A little back story to start. I created my business to offer you the best things I know how to do on the water here in the middle Keys. I am a good teacher and I have the ability to do all of these ocean activities that are super fun. Over the years I have engineered systems to almost guarantee you have a successful outcome on the trips I offer. I built this website to inform and prepare my customers for these trips. There is no doubt about what I offer, what is required by you, the participant, or what it costs. I am here and my website and booking system are here to help you pick a fun trip for your group. If you prepare yourself and your group, you will be on my system and if there are any problems, they will be minimal and manageable.
The best way to dismantle, derail, grenade, disrespect and invalidate the activity you have chosen for your trip is to ignore any and all of this information I have put on my website for you to use. I’m trying to get your attention for a reason. Last month I had 3 consecutive trips that my customers couldn’t do what I was hired to do. Lobstering. They did nothing to prepare for their trips and had less that half of the breath hold I needed for them to be able to do it comfortably. It was awful for all of us. This gets better. My next customer planned to show up with only “swim shorts and flip flops” according to their last minute 7pm night before check in call. Nope! First time ever in 9 years of operating my business that I cancelled a customer’s charter because I have been down this road too many times and I was not going to make it 4 trips in a row of watching people not be able to do something pretty basic. Never put yourself or me in this position. You and I are working together for a common goal. If you choose not to prepare I have to make choices too to adjust for you. I can only do so much for some people. You are my guests. Don’t allow yourselves to be the greatest restriction on your trip. It’s happening too often and has to be fixed.
Reality is our lobster fishery is a heavily overfished resource that is greatly affected by water quality and habitat loss. It has seen extra pressure by the unusual massive increase of COVID vacationers that have been here since lobster season opened. There has been a ton of extra people out there lobstering every day that are not normally here this time of year. There ARE lobster to be caught out there. I know where some of them are at. They are NOT in places that are so shallow you can stand up on the bottom. They are not in easy places because those areas get pounded daily and don’t get a chance to fill in. They ARE in places where my minimum requirements will put you in front of lobster to be caught. My minimums are guidelines to help you. I’m doing what has to be done within what reality is. Lobstering should be getting better in September. Many of our tourists have thinned out from our record numbers we have had here since June 1.
Fishing has remained better than I would expect this time of year. Our water temps are in the very high 80’s and low 90’s. That is just simply too hot for fish to be happy. If you are booking a half day reef trip, ONLY BOOK A MORNING 8-12 TRIP. Please, don’t book an afternoon trip. Those afternoon fishing trips will come back when the water cools around early November. I can’t get the fish to eat when the sun is up and it is super hot out. If you are ok catching stuff we can’t keep on the smaller side, I give you permission to book a 1-5pm reef trip. Do not have great expectations!!!! I can make something happen. It may be mediocre by my standards, but you may enjoy it if you can tolerate the heat. For you, I want the best game in town for your trip so you have every reason to come back for more. I have plenty of other customers trash talking other charter trips they have been on previously. I don’t want to be a trip you didn’t like because you went against all of my information and advice.
Offshore fishing has been pretty solid. Tuna fishing is plan A. We are well outside of peak dolphin season, so they are hit or miss. dolphin fishing is Plan B. This month marks the closure of Snowy Grouper. Electris deep dropping is still an option for other species, but catch quotas may close any fishery currently open without notice. But something to think about next year for your offshore trip. Deep dropping is super extra boring to most people. However, it is a good chance to slow down the pace, drink some beer and catch a fish of a lifetime. It has happened many, many times this year.
Snorkeling and sand bar hang outs has been good. I think our visibility is on the decline for our average as our water temps continue to heat up. There will be good days and not so good days based entirely on conditions leading up to your trip. Call or email me for my best guess based on current conditions. That’s all I have for now. Stay healthy! Prepare for your trips. Fill out my “Notes” section on your reservation. Visit “Trip Tips” to solidify your preparations. I hope to see you soon!!
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