February 24, 2009

Sure is nice to be back in the warm sunshine and good fishing. The last few days have been quite nice, with temps in the high 70’s, sea temps are a perfect 73.5 with light winds. Capt Andrew ran the boat last Sunday and had a super trip. He started out catching his bait, cigar minnows and ballyhoo just above the Alligator Lighthouse in 15′ of water. Bait was nice and easy for a change, two tosses of the 14′ and the guy’s were all set. Andrew fished up the line a little and drifted a ledge which went from 65′ to 100′ pretty sharply. The guys had great success with some nice black groupers and several mutton snappers. The muttons would only eat the ballyhoo and the Groupers seemed to really enjoy live grunts.

The NEW Penn Torque rods we are field testing worked very well, super action and as light weight as I’ve ever held. The rod tip was soft and allowed all on board to see the bite…super sensitivity.

Next Andrew moved inside the reef edge and anchored down for awhile. The yellowtails and mangrove snappers were very active and hungry. Using shrimp and cut ballyhoo for bait the guys dug in and managed to put together a super catch of snappers. The yellowtail ranged from 2-3lbs and the mangroves were 3lbs, nice fish. Next they moved back out over the edge into about 117′ to 127′ of water and fished a fade. Almost right off the bat they hooked up a sailfish, after the release they started to catch 5lb to 10lb king mackerels all on cigar minnows and 20lb spinners along with the Torque rods and same result…great action and very solid.

Today was pleasant had to work at it but it all came together quite well. Bait was not easy, it took a little over an hour, minnows and ballyhoo. We then went out to 117′ of water and did real well with the mackerels and had our limit in about an hour. The wind started to lay out so I thought I might take a ride down the reef line and do some snapper fishing. We had one problem, the water was gin clear, the stream has moved in and the NE winds have helped push in some really nice blue water. Any day now it’s going to bust wide open.

Anyhow snappers were happy and we caught what we needed along with a VERY large Nurse shark, she was about 250lbs and swam away happy. We picked up the anchor and moved back out to130′ of water. We found a nice weed line however it was all ell grass, no life. We did however find a few real nice Blackfin tunas that came in at 20lbs, real nice table fare!! The guys caught a few more mackerels and some non-keeper Groupers. I decided to stop at one more patch inside on the way home and ran into an enormous school of Jacks. They were moving about 7 knots or so and eating every ballyhoo in thier path, it was quite the sight to see as hundreds of them were pushing SW. We hooked two of them and wow, what a battle on 20lb spinning tackle, great stuff!! Talk to you again later this week.

Tight Lines,
Capt. John Oughton – That’s Right

March 1, 2009

Well the fishing in the keys has been very tough. The winds have been steady out of the ENE and the stream has pushed way inside. The water is gin clear, we can see the bottom in about 120’ the whole week. The current was no were to be found. With these condition we find the fishing to be just about as hard as it gets. We had to work very hard , bait was extremely hard, and the Jacks have wiped out the ballyhoo along most of the reef edge. Giant schools have been swimming by eating everything in there path, quit the sight to see. The Jacks range anywhere from 10 to 40lbs get fun on light tackle. We have been able to still catch the King Mackereals on the fades. The dinner fish like snappers have been ok at best. We are able to catch dinner but not much extra. We are getting another cold front today which should help things a great deal, looking forward to getting back at it on Monday. The backcountry has been getting better, the guys had a super day on Saturday, Spanish mackerels, cobia, groupers and they even caught a Tarpon well over 140lbs on 15lb test took them over an hour and a half to catch and release!! Water temps in the back are still cool, with just several more weeks till Tarpon season it should star to warm quickly. Snook season opens today so we are looking forward to plenty of action this whole week.

Capt. John Oughton – That’s Right

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