Well the water around Key West has been dirty for weeks and we finally had what looked to be a stretch of nice weather so we headed far west. We had Rodrigo Ferraz from Brazil joining us this trip. We had a pretty good trip but we did not bag any real monster fish.
After driving for forever west we got into clear water – 100+ feet of visibility. The first spot we tried was kind of sparse: cool looking bottom but not that many fish visible. The vis was so good that 50 feet like 25 feet. We had never fished this area so we started doing drifts, I shot a cero mackerel and started chumming. As soon as the chum hit the bottom short groupers started appearing from everywhere. Then came a nice mutton. I started preparing to dive on the mutton and suddenly a 70# jewfish appeared out of nowhere and chased the mutton away. Then came a bunch of nice grey snappers. I shot 3 or 4 grey snappers and every one had to be almost 4#.
While I was bringing up the one of the grey snappers two big kings came in to check us out. Robdrigo had shot a cero mackerel earlier and I quickly chunked it and reloaded. The kings fell for bait and I shot the bigger of the two. I spined the fish so it did not put up a lot of fight. It ran out about a hundred feet of line but then just stopped.
Then we moved and ran another 17 miles west to another spot. After some drifting I blew the shot on another big king. Then we drifted into a patch that was loaded with huge hogfish and red grouper. We shot hogs to 10# and Andy shot a Red grouper that was around 15#. I shot a school master snapper that had to be close to 5#, I should have taken a photo of it.
Then the wind picked up and the ride back sucked. The water clarity quickly dropped from awesome to OK. We dove huge rocks in 60-70 feet of water but we did not pick up any huge fish on them. The waves drove us into shallower water and the vis was down to 20 feet . We found huge heads loaded with fish. We hit one rock were we pulled 3 dog snappers off it, then while doing an aspetto a short distance from it. I shot a baby Cubera. Rodrigo shot a huge barracuda and then permit. At this point the water was so dirty we could not see the rocks we were diving and we headed home.