Over the years our good friend Bruce has had some absolutely amazing trips with us on the Outer Limits, and when it comes to billfish he is no stranger. I would bet its safe to say that in the last 5 years alone we have tussled with no less than 50 different billfish, having had some awesome shots at some of the best Sportfishing that the Florida Keys can offer. He has released countless Sailfish, a handful of Blue Marlin, and lets not forget Swordfish as well, yet a White Marlin was still the allusive one. Unfortonately we have had numerous Whites on at different times, and pulled the hook on every one. However, with billfish fishing, sooner or later persistence will prevail, which was the case a few days ago.
We set off the day in hopes of getting a bite from a billfish, preferably a Marlin or Swordfish. The seas were a little choppy on the ride out, with the wind blowing around 15 knots. The temperatures have been a decently warm 92, but no hotter than any other summer day I can remember in Key West, (we are in the tropics, right?) Warm air also transfers to warmer water and the Gulfstream current is pushing 86 degrees as well.
The action began fairly early with a few Mahi bites, but this was far from the targeted species. Little did we know, the bite we were looking for was soon to be had. About mid day, we were working an area that was loaded with bait just a mile or so south of Woods Wall which is the drop off of the continental shelf. In roughly 2000 feet of water our bite came. Popping up behind the Moldcraft Super Chugger was a very spunky White Marlin, which took very little time in deciding whether or not to eat the lure. A second later, with hook in mouth and lure hanging out the side the Marlin was airborne and pealing off drag. While happy and excited to get the bite we were not over zealous knowing how Bruce’s luck was when dealing with White Marlin. However as luck would have it, after a 15 minute battle and many darting jumps the gorgeous billfish was boatside and released healthy. We had done it, he had done it! The checklist had been accomplished. Now he could add the White Marlin to it. Although Bruce was obviously ecstatic, I am pretty sure no one was happier for him than me, considering I had been through every one of his billfish experiences, through the heartbreaks and the losses, and the joys and the releases, I was ecstatic for him. What a great day! It’s days like this one that make me so very thankful that I get to offer our clients such amazing opportunities as this! I can’t wait to get back out again tomorrow and do it all over again!
Wow, hard to believe March is almost over, and what a fine month it has been for us so far. The weather has been exceptional for most of the month with the temperatures warming up to the high seventies and low eighties, and very little rain. The fishing has been starting to heat up as well, with a great Blackfin tuna bite and Sailfish starting to make their annual stop in Key West.
The Tuna bite has been pretty much best in the early morning and late afternoon/evening with some nice fat fish coming over the rails. Pilchards and ballyhoo have proven to both be effective lately to target these tasty balls of muscle. The Sailfish bite is beginning to show signs of life as well in the last few weeks. Our clients yesterday caught 4 Sailfish on the Outer Limits during their 3/4 day charter. For these 6 to 8 foot acrobats of the ocean we have been kite fishing using live pilchards, herring, and goggle eyes, as well as catching them trolling bare-naked ballyhoo. This bite is only going to get better as the next couple weeks approach. Give Captain Jay a call and get yourself ready for some fun and exciting fishing! 305-923-1043
Here comes another trip around the back side of winter and now spring is just about upon us. I bet you would not have known it was even winter time here in Key West, but thats another conversation. However, everywhere else in pretty much Northern America is about to welcome a break from cold weather and hopefully maybe some folks will get a chance to come to Key West and enjoy a thawing out and maybe some great fishing. The action has been starting to heat up as well. Just like clockwork the Blackfin Tuna bite in the Lower Keys has been pretty consistent with some nice fish in the 20 to 25 pound range being caught regularly. Live baiting and trolling have been working well to catch these tasty balls of muscle. Along with the Tuna we have been seeing Sailfish starting to move through as well. Most of the massive schools of Ballyhoo have move off of the reef and has made the Sailfish more regular ly targeted in deeper waters from 100 to 250 feet of depth. We have been getting bites by live bait fishing with Threadfin, Pilchards, and Scad baits. As far as the bottom bite is concerned, that is pretty much all snappers with Grouper season closed for another 2 months, Yellowtail and Mutton Snappers pretty much are the main target when fishing the bottom. On the Gulf side of the Keys, the fishing has been very good as well with great action from Cobia, Jacks, and monster Kingfish in the 30 to 40 pound range.
If you are looking for a warm place to come thaw out for Spring Break, then Key West is the place to be. 80 degrees and sunny everyday should be enough to get you excited, but the fishing will get you REALLY excited!!
The first week of February and the Sailfish fishing has been heating up. Easterly current from the Gulfstream has moved in close to the reef edge, bringing with it a push of Sailfish into Lower Keys waters. Over the last month Sailfish fishing has been decent but has lacked consistency. however the last week has shown signs that more hungry fish have been moving through the waters near Key West giving many anglers the excitement of battling one of these acrobatic brutes. Whether live baiting kite fishing, or trolling, Sailfish are extremely fast and explosive eating machines, so be ready at all times for this thief to show up and take a bait without hesitation… Usually while you are making a sandwich
The last few days have been nothing short of spectacular. The weather has been a beautiful 78 degrees with light Easterly breezes. Fishing has picked up and quite a few Sailfish are starting to make their way into Key West waters which is a very good sign of hopefully a great season for billfish. Along with the Sailfish, some very nice Blackfin Tuna have been showing up as well, giving anglers a variety of both sport and game fish together. What a great time of year to be in the Keys!