We just finished a warm February and we are heading into the March Spring Break transition. Right now we are deep into some great fishing opportunities and Spring never disappoints with good potential of getting in on a wide variety of adventures. It is just a matter of figuring out what your group wants to do and having the right conditions to get it done! It’s difficult to predict what we will catch on your trip among the diversity of fish that will be pouring through locally. You can check out my Facebook or Instagram page and spend a few minutes looking at my previous customer catches to help give you an idea of what is going on day to day. No fake news! No recycled memories. No #TBT!! Just good fresh daily adventures!
Starting with fishing, I sure can’t complain for what we have seen going through February. Most of my standard patterns for this time of year have been way off, but the fisheries that have replaced what isn’t working is more than making up for the change. On the deep reef, the yellowtail snapper have been upgraded to a late spring spawning size with the bigger fish over 20″ and pushing well above legal grouper size! These fish are smart, picky, taste great and kick your butt on light tackle.
Moving out deeper on the wrecks, there are jacks, mackerel, mutton and vermillion snapper. The wrecks are a little more hit or miss than they have been before the hurricane, but definitely worth a shot when the sea conditions are nice.
The inshore patch reefs have been the go to fishery for diversity on the windy days when it’s a little too bumpy for the main reef or kids are on board. I have been averaging 10 species on a half day trip. Grouper, snapper, jacks and a ton of odd ball species have been keeping rods bent, providing great photo opportunities and yielding enough to make for a good dinner or 2 to bring home or to a local restaurant to have cooked fresh. For those looking to get on something a little bigger, my predator spots have been full of large blacktip sharks, jacks, barracudas and some permit are beginning to show up.
Fishing on the shallow bayside has been a consistent option for when the wind has been blowing off the ocean. I have had solid catches of mangrove snapper and mackerel all through February. The mackerel will taper off quickly as the waters warm, but the fishing should remain strong for snapper, sharks and jacks.
Moving through March I expect to get a huge increase in IN the water activities. Snorkeling, spearfishing, sandbar and shelling will all improve as waters warm up and our winter winds become lighter and more favorable overall. Keep in mind IN the water trips are much more conditionally sensitive and are greatly affected by any rapid changes in weather. Good communication, good information about your group and good preparation is key to success. Visiting my “Trip Tips” on my home page is a great way to get started. I always plan on doing what you want to do within reason, but be prepared to be flexible if the conditions do not allow for a good trip. I can usually come up with an alternative to satisfy your group and make a good trip in challenging conditions. Your vacation plans are not always in sync with reality, so being open minded will go a long way.
A new boat will be coming into service for me sometime in March. I am adding a 24′ Sea Hunt bay boat to provide more versatility to my offerings. This new platform will allow me to go shallower and to more remote and protected waters for exploring islands, lobstering and tarpon fishing trips in the Spring. Pricing and availability will become available as soon as I have the boat and spend a little time with it making it my own. Probably April will be the official launch.
If you have read down to this point, you are likely not in the group of customers that made my February unnecessarily difficult. There is a ton of good and important information provided here for you on my website. I spend a ton of time fine tuning it so I do not have to run into customer problems as often as I do. Figure it out. You’re an adult. Prepare properly for your trip. If you show up and you have nothing in your hands, you have not prepared for anything. That generally means you are going to be like a child and my focus will be on taking care of you and not doing what I was hired to do. Also, fill out my “Notes” section on your reservation. That’s where you tell me about your group. Not “we talked on the phone.” 1/4 trips notes are “we talked on the phone.” I put a “?” by your reservation when you do that. That means nothing because it is nothing. I had a client tell me (it was very obvious) that he just had knee surgery and he was larger than large. His wife says to me “I purposely didn’t tell you because he works in elevators all day.” WHAT??!! I will say it did not work out for him at all. I had a group book me for spearfishing and the day before called me thinking they were going on a SCUBA trip. No. These are all people problems that become my problem. No, really..no. Don’t do any of this. I don’t want your surprise problems before we leave the dock. I offer custom trips for anybody. Tell me what your difficulties, challenges, restrictions and oddities are and I will make a plan for you to be comfortable and have fun. Don’t destroy my plan for the trip because you are not normal and need extra special attention and chose not to tell me. This is a poor way for me to start your trip. It’s fine to be who you are. I just need to know how funky you are! That’s why there is a “Notes” section on your reservation.
TripAdvisor has been an important platform in promoting my business and unique offerings to visitors. A percentage of my customers are regulars and locals, so they don’t write reviews. I put a review reminder card in every client’s hand and ask for a review at the end of their trip. I average 20-25 trips a month and if there was any flaw or wrinkle in my operation it would be all front page news. I don’t buy fake reviews. I don’t cheat the system. I don’t put a lot of money into advertising. That would increase my business a little, but it would increase your cost. Help me out and show others what you did on your trip with me. It’s a win win situation
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