I have never missed a monthly update, but I missed April! Thank you to all my customers for keeping me on the water every day having run 30 trips in March and 34 April trips…yes, just me! This May I am on the same pace. Thankfully, we had all good to excellent trips. As always, conditions and my crew determine where we go and what we do. The nicer the weather and the more experienced anglers(following instructions) open me up to unlimited possibilities and I dial it down to fit the needs of families, kids and those prone to having any motion sickness issues.
One of the advantages of fishing this time of year is we don’t have to go too far from the dock to get into some great action. Some of my best spots for spring are within 3 miles of the dock and the main reef is less than 6 miles from where we start. This gets us to the fishing quickly and when the wind comes up, there are some pretty good alternate options that keeps us in reasonably calm conditions to keep things comfortable.
Reef fishing in May is typically pretty strong. Morning trips and early starts are critical to success. Booking a half day afternoon trip for reef fishing will put you in the heat of the day and the fish will generally be completely uncooperative. Afternoon trips can be done, but it isn’t going to be easy. Lately we have had great catches of large yellowtail snapper that are schooling up heavy for their summer spawning. Along with them we are catching mangrove snapper, mackerel, bonita, jacks and grouper.
Inside the reef we are knee deep in rod bending action on a dozen or more species. Tons of fish are migrating through daily making each day and trip full of potential. From giant bull sharks, medium 50-100lb blacktip sharks that launch into the air to the prized permit to every kind, size and shape reef fish will keep each hook up interesting and exciting. This is high volume fishing, catching lots of smaller fish to work up to shots at the bigger ones. It’s all a numbers game!
Far offshore I have been getting good action on blackfin tuna. This time of year they average “football” size and make for some great hard fighting sport and excellent eating. The biggest challenge is getting them into the boat before the sharks get them! May marks the beginning of when we see dolphin showing up. We get quality before quantity, so if we happen to cross paths with any floating debris or a bird working there is a very good chance there is a pair of nice sized dolphin underneath.
In the water trips have been good to great in May. The past several weeks we have had some really clear water if it hasn’t been blowing.
Obviously, advanced bookings we have to roll with what we have to work with, but I suggest that anybody looking for a trip within a week or so checking the weather websites like Windfinder . This is a great way to arm yourself with information to dial in the best day for your trip, especially if you want to get in the water. Any time we see a wind event for multiple days it is similar to shaking a snow globe. All the fine silt and sand gets shaken up in the water column and it takes a few days for the dust to settle and the water to clear again. Snorkeling and spearing is good.
I am very fortunate to be a small business owner and to a degree in control of what I do day to day. Operating a charter business is a lifestyle and nothing like a job. I do put a huge effort into making every trip special and producing the intended results. My customers never see the full scope of my day and what it takes to set up/break down the boat, manage my bookings/customers and keep the boat running every, every-every day. I have my end covered and my program is solid every trip. I can work with any customer and any type of person with any or no experience level. I do fun things, I am a fun person and my business is inviting you into what is designed to be a fun experience. Showing up late for your trip works against you in multiple ways. That is easily prevented. Showing up unprepared shows you have no respect for what you are about to do. I have no choice but to change the priorities. Each trip is a progressive learning process of steps that is different for everybody. Fun trips we move up the steps and it flows. That is my daily goal and the environment needed for fun and have special opportunities open up for the trip. Some trips we get stuck on step 1 and never move on. Some trips my customers derail my program and there are no steps. We wade through waist deep mud and I am fishing at a level to make anything possible. That is the opposite of fun. Saying the least, 60% of my fishing trips are dealing with people problems and maybe 40% I get to fish the fish and focus on making your trip awesome. There is a lot of room there for improvement.
Getting seasick will be my final bit of help to you. I have a large, comfortable 31′ boat. I can’t believe the amount of clients that have gotten seasick the past few months in the least likely conditions. 95% took no medication to prevent it. I ask every time! Some people are sensitive to motion sickness and I totally understand that it happens. You book the trip, you see the information I have provided here to help you, you talked to me on the phone and I know I asked about the members in your group. Go ahead and puke all over. The moment it happens, your trip just went into emergency liability mode and I have to protect that person. I am only as strong as the weakest link in your party. We are a team. There are so many options for different medications to prevent motion sickness. If you are not sure, go see your family doctor and they will prescribe something that will 100% work 100% of the time. Err on the side of caution and properly prepare for your trip. I take great care of my customers. I will be an excellent babysitter, but if you want to have fun on your trip you need to fix all of your people problems and not bring them on board for me to figure out as I’m busy doing what you hired me to do.
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