February 2024 Update

February 1st, 2024

Getting antsy yet? February can be a tough month up north. I know from experience. I have some good news! We really don’t have any measurable winter here anymore and flights are said to be 13 percent cheaper than last year. That means you have really no excuse to not abandon your winter life for a week and come play on the boat with me. I call that a good life decision. Spring Break 2024 is just around the corner and I expect to be really busy, so time to click on my Reservations page and get your day saved.

This is a nice way to end the day!

Fishing has been really good lately. This is a great time of year to experience a variety of fisheries that appeal to all ages and experience levels. As I mentioned earlier, there is little to no winter here anymore, so I let the weather conditions dictate what is the best target for your group and your trip. My favorite trip to operate is a 4 hour reef trip. This is a generic broad name for a trip that involves catching fish for a dinner or 2. My goal of these trips is to get everybody involved in learning a few basic steps to properly present a bait to fool and fight a tasty fish to the boat. Big picture; I teach you the magic recipe for success and when you put the ingredients together you end up with a great day on the water and a well earned fresh fish dinner. I swear it ALWAYS TASTES BETTER when you earn your meal and are a part of the adventure of outsmarting a wild fish and seeing it all the way to your plate. Most people these days do not get to see where their food comes from nor has any part in harvesting it. Not sure what to do with your catch? I would say ALL or nearly all of our local restaurants offer a “hook and cook” option, where they professionally prepare your catch with expertise. All you do is show up and enjoy the reward of your fishing charter.

This family got it done on a 4 hour reef trip!

Other fishing options include wreck fishing for bigger fish in deeper water. It’s a slower pace and a little more conditionally sensitive, but it has bigger rewards and fights. Far offshore tuna are available. They run on the smaller size this time of year (4-8lbs) and we need a really nice day with winds under 15mph. All offshore trips that are above the weather/conditions threshold become reef trips so the trip operates and I can making a living and fight another day to live here. February is in the middle of our windy season and we experience a wide variety of conditions. We can plan on anything realistically, but ultimately we do what the weather, conditions and the members of your group and do successfully. That is what makes positive outcomes trip to trip. I don’t go against the grain…..intentionally.

solid bay side snapper catch!

In the water activities are at a major lull in February per conditions. The local news reported that we just passed our normal coldest week of the year (last week of January), so things should be warming up. Our water temps have been in the low 70’s with ok to meh visibility when the wind isn’t blowing. It just has not been great and I do not expect great for February. Probably going to need to rent wetsuits from Captain Hooks Marina and we will discuss any in the water activities to manage expectations. It can be done. Sometimes it is excellent. It’s all highly conditional. I still gets plenty of questions about lobster trips. Yes, season is open. No, I do not operate lobster trips…until August 6.

For the Spring Break crowd, I do a bunch of creative out of the box fun things. All of my trips are custom. I offer trips to the sandbar, I have a small fleet of mermaid tails, I can do bar hopping by boat in most weather conditions, sunset and inshore put put cruises are all in the cards. I am only limited by legal restrictions and weather conditions. If you’re not sure, fill out my contact form and I’ll work it out with you in private.

Mermaiding is FUN!!

I’m not sure how to finish this post. I’ll point out some areas where trips go wrong and go right. If you have read this far, you are on the right path. Knowledge is power and investing in your trip does dictate the outcome and level of success. I analyze each trip and try to figure areas that can be improved on your end and mine. We live in the information age and I’m up against the age of the shortest attention spans and maximum distractions. I understand all of the moving parts. Ever since Covid, people have refined being extra weird in the privacy of their homes, working from home and now share some unique quirky …..uhhhh, lack of functionality sessions with me on my charter trips. I appreciate some of the things I encounter and see/hear and learn why you are special. That’s fine. Tell me in your “notes” section of your reservation so I know what’s going on. We have to work together in a very limited scope of time to make a successful outcome. If you have 40 human issues in 4 hours, it derails my program I have in place for catching fish. You are on my boat in the ocean learning how to do something likely unfamiliar to you, yet very simple. It’s a learning experience and I’m teaching you something basic and repeated through the whole trip. If you bring your D game, you should expect D rated results. I feel I have made my system so easy that people become un-invested in learning the basic steps and THEN figuring out how to refine the technique to stay ahead of how quickly the fish learn. Imagine me being a flight attendant instructing 4 people how a seat belt works and 3 hours in it nobody knows what a buckle or strap is or what goes where when or how……..that’s my situation far too often. Everything I ask of you is very easy. It’s all designed to be easy. I have plenty of people that make easy hard. I see it within the first couple of minutes we meet. Just like fishing, it is a pattern. My customers that have zero experience with fishing, speaking english, whatever…..if they prepared and invested in their trip, it goes well every time. So, let’s do this together and make it easy. Please respect that I am not a bought experience. I offer a unique hands on earned experience that we share.

Oh, speaking of buying things……I finally got smarter and engineered a way to carry my long sleeve charter shirts on board to have available for sale. Sizes XL-Small in white. Medium and Small in pink. These are the highest quality dry fit material I could source and I didn’t cut any corners. It’s better to let me know ahead of time if you want some quantity, but I have 2 of everything on board. Also, I tested making my smoked fish and smoked fish dip available to you, my charter customers. Normally, this gets distributed to my local friends, but I want you to have a shot at it. I had a nearly instant sell out run of my first few batches, but winter never arrived and the premium fish I select have mostly been absent. I’m currently out, but if you have interest, this status changes as does the fishery. It’s supply and demand. One great way to keep up with what is going on is through my social media accounts. It’s also an excellent and efficient way to share your pictures and leave reviews of your experience. I keep my accounts real and no fluff, memes or memories when life and fishing was easier. I just post what my business is doing and offer some diversity in content between platforms. @floridakeysreeladventures and #captfkra and #floridakeysreeladventures

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