Spent the last couple days on the water. First on Wednesday Catherine, Luis, and Mike went out with me. We ran out to the drop off in front of Key West and were greeted with 80 feet of visibility and very little current. We anchored in 60 feet of water and threw in a chum block. It was kind of disappointing. Not much showed up this time, a few little muttons, some mackerel, and in the distance Mike saw a shark with two short cobia on it but it stayed away. Mike and I both saw a couple blacks but couldn’t get them in the boat. So after a bit we pulled anchor and headed west.
We hit some rocks in 50 feet of water, and I took a 20 foot shot on a roughly 25# grouper but just grazed his back. He was already running, so there wasn’t going to be a better shot on him. We saw a lot of fish, Mike missed a pair of cuberas. We saw a bunch of sharks, a huge school of horse eye jacks, and a jewfish the size of a small car. Then Mike shot a 33# Amberjack, which had a buddy with him. I probably could have got a long shot on the buddy but instead put a second shot into Mike’s fish. We also saw a big black grouper over 30#. It ran from me towards Mike , then took off. Mike said he saw a wound on its one side that looked like someone had speared it.
As we were going to the next spot, we saw something big swimming on the surface behind the boat. So we turned around and ran back. It turned out to be a 25 foot long whale shark. Mike jumped in with the camera and the rest of us struggled to get our gear on. Unfortunately the shark didn’t seem to like people and slowly dropped deeper in the water column and took off. I had thought by seeing other people’s videos that the sharks just ignored people but apparently not.
Then we went a bit further west. Luis and I jumped in on top of a school of amberjack. Luis shot one and I shot another. It’s going to take forever to smoke all this fish. The three of us worked a couple more rocks in around 50 feet of water and picked up some smaller random fish, trigger fish, grey snapper, hogfish. Then we noticed the approaching storm, and headed in. We made it about halfway home before it hit, and the ride in really sucked. 30 knot winds, rain, it was terrible, but we made it.
The next day we woke up and saw it was flat calm out, so Catherine and I debated going out. Then Luis called so we were going, then Jason appeared at our door right before we left, so he jumped on too. We didn’t go far, just in front of Key West. We anchored in 65 feet and used the rest of the chum I had. Again no big payoff, tons of bait , yellowtails and cero mackerel but nothing exciting. I shot a small black grouper but he was actually ahead of the boat and there as soon as I jumped in, so I could have got him without any chum anyway. After a little bit we moved into 30-40 feet of water and drifted. We shot some small fish, mangrove snapper, hogfish, yellow jacks. Nothing big, conditions were great though, good vis, little current.
At the last spot there were rocks with a bunch of crevices that I had seen a couple grouper sneak up in, so I shot a small barracuda and chopped him up, to see if the grouper would come back out. They didn’t, but a fired up reef shark came in and snatched up all the pieces, including a couple which I had just dropped . It was pretty awesome having shark swimming and feeding that close, you could tell the shark recognized us and totally knew we were not food, but I kept the gun on him just in case anyway.
Then we headed home, as the winds were picking up and anther front moving in.