Wow, I have been a baaaad boy. I am very sorry, it has been way too long between fishing reports. I was shocked to see I hadn’t posted a report since the beginning of the year. The reason,(not an excuse mind you), is being delightfully busy with charters, and as always, sitting at the computer will always have to take a back seat to preparing for and doing charters.
Lets see if I can remember way back to the winter and spring fishing. The spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle, king mackerel, ladyfish were pretty typical with lots of very cooperative fish. We made attempts at sailfish a few days, but weather conditions made it difficult at best. The days that the sails were active had waves so big you were looking up at the tops of them. And the sails were just not in the mood during more favorable conditions. The spinner sharks were as thick as I have ever seen them, and we had spectacular action with them, though they left a little too early around the first of April. That is the one thing about the spinners; they leave en mass, without warning. All 50,000 of them evacuate in the space of about twenty-four to forty-eight hours. It’s like sudden withdrawal, you can have a great time with them one day, and the next day they are gone, not to be seen for nine months. Very annoying.
We had probably one of the best winters on cobia I can remember. Lots of big fish creating all kinds of chaos. Big fish for my boat was right around sixty pounds, but that was about an average sized fish this winter! Biggest one I heard of was right around one hundred pounds!
We did not see the repeat of the skipjack tuna fishing that we had in 2010. We did have a considerable amount of windy weather through the winter when they may have been out there, but just couldn’t ,(or didn’t want to) get to them. Also sadly absent were barracuda,( the most underrated fly rod fish in Fl., hard to fool with fly, sizzling fast and great jumps) over fishing and a commercial market now in place for them are to blame I am sure.
Spring fishing was a little weird. The false albacore showed up early, as they have for the past several years, with catches of them were reported as early as late March. The big schools of monster jack crevalle,(fish in the twenty to forty pound range) were very late, arriving in early May instead of late March. Dolphin fishing was also late, instead of getting started in April, did not really get going until late May. And there were some dandy fish in the forty pound range landed and some bigger ones lost. And we are still catching them, last Friday we had non-stop action on dolphin in the five to fifteen pound plus range for several hours. There was some really good king mackerel fishing in April and May, but there was an honest flotilla of boats parked on top of the king schools 24/7, and since I’m not a big fan of “combat fishing”, I never took part in that action.
The tarpon fishing this year has been abysmal, and will go down as the worst year anyone in the area can remember unless something changes. And it very well may, I am still hearing of lots of tarpon to our south. The juvenile fish in the inland waters are there, but the big schools of migratory adults have been absent thus far.
Currently we have more False Albacore than you can shake a fly rod at, blackfin tuna of various sizes showing themselves occasionally, snook in the inlets and on the beaches around bait schools, hordes of blue and rainbow runners, plenty of big sharks of various flavors eating everything you don’t get reeled back to the boat in short order, and enough sailfish to make dragging teasers, if only briefly, a good idea. Oh yeah, there has been a significant number of blue marlin in the area due to the large food supply. But since they all start at about three hundred pounds, they are probably not a viable fly rod target.
I currently have plenty of time available on the calender for anyone in need of a really good fishing fix.