December 24, 2012

Christmas Redfish in Key West

Had a good day fishing for redfish with Andy and Charlie from Delaware. The guys caught four real nice redfish and we saw a couple of others. We had a few shots at barracudas and few follows while blind casting catching one small one. The barracuda fishing wasn't nearly as good as I thought it would be. Water is still very cold and it will take another couple days to get the water temperatures up to where they need to be. 

Merry Christmas

December 21, 2012

Giant Mutton Snappers Fishing Offshore Key West

Captain Peter Heydon, Captain Rob Kramarz, Captain Tony Skinner and I spent a couple days offshore fishing out of Key West last week on the Aeon 23 DLX.  With a well full of pilchards we were armed and ready for some serious tuna fishing offshore Key West.  We tried an area up to the east that Captain Paul D'Antoni told us about.  We spent some time and threw out some baits when we were marking fish but never had a tuna or bonita come up.  Later we moved down west to the sub and it was pretty much the same scenario.  Later in the afternoon though we did have some fish come to the surface, but we couldn't get them close enough to eat our baits.  On one of the drifts over the sub Capt. Pete and Capt. Tony had a double hook up.  We were all very excited at was finally supposed to happen.  Well it turned out that neither fish was a blackfin tuna but rather a nearly 20 pound mutton snapper pictured below and a bonita.  Not a bad consolation prize.

The next day Capt. Pete, Capt Rob and I went out again.  We got just enough pilchards to use for bottom baits.  We tried a rubble pile for tunas, but again nothing came up.  We did a few drifts fishing the bottom and Capt Pete and Capt Rob caught vermillion snappers and one keeper mutton snapper.

We moved into the reef for some yellowtailing, which turned out to be really slow, but again we got an awesome consolation prize of a few real nice mutton snappers that Pete and Rob caught.  

Penguins in Key West?

Not sure what type of bird this is, but it really looks like a small penguin. He was swimming right up to the boats cast netting pilchards.  Pretty cool.

Okay, I just read about this mystery bird on the MyFWC Facebook page after posting the photos above.  The bird is not a penguin, but rather a razorbill which has been moving into the Southeast US.  According to the MyFWC facebook post razorbills spend their entire lives in the cold waters of New England and Canadian Atlantic Provinces.  You can read the entire article on the MyFWC Facebook page.

December 15, 2012

Aeon 23 Offshore Key West

Took the Aeon 23 DLX offshore Key West for some yellowtailing with Captain Peter Heydon and Captain Rob Kramarz last Wednesday.  We anchored on the outside of the bar in about 90'.  Winds were from the south little over 10 mph, so a little lumpy, 2-4 ft seas but not too bad.  Forecast was for the winds to lay down to under 10 mph, but that never happened.  Wind instead increase and was closer to 20 mph than 10 mph.  The seas churned up to 3-5 foot with the occasional 6 footer passing through.  I was amazed that as sloppy as the ocean was we never took a wave over the bow at anchor or while running back in.  What an incredible vessel.  The video below shows somewhat of what it was like but really doesn't do it justice.  I was sitting on the cooler in front of the console watching every wave come at the boat freaking out that the next set of steep waves was the set coming over, swamping the boat and sweeping us away.  Fortunately that never occurred and we lived to tell the tale.

Captain Mike Bartlett

December 07, 2012