dieselgrady

30 days in the middle Keys

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Just left near record highs in the Keys to feel the coldest day of our NY winter. Ouch. Hid inside and will wait for my body to acclimate to the reality of winter in the northeast. Primarily fished the bridges from Pine Key to the Long Key bridge and overall it was good. Not great, but good. Had to use chum this year, which was a change from years past. Noticed the lack of Grunts and the abundance of Bermuda Chubs which pull like crazy, but are not good to eat and have the unpleasant habit of projectile crapping when you unhook them. Had the pleasure of almost being spooled by creatures that live under the Long Key Bridge and since I'd seen  some 50-100lb Tarpon hanging there I'll figure that was the mystery fish. Anyone that wants to spend time down there, would suggest booking at least a few months to one year in advance. Especially the more reasonabl y priced ones. Beginning to notice the downhill slide in keeper size fish, and the lack of enforcement, but not nearly as bad as my backyard. Gotta clean off the scales and dried shmaze from my rods and reels before I put them back to sleep. Thinking about what I did wrong and what I did right and already making plans for next year.

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Funny, I always go through what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I will try next time when I get back from a fishing trip. As for getting almost spooled, I would guess it was by sharks if you didn't see or have the fish jump. Although, I have had some sharks jump and some tarpon not jump.

 

I will be down there in May.

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There were probably 5 or 6 days that would have been fishable, in say a 23'CC, but mostly choppy. Some mornings would see smaller boats 21-25' heading for Vaca Cut to fish the Gulf side . There are a few battlewagons in Key Colony Beach, that I'd see heading offshore any day they chose, but these are boats that if you gotta ask "How much?, you can't afford. On the other hand talked to someone that fished the Marathon Humps on a charter and caught some small Blackfin. (I didn't ask how much that was either!) He was watching me clean some Mangrove snappers and a nice Yellow Jack and I got the feeling they were not much larger than the Jack. Heard of some Mahi and Kings caught, but didn't hear much.else. Fished Marathon Lady a few times, but that was nothing special. Have to say I enjoy finding and catching my own fish. But anyone on a short stay should consider a charter.

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34 mins ago, dieselgrady said:

There were probably 5 or 6 days that would have been fishable, in say a 23'CC, but mostly choppy. Some mornings would see smaller boats 21-25' heading for Vaca Cut to fish the Gulf side . There are a few battlewagons in Key Colony Beach, that I'd see heading offshore any day they chose, but these are boats that if you gotta ask "How much?, you can't afford. On the other hand talked to someone that fished the Marathon Humps on a charter and caught some small Blackfin. (I didn't ask how much that was either!) He was watching me clean some Mangrove snappers and a nice Yellow Jack and I got the feeling they were not much larger than the Jack. Heard of some Mahi and Kings caught, but didn't hear much.else. Fished Marathon Lady a few times, but that was nothing special. Have to say I enjoy finding and catching my own fish. But anyone on a short stay should consider a charter.

Got it, thanks! I stay with a friend who has a 22' contender, we've gone out in some snotty stuff, but hopefully it calms down a bit.

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Remember seeing Tarpoon at first light for the first time at St. Thomas back in the nineties.  They were up and rolling for a few minutes.... a quick drive by and wouldn't even sniff at topwater thrown at them.   

It was a pretty good size class of 'poon too.  Large enough that you could see the size of their scales were impressive.   Very Humbling! 

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