The fishing has continued to be exceptional, even if the weather has been less so. Normally, our winter winds have died down for the most part by early May. But here it is the fourth week of the month and the wind is making the ocean pretty uncomfortable. Oh, well. Not to worry. Jacks, snook and barracuda have been cooperating well in the calm waters of the ICW, and the tarpon are warming up nicely.The bait schools are getting thicker on the inside and that will help getting things even more reved up.
In between the wind blowing, offshore has been great. The albies keep getting more in numbers and size. Hordes of medium sized fish in the three to eight pound range are to be had at will. And in the last week, their big brother have arrived in force. Fish in the ten pound and up range have started making more regular appearances. And black fin tuna are mixing in. They run in the twenty to thirty five pound range, and though it takes some real skill with a heavy dose of luck to pick a blackfin out of a mass of rampaging albies, getting them past the bull sharks takes even more.
Dolphin, as everyone who knows me is aware, are my favorite fish to play with and what a show they have been putting on. We may end up catching more dolphin and more big dolphin than even last fall which was world class. Large numbers of smaller schoolie sized dolphin and plenty of quality fifteen to “Oh, my god” sized dolphin have been in the area. There have been alot of dolphin in the fifty pound range caught, and at least one seventy pound fish caught off our coast this spring. And I heard rumor of a 93 pounder caught right over in the Bahamas a week or so ago. I think I would have a heart attack if one like that swam up to the boat!
This spring will go down as the best cobia run I can remember. For several months now, large numbers of cobia have been, and continue to be, in the area. Thats one of the things that has been making chumming the albies so crazy. The typical scenario is I get the boat on the reef edge and start marking albie schools on the depth finder. Start the chumming and up come the albies with the following groups of blue runners, rainbow runners and other assorted critters. You know the bull sharks are getting close when the remoras show up, little frickin vacuum cleaners that they are, eat everything in sight. And up come the packs of three to eight monster bull sharks, all of them between eight and ten foot plus. Which though a little tough to get the albies through, the accompanying cobia come to investigate what the activity at the boat is all about and there is a mad dash to get a fly in front of one.
Loads of fun.
All that has kept me so busy, I haven’t even had time to go try the king mackerel out that have been chewing up a storm. I’ll get around to them shortly at the very least to keep things varied. I’m hoping the winds lay down by Memorial Day, because that is the time I generally start looking for the tarpon, (the big migratory adults, not our resident juveniles) to start moving through the area. After the stellar action we had on the big guys last fall, I’m actually looking forward to sending some silver slobs skyward.
So, that’s pretty much what has been keeping me occupied. For what it is worth, I still have plenty of open days between now and the end of August when this melee’ usually slows down, though the albie/dolphin/king mackerel fishing action continued last year right through September. Here’s hoping that repeats. That will take us right to the start of the bait migration and all the craziness that involves.