarpon Fest it's time to get back to some Permit and Bonefishing.

The Permit have returned from the spring spawn in the deeper reef and rock piles.
They are showing up in greater number in the skinny water and the Bonefish are also around with greater regularity.

We're shifting over to a early morning peek for rolling Tarpon and when the sun gets up a bit, sniffing around on the flats for Permit and Bonefish.

Working early and getting off the water by mid afternoon keeps it fun without burning your eyeballs out searching for fish that have escaped the late afternoon hot water.

Evening Tarpon will still be very productive all through the summer, with the right tides.

A few days ago, I had one of those days, hooking 11 or 12 Permit and landing 10 with the biggest over 28lbs.

Funny how some days you wish you could land one Permit and the odd day when you don't want another!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Key West Tarpon Blurr

WOW Wha Happened!

May blu by and June lasted about a week, Tarpon for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

We had a pretty good Tarpon migration run and ofcourse it's a great time for me because I get a chance to see my Ol' Flyfishing buddies.

My friend Jim Cloud showed up as usual the first week in May and we had a great time.
We had dinner the first night Jim got here and over a great steak and a few Wadka's
He reminded me that it was our 25th year fishing together.

I asked him I he brought me a Gravy Boat or Tea Pot for our silver Anniversary!

He's a great guy and this year is also his 75th birthday......unbelievable.

Jim Cloud aka "Red Cloud" as he is known in North Korea { Jim was an Artilary Officer during the Korean War}

Jim is family.

Another pal thats been with me for quite a few years is Atom Marton.
Atom and his father were here for a week and we managed to hook pop up with a few Tuskers, good fun.

June fishing has really been better fishing and although the Spawner's are about gone the big Gulf of Mexico are here and the are here to EAT.

Today we jumped 12 Tarpon and landed a few over 100 on light tackle, thats a fantastic Tarpon day.

Bill Marine and his son/nephew were with me {yes it was crowded on the baby boat}

Bill ownes Red Fish Boats in Vero Beach and builds a fine flats boat called a Bull Red.

Bull Red's are as you would guess built for the Red Fish crowd but we think Permit and Tarpon and Bonefish will be on that list in the lower Keys before long....we'll see.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May/Tarpon Fest Key West

Only because of a freak northwest front blowing 25+ do I have the time to jot down a update.

This past week has been really good with some Massive Tusker Tarpon, hiding is the shallows.
We have done well with both flyrod and spinning tackle,some of my guy's caught their first real big Tarpon on fly and learned just how much power the biggest Herring can muster.

You just have to fight a 130+ lb. Tarpon to begin to understand!

My Ol' Pal Jim Cloud was here a few days ago, we are celebrating our 25th year of fishing together " our Silver anniversary " we joked!

Jim and I have had a lot of fun over the years, used to fish with me 3 weeks a year.

I took him on this first Alligator hunt, Frog gig, Wood Duck shoot in the Florida swamps and many many Tarpon and Permit trips in the Key West flats.

Jim Cloud is family.

May is also his 75th birthday, we ate Steak had a few wadka's and laughed a bunch.

I told him I was only willing to guide him another 20 years, then I quit!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What Makes a Great Tarpon Fly

Twenty five years ago we were throwing Lefty Kreh's Deciever in sizes up to a wopping five inches tied on a 7/0 hook.

That was alot like tossing a small house cat!

Don't get me wrong Lefty's Deciever Fly is a great pattern and has fooled many fish, fresh and salt.

But we all found that Mr Tarpon likes little bitty flys also and more often a 2 inch fly tied on a 1/0-2/0 hook will get his attention.

Pattern's vary as do colors, Mylar, Chicken feathers, Peacock, Bunny fur, cow tail, Marribo, plastic, rubber the list goes on and on.

Some of the best Tarpon fly's are the simplest, a good friend and one of the best saltwater guides
that still fishes uses a small bit of sand colored bucktail tied in a 1/0 hook about 2 inches long, thats it and that fly is about all he uses for Tarpon.

I use about six differant Tarpon Fly's tied on 1/0-3/0 hooks and they vary from 1 1/2 inch ti about 3 inch in lenght.

I like Mylar a lot, but on the flat in clear shallow water if the sun is up high, Mylar usually will run the fish.

Bunny is nice and has earned its place on the Tarpon menu in the last few years.

But nothing is as important as proper fly placement

Many, many times I have had an angler turn and say to me " why did'nt he take that?"

" must be this fly!"

Well it could be but, more often the fly wasn't in the grab zone.

Tarpon a big lazy slow eater, rarely turning out of their way to gobble your secret Bunny Fly.

Remember when the Vet trimmed Bowser's ear's and he had to wear that cardboard funnel around his head so he wouldn't scratch at his new pointies?

Bowser couldn't see much when he had the cone on, had to be right in front, right or left a little,
up and down a little!

If when you make your presentation again to Mr Tarpon you pretend he's wearing a Cone like Bowser's.........Now you get it!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Key West Tarpon Spring Forward

No doubt about it, today smells like spring time Tarpon.

The winds head ESE and the barometer heads N as theTarPoons head to the shallows nearer the lower Florida Keys.
We found some Bonefish and Permit on the flats, even a good Cobia sliding up in front of us
but, the real target was Tarpon.

We found a few local yocals early on that we not in the mood soooo we went looking for some Gulf side Tarpon that might be looking for a snack.

One of the backcountry rivers had a couple of fresh schools that must of moved in overnight.

A good cast with a Mylar Minnow put a 60 lber in the air for 3-4 jumps and fell off when Ray didn't quite get the rod tip down quick enough.

That was fine with us as we planned on taking advantage of the enthusium of the early AM bite and try to put another Tarpon in the air.

Ray trout lifted the next fish and he head shook right off.

We landed a nice little Bonefish latter in the day and scared a few Permit half to death with a big green Toad Fly that only a mother toad could love.

Great day lots of animals swimming around and sure looked like the last day of winter.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Key West Fishing Guides? Hold the Anchovies.

Shopping for a Good Salt Water Light Tackle/ Fly Fishing Guide?

These are the guestions you need to ask!

Who will I be fishing with? Bait and Switch?

Did you book with a "professional guide service" and found that the man they assigned you to, has been guiding ever since he arrived in Key West.... last fall!

The year before he school........ renting jet skis......waxing cars.

He will back at the old job next year, he's only paid $10.00 a hour.

Hopefully he'll go back to school.

Who's getting the rest of the cash?

Your not renting a bicycle, your day will cost 400-500 dollars.

Thats a lot of cash to spent your day with a pizza delivery boy.

It will take 5 years to learn the lower Florida keys Flats fishing , 150-200 days a year.

It is tempting when you are a guide to " sell the overflow"

Having said all that, there are some booking agents and tackle shops that use
professional, knowledgeable guides.

Most ( shops and outfitters, Internet booking agents) are using the least talented guides.

Hotels are worse!

Spend a little time looking for the real guide, its the guy that answers his own phone!

Or has to call you back because he's......FISHING

Real professional guides will refer you to other professional guides,

at no extra cost to him or you!

We count on each other for referrals. .......I'm sure you get it.

It makes me nut's after guiding all my adult life, to see the "Carny's" drifting in the Key West Harbor among the cruise ships and jet ski tours and selling this as a guality flats fishing excursion.

Call me, I'll give you a list of ...... fishing guides.

Key West Tarpon Fishing A GO-GO

"Calling all Tarpon"......Let's get it on!

Now we are ready for the big tusker's, the waters warming up and the winds are sucken in the sticky air from down south that, brings the big boys out of the Gulf.

My fly fishing guy's are waxing their 12 wt's and putting on new lines, the spinning rod anglers are ready to spring with braided line and super sharp circle hooks.

The late winter fishing for Cobias, Pompano and Baracuda is begining to slow up a bit as Permit fishing and Tarpon fist fights become the daily objective.

Winter is probably over in Key West, maybe ? a few small cool fronts left.

I always look forward to my Tarpon army, the same guys show up every year, helmets on, swords drawn, Advil and Gator Aid at them a big Tarpon doin the "Jelly Roll"
and watch their eye's pop out of their heads.

Some of these Tarpon nuts have been with me for over 20 years and measure time in Tarpon seasons, the same way we all use holidays, birthdays and marrage anniversaries.

"Remember the year I caught the 160 lber on fly?" Ya wasn't the same year you were in the plane crash? " Yes I guess your right, I had a cast on my hand ...... I forgot about that!"

Tarpon Fags.........thats what we are.........most wives don't understand.

( don't mean to offend anyone.......honey!)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Key West Cobia's and Cudas

Every year Peg and Gerry Fye send me the same e-mail....Green Tube Lures....

They are nuts for Barracudas on the Key West winter flats. The last two days we have been wacken away at the Cudas with lots of misses, catches and laughs as these shallow water Toofy's provide lots of fun.

The jumps are really something, with no where to go in one foot of water the Cudas go airborne,
changing direction at 40 mph and if they dont over run the line and bite off the 10lb line will keep you very stiches.

We also landed two Cobias today, on was following a sting ray across the flat and Gerry tossed a tube lure to him, off to the races and 10 mins. later we turned him loose.

Peg hooked one of a group of three and he shook off at the boat a few mins. later.

Peg's biggest Barracuda won the contest, she usually does!

After a evening of putting my homemade tubes together, I'm ready for bed and our Barracuda
battle in the morning.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Cold Fronts= Hot Fishing in Key West


That was one cold blow, Friday afternoon the first signs of the approaching cold front was some west wind and a few showers.

By late Friday night it started to howl and Saturday am it was cold and blowing very hard, glad I was in Homestead at the race track encouraging Marcella in her attemps to pass the MRC course for motorcycle.

The good news is she passed, or is that the bad news?! Anyway, we had to be at the track at 630
am for ride instruction and it was low 40's and blowing 30ish.

Everyone was caught with out proper cold weather gear and we were all danc'en to keep warm.

So what does this have to do with fish? Cold fronts are the engine that drives the bait fish down the coast in into the tidal basin's, river's and flats.

We dont want to catch bait but we do want the Cobia, Bluefish, Pompano, Barracudas, Jacks and the light tackle fun that follows.

Monday's warming up considerably and so will the water temps, Tuesday will find me speeding to the backcountry to pounce on the bugger's.

Friday, January 13, 2006

More Tarpon, Cuda's and Cobia

Summer like week pull's out the Tarpoon's

We are having another week of really great weather, cool nights, ...not too.

Temps in the day time close to 80 degrees and not a lot of wind but, the full moon keeps most of the Permit off the flats, we found them in the rivers and deeper flats edges.

A few Cobia are on the flat however and some 20lbers are sniffen around the back side of sting rays.

The Tarpon have slid in several places and early morning jumping Tarpon is always a thing of beauty.

My ol' pals the Fye's are due in this week and if the Barracudas are not snapping, I'll be getting hell from Peg.

Gerry and Peg have been fishing with me for 15-16 years and always the big push is for Barracudas, Barracudas, Barracudas.

Two years ago we were in a warm snap in mid Febuary and the Cudas were not very frisky, we
"had to resort to Tarpon fishing.

Ofcourse Peg hook's one of Monsters, I have hooked and lost and boated a fair amount of over 175 lb Tarpon.

Pegs Tarpon was bigger and he ate the plug 20 feet from the boat then, shaking his head, nostrals flarred and farting hand grenades, he fired the plug back at Peg, he was gone!

At the top of her lungs "Mother XXXXER, thank god he's gone!"

I about fell off the platform and Gerry was in stiches.........That's Peg!

Next morning Gerry shows but no Peg, she didn't want any more Monsters.

More Tarpon, Cuda's and Cobia

Summer like week pull's out the Tarpoon's

We are having another week of really great weather, cool nights, ...not too.

Temps in the day time close to 80 degrees and not a lot of wind but, the full moon keeps most of the Permit off the flats, we found them in the rivers and deeper flats edges.

A few Cobia are on the flat however and some 20lbers are sniffen around the back side of sting rays.

The Tarpon have slid in several places and early morning jumping Tarpon is always a thing of beauty.

My ol' pals the Fye's are due in this week and if the Barracudas are not snapping, I'll be getting hell from Peg.

Gerry and Peg have been fishing with me for 15-16 years and always the big push is for Barracudas, Barracudas, Barracudas.

Two years ago we were in a warm snap in mid Febuary and the Cudas were not very frisky, we
"had to resort to Tarpon fishing.

Ofcourse Peg hook's one of Monsters, I have hooked and lost and boated a fair amount of over 175 lb Tarpon.

Pegs Tarpon was bigger and he ate the plug 20 feet from the boat then, shaking his head, nostrals flarred and farting hand grenades, he fired the plug back at Peg, he was gone!

At the top of her lungs "Mother XXXXER, thank god he's gone!"

I about fell off the platform and Gerry was in stiches.........That's Peg!

Next morning Gerry shows but no Peg, she didn't want any more Monsters.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Oop's Three More Tarpon

Today started slow, could not find the Tarpon in the same place that we did the two days previous.

We sniffed around and tossed a few jigs hoping to see a Tarpon roll but, other than a few Lizard fish and Lane Snappers, that was it.

Now you see them, now you dont!

I ran a mile and started to look in the next spot..........nada.

Good thing I gave it some more time , up comes Silver Boy, a short time later we were hooked up to a frisky 50lber.

First time luck for Tom and he landed the fish inspite of a few foopaws, a fifty pound Tarpon on 12lb test is a handfull, two handfulls.

A while later Mike Jumped a 80 lb fish but didnt bow and he was gone.

Thirty mins. later Mike hooked a good 65 lber and off we went, this time we made it through the jumps and I grabbed the leader after a lot of Wahoo's and Getum's

Some good photos at the boat and Mr. Tarpon went away pissed but, healthy and we went to the Barn.

Great morning and fun guy's

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Key West Winter Tarpon Fishing

Yesterday after several days of good sunshine and warming water temps, we found Tarpon in several flats rivers.

Not just little guys but, some big mama's also, not a lot of grabs but we did manage to jump a couple.

The jacks were happy too and we wore out a handfull of Mylar jigs fighting them and a few snappers and the biggest Lookdown I ever saw.

Lookdown's are really a odd looking fish, related to the Pompano and Permit with a simular
body shape but a bazarre face and a snorkle mouth that reminds me of a Sturgeon.

They swim looking down, bottom feeders usually and not really on the list of fish you must catch before you can have your own television show.

Not any Lookdown tournaments that I know of, but they are fun and fun to