Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Dinner With 5 Key West Fishing Guides and other Kids

Many years I would fish on Holidays and catch a Turkey Leg somewhere later in the day.

The last 10 years ago I've been the Papa Bear, stuffing a few wayward fishing guides and keeping them out of the Frozen Turkey Dinners or even worse Wendy's!

Prepping all evening on Christmas Eve then early Christmas Morning starting the process that gets the biggest Turkey I can find on the Grill, big Ham , three styles stuffing, fresh herbs,
mashed Potatoes,Wild Rice....5-6 pies, too much stuff.

Christmas this year, sunny 80 degrees, really beautiful start to the 2012 guiding season for
the gang and a chance to work of the dinner.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blue Christmas in Key West

This year has been unbelievable weather wise with more chances for Tarpon and Permit then normal.

Most Christmas Weeks we are content with Barracudas, Jacks and maybe some Sea Trout and Pompano but the weather is summer like with water in the upper 70s.

After Rasselberry pie and Oyster Stuffing ready to work off some calories wacken a few Permitl

Good time for some saltwater fly casting and tossing swim baits with a Spinning Rod.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jim Clouds Monster Tarpon of May 2011

25 mph winds couldn't keep us out of the Tarpon this last week but, the wind did ruin most of Tarpon appetite for feathers.
Jim and I found lots of strings moving on the north side but clearly many looks and sniffs but no takers, even after changing from the Plum Pudding Fly to the Pepperoni Fly, Long Horn Cheese Fly......nothing

Finely it was the Key Lime Toad that caught the eye of a huge male of about 60 pounds.

Why do we consider this 60 lb Tarpon to be HUGE?

This May is the 30th Tarpon season Jim " Red Cloud " Cloud and I have fished for the Big Shad on the gin clear Key West Flats and Jim's 80th birthday.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Killer Tarpon on Spin and Fly

Continues to be great fun, lot's of Tarpon action even though we had a few tuff days that required some time/tide adjustment.

Fishing with the brothers Roby and Lou Andy the last two days resulted in good fun over the mottled bottom and sand flats.

Sight casting to schools in gin clear 3 foot deep water is a blast and to hook 6 Tarpon
major rush.

I believe we boated about 4 out of 6, thats very good Tarpon fishing, even if luck was the biggest part of the plan.....we plan our luck.

Roby, Lou their father Albert Andy have been fishing with me for 20 years....we are still laughing a lot about the lost fish of years past.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sr. Billy Pate aka Dr. Tarpon

There was a " Tremor in the Force " this past month in our little saltwater fly-fishing family.

Billy Pate the always enthusiastic dean of "Big Poon" and "star caster/ instructor" in the two best videos ever produced about fly Rodding for Tarpon.

3M's Mastery Series of videos are true Classics.

I had the opportunity in the late 70s early 80s to meet and exchange with Billy Pate in the company of guide pal Nat Raglin and the brothers Montgomery, Bob and Gene.

I enjoyed helping with some Tarpon scouting for the efforts in production of the first movie that was shot mainly in the Flats west of Key West.

Billy has been described as a Southern Gentleman by myself and probably anyone who knew him.

Straw Panama Hat and big grim under it, all standing just a few feet off the " Pate Tower"
On his custom 4electric motors strapped to it's ass, Sidewinder Flats Skiff.

Not a big man but bigger than life and a giant in Saltwater Fly-fishing...God Speed Billy

Ok it's true...I've Been Jumpin Tarpon all Month

Have not had much time to update this blog, lots of fishing, lots of fun.

After the coldest December in recorded history, January was not bad, February was warmish but
March and April have been unbelievable.....not everyday did the Tarpon cooperate but that was the tide movement, barometer or just Voodoo because most of the last two months the weather has been very good.

I have had some super nite Tarpon fishing with exploding Tarpon sucken up Gurgler flies.
Plastic swim baits work well on spinning tackle on these moon/star lit nites.

Permit were very good up to the full moon in April but there still are some around that did not venture out for the spring Love In on the offshore reefs and wrecks.

I'm looking forward to a banner May-June ...day and nite for Tarpon....still love dem bastards.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter Tarpon Key West Style

Although Florida and certainly the Florida Keys have had the coldest winter on record!
No surprise that the rest of the East Coast is not sympathetic......that's been really ugly for everyone north of the Florida/Georga line.

But the worst may be over for us.....all the years I've lived in the Florida Keys ( now 40years) it seems winters that start out horrible usually blow them selves out early and we end up with a early spring.........we hope!

This past week has put Permit and Tarpon on top of us, in the close channels, basins and flats.

Lots...laid up Tarpon in the shallows are some of the tuffest to feed....so easy to have them get wind of you ,sight, sound or sniff but.....OH what a rush if you hook up, you watched him eat the Fly-plug or live permit crab.

We had a little front blow in last night less then they forecast and not enough to run the fish out of the flats....weather man says another will be here in a few days.....maybe and ok
But I'm stringing up the Fly Rods

Monday, January 31, 2011

Barracudas " Chillin" on the Key West Flats.

Beautiful weather but, water a bit cool.

Yesterdays trip out was super for catching up with old friend Gil Vernon , along with his brother in law Steve, we were Jigging in the basins for Sea Trout, Pompano, Jacks. Anybody that would stress the Weenie Rods......cold water restricted us to lots of smallish jacks.

After several stops in the Gulf Side Basins we decided the high sun and Shallow Water of the Flats we calling.

We were rewarded with dozens of shots at big Barracudas, dozens of them lying in a foot of water soaking up the warm sun but, not even thinking about food.

Same result with the few Lemon Sharks we saw.

One more calm warm day and the water temps up another 4-5 degrees and the fish and anglers will be much more agreeable.

That's fishen !

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Off and Jigging for 2011 New Year Fishing

As tuff as December's weather started in Key West, it's lovely now with plans for lovely the rest of the month!

Today we were rewarded with Bluefish, Sea Trout, Pompano and more big Skip Jacks then you ever wanted.

Jigging in the Backcountry with Weenie Rods and 10 lb test tackle gave us lots of laughs and a few big Cero Mackeral that smoked the drags.

We had half a dozen keeper Trout, that we didn't... but we took a photo and put them back in to fatten up for you....

Football games cut us short of getting up on the flat for Barracudas and Sharks.

Monday is Barracuda day...