Underwater video if Mahi down in the Keys with Pentax Optio W30
June 11th 2009
Yesterday I drove down to Key West from Marathon to fish with Capt. Chuck and his friends.(Thanks for Rich Osgood for hooking me up with Chuck.) The objective today was the to get on the mutton snapper spawn this time of year. I met the captain at the Hurricane Hole Marina around 1pm and we were off to fish for bait. It took us about 30minute as we chummed up some pinfish and ballyhoo.
The guys wanted to do some spear fishing so we made a short run to a nearby coral heads. I jumped in with my underwater housing and took some photos but the water just isn’t crystal clear like they are in the Bahamas or offshore. I took some photos they were ok but it gave me a chance to practiced a little with the housing. We dove a few more spots in about 15 foot of water with plenty of life. A couple of Hog fish and yellow jacks were caught and put in the cooler for the spearfishing session.
4pm we were off for the fishing part of the trip. There were plenty of boats at the spawn spot as we didn’t have any problem finding it in the very calm 1′ seas. The bite was a bit slow in the beginning but we pulled a couple Almaco jacks.
Chuck moved the boat about 100 yards and it the fish turned on. Using 5/o hooks, we dropped down bonita chunks on 5oz weights and fished the bottom and the mutton ate well for about 1.5 hours. I think we boated 13 muttons from 7lbs to 18lbs. Quite a good day so far.
The bite slowed and we moved on go play with Amber Jacks. Chuck moved the boat 2 miles away and drifted the wreck with pin fish. We pulled up a couple of 40-50lbs AJ and everyone was whipped and ready to get home.
On the way back we ran across a free jumping sailfish that must have jumped 15 consecutive time. We ran to it and dropped out some live ballyhoo but no go. We started the run back once again and came across a a floating Cuban raft. It looked like it was made from tarp! It had metal platform and a mount for a car motor that extends to a prop. It had “US coastguard OK” sticks all over it.
After a few snapshoots it was almost 9pm. We’re really heading back to the boat ramp to call it a good day. It took a bit to unload the boat with all the fish and gear. Everything went our way today.. the weather awesome.. the fish ate very well and on time. These are those fishing stories I usually hear when I’m not there… I just happened to be there on this one finally.
Well, we are at the heart of this crazy thing known as poon season. From late April until the end of June, fly fisherman from all around the world visit Florida to fish for these oversized pilchards… from Stuart to the Keys, and even up to the big Bend… these migrating tarpon flood our local waters and bring with them stories of horror, excitement, broken egos, shattered realities, increasing obsession, and finally… a sense accomplishment. Tarpon have got to be one of the most coveted saltwater fish for fly fisherman; and this for a good many reasons.
The daily grind in Islamorada for most guides in May and June consists of a day of tarpon fishing. Whether staked out on the ocean waiting for migrating fish or fishing one of the backcountry basins in Florida Bay for floaters… each situation has it’s unique niche to it. But for me, there is nothing like feeding a laid up poon.
This weekend included a standoff with a porpoise at one of my favorite bonefish flats, throwing at lots of ocean poons, and feeding a few Florida Bay fish. 3 days on the water, tarpon tarpon tarpon! We fed a backcountry fish the first day before moving onto trying to catch other species. Spent the 2nd day on the ocean throwing at tons of fish, finally being able to catch a 70lb ocean poon. Today in particular, was a good day. We managed to feed 5 fish, catching 3 (40lbs, 90lbs, 125lbs) in the Florida Bay backcountry. It’s tough to steer the boat and shoot photos at the same time, but though these photos I shot these days aren’t what I call completely satisfactory; they give a good idea and portray how I spent the weekend…
Until next week… stay tuned for more fish porn!