So Ryan M was fishing on my boat and Phil was on Frank's boat. Pete went with his partner to Marquesas to fish the reefs. In the AM Frank headed to the Ocean side near Cudjoe to his favorite haunt where he found my rig in the #1 spot . Lots of Tarpon rolling and moving around there but no takers. Caught some jacks. At the end of the tide we headed to the backside to catch the incoming and we found permit there at our second stop near Barracuda. Frank found nothing over near Mud Keys. Ryan and I found a nice small school feeding on a shallow flat and I cast about 5 seconds after Ryan to the leading fish but he hooked up first and scared the rest of the school out once the fish screamed off leaving me on trolling motor duty to chase his fish. We landed about a 15 pound Permit in 15 mins. A text book case of casting in the shallows. We almost had a double header there. Our plan was to stay out back and end up at Bahia Honda bridge late in the day in hopes of catching the worms since the moon was full. We hit some other spots along the way but only saw a couple of cruising tarpon. We ended up at the Bridge around 5:30 and saw Frank rolling up there too. We found a couple of other Egret clan there including one guide in a Moccasin who thought he owned all the water behind his rig from the new bridge to the old bridge and screamed at us for getting within 100 yrds of his stern. I think phil got him angry too as he thought Phil also drove too close to his Moccasin. Typical Bahia Honda etiquette obviously lacking from this guide’s Tarpon experience. So we poked around for a few minutes but there was not the activity we usually see prior to the hatch and I was not feeling the magic there so we left to get away from the crowd of yelling yahoos playing bumper boats and tried to find some peace and happy fish. So back to a spot near Big Pine and within 10 mins I saw a really nice single permit finning on the edge of flat while we were idling in. Ryan didn’t see him but he had is rod ready. I was driving the boat and did not want to take my eyes off the fish to grab my rig. After some orientation, he saw the fish and made a perfect cast and that fish zeroed in on the crab along the surface and attacked it but missed as Ryan pulled a little too early. So the fish was still on it and the second time was the trick. Fish on and 20 mins later Ryan caught Permit #2 at 28 pounds successfully released to fight another day. Two text book set ups and presentations. We kept fishing and jumped 5 baby tarpon until dark and then headed in. So our totals for the day were Two permit, about 8 jacks, about 10 cudas and a couple of snappers and some jumped small Tarpon. Pete had a great day on the reef with a boat load of bottom variety with decent size. Not sure how Frank and Phil did but I told them to take Key Lois out of their GPS if they want to catch one during the day.
Ryan's personal Best to date: