It's a beautiful, sunny and breezy 74 degrees this Sunday morning in Islamorada. A lot of fun fishing this past week.
Started out Monday morning when we took Capt. Greg's family out for a half day trip to catch King Mackerel, but the wind has been blowing most of the week, and the seas were a little rough. Unlike Greg, his family aren't really sea-goers, and after catching bait and getting our first hook up on a Kingfish, we were forced to head back to the dock after his brother and pregnant sister-in-law got sick, and his daughter and niece also started feeling a bit queasy.
We were treated to a bit of a Manatee show when we returned to the dock, too. Strange looking creatures. They’re also known as sea-cows. They apparently like freshwater, although they live in saltwater, but if you spray them with a hose they’ll come to the surface, and if you feed them the hose, they’ll sit and suck on it directly until you can finally wrangle it away from them. I actually got some decent photos with my point and click, but can’t find the adapter at the moment, so those will have to wait.
Tuesday, frankly, I half don't remember. A few kings, I think, but that was about it. It was rolling pretty good that day too, and we cut it short to a half day since the sails really weren't around. We fished with some wonderful people from NY, though, who we’d also fish with on Saturday.
Wednesday we fished a friend of Greg's and his son and daughter-in-law. Caught a few Kingfish again, a mutton snapper or two and dolphin fish, as well as the daughter-in-law's first Sailfish, a Merry Christmas Eve for her. It was actually an incredible morning of fish watching. We saw baits being showered by sailfish everywhere, but the bait was so plentiful, that even when we'd drop a cast right on the fishes' noses, they didn't care and would swim the other way because the bait fish in the water were so thick that the sails really didn't care. It was neat to watch, though.
Didn't fish Christmas day, but fished two couples on Friday from Rochester, NY. The trip was a Christmas present for one of the husbands. Fortunately, he wasn't the one who got sick that day. Yup, twice in a week for us. In everyone's defense, though, seas were rarely less than 4-6 all week, and it can get pretty uneven and choppy in the shallower water, especially early while we're getting bait. We started off with a few Kingfish, including a 40 lb fish (hooked by the husband that did get sick, who handed off the rod to his wife mid fight as he immediately turned and launched his breakfast overboard).
The King bite stopped, and it was awfully slow from about 9:45 until about 3 in the afternoon. Finally, though, we got the bite we were looking for, and after a nice fight, the Christmas wish was granted, and the angler had boated his first Sailfish.
Saturday turned out to be a day of epic battles. Our new friend from NYC who fished with us the previous Sunday and Tuesday was back, and his sole goal was to get on some sails. We had one come up pretty early, and it turned into an hour and forty-five minute battle. Not typical for a fish down here, but it was an atypical fish to say the least. Normally the bigger fish we see are in the 45-50 lb range, and occasionally up to 60 lbs. This fish was 85-90 if it was an ounce. Was a great fighter, and our angler did a great job on light tackle with 12 lb test line. The fish made seven or eight strong runs, pulling a bunch of line back each time he got within 30 feet of the boat.
The bite slowed midday, but we made a move further east in the afternoon, and a little after had our second bite, and to all of our surprise, after another fight of over an hour, we boated a 105 inch beauty that appeared as if it would tip the scales at over 100 lbs.
Two really spectacular fish on the same day was a treat. An even bigger treat for me was since the fights lasted so long, after we pulled the remaining baited lines out of the water and focused on the fight, I got to take the anglers camera up to the bridge and take some photos. I was in absolute heaven. Here were the results:
Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.