Looks like I’m behind again on getting to my June report, but for all good reasons. We have been on a long stretch of excellent weather which has kept me on the water almost every day. From bay to reef to offshore, I have run every kind of adventure from fishing to spearing to mermaiding to shelling. It all has been pretty darn good!
mermaids on the lillypad
For my June customers, the points I want to focus on is preparing for weather and making adjustments. This is always a main topic, but June is the start of our traditional rainy season and the increased heat means afternoon trips (reef fishing) are not very productive from this point going forward. I have had dozens of calls from people asking me what the weather is going to be like if they book a trip 1-2 weeks from now. In June it is going to be hot and it might rain every day. Go with that. It is best to prepare by bringing a medium sized cooler packed with your favorite drinks, tons of sun protection and I have rain gear for you to use if you do not have your own. Always prepare for the worst and expect the best and there is little to worry about! I have provided helpful information under “Trip Tips” to help you properly prepare for your trip. Too often my customers show up with nothing and my time and attention is taken away from doing my job and spent caring for preventable issues. I want the best experience for all of my guests. In my world preparation equals success, so watch the weather forecast leading up to your trip, take your meds, cover your skin from the sun, bring drinks and prepare yourself for being in a challenging environment you are not familiar with. Also, when you book your trip, spend 2 minutes telling me helpful information about your group in the “notes” section. “We spoke on the phone” or “we look forward to fishing with you” is not helpful in any way. I put a “?” next to your booking and that’s as far as it goes. The customer that puts notes in there gets a heads up phone call or the appropriate reaction to prepare for or prevent a problem based off of the information I know about my guests in relation to the activity or weather for the trip. It really helps you and me out more than I can briefly explain.
Getting to the fishing report, over all fishing has been great. Instead of the traditional 8am start time, we have been opting for earlier start times based on weather and the type of fishing we are doing. This is giving us more time to be into the early morning bite that shuts down when that hot sun gets up. Because of this, DO NOT BOOK AN AFTERNOON TRIP UNLESS YOU CALL ME TO DISCUSS THE DETAILS! This is highly situational and there are afternoon options. If you want a good trip, book a morning trip. A 4 hour pm trip will work against us most of the time for the next few weeks.
Big grouper and tons of yellowtail snapper!
On the reef, the yellowtail snapper bite has been good when there is some moving current. The fish have gone down a few sizes the past week or so, but some days the bigger ones pop back up. We have been averaging 15-30 per trip. The grouper are still out there, but have thinned out tremendously. The mangrove snapper have not showed up in any numbers yet, but that should be firing up the next few weeks ahead of the July spawn.
an exceptional catch from a half day family trip
Offshore we have had pretty consistent fishing for dolphin and tuna. Not too many big ones, but there has been numbers to provide plenty of action and tons of fillets to bring home. On the calmer days we have been electric deep dropping and bringing up tilefish and a few jumbo snowy groupers averaging 20lbs.
a big gaffer dolphin from offshore
a fat 25lb snowy grouper caught from 650′
an average 15lb snowy grouper from the deep deep water
A giant blueline tilefish from the bottom in 800′
a great offshore mix of dolphion, tuna and tilefish
In the water trips for spearfishing and snorkeling have been great. We have had many nice clear blue water days and the green water has been clear most of the time too. Rainy season is here and algae blooms may decrease the clarity as algae blooms may be passing through with the fresh water spikes from all of the rain runoff.
A nice hogfish is a great way to start your spearfishing obsession!
a nice surprise cobia was invited to dinner on a spear trip
Lobstering isn’t here yet, but is coming up in topic more often. I have seen tons of lobster moving into our waters the past 2 weeks, so hopefully that is a sign of good things to come. I am booked up for mini season and no, I don’t know who isn’t booked. I can’t help you there. For my August bookings, I can’t offer any predictions for what the first week of regular season will produce. Generally if the weather is nice for mini season and nice going into opener, there is not going to be many available. If mini season weather is bad or is bad the following week, then lobster will be moving and regular week opener may produce better results. The reality of the situation is ALL OF THE LOBSTER ARE CAUGHT on miniseason and it takes time for the biomass to fill back into the decimated areas again. September is a great month for lobstering because things have returned to near normal by then.
May turned out to be an month of exceptional weather that produced more than exceptional trips for many of my customers. I ran 23 trips, lost 7 days to weather and 2 days to boat service. That’s a pretty busy month! Not every trip is excellent, but I do ask most of my customers for a little positive feedback in the form of an online review to help validate the services I offer. Nobody does what I do. It’s nearly impossible because it is a logistical challenge most refuse to accept. Word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising because anybody can buy their way into a search engine ranking. That’s just business in the top 5 of anything these days. I promise you can’t possibly ever understand the amount of work, dedication, time and effort invested into each trip to make it successful and then something more that is worth coming back for again. You can’t feel the aggravation of all the things that go absurdly wrong in dealing with some people these days, the massive amount of wasted time or the challenges I face in day to day operations. My business is a lifestyle and a progressive passion for producing an experience better than what the next guy can do. I am a part of many great adventures that are impossible to describe. I set the foundation to build unique moments through challenge and triumph and create bonds people will share for life because of the magic that happens in these moments. Big picture, it’s pretty incredible to me personally and I know where I stand in the charter world. If you want to validate my efforts, please invest 5 minutes of your time to leave an online review on TripAdvisor or Google to let somebody else know you were a part of a Reel Adventure. It separates me organically from all the people that do it wrong, because there are more that do it wrong than do it right. Oh, one final thought….If you want to be super picky about this or that the answer is simple. You have many choices for charters. Open your wallet, get out more money and hire a bigger boat with a bathroom, air conditioning and a mate. They will kiss your butt, do everything for you that requires effort or skill, you can poop and pee all over their bathroom floor and when you walk outside to reel in your fish the mate hooked, look to your left and wave at my customers that are really doing it for themselves for about a thousand dollars less.
I want to thank all of my customers and I appreciate the interest of those looking to visit the Keys and are interested in my operation as an option to spend a day on the water with. My business is currently designed to appeal to anybody looking for anything sorta on a budget. Within that scope, I have learned a lot and experience is going to help me roll into the next phase of my business. We have a great destination for travel and you can find many healthy resources here to enjoy within the context of many many different activities. For the later part of 2017 going into 2018 I plan to upgrade into a bigger boat or second boat that offers more comfort and space for my guests. My goal is better equipment that leads to a better experience because I am growing and I want to reflect over all in what I have to offer. I want to offer the best and you can only get better by going up. Thanks everybody!
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