Swordfishing has been an art as long as this fish has been pursued.The techniques keep changing depending on the time of day and the size of fish targeted. With the ...
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CAPTAIN JORGE' S BLOG
The deep sea fishing offshore Islamorada and the Upper and Middle Keys has been very good to excellent. Catches of Sailfish have been regular on most Sailfish charters scoring on 1-5 releases per trip. In addition our King Mackerel bite has been getting better with catches of good kings in and near the reef. Mahi Mahi or Dolphin as known in S Florida Fishing has been good for winter time fishing with catches of school size to 40 pound fish. Tuna has been good nearshore resulting in our biggest blackfin tuna of the year a whopping 46 lb blackfin.
Deep dropping has been very good for Snowy Grouper, Queen Snapper, Tilefish and other deep water residents caught between 300 and over 1800 feet.
Reef and Wreck
Fishing on the reef has generated very good to excellent snapper fishing for Yellowtail, Mangrove and Mutton Snapper. The trick is current and the use of fresh dead or live bait. Reef fishing involves very specific techniques to provide good quality and quantity of fish and is Totally “Current” dependent. Cobia have shown up in fair to good numbers and our best catch has been a 47 pound Cobia off a Ray cruising the bottom.
Flats and Back Country Fishing
Tarpon have shown up in good numbers in the back country as some of our guides we refer back country charters have described. The mackerel action in the bay has been outstanding on some days catching over 40-50 fish per trip. Along with the mackerel are catches of snapper, sea trout and big sharks.
If you want to book a sailfish, deep sea or offshore charter call us at 305-304-7573 for a great fishing experience either full or half day.
“We put you on big fish with fly, light or conventional tackle”
It is mid November and the sailfish are here in great numbers. The last several months it has been a bit slow in the charter industry as our season was on down time due to the tourist traffic being almost gone. In the past two months there have been very good catches of Mahi as our largest Mahi travel thorough at this time of year and again in April. We have caught mahi to 52 pounds and quite a few in the 35-45 pound class as well as over a hundred in the 5-20 pound class.
Blue Marlin were scarce from end of September through now with only one blue and one white boated in October around the full moon phase.
The word now is Sailfish, and they are here by the hundreds. One can expect to catch anywhere from 1 to as many as 4 per day at this time and it will only get better. The main way of catching them is either kite fishing or slow trolling with live bait as well as locating “spraying sails” and casting live bait. This hunting for the fish is the most exciting way to catch these billfish.
Tuna have been very good with several catches in the 25 to 30 pound class while drifting with deep baits over schools of tuna. The most common approach is trolling feathers and while this provides action it generally does not catch the big ones we have been catching with live baits fished deep. Sharks have been a real problem with these tuna as the Tax Man collects more than his share at times.
Sharks have been plentiful and we have sighted some real monster Tigers as well as Hammerheads. We have no tried for these beasts as they can be time consuming and are often left behind in search of table fare.
The snapper and yellowtail fishing has been good to excellent yielding nice sized snapper during daylight hours. On private night trips we have scored on larger yellowtails and mangrove’s.
Fishing will only improve as every cold front brings more fish and forces the bait out of the gulf to warmer ocean waters. The sails generally peak around the end of November and while mostly booked at this time of year we still have openings to catch these acrobatic speedsters of light tackle.
Cobia are starting to show up on some wrecks in the gulf and soon will make way to Hawks Channel where we sight hunt them and cast large live baits to catch these tasty and hard fighting fish.
We want to welcome our newest boat to our fleet. The Expedition is a 40 ft Luhrs Open Fisherman that is tournament rigged for the real heavy weights of Marlin, Swordfish, Sharks and the Occasional Bluefin Tuna in the Straightys of Florida and Bahamas. Sheis salon equipped with airconditioning, fully galley, sleeping accommodations for the extended Bahamas charters. She comfortably fishes up to six anglers. This vessel can easily accommodate 80 wide and 130 lb tackle with a custom Nautical Designs Marlin Chair. We look forward tofishing her in the Bahamas this spring and summer for the large blues, tuna and wahoo these waters are known for.
In addition we wish to let our clients and guests know that we have joined up with Bud and Mary’s Marina and their list of impressive Captains. We have specialized in Offshore Fishing, Offshore Flyfishing and Marlin Fishing so we no longer offer back country and Everglades charters. At Bud and Mary’s the best back country and flats guides will fill the void to our not providing Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Snook, Redfish and Trout charters. Call us for a referral to one of these great backcountry and flats guides.
At Upper Keys Sportfishing we now offer you two boats the Tournament Equipped, 33 Center Console PELAGIC and our 40 Luhrs Open Fisherman for your enjoyment.
We stand up to our motto, “We put you on big fish with fly, light or conventional tackle”. Call us today at 305-304-7573 or call Bud and Mary’s to arrange a world class Offshore Charter with Upper Keys Sport Fishing and Captain Jorge Pinera.
the offshore bite has been great and very consistent on dolphin or Mahi. On recent charters we have experienced 50-100 fish days with most being catch and release other than keeping what will be utilized for a dinner or two. Upper Keys Sportfishing promotes conservation through releasing small fish and keeping those that will be utilized by our clients.
The fish have been in the 7-10 pound range for the most part with a few nice ones mixed in that are in the 20′s to 35 pound range.
The tuna bite has been almost none at this time other than a few schoolie sized ones on the humps or sea mounts that are all released.
We have encountered blue and white marlin on all trips recently but our clients focus for mahi determine the lure arrangements we place. Last week we had a charter from NJ that we encountered 2 free jumping blues and one white. We presented trolled lures but no bites were obtained. On another charter a white marlin struck a ballyhoo only to be pulled from the fish by the client attempting to vigourously “set” the circle hook. Remember circle hooks set themselves with rod and line pressure not setting the hook like J hooks.
Reef and Inshore
The snapper bite is off the wall at night. A nighttime recreational trip last night revealed a limit of big mangrove snappers in about 30 minutes. The yellowtail bite is also very good as are the muttons in deeper water. Grouper fishing has been spotty with many grouper in the minimum size that are released to grow bigger. The reefs from 20-150 feet are the place to be right now. The night gives a more pleasant experience as the lack of wind and heat are a true test of endurance while anchored.
Flats and near inshore flats
The tarpon bite is still strong around the channels and bridges as well as the occasional shark in the mix. Sharks have been a problem in a couple of bridges chasing hooked tarpon and our practice is to cut the line so the tarpon is not killed by sharks in pursuit. There are big permit on some of the flats we fish but are as permit are. Finicky and evasive . The mangrove bite in the bridges at night is great if you can get just far away from the bridge anglers.
If you want to book a charter contact Upper Keys Sportfishing the recipient of Best of Islamorada 2014 Fishing Charter at 305-509-7745 for a great fishing experience or go to our webpage at www.upperkeyssportfishing.comWe live up to our motto,
“We put you on big fish with fly, light or conventional tackle”
This week has been exquisite in the Florida Keys. The weather has been clear with little wind and hot temperatures during the daytime, allowing for some great fishing this week. The dolphin fishing has been tremendous with over 30-70 fish caught several days this week. The biggest fish was caught during the Doctors Hospital Tournament where our Islamorada dolphin took second place with Upper Keys/Bost team. Angler David Glaskin caught the winning fish. Other great catches by Ernie Martinez Bost Lures and Thomas Kheun made up the overall weight for our 2nd place win. We managed to catch a 16 lb fish that gave us second place overall and second place in size of fish. This the largest caught all week on our charters. This week the dolphin found in large numbers were all 5-7 lb fish. The tuna were absent as well as wahoo. While catching a dolphin a marlin hit our fish and left its tell tail gash in our fish, quick rigging and placing deep in the water proved fruitless. At 100 yards away a billfish free jumped several times appearing to be a white or a small blue marlin. In addition we filmed with Robert Warner, Keri West from Florida Fishermen in a professional video.
Reef and inshore
The snapper bite for yellowtail and mangrove snapper is outstanding having caught multiple nice fish on every reef outing searching for bait. We have not concentrated on catching our limit as our objective has been bait. Friday while fishing over the reef with Florida Fisherman Settin the Hook apparel and Bost Lures they were all in shear amazement over the number of snapper in one of our patch reefs catching one after another.
Flats and Inshore Flats
Tarpon still abound in thousands of fish around the area bridges and channels we fish. This week we did not fish for tarpon as we concentrated our charters on offshore fishing.
In addition this week we were surprised by a nomination and award from Best of Islamorada 2014 for Charter Boat.
If you want to come fish Islamorada and have a great experience fishing call us at 305-509-7745. Where we stand up to our motto:
“We put you on bog fish with fly, light or conventional tackle”
We have caught several Marlin this last month that we have welcomed as early comers in the season. 2 Blues, one about 150 and another about 300-350 along with one White Marlin of about 90 pounds were caught and released. Sailfish have been few as several have been C&R this past month but nothing like the end of November and December numbers. Large blackfin tunas to 25 pounds have been caught offshore weather permitting. We scored well on Yellowfin tuna on a day scouting for Blue Marlin and caught about 8 nice fish with the largest to 40 pounds. Wahoo have been present but have not targeted these fish specifically. The great catches have been slammer dolphin of Mahi into the mid to upper 50′s. Numerous schoolie and gaffer size fish have been taken on our charters. The weather offshore has been very windy this spring and has kept us targeting tarpon more often.
The yellowtail and mangrove snapper bite as well as Grouper has been excellent provided weather cooperated. They are in great numbers along the reef and it is not uncommon to catch a limit of these fish while live bait catching for offshore species combining a great day of fishing. Cobia have been around but not in the numbers we experience in the colder months of January thru March.
Tarpon is the word now as the flats and bridges are loaded with tarpon. It is not unusual to have multiple opportunities in each the AM and PM times. The water temperature is cool enough to fish them all day and at ideal times catch 8-10 fish in an 8 hour day. The norm has been several tarpon caught in the AM and PM. Permit have been on the wrecks and nearshore patch reefs and we have caught permit nearing 50 pounds. Most of the permit we have caught have been on the ocean so the use of our larger 33 center console has been the way to go.
The offshore bite has been mixed due to current and conditions this past month. The tuna bite has been good at the humps depending on currents. The tuna we have encountered have been better finding schools of tuna away from the hump and have yielded larger tuna than the small juvenile. We encountered yellowfin tuna from 20-40 pounds far offshore several weeks ago during their migration through the Florida Straits. Blue Marlin last month were fair catching 2 blues of 150 and a 325 pound blue around the moon phase. Mahi have been good far offshore for the big slammer mahi up to 56 pounds on one of our charters. The mahi we have targeted have been mostly the slammers by following birds indicating the larger fish. This can be extremely rewarding when locating but takes many hours and miles on the water to get a few large fish. Closer in we have found schoolie mahi often needing to release due to being undersized. Bonito have made their presence and are close to the reef.
The reef has been about yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snapper. Depending on tide and current these fish have either been hot or at times the switch was turned off. Sailfish have been sporadic and have not found the true tailing conditions needed to sustain a good migration of tailing fish. Cobia are still present and are caught hunting them off of rays
Flats and backcountry
Tarpon, tarpon, tarpon has been the word most of the month with exception of a few days last week with a strong cold front shutting activity down significantly.
Permit have been on the wrecks and offshore patch reefs and we have caught several in the 40 pound class.
For those wanting to fish with us we are coming into the prime of mahi, tuna, marlin, grouper and snapper as well as tarpon, permit and bonefish.
Call us at 305-509-7745 to arrange a charter for big fish.
The weather has been absolutely incredible. This past week our charters have ventured offshore 1boutn 18-25 miles in search of fish and have encountered good numbers of blackfin tuna on the offshore humps. These offshore humps are sea mounts that when the current finds these humps it brings the nutrient rich waters near the surface with baitfish, squid and the entire food chain. The tuna fishing can be spectacular on the days with good current flowing over the humps. This past week we caught numerous blackfins as well as our first Blue Marlin raise of the season a modest 300lb plus blue came from the deep to our baits. Other fish abound offshore while deep dropping in depths of 300-900feet with electric reels catching queen snapper, yellow eye grouper and golden tilefish. Farther out the swordfish grounds have not yet been fished due to the sea conditions waiting for flat calm and bright sunny days or moonlight flat calm nights.
The action on the reef has produced some nice mutton snapper, yellowtail snapper as well as mangrove snapper. The bite on hogfish has been good to excellent on the patch reefs. Grouper are caught every trip to the reef in nice size specimens but must be relased until May 1. TheKing Mackerel Bite on the deeper wrecks and reefs has been very good with big smoker mackerel catches targeting these fish one day on and the next day off. The wrecks hold good numbers of permit and our specialty is flyfishing for these around deep wrecks and a different way of catching the permit vs on the flats. The permit that have been caught range in the 25-40 pound class. Sailfish have been slow all of January through now, with days of good fishing followed by days in between of catching none. We are waiting for those magical 4-5 days when they start “tailing” and migrating towards Key West with the right wind conditions in later March and into April. These are the days that double digits can be had sight casting with flies and live bait to hungry sailfish. Wahoo is on and off. One day they are on and a good catch and another they are completely off.
GULF AND BAY WATERS
The seas have been relatively flat calm making tailing conditions favorable for spanish mackerel, cobia, triple tail as well as snapper and grouper. The shark fishing has been great with Upper Keys releasing a 300 lb plus tiger shark last week while tarpon fishing. Right now the word is tarpon. We have been catching numerous tarpon in around the bridges that are between 50 and 150lbs on a consistent basis on most trips out. The bay is alive with fish in all areas and several different types of fishing can be had on a day with cooperating tides.
FLATS, BACK COUNTRY AND FLAMINGO AREAS
The fish is redfish with calm seas to be able to spot the tailers and sight cast to them. Snook are here today and gone tomorrow is the norm. The bonefish are few and far between as are the permit, but soon will be found on the ocean and bayside flats as well as the tarpon. The tarpon are in lagoons piled up when conditions exist and finding them is the key. A live crab or mullet entices them to strike and the fight is on. We have caught several large tarpon in the near backwaters to about 120 lbs.
Remember that to get out fishing. You cant catch these magnificent fish, reading about them from home in Nebraska. Call us at 305-509-7745 and we can arrange a trip of your choosing.
Capt Jorge Pinera
Upper Keys Sportfishing has provided many clients with the opportunity to catch some really great fish. We realize that every client expects to go home with that trophy fish of a lifetime as many of our clients have. We are out on the water continuously and know the fishing conditions can vary in as much as as morning to afternoon. We have clients that have booked months in advance for several days that fish one day and score huge and the next two days fair fishing for intended species, even when they have targeted the species to the best time of year. At times we do not catch the intended species no matter what we do as they may have migrated through from one day to the next. Big pelagic fish swim and swim fast and when found in an area today they may have moved 20 miles the next. Experienced fishermen know this all too well and realize that fishing is the opportunity to place a fly, lure or bait fish in front of trophy fish.
We have had clients that say I want Marlin and after explaining it is a 12 hour affair with an 50-80% chance of raising 1 and a hit in one day they still decide to go. Last year the 5 charters that stuck it out caught 4 Blue Marlin one caught nothing. In comparison some clients insist on Marlin and after 2 hours pulling baits they get discouraged and want something else. Well that’s time and distance wasted as snapper live 20-40 miles away from Marlin so much time is spent on the move which leaves less time for baits in the water. Practically every pic of huge fish have been patient fishermen focusing on that species. Yet not all trips do fish behave the same.
I tell all our guests nobody likes not getting the targeted species as much as the Captain and my crew. We are out there using every bit of knowledge to catch wild beasts in their domain. Some fish are easy some are not. Many people tell me I have fished all over the world for X and never caught one. I too have fished for Spearfish on over 15 separate charters and never caught one in over the 15 whole days.
We have a fish menu. It has all the possible fish on it, and, in the menu we have,
“The catch of the day”. “UNKNOWN”
Area fishing holding targeted species. Excellent to Poor dependent on Fish,
Ability of crew to catch you this fish. Excellent
Ability of fisherman to catch this fish. “UNKNOWN”
There are too many unknowns in fishing. At times is incredible, at times its good, at times its poor and at times its just plain horrible. What you can count on is that the Captain and crew always put in their 100% effort for you to catch that fish of a lifetime like hundreds have.
One thing is for certain you cannot catch a fish of a life time in your work place so come and enjoy the ocean and when you are more relaxed your chances go way up.