December 2017 Update

December 7th, 2017

When I think of December many thoughts come to mind.  So many things are happening, big changes are coming and it all culminates with a busy holiday week to finish the month and year.  Thankfully, the weather has been warm here and many opportunities wait for you to take advantage of.  From fishing to snorkeling to nearly anything you can think of, now is a great time of the year to give yourself a day to play on the water.

As the water cools, fishing becomes the star of December.  No different than you coming to seek refuge in our warmer climate, so does a large migration of fish.  Many of our reef fish come shallower to feed on an abundance of bait giving us more closer to shore options.  This makes fishing even on the windy days possible and often very productive for snapper, grouper, mackerel, porgies and a dozen other species.

A large barracuda was the catch of the day for this angler

Following the storm we have had some changes to be expected.  Fortunately fishing has been fantastic.  Especially for yellowtail and mangrove snapper on the reef.  Novemeber had a streak of very large Yellowtails well over 20″ from the deeper reef and we caught a pile of large mutton snapper from the deep wrecks.  Possibly as a result of a prolonged spell  of dirty green water and very few anglers.

Mom caught a monster yellowtail to get things rolling

Dad followed up with a giant mutton snapper!

One of many large mutton snapper from November

Fishing in December should continue to be strong for snapper, grouper, jacks and mackerel.  The timing of passing cold fronts will determine what the seas will be like and what we are able to do.  The applies to everything, so keep an eye on the wind forecast as your trip approaches.  I use Windfinder for Marathon/Islamorada to see the trends.

Since the passing of Hurricane Irma there has been very few opportunities to get in the water in reasonable conditions.  Personally, I have been in 2-3 times despite many attempts.  Dirty green water has been pouring across the reef giving us virtually zero visibility.  Today things have changed!!  I am happy to report that we had a very nice strip of clean blue water across the mid and outer reef.  I mention this because that dirty green water is still with us and where it is on any given day or tide is purely guesswork.  December is typically a challenging month for reliable and good in the water conditions per the windy fronts and unsettled conditions.  This year I believe this to be more of an issue and all trips that are booked for snorkeling or spearfishing will be substituted with some sort of fishing trip or fun alternate activity if conditions are not appropriate for being in the water.  I am just not in a position to book trips that rely entirely on highly sensitive conditions that are prone to being cancelled.  I am in the fun business and I believe with a good attitude and understanding that there is room to compromise to satisfy  your wishes and my needs.  Continuing on this theme of in the water activities, just make sure you are prepared for your time in the water.  I haven’t seen many lately, but Moon Jellyfish are common this time of year, so a rash guard is always a good idea.  Better yet, wetsuits can be rented to keep you warm as well.  Today’s water temps were in the mid 70’s, but typically hover in the low 70’s and can plunge rapidly after passing fronts.  All things to be considered for your trip.

I’m sure many of you are wondering what is going on locally following the storm.  We have come a long way in a short time, but you will find additional challenges with little things that may have not required any thought last year.  Most everything is open, but a percentage of many types of business remain closed and a percentage of many businesses may not be operating at 100%.  How this will affect you depends on what kind of tourist season we see this year.  We will be extremely busy Christmas week by default, so make sure you make reservations for your activities and know what is open.  Planning better than the next person will go a long way.  There will be less resources for the masses.  Bring more patience and practice acts of kindness.   Things are different.  Try to remember that the locals have been through a hellish unprecedented disaster and there is still a long way to go before the majority get back to some kind of normal.  Many people are homeless, displaced, jobless and have uncertain futures.  Please be respectful and mindful of that before you lose your patience with anything…….ANYTHING!   You are likely going to be complaining to somebody that may not receive your issue with great empathy.

Currently I have plenty of availability for Christmas week dates, which means you and many more visitors will be arriving soon. I’m looking forward to all of my new and returning guests and making new adventures on the water.  We want our visitors back to help get us 1 step closer to the way life was before the storm.  If you can’t find the answers to your questions on my website, send me an email or give me a call to help you. There is many custom adventures that I offer, so if you have an idea, let’s work together and make it happen! Thanks and I hope to see you soon!



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