Finally we got some good weather after a almost two weeks of 20 knot winds. On Friday Cat, Jason, Andy, one of Jason’s friends and I went out. We knew the vis was really bad in front of Key West so we headed out to the Gulf side to check it out. The vis sucked out there as well. We checked the patches at the end of Calda Channel and the Jetties in the northwest channel but it was pretty dirty. Then Fenway injured himself in the boat and we had to take him and Andy in to the vet. Fenway recovered quickly and was back to attacking other dogs and chasing pelicans by that afternoon, even with a slight limp.

After that we headed out to the Atlantic and into the green water. After driving for awhile we found a stretch of the bar that was blue and we drifted it for awhile. It was really fun but didn’t really produce a lot if fish. Jason took an Aj and that was about it. The clear water and school of permit, rainbow runners, and bar jacks made it fun though. I chased around some nice dog snappers in a cave about 50 feet down, but with the current my bottom time was pretty limited and I couldn’t get them. Next we headed west, and once we got past Boca Grande channel the water cleared. We went in to the reef and worked a big ledge. Jason got a yellow jack and I shot a 30# cobia. The water was clear but the fish were kind of scarce. There were black groupers all over but not a lot of other fish. I saw maybe one yellow jack all day, no big mangroves or muttons.

The next day Catherine, Luis and I headed out again.  Instead of messing around we headed straight west and got crystal clear water off the bat. The first big rock we dove was covered with black grouper spawning. I assume they are spawning by their strange unspooky behavior and grouping together. They really behave like different fish when they are grouped up. Hanging around the same spot, sometimes even swimming toward you in a group. Other then the black grouper there wasn’t much else on the rocks: tiny mangroves,  lanes, and big yellow tail. Since our time was limited we didn’t want to run further west so we went south to the deeper water. We didn’t really see much there, great vis not a lot fish. We saw permit, amberjacks, big black grouper but everything else was small or not really shootable. I did actually see a couple of muttons, but in the strong current it was very hard to get a shot on them. I think maybe I should switch back to the shaft with the double wrap for these conditions.

Final day Andy, Brian Lee, Brian’s girlfriend, Luis and I went out in Andy’s boat. We went way west exploring some new stuff. The vis was great again, but again the fish were kind of scarce. We picked up some hogs, several muttons, Brian got kingfish and smaller cubera, some other stuff but nothing huge. Luis and Brian saw a huge mutton but they weren’t able to get it. I had a sail fish and lemon shark suddenly appear out of nowhere and swim in circles around me. Pretty awesome, would have been great if Cat had been there with her camera. Black and Red grouper were all over, some quite large. I really haven’t minded the grouper ban because there had always been a bunch of other stuff to chase after but these last couple trips black grouper have been sometimes the only fish we are seeing in some spots. That is kind of frustrating.

When we left at the end of the day a cold front moved in and we had to ride home in 30 knot winds. It sucked but other then that it was a good day.