5-1 Islamorada Grouper opener

We had a great start to the shallow water grouper season aboard the Capt. Easy down here in Islamorada last Friday:fishing. After a lot of work and moving around we caught our limit of blacks between 18 and 30#. The plan was to anchor down on the reef and pick at some groupers while we caught some yellowtail snapper, but the current was going under the boat. That and the combination of a slightly chilly north wind for this time of year and algae green water seemed to have the reef bite shut down Friday morning. So we ditched the reef fishing plan and headed off to power drift on some deeper wrecks. In addition to the grouper there where also lots of amberjack and jack crevalle on many of the wrecks. I did notice a lot of pressure on the reef and wrecks. It was hard to find a spot not covered up with either boats hook and line fishing or divers spearfishing. The shallow water grouper closure all winter and May opening has kind of started to create a derby season when they open. I've never seen so many spear fisherman as I did on Friday. Personally I would gladly trade a year round boat limit of one fish per boat for the closure.:shrug Here are some pics from the weekend.
Capt. Bruce Andersen
Captain Easy Charters
34 Crusader
http://www.captaineasycharters.com/
Easy Does It Fishing Charters
Conch 27
https://easydoesitfishing.com/
305-360-2120
Smugglers Marine
Islamorada Florida
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Replies

  • XafXaf Posts: 1,050 Officer
    Nice catch of blacks. Do you ever get any gags?
  • Captain EasyCaptain Easy Posts: 149 Deckhand
    Hi Bob
    Yes, we catch gags sometimes, but we catch way more blacks than gags.
    Capt. Bruce Andersen
    Captain Easy Charters
    34 Crusader
    http://www.captaineasycharters.com/
    Easy Does It Fishing Charters
    Conch 27
    https://easydoesitfishing.com/
    305-360-2120
    Smugglers Marine
    Islamorada Florida
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • captrvcaptrv Posts: 146 Officer
    Funny how the closure was suppose to originally focus on our stocks of gags. I still don't catch them, but the size of the red groupers and numbers of blacks has been awesome. I also hope the opening of grouper season doesn't turn into another "mini season".
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,408 Officer
    Nice groupers. Btw I don't like the idea of a 1 fish boat limit at all.
  • 2thekeys2thekeys Posts: 162 Deckhand
    I thought there was a limit of one black , with an aggregate of three grouper limit in place already...anyone have a link to the fish limits in Monroe county? I looked and it was pretty confusing and didn't specify if it was per boat/or per person where I was looking
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,408 Officer
    Hopefully he meant he would trade for a 1 fish per person limit not one fish per boat.
  • Captain EasyCaptain Easy Posts: 149 Deckhand
    Snaphappy wrote: »
    Hopefully he meant he would trade for a 1 fish per person limit not one fish per boat.

    No, I meant that I would trade a limit of 1 fish (black or gag) per vessel year round in exchange for no closed season at all. I know not everyone would want that, and it really doesn't matter what I would trade for because I don't think the people that make the rules care what I think, but here in the upper keys we traditionally caught most of our groupers in the winter and spring during the current closure. Now that we have the closed season we wind up throwing nice groupers back all winter and spring when we really need them to put a nice catch together, especially for customers that want some meat. It's really frustrating catching nice grouper by accident for 4 months and throwing them back knowing that some of them won't live. When I say catching them by accident I'm not kidding. During the closure we'll catch them all kinds of ways you wouldn't expect. We've had them swim up and eat live ballyhoo on the surface in 100 feet of water while we're sailfishing! Also it's really hard targeting amberjacks, mutton snapper, ect. and trying to stay away from the grouper. May and June have always been more for offshore fishing for dolphin for most of the boats so we don't need the groupers as bad now as we do from january through april here in the upper keys. The timing of the grouper closure works out great for a lot of places in the south atlantic, but it sucks here!
    Capt. Bruce Andersen
    Captain Easy Charters
    34 Crusader
    http://www.captaineasycharters.com/
    Easy Does It Fishing Charters
    Conch 27
    https://easydoesitfishing.com/
    305-360-2120
    Smugglers Marine
    Islamorada Florida
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Captain EasyCaptain Easy Posts: 149 Deckhand
    By the way, There still biting!
    Capt. Bruce Andersen
    Captain Easy Charters
    34 Crusader
    http://www.captaineasycharters.com/
    Easy Does It Fishing Charters
    Conch 27
    https://easydoesitfishing.com/
    305-360-2120
    Smugglers Marine
    Islamorada Florida
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ShallowSaltShallowSalt Posts: 195 Officer
    Some of those blacks have some super healthy colors. Very awesome fish and you're putting the folks right on them. Hope they realize not every captain can do that consistently. I'd also be interested in whether "they" considered a 1fish/boat/day year round season. Usually those kinds of alternatives are thrown into the mix at one stage or another. It seems like there's a lot of support for a reduced mutton limit, so anglers are not always opposed to alternatives. I too wouldn't mind a "one-and-done" year round limit for blacks.
  • fishingbuddiesfishingbuddies Posts: 636 Officer
    Very nice WTG
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    “When you have to choose between two evils you still choose evil” Jerry Garcia
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 875 Officer
    Those are some great looking Blacks that you put them on Capt. Easy. Way to go!

    I'd also like to see the 1 Grouper / boat with a year round season. Access to the resource would be available to winter anglers as well and not just saving them for summer anglers. Also more of them would be eaten fresh, and not stacked up in freezers getting freezer burn.
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