Never have I missed a monthly report, but May fell away from me for good reasons. May was an excellent month for all the types of fishing I offer and I kept very busy despite an abundance of rainy and windy days. Conditions were often close to no go and luck played into my hands many times, but we got all but a few scheduled trips in with the exception of the passing of TS Alberto on Memorial Day weekend. While I am on topic, we are into a strong start for our tropical rainy season and this time of year I expect to get rained on to some degree for 50% of my trips. You should too! Be prepared and then some. It is part of being in the tropics. Mostly we just see a passing rain shower or two, but they can be intense. I always have rain gear on board to outfit you and the boat has a reasonable amount of protection from the elements. Your preparation dictates the overall outcome for your trip, so invest in your success. Morning trips are better for fishing and generally offer more stable weather conditions. Visit my “Trip Tips” page to help you prepare properly for your trip. It is there to help you have the most comfortable and enjoyable day on the water. Final helpful unheeded advice…DO NOT BOOK AN AFTERNOON 4 HOUR REEF TRIP unless you are a big fan of sweating your ass off, dropping water weight rapidly and generally catching a small fraction of fish in comparison if you booked a morning trip like a sane person. I will begin offering night snapper trips starting late June into July. Big big difference. Basically, it’s hot and if it is hot and the sun is up, your catching isn’t going to be good on a 4 hour reef trip. That’s why we start early in the morning. 11am-5pm, not looking good for you when it comes to catching snapper. Why? It’s hot. Florida hot. Book a morning trip, end of story.
So, this big news is all about providing you a better and more comfortable experience. Before mid-June I will be phasing in a 31′ Sailfish center console.
This will replace my current 25′ Seacat. The Sailfish is getting a total custom upgrade to offer much more space, fishability and creature comforts like a new freshwater electric toilet(no stinky smell). I know that is a big deal to many customers and resolves the girls peeing off the boat scenario. A new tower and second station will be custom built over the next few months to add more room and sight fishing capabilities. I’m over 200 hours (that’s why I missed the May report!)into going through every wire and system on the boat to ensure everything is overpowered and overbuilt for years of trouble free charter fishing. The new boat will also mean weather conditions will be less of a factor to a degree. Maybe days will become go days for most groups and trips. A large waterproof top and wide console gives us all much more room to hide out of the elements. The new boat is a beast and will offer up many more reasons to keep my repeat customers coming back for more.
My rates are going to be adjusted to compensate for my increased operational expenses. It costs more money to operate a bigger boat. I have a solid plan in place for the transitional phase with trips already booked. Time is running out to be on the Seacat with the current advertised rates. The increase in rates will be kept as minimal as possible. The goal when I started my business almost 7 years ago was to offer nearly any kind of trip to nearly any kind of customer for the best value that leaves you with no doubt you made the right choice for a charter experience. I’m not at all a salesman, but I’m very comfortable in saying you will be getting a lot more boat in relation to what the new rates will be. I started very small on a 20′ catamaran and have worked very hard to improve the customer experience. I’m always improving and learning and that is the direction I continue to go.
Looking forward through June we will be transitioning into more warm water patterns. On the reef the yellowtail snapper bite in the earlier part of the morning will continue to be reliable.
The mangrove snapper will move into their pre spawn areas and should be the go to meat fishery on the reef for the mid to latter part of June. Fishing on the deep wrecks has been on the slow side. Hurrincane Irma removed maybe 40% of our local deep wrecks and the ones that remain see much more pressure. They’re getting pretty beat up if you’re not the first one there.
Offshore tuna and dolphin fishing has been very good. Lots of keeper sized fish with some bigger fish sprinkled in when conditions are right. I have done no electric deep dropping for the deep water exotics per poor weather, conditions and/or really really strong gulf stream current. Same goes for most other guys that offer electric deep dropping, so it has been difficult for everybody.
On the windy days we have had great catches of mangrove snapper on the bay side. It is much shallower on the gulf side and saves us from getting beat up in the much larger ocean waves and dominant wind directions we have had.
The catch and release shallow water shark fishing has been slow and the jury is still out on why or what the solution is. I have to fish a few other areas to make a solid conclusion, but the eye of Hurricane Irma passed in the shark fishing areas and the once living large mangrove islands are completely dead. I have only fun a few trips, with one resulting in no sharks seen, but all other trips we have landed large sharks. Just not nearly the numbers I typically see, but that can change at any time. It is very difficult for me to promote these trips because maybe 20% of my customers send me pictures of what we are catching on the shark trips. Maybe 5% on my reef and offshore trips. It’s really frustrating for me because when really good things are happening, I have my hands full making sure you land your fish and it gets photographed correctly. My hands are wet, I’m helping you hold a monster fish, I’m driving the boat or I’m making sure you don’t walk into a flying hook because you and others are distracted. I have very few shark release pics from my last 10 trips. If you book a shark trip, please spend 2 minutes texting me a few pictures of the awesome things we just did before you forget about me.
Here is the link to the factory stock 306 Sailfish:
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