January 2016 Outlook

January 10th, 2016

Hi everybody, happy new year!  As we begin a new calendar year, our winter fishery is already in full swing.  Not in our typical way, but there is really no such thing as typical or normal anymore!  We have had many outstanding trips, but every trip has been different and patterns have been difficult to establish or short lived.  Wind and water temperature has been the deciding factor where we can fish and what we can target.  Passing fronts have brought us good migrations of fish on the ocean side, but finding comfortable conditions to fish in has been challenging.  In a perfect trip we have the wind and current moving in the same direction and it all works out great.  Through December and into the first week of January we have seen wind out of every direction and the current has been uncooperative.  Not always a deal breaker when the conditions are off, but when they are right it is crazy good fishing!  Looking ahead at the forecast, this trend looks to continue.  As a positive, each front should bring us new fish into the area, but what we plan to do and end up doing may be different based on the changing conditions we encounter day to day and tide to tide.  Our successes will come with trying a few different things and then focusing on what seems to be the path of least resistance for the trip or group.

Preparing for your trip this time of year matters quite a bit.  We are in our windy season, so my greatest concern is you not getting sea sick.  Products like non drowsy Dramamine and Bonine are readily available low cost insurance to prevent any motion sickness issues on your trip.  I preach this like crazy and still I find myself in situations where I am steering away from my best options for your trip because 1 person in the group chose not to prepare properly.  Another way to say this is if we are going to Plan A and somebody is not feeling well, don’t be surprised if we end up on Plan D because I don’t want to have a sick person on my boat for several hours.  I/We are only as strong as the weakest link aka the puker.  So, take your meds, follow the directions and we will have a great day instead of an ok one.  Dressing in layers is also more important because of the changing weather conditions, wind and the dampness of morning trips.  If you are planning on participating in fishing, don’t wear any clothes that can’t get a little blood on them.  There is a good chance that’s going to happen and that goes for shoes as well.  Flip flops are always a great choice for boating.  If you are not sure, please just ask.  I want you to be comfortable and get the most out of your trip with me.

Coffee….let’s talk about your morning cup of coffee.  I understand coffee and coffee drinking.  You do realize you are going out on a medium sized boat for several hours right?  I hope you understand how your body works, but this is what happens.  3 people in the group show up with giant cups of coffee.  1 forgets that it was left at the dock, 1 spills it all over my console when we hit the first wave heading out and the person that drinks the coffee stops the fishing every 15 minutes to pee off the back of the boat.  I like coffee too, but a 5 hour energy gets it done well and eliminates all the issues I commonly see.  It is ok to break your land routine for 1 day, so don’t be afraid to change it up for your trip.

In the water activities are still good.  Lobstering is done done, but snorkeling and spearfishing is good.  The jellyfish have subsided dramatically lately and when we get a stretch of nice weather the visibility has been great.   Also, wetsuits will be the best option for your enjoyment.  They can be rented through Captain Hooks before we depart on your trip and showing up early to allow time for fitting is necessary. Understanding that we are more subject to the conditions for in the water trips, please understand in the water activities will be substituted with fishing trips when the conditions become unreasonable for success or enjoyment.   What will not happen is me taking you out on a butt kicking fishing trip when you booked a spear fishing trip.  I look out for your best interests and will do all I can to make sure your booked trip and activity goes as planned.  Deposits will be returned and trips will be cancelled when we find the conditions outside of “appropriate” and I make those decisions with the outcome working out in your favor.  Please keep an eye on the forecast for your trip, so we can possibly make adjustments per your schedule and mine if we see a weather conflict.  Here is a link to our local Windfinder, which is wrong 60% of the time, but something is better than nothing. http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/marathon_islamorada  Everything can be worked out and managed with good communication and your 48 hour check in call.

2016 looks to be another great year.  The new engines are about to go in for their first service and the boat is in great shape to run lots of trips with reliability.  Thank you to all of my returning customers and welcome to the many new ones.  I am always grateful to be doing this for a living and I look forward to our next adventure on the water!




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