Well again the weather and Catherine’s work schedule don’t mesh, woke up yesterday and the wind was blowing 7 knots. NOAA had predicted 15-20 knots all weekend, and here it is blowing less then ten. I was kind of skeptical because of the west wind yesterday, which usually makes the vis shot. After a little debate, I headed out around 10 with Lou. We headed due south out of Key West and found clear blue water pushed all the way into Hawk’s channel. Freaking awesome. The lack of current allowed us to throw the hook on one of the huge coral/rock formations and both jumped in.
Immediately we were surrounded by yellow jacks. I shot one one big one right off the bat and Lou shot a curious grouper that came in to see what was wrong with the jack. I threw the jack in the boat and then shot a mutton snapper that came in to eat the guts from the jack, and then shot a dog snapper that came in to eat the guts of the mutton. After that we moved to the next rock and kind of repeated the action: shoot a big jack, let it run around on the bottom until a grouper comes to see what it is doing, then on to the next rock. The third rock was swarming with cero mackerel and I got a massive jellyfish sting all over my face. At the fourth rock, the vis had silted up and we headed out to find clearer water.
We hit some shallow live bottom spots but the muttons just were not there, and shooting hogfish sucks so we left to go deeper. We anchored in 50 feet of water, taking advantage of the lack of current and clear water. We cut up a big barracuda and then waited for the fireworks to begin. It took a minute but then the fish showed. First came the sharks, then the fish. First we had a couple nurses, then a big lemon and a black tip showed up. Lou shot a 10# cubera, but other then some nassaus nothing else had showed. Then we shot and cut up a couple ceros and chubs to get the chum going more. I shot a 20# king fish which was going nuts with the lemon shark hot on its trail. Rather then pull the fish and shark to me I opted for jumping in the boat and then gaffing the fish. Lou made fun of me for not wanting to mess with the big lemon. Then Lou shot a black, then I shot a nice black but it went under a rock and tangled my line about 50 feet down. I called to Lou to grab his tank and go down and get the fish quick because the sharks were on it immediately. One of the nurses got a hold of the fish and ruined one fillet but the rest was saved. Another kingfish came through bigger then the last one and I missed him. Then the chum ran out and it was getting late and the wind was picking up so we headed in.