July Outlook 2018

June 28th, 2018

If you missed fishing in the Keys in June then you missed out on some outstanding catching!!  July brings some changes good and less than ideal, so I have a lot to talk about.

If you read my last blog or checked my rates, then you have seen there is a new boat coming into service for early July.  It has been a very long road to get it into service, but the rewards will make my labor of love worth all the effort.  I believe my new customers and returning repeat customers will really appreciate the level of fishability the new boat will provide.

I’m looking forward to getting to July and all that comes with it.  If you are not from Florida, you are about to get an education in heat, sweating and the need for as much sun protection that you can get your hands on.  Preparing to be in the elements is the biggest factor in your trip with me and will dictate your enjoyment and over all comfort on your trip.

An isolated intense rain shower is common summertime weather

Whatever type of trip you decide to book, please visit my Trip Tips page to understand what you need to do to be properly prepared.  I repeat this religiously because day to day 30%-40% of my customers are completely unprepared and it makes such a big difference in how much it takes my focus off of what you hired me to do.

Most of my trips are fishing, but as we get deeper into the heat of summer, more enjoyment will come from in the water trips or combination fishing/snorkeling trips.  If it is hot to you it is also hot for the fish.  I am offering morning only 1/2 day reef trips or night snapper trips to beat the mid day heat.  Generally, our reef fish quit biting well around 10am, which leaves us some time to fill depending on our start time.  I have been leaving the dock at 7:30am to keep a little ahead of the heat.  This opens the door for some late morning snorkeling.  It is a great way to get the most out of your trip.  Our summer pattern often brings afternoon storms, so a morning trip is a good choice to ensure the what you want to do has less of a chance to get rained out.  Snorkeling, spearing, mermaiding, sandbar and lobstering can be done any time.  Just want to make sure you understand that if you want to catch as many fish as the conditions allow, book a morning trip.  If you are interested in booking a night snapper trip, please choose a 1pm-5pm trip on my reservations page.  It is required that you put in the “notes” section that it is a night trip along with the details of your group.  Approximate times for night trips will be 7pm-11pm.

Finally, the fishing report!  June has been so good I really hope this continues into July.  The yellowtail snapper will continue to be a reliable catch, but the size may decrease with the heat.  The mangrove snapper are later than late in their appearance on the reef in big numbers.  They have to show sometime very soon, so that is something I know will be a main component of many of our July Trips.  Night time or very first thing in the morning will yield our biggest mangrove snapper up to 5lbs.   On the reef we have also been catching mutton snapper, yellow jacks, bar jacks and a grouper here and there.

a great morning of reef fishing

Offshore fishing for dolphin/tuna should continue to be strong through July.  Early will produce the best bite, especially for tuna, but I often bring an electric deep drop rod to target tilefish and snowy grouper on the bottom in 650-1,000ft deep.  These fish live in relatively cold water and have never seen the light of the sun, so daytime heat is no issue for them.  On the slow days, it can be a trip saver and put some really high quality meat in the boat.  Just understand that offshore trips are pretty significant.  You are my crew and you are highly involved in the success. I can and will teach you all the way through your trip.  You are working, following directions, learning and becoming more involved in the process as the trip progresses.  Spend a little time looking into what you will be involved in.

A large mahi from 25 miles offshore

On all offshore trips you will be fighting fish, setting and clearing lines in outriggers and working with rods/reels that cost more than your trip…each.  I teach it, but it is very helpful to have a good idea and understanding of what you are doing.  This year all of our trips offshore have been excellent. I have had many, many trips where 5 hours in, we are still stuck on step 1 and I am doing everything.  That’s not going to work on the new boat.  Please invest in your trips.  Arm yourself with information.  It always pays off.  Showing up knowing anything for an advanced fishing trip makes for a long day and many opportunities are commonly botched or lost.  My YouTube channel has some general helpful information or can provide a visual if you dig around a bit or you just type your search term and the information is there if you care to find it.  I hope to get back into making videos and plan to build videos providing information to build your knowledge base for the activities I offer.

I want to finish by thanking my customers for giving back to me.  This is a challenging business and I have to make so many things go right to be successful.  I got very lucky to survive a devastating hurricane that destroyed many lives and businesses in the Keys.  As I move into the next chapter of my business I reflect on what got me here.  Countless good trips, a few abnormal ones and many customers that took a few minutes to share their experience with others.  Thank you for the online reviews.  I really appreciate it.


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