Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fishing and Catching

When you go fishing in the Florida Keys you are sure to be catching.  There are those rare days when the bite may be slow..but if you have an open mind and just want to bend the rod, there is always something biting.  It's great to go fishing and enjoy the fresh air, the beatuty of nature and the anticipation of the next cast producing that fabulous fish...but when they're biting and your catching...that's when it's the best!
The tarpon bite was great as ever this year.  Many happy anglers caught their trophy tarpon with me this season.  Mr Frank Conner landed the biggest of the year weighing in at 170 pound monster!  When you hook up with one of these monsters fasten your safety belt and hang on!  They are spectacular fighters, ripping off hundreds of yards on a single run and jumping for freedom.  An experience that can never be forgotten.  The season for tarpon here is mid March through June.  The migratory tarpon start showing up in March and by mid April the really big ones are here in full force.  Tarpon averaging 100-150 pounds is what you can expect from Mid April through June.  I run an evening trip for tarpon that will produce a tarpon catch over 95% of the time.  If you want to catch a trophy tarpon of your lifetime, get your calender out and start looking at Spring of 2016.  Give me a call and let's do it!
The snook bite was very good this year too.  We had some awesome days with 20 and 30 fish landed.  Mr Roy Shepard from England had a few great days.  He was catching snook, baby tarpon and big sea trout all on artificial baits.  The snook were averaging 3 to 8 pounds, the baby tarpon were 3-10 pounds and the largerst trout was a whopping 26 incher!  Frank and Chip from New Jersey had a banner day in May landing 25-30 snook, 5 tarpon and a dozen sea trout...all in one afternoon trip!  The next day it was just me and Frank.  He landed a few baby tarpon and snook on artificial lures (gulps), then we headed out for the big tarpon and he landed that 170 monster.  Biggest of the year!  The biggest snook of the year was just caught a couple weeks ago in July.  It was a 37 inch fifteen pound pig.  Most of the year has been good for snook.  If we target snook and redfsh you can expect to catch 3 to 5 fish in an average day,  but there are those excellent days when you can get into 10, 20 or even more.
If your looking for table fair the snapper are always plentiful.  I call them bluegills on steroids because you can catch as many as you want and they are great eating.   When they are biting you are catching them as fast as you can put a shrimp on a jig, throw it in the water, let it hit the bottom and CRANK em in!!
Late Summer and Fall fishing is right around the corner.  We can expect the higher tides to be flooding the flats with some extra water.  This allows us to get into some great flats fishing with artificial lures for reds, snook, baby tarpon and sea trout.  I'm looking forward to some great fishing.  Captains advise is... "If you learn to fish good, you will catch good!"  So, get out their and practice your casting and you will give yourself the best opportunity for catching.  Because we enjoy fishing...but everyone loves catching!!!
Captain Steve Murray
Phone: (305) 393-1641

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fw: Winter Fishing in Islamorada

----- Original Message -----
From: steve
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:31 PM
Subject: Winter Fishing in Islamorada

When most of our Country thinks of winter, they think about cold and snow.  Here in the Florida Keys winter means low humidity, sunny beautiful days in the mid 70's and fabulous fishing.  Our winters in the Keys are sometimes known to be a little windy, but that is not the case this year.  We've had beautiful weather with very light winds...so far.  This lite wind allows us "backcountry" fishermen the opportunity to get out in the Gulf as well as the backcountry flats and channels.  The diverse fishery is just another reason fishing in the Keys is so great.
Fishing in the Gulf is a little different then the backcountry.  The water is a little deeper and we catch a variety of fish that we generally don't see in the back bay areas.  Spainsh mackerel, pompano, tripletail, cobia, a variety of grouper and snapper, just to name a few..and the list goes on.....Just a few days ago we had a great day in the Gulf.  It was a beautiful sunny day with hardly a breath of wind.  The spanish mackerel were biting jigs tipped with shrimp.  They averaged about 2-5 pounds and fight like they are twice their size.  After we got our fill of mackerel we headed out towards an old sunken wreck, on the way we look for tripletail.  Tripletail like to float on the surface and ambush their prey underneath, so they are easy to spot on a nice calm day.   You must be a good caster to get them.  If your cast is too far away they wont see it and if you hit them on the head they will spook.  Presentation is everything with the tripletail.  Toss a shrimp just in front of them and wham!  Fish on!  They are excellent fighters and some of the best table fair.  We caught 3 nice ones and missed a couple others.  When we got to the wreck it wasn't long before a couple nice cobia showed up.  Again you need to make a really good cast just in front of them to get the bite.  We landed one nice one about 7 pounds.  Just a little short to keep.  The cobia are also great table fair, die hard fighters and can be 30-40 pounders in the Gulf.  We caught as many jacks (jack crevalle) as you wanted on the wreck and filled the livewell with keeper mangrove snapper.  A couple nice pompano and a few lookdowns in the mix as well.   The week before we got a big Goliath grouper (about 100 pounds) but we were denied the Goliath on this day.  We did catch a few black and gag grouper in the 2-5 pound range.  The guys wanted a shark, so we cut a jack in half and tossed it out on the "jaws" rod.  It didn't take long before the drag was screaming and we were hooked up with a 150 pound lemon shark.  15 minutes later, a few pics next to the boat and we were done for the day.   A pretty excellent day of fishing and this is just another option we have this time of year in the beautiful Florida Keys. 
Depending on the circumstances of the day we have a variety of options as backcountry fishermen.  We can fish the Gulf on certain days, the flats, the island moats,  the channels and run offs, shorelines and beachs, creeks, canals, bridges and the list goes on.  Every day poses different circumstances. Fishing is not an exact science. Some days are good ... some days are not so good.  The GREAT thing about fishing here is...Even on the "not so good" day you are still going to catch something.
Many Factors come into play:
Weather conditions...wind speed...wind direction...light conditions (sunny, cloudy, dark)
Water Temperature...Rising/Falling/Stable
Time of Year
Migration Patterns of Fish
Moon Phases
Water... Color/Clarity/Depth
Is there a lot of Bait in the Area?
Skill of the Angler...This a Big Factor
and the REALLY BIG one...Are they biting?
Each Day poses different circumstances....we do what we can depending on those circumstances.  The mainstays are trout, snapper, redfish, snook, jacks, ladyfish, shark. Those fish are accessable "all year". There are many fish that are more prevelant seasonally - tarpon, mackerel, black drum, sheepshead etc.. There are some fish that feed better in low light conditions - tarpon, snook. There are some fish that we can only access when the weather is nice and calm..like the ones way out in the Gulf or Ocean - cobia, mackerel, tripletail, goliath grouper. But ALL of the fish are affected by those factors listed above.
Fortunatley for you as an angler, you don't need to worry about these factors.  Your guide (in this case me) will figure it out.  So, the easy thing to do is...Hire a guide that you trust will try his best and make your day an enjoyable one...No Matter What the Circumstances...and enjoy our beautiful winter weather.
Thanks for reading and have a great day,
Captain Steve Murray
Phone: (305) 393-1641

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