It was a great start to the new year in January, and I want to say thanks to everyone who came down to fish with me during what was mostly a windy and rainy month. Sheila, Jim and Danny Michke had a great half day in the lakes catching snappers and some big sharks in the 20-30kt. winds. We had a break in the weather and went out into the gulf for a three-quarter day and caught some nice kingfish up to 30 pounds, groupers, sharks, assorted snappers and jacks. They brought home a few nice muttons for dinner also.
Theirry Tellier and friends did a full day but got rained out the rest of the week. We caught some big sharks in the backcountry, then moved out deeper for some bottom fishing. The winds were brutal, making hawk channel a steep 4-5 foot chop with the tide against the wind. We managed to put together a catch of snapper for dinner in tough conditions.
Doug and Mike O'connor got in 3 full days last week and had some great fishing all 3 days. The winds made us go in completely different directions everyday, but we managed to catch a good amount of fish each day. We went in the gulf the first day catching mutton, yellowtail, mangrove and lane snappers, groupers, jacks, a few small sharks and a nice cobia. The second day we went west and had some big groupers, snappers, sharks and assorted bottom fish. Doug also brought in the biggest kingfish I've caught on the Sea Change, a monster 68 pounder! Doug fought the fish for around 20 minutes on 20 pound test. It's not often you catch a king over 50, and 68 is the fish of a lifetime. Just for fun I looked up the current world records for king mackerel. All tackle world record is 93 lbs, caught in Puerto Rico, and the Florida record is 90lbs! The third day had us going east with heavy northwest winds and chilly temperatures. We fished some mangrove channels looking for snook, but only had luck with snappers, barracudas, and little groupers. We went out in hawk channel to bend some rods and had good action with snappers, groupers, and blacktip sharks.
Saturday I finally got Bob MacCumbee and his family out fishing for a 6hr. trip. They were stuck in the snow most of the week and couldn't fly out. We hit a few rock piles and had good action with snappers, groupers, sharks and assorted bait stealers. We kept 4 nice muttons and a couple porgies for a few dinners. It is sad to let the big groupers go that Bob caught, but they will just get bigger by the time the season reopens in May.
Thanks again to everyone, hope to see you again soon! For anyone coming down in February, I have some open spots for trips this coming weekend, and also some split charters available in the next few weeks. Offshore fishing has been hit and miss, but seems to be getting a little better. There are a few more sailfish caught between each cold front, and a handful of dolphin, wahoo and tuna caught lately. Most people I've taken lately have opted for the calmer water and more active option, and I can't blame them. This week looks like it should be good, as we aren't expecting another cold front until Friday. Thanks, Capt. Taylor