Islamorada, Tortugas & Beyond...

Arived in Islamorada from Jersey late in the day Tueseday 1/2.

1/3 Took delivery of our rental (25 dusky) Wednesday morning. As soon as we set up to make bait the fan came on ,, strong.. Ran into to a bridge channel just to wet a line after the long drive.. Decided to pull the plug after a few grunts/small mangos and chalky water around 3:30. Began the cold, wet run back to our marina and came across a kayaker in distress a mile or so off.. Turns out he lost his friend hours ago around Hens and Chix. Confirmed he was good to get back to land and ran out to look.. Saw the lost yaker holding on to the mooring buoy at H+C in 20-30kt and honest 3-5s.. Flew over , pulled him and the yak into the boat and went in. Kid was out of his mind..

1/4 was more of the same with cold and lots of wind. A few small porgies on the patches and an early finish..

1/5 Left at grey light with high hopes of a winds laying down thru the day. Anchored up made our bait, went to start engines,,,, port engine, Nada... After 30 minutes checking fuses limped in and waited for a boat exchange.. Rental company did the rite thing but we basically lost the day..

1/6 After missing our weather window the day before moral was low leaving the dock in 45 degree temps and a brisk NE wind. Had a plan to fish structure in shallow water as that was really the only option given the conditions. We worked 4 pieces way inshore and managed 2 barely legal blacks that where released and 5 legal mutts . Felt great about the day we had and stuffed our faces at Mrs Macs.


1/7 With only a few hours to fish we hit two piecses in the same depth and came up with 1 legal mutt.


Cleaned the boat , had it picked up and ran to stock island for a 4 day with the yuri boat. After a great meal at Roostica, got some much needed rest. Monday morning anticipation was high as the forecast was rite and we had the pully ridge option..After stopping short on the way out to work some kings for bait we ran to the edge. The next 3 days where a blur as the weather and conditions turned out to be pristine and Shane put us on all sorts of quality from 150-800ft. Most of us fished manuel in the deep and where rewarded with Queens, Barrels, Snowies, Gags, Scamps, Blacks, Mutts and even the Hambone. Smiles all around except Luis who likes to take a stringer of grunts home every year, was'nt one the entire trip :wink



After a long 9 days of fishing, learning, catching and being humbled it was time to point it north. Good to see things looking strong down there after the storm and cant wait till next year...

Replies

  • chronicbreakchronicbreak Posts: 629 Officer
    Best 1st post ever! Nice pics
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    DESTROYING FISHERMEN AND THEIR COMMUNITIES SINCE 1976
  • fixedratefixedrate Posts: 138 Deckhand
    great post! and great fishing
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,273 Officer
    Great report and some nice quality fish.
  • chicochico Posts: 496 Deckhand
    GREAT pictures, NICE report. Awsome you found mutts on your own!! Thanks for posting!! Keeps the blood flowing on a cold winter day!!
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    Nice, and good on you rescuing the yacker.
  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 1,630 Captain
    Some great catches - sounds like a successful trip
    Nice work
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  • 101grunts101grunts Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    AWESOME
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,192 Officer
    Primo report.
    Sounds like the Yakker needed a bigger boat and less testosterone. Kudos for assisting/saving him....
  • KCBKCB Posts: 123 Deckhand
    Graat report.. Is that a Voyager party boat sweatshirt you are wearing out of Pt?
    Thanks
    Mike.
  • SmeagalSmeagal Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Thank you for the kind words, finding those fish meant a lot to us. Such a special place down there, truely a bottom fishermans delight!

    KCB, good eye man. I charter the voyager 3 times a year with 15 guys for manual only tile trips, lookn to get the record back on that boat!! Jeff runs a first class operation.

    As for the yakers,, i think they just didn't respect the forecast as it was beautiful in the am and with in an hour turned to fear as it was forecasted to do.. guess it just crept on them and he got stuck. Was a scary situation for sure. Was glad to be able to help as there was literally no one else in the water and close to getting dark out.

    Mike
  • KCBKCB Posts: 123 Deckhand
    Yes, Jeff is first class. I live about a mile from the boat.
    Glad you enjoyed the Keys, we have a house down in Key Colony Beach, Marathon.
  • Flight RiskFlight Risk Posts: 2,348 Captain
    Outstanding post! Great pics, amazing catch - Mutts, Queens, Grouper (that's a Yuuuge Barrel fish btw) and an attaboy too for saving the yakkers... they are a little short on common sense and safety. Best first time post I've seen. :grin

    :thumbsup

    Pura Vida!
  • globalwavetrackerglobalwavetracker Posts: 230 Deckhand
    Inspiring post. Such quality. Great conditions makes it so much more fun.

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