Dodging storms and catching tarpon and sharks

The weather man says there is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow. Should we cancel? That’s exactly what Dale and Anne faced? I assured them that I would enjoy fishing in the rain even less than they would and told them that would see the morning brings. After a rather rainy night we awoke to clear radar an albeit cloudy  sky. We left the dock as the sun was just beginning to make an appearance. We pulled the bait traps and set up to do some tarpon fishing. It wasn’t long before Anne was battling a nice tarpon. We caught a couple black nose sharks and small nurse sharks and

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Still a few tarpon as well as plenty of sharks.

Tourist season winds down for Key west in September but the fish are still here. Father son trips are always one of my favorites whether the kids are young or adult as in this case. Fishing is one of those things that bring people together and will create a memory that lasts a lifetime and I considerate it a privilege to be able to facilitate these memories. Steve brought his son fishing. It was a beautiful Key West morning. We decided to start out the charter by tarpon fishing. We caught a nice tarpon, a black nose shark, a little mutton snapper and we lost a nice barracuda. The we

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Lobster and sharks!

[VIDEO] Janet and Kevin were married in Key West and every year the make the pilgrimage back to celebrate their anniversary. For the past three years I have been lucky enough to get them out on the water with me. Last year we talked about lobster diving and I suggested if they wanted to give it a try we could do a longer trip and both fish and try to catch a few lobsters. That’s exactly what they decided to do this year. We got out on the water bright and early a hit a couple of my best spots to try and tickle a few “bugs” into our nets.

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Larger Party? Take two boats!

[VIDEO] When a trip comes along that is too large for a single boat my good friend John of Shadowcaster Charters and I often use each other for the second boat. Whoever I use you can be sure that I will get you another owner operated boat with an experienced captain that I trust. Brad wanted to take his family for a full day combo trip of tarpon and shark so he booked a multi-boat charter through John. We started out catching a couple tarpon before heading down to the west to do some shallow water shark fishing. We anchored up in shallow water and rafted off to each other

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New Angler in the Will Family

Those of you who read my blogs regularly (probably just my Mom) will have noticed a lack of activity on my part. The reason is two fold. The first and probably least important it that I have been fortunate enough to be booked nearly every day for the past several months. Thanks to everyone with whom I have had the great pleasure to have out fishing this season. The second and most important reason for my lack of blogging is the new addition to my family. My wife Hollie son Quin and myself are proud to introduce Scarlet Linda to the Will family. She was born at 9:01 pm on

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Nice Sharks in the Back Country

[VIDEO] Scott always wanted to get into the back country of Key West. So when he planned a trip to Key West for a long weekend he of course booked a six hour flats fishing charter. Scott and Tammy got to the boat at 7:00 and we shoved off for another back country adventure. We pulled the pin fish tarps and anchored up in a channel where we had marked some fish on the bottom machine. There were fish rolling around the boat but the wind was switching around as a cold front was passing through and so the fish had lock jaw and just wouldn’t bite. We finished up

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Monster Key West Tarpon!

[VIDEO] Danny and Carey Beth chartered the boat for a morning half day of Tarpon fishing. We shoved off as the sun was just beginning to peak of the horizon. We headed to the north end of the harbor to pull my traps and load up the live well  with pin fish. As we were pulling the traps and rebaiting them we noticed some tarpon rolling at the mouth of a channel. We pulled up and dropped anchor. There were tarpon breaking water all around the boat as we settled on the anchor. I put a bait on the hook and cast it behind the boat and it had no

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A Well Earned Tarpon!

[VIDEO] Steve booked the boat for a Key West flats fishing tarpon trip. It is still early in the migration but there are tarpon around. We pulled the traps and anchored up in the harbor with the live baits and began chunking for the silver kings. It took about an hour to get our first bite. The tarpon jumped and we dropped off the anchor and began the chase. Unfortunately the fish got into a submerged line and got away. We set up again and caught a nice jack. After letting the jack go we waited for quite a while before we rewarded with a second tarpon bite. This one

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Key West spring, the tarpon are biting!

Stephanie and Andrew came to Key West with big fish on their mind. That is exactly what they got. We started out in the harbor looking around for a sign of the tarpon. I marked some fish under the boat so we anchored up and put out the baits and began chumming for the silver kings. After a few minutes of chumming we saw some tarpon rolling in front of the boat so we pulled the anchor and reset in front of the fish. It only took a few minutes before we rewarded with a 120 pound monster tarpon jumping and ripping line off the screaming reel. Stephanie did her

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Awesome half day tarpon charter!

It says a lot about a parent when a son in college is willing to spend his spring break fishing with his dad. Ray brought his son Conner out for a morning of tarpon fishing. I was not to hopeful as we were on the back side of a front with 25 mph winds, but they wanted to give a shot anyhow. `We left the dock and headed to harbor to see if we could find any sign of the silver kings. We were slowly cruising around the harbor watching for the tarpon to give themselves up by rolling on the surface to gulp some fresh air, I noticed some

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Father and son shark catching.

My most rewarding charters are by far father and son trips. Eric brought his son Braden to Key West to celebrate his Eleventh birthday, and what would a trip to the Keys be without going fishing? We began the trip by anchoring up in the harbor to see if we could get a tarpon. There have been a few rolling around but the bull sharks have moved in and have been attacking them as we have been fighting them, which has kept them moving around and a little skittish. While we didn’t manage to get a tarpon on we did hook up one of the massive bull sharks which we

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The tarpon bite is getting better!

As the fronts get weaker and further apart and winter fades into another memory the tarpon begin to make there yearly trek back to the tropical water of Key West. As the waters get warmer the tarpon get thicker and thicker. They have really began to show in large numbers over the past couple of weeks and the bite will only get better and better as the spring weather takes hold. April, May and June are the peak season and my appointment book is really filling up. Don’t miss your chance to catch a memory of a life time in the Key West back country.  



Hammerhead!!!

Trey Sandy and Hannah booked with me for a six hour charter in the back country. We got off the dock and headed back to the basins to drift around and cast artificial baits. We found some great action. Lot and lots of bites. We caught tons of hard pulling jack cravalles and jumping lady fish as well as a few trout and pompano plus snappers and more. While we were enjoying this great action we put out some shark bait. The shark rod went off and the dead was screaming. Sandy took the rod and I began the chase. We gave chase as the line melted away from the

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Off-Season Key West Tarpon

The conditions were perfect to target one of our resident tarpon. Father and son Lee and Dylen booked a half day charter asking for a tarpon. They were her for a week so I looked at the weather and picked what looked like the best weather day. We got it right. The morning of the charter the wind was calm and warm. The tide was perfect. We pulled the traps and and made the short run to where the resident tarpon live. When we got there there the tarpon were rolling all around us. We threw the anchor and set up. Pretty quickly Lee had a bite and a big

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18 sharks for my best ever half day shark fishing charter.

Chad and Kevin booked me for a half day shark fishing charter. The weather and tide were perfect to make the long run to the west. We made the long run and anchored up on the edge a flat with a nice white bottom and hung a barracuda off the back of the boat to bring the sharks to us. We quickly had out first bite. Chad fought the first on to the boat and was released  in short order. We began to see the sharks circling around the shallow water looking for the source of smell that was driving them crazy. The longer we were there the more sharks

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Excellent late tarpon bite!

  Or would it be early? I suppose you could make an argument for either as this is about as far away from tarpon season as you could get. The migration is long gone and the weather should be cold and windy. There are always some resident tarpon that never leave, which can be very tricky to get to bite. They don’t like cold weather. They don’t like windy days. The tide has to be just right. Ian had called me the week before letting me know he was going to be in town for a couple of months and to let me know if I thought the conditions would

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Another fun day in the Key West back country.

The beautiful thing about flats boat fishing in the beautiful Key West back country is that even when the wind is up, as it has been for the last couple of weeks, there are always plenty of options to have a great fishing charter in calm water. Campbell and Jan chartered the boat for a morning half day and we ran into the back country where we drifted the basins casting jigs. The great thing about this kind of fishing is that you really never know what is going to bite next. We caught cravalle jacks, lady fish, several nice trout, which I filleted for them to have for dinner,

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Another half day back country fishing charter.

It is always a pleasure when people recommend you. It is rewarding when people so appreciate the effort you have spent to show them  a good time that they send others to fish with you. Keith and Teresa were recommended to fish me. They Wanted to have some fish for dinner and to pull on something really big. I was able to accommodate on both counts. We started out drifting the basins in the beautiful Key West back country. We were able to catch a few nice speckled trout and mangrove snappers for their dinner as well as some nice jacks and lady fish for shark bait. I then anchored

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Windy days fishing the flat in Key West.

  Daryl and Tina had so much fun fishing with me on Saturday that they booked me again for Tuesday. The wind was up but it is always calm in the back country. We found our way into the basins and drifted around and caught a few jacks and lady fish for bait before we went to a channel to fish for sharks. We  anchored up in the current butterflied a bonito to hang off the back of the boat to call them up. We put out a couple of nice fresh fish heads for bait and waited for a bite. It wasn’t long before we had a nice lemon

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Girls afternoon out in Key West’s back country.

Roxanne, Ruth, and Deb decided they wanted to do afternoon half day charter. We went into the backcountry and spent the first half of the trip drifting around in the basins catching lots of lady fish as well as a few Jacks and trout. There was lots of action for the ladies and they were sure busy. We kept the jacks and lady fish for bait for shark fishing.We anchored up in a channel and hung a bonito off the back of the boat to call them in. Each of the girls caught a big lemon ranging from eighty to one hundred and fifty pound. They fought them like champions.

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