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!