Saturday, December 26, 2009

Barracudas and Some Pompano Showing Up Gulfside Key West

Barracudas are always fun on a light rod, agressive and lightning quick.

On the flats in the clear shallow water they are harder to fool but much more of fight then the offshore cousins.

Lying in wait they can accelerate from asleep to 45 mph in a heartbeat, striking the baitfish and cutting him in two so fast that the unfortunate Needle Fish swims away from his own ass, not sure what just happened!

Barracudas are a hoot.

The Pompano have started to show up a bit in secret spots....I hope, and a few nice sized fish make some kinda dinner and the fun, pulling like the mini me Permit that they are.

Trout in the backcountry a few Pompano and for jumping wackoness Barracudas make a fun day, dont forget the Jacks and maybe a Cobia cruising behind the Sting Rays!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cuda's Hanging for a Christmas Entry

Thursday's morning we ran west looking for a Tarpon Shot. Knowing the foul weather and cold front that was on the way would send them to the Gulf for Xmas.

Three or four spots and only one big Silver Head popping up for a peek, the wind was already in the north and picking up.

After some fun fishing, and laff's in the Jacks and Lady Fish, Blacktip Shark hole we headed for the Skinny Water and the chance for Barracudas in 9 inches of Gin Clear Key West Flats.

Approaching our next spot and shutting off the Mercury, edge of the flat and tying on a Bass Worm to launch with the Weenie Rods.

Steve whisper's " is that what we're looking for? "

OF COURSE we are 10 seconds from ready, six-eight Big Barracuds swiming twards us four feet from the boat they spooked and dove back into the channel.

Understanding that these" Wolf Pack "schools of Barracudas will hold in the deeper water just off the flats where the cooler water holds lots of bait, a few days after the front the turn over of water temps make's the water on the Flats much more inviting to bait fish and Barracudas.

The deeper water is a little too cool for comfort and the Sun heats the skinny Flats water quickly.

Thats when the "Wolf Packs" will slide up and hunt in the shallows.

Up on the Poling Platform and Steve on the bow we push up, skiff about dragging bottom.

Not long until we see a few Toofie's lying in wait, a few bad casts later we have had fun but have not hooked a fish.

Close calls and we start connecting, Steve's first Barracuda is 15-16 lbs. loooog first run and a Marlin jump out 80 yards!

A Blue Gill Rod, Bass Worm and 10lb line, mix it with sight casting in one foot of super clear water.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Key West Christmas with Barracuda's and Pompano

Almost every year thats what I get from Santa, Barracuda Anglers!

Anglers tossing Tube Lures and Flys at Toofy Wolf like Monsters lying in wait in the shallows.

Motionless until some poor Needle Fish or hopefully one of our offering's
swims by.

Got to laff and Yahooo when a Cuda grabs hold and bends a Weeny Rod double,
screams off 70 yards of 10# test, turns 180 degrees and smokes by the boat leaping and shaking, bearing teeth.

The Barracuda leaps are the reward for a accurate cast.

Diggin out some Silver Babies....Pompano to you, with Mylar jigs on a light spinning outfit or Fly Rod has its own rewards, mainly lots of fun and maybe a great dinner.

Cooler weather brings the guys to the forefront and Xmas ususally supplies.

If its warm we may have to chase a Tarpon....schucks!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Winter is Here, Well .....Not in Key West but Where You Are !

Saw the Weather in The western states, snow and cold blowing into the Midwest/ Great Lakes and east to New York.

Its 82 degrees and sunny in the Florida Keys, tomorrow is supposed to be 84 ish!

Think'en Tarpon, think'en Tarpon Flyrods, Permit and Bonefish will show up also as the water temps never really dropped too much after our last little cool front.

Hope this weather will hang with us through the Xmas/ New Year Break so your
snow men and ladies can get a little Fishing Tan and thaw out.

Of course even if it cools off a little down here we will still NOT be scraping windsheilds, maybe a wind breaker and some Pompano!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Make up your Mind Mister Weather Man

What is going on, El Nino and it's obvious!

84 degrees and feels like 90 with the SSW wind and the high humidity that come with the salt air coming in from the Atlantic.

Driving up the air and water temps and making us think TARPON WAXING, well jumpimg a few any way.

Permit and Bonefish will be a good possability also on the Key West Flats.

Stalled cold fronts that dont have the punch needed to push out the high pressure.

Oh well, just our cross to bare !

The next few day's will have a few showers around along with the Tarpon option.

We will hold off on any Sea Trout and Pompano Prospecting for a while.

I've got a new Sage 9wt fly rod that needs some exercise....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Full Moon over the Key West Flats

Big Tides SUCK!

There I said it, too much water moving too fast.

Fishing can be great during a full moon sequence, low incoming, high falling ok but!

It all happens quickly and the push of fish can go through the area your working in a blurr.

Sometimes a move east or west, north to the Gulf Tides or south side to the flats influenced by the Atlantic Tides will buy some more GOOD fishing time and sometimes it's time to go to the barn!

Yesterday on the falling tide on the Gulf of Mexico flats, we dealt with Full Moon Madness.

Permit up the YANG for an hour and a half then the water, Sting Rays, Crabs, and everybody else went away like the little guy in the " Tidy Bowl " commercial...... WOOOOSH!

Still 6-8 shots and 2 fish caught is a great day but I really enjoy when I have enough time too enjoy the hunt.

Remember the story about the young bull and the old bull standing on the hill overlooking the herd of cows and the young bull says lets hurry and run down and jumpa.............

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Can Swim Here in Ol' Key West

Looks Like we better plan on swimming, " Noah? got room for some more monkeys?"

I was bragging about the weather until, about 4 o'clock this morning when the," Hammers of Hell " started firing lightning bolts down the street and Stinky ( our little Jack Russel ) and me shot bolt upright, hairs on end, on both ends!

Stink and I snuck out to the dock so see if the skiff was still floating, all's well.

Raining like a Holstein piss'en on a flat rock, probably 6-7 inches in the last 12 hours.

I may just have to trot over to the Pirate LS for some Navy Black Tar Rhumb.

Plans for Turkey on the Barbe, done it before with a foul weather jacket on, we will be fine.

Crossing fingers and eyes for a good change in the weather for fishing on Friday but iceing the Rhumb anyway.

We can have Turkey Sandwiches...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charley's Trout

Tarpon Jumping Turkeys for Key West Thanksgiving

We're lucking out with higher late Novembers air and water temps .

Looks like mornings this Thanksgiving week will be spent checking out some Tarpon spots and carrying heavier Spinning tackle and a Tarpon fly rod.

Tailing Permit on our lower tides are also a really good option.

November has always been one of my favorite months for Permit fishing in the Lower Keys, Key West Flats.

Sometimes a early cold front will interfere by driving water temps down and removing all but the less finicky speedsters, Barracudas, Sharks, Pompano and big Jacks.

Mince Meat Pie and Tarpon on Fly .....sung to the Jingle Bells Melody!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tailing Turkeys on the Flats of Key West

NOT exactly, but the fishing guides would qualify.

This time of year along with the rest of the U.S. and the Canadians we thank , Thanksgiving has always meant a lot to me.

Everyone expects a great meal and a Nap, some a parade and football too, but not something from Tiffany's.

I remember the big feasts with 100 or more of the McDevit clan, McCaughtry's and seven turkeys, five hams, a few Pheasants, Ducks and sixty pounds of mashed potatoes, table full of pie's, cakes and cookies dessert requiring it's own room.

Later cigars, eggnog's and football on the 12 inch tv screen, that was the early 50's

Most times over the years I fished on Thanksgiving , squeezing down a turkey when I had a chance, not anymore.

In 2005 late October brought to the Florida Keys hurricane Wilma.

I wrote a piece on the Thanksgiving I shared a few weeks later with fishing guide pals Gil Drake, Lindsay Harper their families and of course my wife Marcella and our wonderful old Bull Dog Jozy the clown ( RIP ).

We gas grilled Turkey and deer on the back deck of the Bougainvillea House because the walls were still missing and we had only a borrowed fridge plugged in , no other appliances.

Swatted mosquito's and drank some wine, had a pie.

It was a grand feast, Walter McDevit was there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Falling in Love With Key West Fall Fishing

Back in Key West two weeks now and have already spent most of the time fishing the Key West Gulf Flats , some time on the Atlantic side and in the western Lakes.

Fishing with my Ol' pal Capy. Todd Bowen wack'en our way around the Mangroves sniff''en out a big Grey Snapper for a Crispy Fried Fish lunch.

The weather has been super this week with light winds and 78-80 degree highs, low humidity, this is the most comfortable time of year to fish the Backcountry.

Fishing Yesterday with my good friend Charley Cook from Wall Street/Squam Lake along with his son Chas, we scared 25-30 Permit right out of their.. scales!

Charley and I share a great pal and famous frog hunter , Jim Cloud an escapee of " the Street" and Tarpon Fly Poler with three decades of tracking down Big Poons and force feeding them feathers.

Cloud has been mentioned several times before in these pages and Charley Cook is famous for capturing one of the biggest Bone fish ever caught down in the Marquesas.

I saw it and am sure he cheated but can't figure out how!

Charley, Chas and I will be back out again tomorrow assaulting the Snipe Keys and Turkey Basin and enjoying the laughs that swim there.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cocked and Locked in for Key West Winter Fishing

Motorcycling to N.E. Ohio is a bit of a ride from the Florida Keys but 7 or 8 years in a row I've done it up and back, it's the end and beginning of my fishing season.
After battling Tarpon and Permit in the hot May June of Key West, a long Moto ride is quite a change

Sniff ' en the Pecan Groves of South Georgia, Thoroughbred Farms of Kentucky and Corn Fields of Ohio is a nice break from my own sweat and sun block el La Flats O'dur!

Fly fishing for Large Mouth Bass and Blue Gills in the small Ohio Lake/Swamps from my Gheenoe would seem rather tame when comparing that sport to the Saltwater Monsters that have paid my rent for the last 30 years but!

Warm summer evenings, quiet Beavers swimming, White Tail peeking at your last Lily Pad Cast.

Steelhead on the Grand River is Octobers fun, Falls Leaves and Pumpkin Patches and a Hallooooween at the college bars with the Co-eds sloshing beer and breasticle's.

Next day putting the Gheenoe into hibernation and racking the 5 and 7wt fly outfits for their winter sleep.

Firing up the Big Honda Crotch Rocket on a 30 degree November morning and lunching in West Virgina.


A few days later snatching Sea Trout in the basins in the Gulf Flats and looking forward to the fun fishing that starts with the Cold Front that pushed me and the Honda south.

Hi Honey I'm Home!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June Swoon Tarpon Moon Key West

Mays slow start morfs into a stellar June Tarpon Doo Daa! OR
" Night and Day you are the One "

Really great Tarpon Fandango, Fly Rod or Spinning chucking plastic as long as we were willing to start early AM or fish Sunset and later we were into good to great Tarpon fishing.

Flies, Flies everybody has the secret Fly, you if you were lucky, saw the secret fly the past 5-6 weeks was in the mouth of all the Tarpon you jumped !

Bunny Strips, Toady things, Leaping Lizards, Whizz Bangers !! Shhhhhh don't tell anybody.

Chartreuse is good, oooww Sand Bunny with Rust Marabou head and then night time I'll have a Mocha- Peppermint Latte .. yes sir.

Mid day almost always sucks for Tarpon, we all know that but go try to shoot a White Tail Deer or a Turkey mid day and be prepared to nap in the woods !

We still have lots of good Tarpon fishing and the Bonefish have been good numbers lately with some full grown suckers swimming round.

Our weather in May and June was very mild, just now some tropical pop up storms that can make you wear your rubbers.

Mother warned you....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2008-2009 Best Guide Service in Key West

WHO would ever guess? Thanks to the US Small Business folks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Laidup- In The Lake Tarpon

" Mosquito Bite Just Before The Tarpon Do " Ol' Guide Charlie Weaver used to quip.

What he meant is the more warm and humid, still air the early morning or evening weather is, the better your chances for exceptional Tarpon action.

We are getting into that time of year now, been flirting with Tarpon more often in late March and early April but as we move closer to May the pace picks up considerably.

Plugs, small live crabs, Jigs and Fly's are a flats fisherman arsenal along with a good stout rod and a big Bowl of Wheatie' will need it.

Yesterdays Tarpon were not very happy and after a lot of work we managed to put a couple in the air, full moon madness I'm afraid.

Sometimes they have been at the " Snak Shak " all night chowing down in the light of the Silvery Moon.

We found some Tarpon sliding around in the bottom in about 5-6 feet of water in a inshore basin.

Fun stuff but the are not the most approachable fish.

Mount up it's Tarpon Time!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Key West Tarpon Tango/ Shrimp Stomp

Fly fishing for Tarpon is one of those activities that once you have done it with some success, you just know it will be part of your annual agenda for life.

Think about that statement for a few seconds, Grand Canyon OK , saw it! Indy 500 Race , cool, once was enough, Aunt Margret's tits, great but.

A big Ol ' Tarpon with his head out of the water , eye balls straining to spot his feathery target and the subsequent hard grab at the fly line in your hand.....Sweet Jesus !

The other night was one of those - 3 days before full moon , sunset a large Red Ball hang'in over the western view and almost hissing sound as the Red Ball disappears into the Gulf.

No wind, just the HUP - POP sound of Tarpon sucking shrimp from the surface on a falling tide...

Staked in 3 feet on the flats west of Key West, they're all around us.

Waiting in the din for the closer, 11 o'clock shot and finely making a back cast at 3 o'clock because you can't wait, why should you, you've been here before - many tides .

In seconds a - one long pull after the Black Toad Fly hits the water, he's on!

The big Moon is up now, silvering the Tarpon when......... all ten jump.

Two hours later and 7 Tarpon Heads touched, 3 more jumped, all loved, every wild ass one of them.

Rocketing home in the glass slick calm of Midnight after touching the heads of kings.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Great Big Deal SHARK FISHING tournament Key West

WOW this is really something you should experience, a reel sporting event that every outdoorsmen/women should witness.


OK here's how it's done, take notes, you want a Shark Trophy and a hat and T-shirt dont you?

#1 Kill alot of Barracudas for bait.

Dont worry the commercial Shark Fin Fisherman kill thousands of Barracudas for bait in South Florida and the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas every year.

Shark Fin Soup ya know! " Fin's sent to Japan "

So thats thousands of Barracudas and thousands of Sharks, guess that's the balance of nature

OK #2 you need a boat or, you can hire a SHARK EXPERT GUIDE... ya that's a good idea because he knows the secret spots and he also knows the secret bait!!

YA Barracudas are killed for the sporting event , dozens .....But the real pros KNOW that a Shark goes bonkers for ............chopped into chunks, bloody and smelly, really dead.


That to me is dismantling a..... Stradivarius to build a Ukulele sad

Springing Into Tarpon Key West

We Have had a few flashes of Tarpon action during February , March and that's not unusual but, NOW we're getting serious.

Maybe the cool fronts are over for the year, I doubt it but , Spring/Summer is here for sure and the Local Tarpon are beginning to be a daily look see, if not the main objective.

I have had some tremendous night fishing on Spin/Plug tackle and Fly.

I always get cranked about Tarpon even after what may be several thousand hooked over the years, on all tackle!

The other night we jumped 7 Tarpon on a new Secret plug, nut's for it they waz..

Probably the most Personally connected to a Tarpon (or any gamefish for that matter) you can be is hooking and fighting a fish on Fly Tackle.

Making a cast, retrieving and hand setting the hook by pulling on the flyline, takes you closer to " hand to fin combat " than any other method of sport angling.

Don't get me wrong, a Tarpon on light tackle of any kind is a blast everyone should try!

They are here NOW , in our showroom for your inspection.......

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Log In The Fog Barracuda

Doesn't happen every year, sometimes it won't happen in five years.

The last few days we have had to run in the fog early morning and although today it lifted late morning, yesterday the fog hung around is some areas most of the day.

The flats, once you find them, can be eerie as with low visibility and flat water sometimes you can hear strange things moving about and you can be fooled by the thick air as to how far or near the splashes and pops and swirling can be.

For some reason, as I have witnessed several times before the Black Tip and Lemon Sharks can be absolutely nuts charging around attacking anything that breaks the surface.

The Sharks and US are not the only wacko's out in the fog lots of the other guys can be very aggressive .

But the real surprise of the day was when a Tube Lure cast in the direction of some noise out in the Foggy Boggy, produced after some high speed blasts a big, by Key West standards , Bluefish that was up in 18 inches of water.

As he charged and tail walked by the skiff in a Blue Panic!

"Whats with THAT.?".....Oh Shyte a Log of a Barracuda was after and caught our Bluefish now we're fighting a 25 lb Cuda and whats left of a 6 lb Bluefish.

Is that a record? Great fun in the fog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exploding Flats Fish Key West

Really unbelievable , Yesterday with a warm if not blowy Southeast Wind we had fish, big fish, little fish. long and wide fish.

Pompano, tackle busting Blue Fish schools, Sharks and lots of Jack Crevall......Jacks big enough to swaller a Pepsi Bottle.

That was yesterday, heading out today I expected after last nights low speed muggy SW wind even MORE gobbling.

Secret spot showed us a few schools of Blue Runners early in the tide but as the water came up out of the Gulf, in came over the top of the flats school after school of Jack Crevalls, many very large fish.

Sharks, Barracudas, Bluefish and Pompano Arse Ol's and Elbow's

Fly Rods and the little Weenie spin rods we stole from the Crappie Fisherman, bent double!

Then....Oh SHYTE! TARPON and several schools of Permit maybe 60 fish in all from 8lbs to near 30 lbs.

WE could not feed the Tarpon or Permit, they probably had heard about us.

Pass me the Pompano Platter Please......

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Key West Pompano and Monster Jack Attack

Yesterday was " One of Those" wondering when the grey edge in the northwest would turn into the Bear Claw Blue Northern and end the party with an Artic Blast.

Turned out we were lucky yesterday and Jane and Dave Bohren were treated to lots of great action all morning.

Jacks and Lady Fish started us out first off and the bottom of the falling tide had the basins a little dismal .....not a promise of Trout or Pompano.

Luckily when the tide turned and started in , along with a good guess at a new spot , the flats exploded with life.

First cast in the new lo-cal produced for Jane a nice Blue Fish on ultra lite tackle with his buddies trying to steal his rubber worm all the way to the boat.

At once David and I were hooked up to 12-14 lb. Jack Crevalle's.

Next cast and Jane and I had Pompanos, Dave another Big Jack and on it went for an hour and one half.

We had our shots at some spooky Permit, big suckers that were in a mixed size school , maybe 25 Permit in the school.

OOPS! here comes the Blue Bear Claws time to idle out and punch the Merc towards the Barn.

We were treated to a peek at a baby Hammerhead Shark as we slid down the channel, Jane got a kick out of this little 8 ft. 250 lb Baby.

We made it back to Garrison Bight unscathed but as it works for Mike I got blasted on my commute back to the home sea wall.

40 MPH, driving rain, visibility about 50 ft, 20 degree drop in temps as I shot across the flat soaked and shivering....grinning my ass off....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Permit and Barracudas show before Front

Today's 80 degree, sunny ski's and light breezes will give way to a rather strong cool front tomorrow afternoon.

We were in high cotton this afternoon tossing crabs at slow moving Permit and Tube Lures to Barracudas.

Fly chucken a bit but only fresh fare were taken by our little Permit pals and a matched set of 12 lbers came to a kiss and slap on the Ass at the boat.

First thing in the morning we'll be back out, one eye in a northwesterly direction watching for the promised " Blue Northern" that will end our day and maybe the next.

Just when we were talk'en Tarpon along comes a spoiler!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warming The Key West Flats

Today's cool air is leaving and the warm sun will bring more creatures into the flats and basins.
Our last few days were very cool , too cool for our little pays to play.

Most of us were in the gym this past few days or home in sweat pants brewing a pot of Chilly.

Our trip to the backcountry produced a few jacks and a couple of small Grouper on Weenie Spin Rods but the reel fun was launching Red Rubber Worms on the Flats.

One huge Jack, a big Barracuda and lots of misses with Black Tip and Lemon Sharks late in the incoming tide gave us some great action and abused our 4-8 LB. Weenie Rods.

This wind has dropped to a whisper tonight and the humidity has come up and we've hung out the welcome sign to the Trout, Pompano and Cudas.

With the great clear sky we have been enjoying the sight casting will be super and we will be jazzed!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cold Front Blows Pompano into Key West

And some Sea Trout, Barracudas and Sharks up on the Flats chasing bait.

It's that time of year , cool fronts driving bait fish south making Sailfish migrate oceanside and the Cobia, Trout, Pompano and Redfish move in out of the Gulf.

We're having lots of fun with light spin and fly rods in the basins and Gulf side Flats.

Barracudas on light tackle in less than a foot of water is one of the surprises first time flats anglers enjoy.

With a less that Stellar reputation offshore where Cuda's are considered a nuisance when they chop your slow trolled Ballyhoo in half before you have a chance to hook a Sail or Wahoo.

Those of us that find it fun to whip a big fish on what is considered light fresh water tackle, love to watch a Barracuda on a Weenie Rod smokem 100 yards of 10 lb. test and leaping 6 ft in the air.

Our last trip to the flats produced two nice big Lemon Sharks and about 10 Barracudas hooked and landed , hooked and laughed off and some yummy Sea Trout for dinner, unplanned but welcome!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Unbelieveable XMas Weather

It's really been like spring this past week or so and even a few Tarpon have noticed!

Don't run and grab the 12wt. but if warm stuff continues we will be sniffen around a few Poon Haunts.

The Permit have not been crazy and the Barracudas are not on the feed bag as much as they were last week when the inshore water was a little cooler.

But the Pompano, Sea Trout and Jacks have been really giving my Jig and Mylar Varmit Fly stocks a beating.

Fun fishing and great warm weather sooooo? How's the weather in Cleveland?!