This is Captain Brandon Mullar and Lauren Alvarez a couple friends on mine down in the Duck Keys. Brandon is passionate about catching sword fish and is very consistent at catching them especially during the day time.
Here is a photo of them with a 500lb fish caught this last fall.
I also had a chance to shoot a video of how he rig his squid for day and night time sword fishing. He also said it works well trolling for Marlin.
All the clips in this video was shot on the Kodak Playsport back in August. Right after this my camera gear kinda walked away so I didn’t really pay much attention to the video footage I got that weekend. I finally got around to looking at some of it today and it was actually pretty nice. I got some nice Tuna underwater shots down at the Marathon hump. This was not work related just hanging out with some friends down there. Benny, Jeff, Chris Walters, Chris Lewis and Paul F.
With some good lighting that $150 camera did great.
Today was a total disaster. While loading the truck at Black Point Marina in Miami, I let my Pelican case sitting there and drove off. By the time we realized it and drove back it was gone. I checked the 2 marinas that was there and left them my information. I also called the police to file a report in case some one would be honest enough to turn it in.
Tough pill to swallow for being absent minded for one second today. In the black case was my Nikon D300s with 3 lens, my wallet, keys, and cell phone.
As I’m typing this I’m calling AAA to get my keys made so I could go home and canceling credit cards.
If anyone knows anything down there about the case I will be glad to pay a reward for this lost case. My information is in the case as my wallet and ID is n there so hopefully however finds it is honest enough to try to find me.
August 15th 2010
With the forecast in the keys slick calm and the weather in Tampa predicted to be windy I headed south for a couple days.
The first day was spent fishing with Captain Chis Walter and his buddy Timmy. We did some deep dropping. Despite the intermittent rain we got into some excellent bites. Most of species I have not even seen before. Mystic, silkies, big eye, queen snapper and the strangest fish the Atlantic Scombrops.
The coolest however was on the way over we ran into a 50feet hump back whale. As we got closer he gave it one flip and he was gone but not before I got some video and photos though. This goes down as the first whale I’ve ever seen in person and it was the keys of all places.
The next day was fishing with Captain Benny Blanco and friend Jeff. It was so calm we ran the 24′ Yellowfin out 20 miles to the famous Marathon Hump. We trolled the Rapala lipped plugs for some black fin tunas. Jeff and I had a blast swimming with them out there. After we got a few we ran in to find some mahi. It was slow for the mahi but it still cool shooting some underwater stills and video out there.
As we got closer to shore to stopped on some ledges and got about 10 keys lobster to round off the day. A couple awesome weather combined with some excellent fishing, it gonna be tough to be that any time soon!
7/30/2010 : Guest Report by Collin Ross, Florida Keys
I was able to sneak out with some ‘ol time buddies a few weeks back. The three of us had literally not fished together in over 5 years, yet we all fish rather hard this time of year but our days never seem to collide. It was one of those days with lots of clouds and deep blue skies…………if that in fact makes any sense at all. The intermittent cloud cover did put a damper on most of our day but when the sun peeked through we made due with the shots that were offered.
Naturally in the process of sharing war stories of days since gone……………………………we got a few tugs.
they were belly floppin sombitches…………………….
gill rattling sombitches………………………………..
tail walkin sombitches……………………………………..
fly spittin sombitches………………………………..
and some real beautiful neck breakin sombitches………….
Even caught a great white…………..
tarpon in the head, tarpon in the da hand………………
Captain T’s last tarpon trip of the year………
It was great to spend a leisurely day on the skiff catching up on old times pondering what the future might bring for three very different dudes with many passions in common.
Life ain’t half bad in these parts…………..
Every year a large group of fathers and sons head to the middle keys to do some straight up fishing and bonding. Life has been very busy lately and my reports are far and few in between. I can tell you that fishing has been great so far this summer. I know I could have some more details in here but this is all the time I have. Here are a few photos from the past week.
Very mis-fortune when a shark snaked this great fish right from under us….
Junly 5th 2010
The last couple days I was fishing with Honson down south. Our goal was to get some Tarpon and bonefish on fly. The first day we had another friend David McCleaf with us. We tried to get on some Tarpon on the ocean side but the skies were not cooperating for us. They were overcast and visibility was almost one. We did eventually sport some rollers coming out way but getting the fly to them was another story. With the storms and wind building we packed it in right after lunch.
The second day we headed to the keys with Captain Frank, to do some bonefishing. The tide wasn’t the greatest but we eventually found lots bonefish on the flats. The only issue here is they did not hang around for vary long. We had a few decent shots and missed 2 on fly but no hook up. The eventually disappeared and did not return. Disappointed we made the run to the everglades. Frank poled us on some nice redfish opportunity. It was a bit frustrating at first with the winds low and they were somewhat spooky but we eventually got 3 to the boat.
I did get a 2 out of 3 eats on video. I’ll be compiling a quick clip for you entertainment. One fish we hooked in small creek got us all wrapped around a narrow passage way. Eventually after some drama we did caught up and landed him.
I shot o bunch of boat talk on the Kodak Playsport. I will call this series Saltyshores: “Boat Talk Confessions” along the line of the HBO series Taxi Cab Confessions. This is basically a Vlog of us talking BS on and off the boat about whatever pops into our head, just fun stuff nothing serious really. This will bring you to the action or non action as most of the time we’re talking the fishing is probably a bit slow. Regardless it makes for some interesting and funny video.
100211 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL
It is tough to find good seafood in the Florida Keys. Why, you ask? Because with so many seafood restaurants and so much access to fresh seafood, it is hard to chose a place to eat at.
I recently made a second visit to the Key Largo Conch House (http://www.keylargocoffeehouse.com) with my buddy Jeremy after a long and tiring day of tarpon fishing. The first time I ate there was impressive, but the second time absolutely blew me away. The atmosphere is a casual “Keys’y” laid back type feel, but not the touristy sand and island feel that just about every other restaurant has; the Conch House had more of a locals place feel to it. The Conch House is nestled admist a forest of trees, hidden and discreet. Don’t let the bushy “shack in the middle of the woods” outlook fool you though. What lies inside is some of the best food, cleanest presentation, and best service around in Key Largo. You feel right at home, comfortable, and not overwhelmed with that touristy feel like in most other restaurants in the Keys.
This is the place to be if you like a quality home cooked quality meal. The Lobster and Conch Ceviche is a must order item on the menu. This dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and spiced just right. It is a refreshing dish to start your meal after a long day of being out on the water. Couple this dish with the fried cracked conch appetizer and you have the perfect yin and yang. The cracked conch is lightly breaded and with herbs mixed into the light breading and fried to perfection, not too dry, but not soggy with grease, just perfect. The Yellowtail fish tacos hit the spot just right for lunch. I had the Yellowtail Florentine last time for dinner and was very impressed. The presentation was great and the taste was second to none. It was definitely the best yellowtail snapper dish I had ever had. If you crave deserts, they have a selection of home made deserts that are different each day. The home made Key Lime Pie was the best pie I had ever had. It was not too tangy, nor too sweet… the texture was smooth and I actually finished an entire slice of Key Lime Pie for the first time in my life. The Conch House also offers a large variety of different teas and coffee, which they are famous for. Being Asian, I have had just about every type of tea imaginable and I will admit that the Conch House offers some of the most amazing iced tea. I will definitely be back to try the different flavor tea and coffee they offer.
Visit the restuarants website at www.keylargocoffeehouse.com or better yet; next time you are in Key Largo, get in your car and drive down to the Key Largo Conch House for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I guarantee you will be impressed.
I got a chance to do a quick clip of the tailing bonefish footage I got down in the Keys a couple days a go. Thanks to my friend Alonso for putting me on the tails. I got about 2 minutes(unedited) of them tailing total. I Will put out the full footage on the newsletter next week.
2009 was a very discouraging year for me. Never have so many things happened in such a short period of time that brought me disappointment, regret, and loss, but also realization and enlightenment to all aspects of my life. I have learned to be a better father, husband, son, brother and friend. Learning to make the most out of the time I have been given and not take my life for granted was realized. I am sure some of you out there can relate to what is being said.
That being stated, 2009 was a very interesting year also, it wasn’t all bad, and could always have been worse. I adapted to some problems life threw my way, and had some great times. Some good changes to my life occurred and great new experiences were had, as well as new friends made, and many new goals I had set for myself were accomplished. 2009 was definitely a roller coaster ride.
Of course, this is a website dedicated mainly to fishing and photography, so I will spare you the details. The goals and experiences discussed here are all last year’s fishing related hopes and achievements.
Below is an article I wrote last year at about this time for Salty Shores. It was not the usual “New Years Resolution” article, but geared towards fishing goals, as I explained above. I did primarily fishing goals for two reasons; the first being obvious-the piece was for a fishing based website, and second, I wanted to steer clear of the mundane resolutions that everyone always preaches. I am sure those that were reading (if any), feel like me; those articles are redundant, and surely most had read the resolution articles many times already at the start of the year. I was tired of seeing the same old stuff in the newspaper, magazines and television, so this is what I came up with. Even a fishing “resolution” article is a little ordinary to see, but this one is a little different than most. I am definitely glad I wrote it. I wanted to put up the article from last year and evaluate how I did on the goals I set to carry out. Of course, most fishing goals are easier to achieve than quitting smoking or losing weight, but the goals that one sets can be tough nonetheless.
Skim through the old article, it’s not too long, and then check out how I made out.
A Fresh Start-2009
Time for those resolutions. I know, I know. Another article about the annual changes some try to adhere to for the New Year. I have that new diet, quitting smoking, getting more exercise; the list goes on and on. To change it up a little, discussing some resolutions I may actually achieve just a little easier is best. So, this should be a no-brainer- fishing goals. I am an average Joe 9-5 worker. I was introduced to Florida salt water fishing five years ago after leaving my hometown of Baltimore. Moving to Ruskin, FL, I had no idea what was sitting in my backyard-Some of the best fishing in the Tampa Bay area. Ever since residing here I have been fishing at least twice a month, four times if I’m lucky. I have had more bad fishing trips (if there is such a thing) than good, but at least I am out there learning. As with all areas of my life, there are many changes that can be made to improve and educate myself, along with maybe putting a fillet or two in the fryer.
The first thing I feel is imperative for me is to find new areas to fish off the beaten path. The South Shore is pounded by fisherman and women all weekend; usually the “good” spots are covered up, or the fish wise up. Exploring more water to determine where else fish may be holding up is a priority. Learning the backcountry is a good start. The changes in depth, structure, and finding where the fish move during different tides will help me tremendously.
Changing tactics is a must. I have been stuck in a rut fishing the same live baits and artificials in the same ways for years. It’s time for me to have an open mind with my arsenal of unused tackle. If a certain tactic isn’t producing, what could it hurt to mix things up a little? It can’t.
Grouper fishing in the Bay. Having spent little time in the deeper water, the shipping channels of Tampa Bay will be a destination frequented regularly this year. Having just purchased two quality setups for grouper and tarpon, my first heavy duty combos that can handle the big boys will be used repeatedly this summer. I would love to catch my first keeper grouper, bottom fishing and trolling. It will be tough to pry myself away from the flats, but I need to soak some bait in the shipping channel. For me, it will be hard to have the patience to sit on the rocks for a while, but a sandwich and a cold one will help. Trolling for grouper is a different story; this method has so many variables, it could take more than this year to get a keeper running the edges. I will still be giving it a go.
Tarpon, Tarpon, Tarpon. My new heavy action rod for tarpon will have a pass crab or huge threadfin on the hook a few times during the annual run. Believe it or not, I have never even attempted to fish for tarpon. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence, limited knowledge of the etiquette expected while fishing for the silver king, or as with grouper fishing, a lack of patience. Hopefully I will be out this year with someone who can show me the way. Many stories have been told of catching these beasts, mine will be heard this year.
Last but not least, I will be spending more time on and off the water with family, and making new friends to fish with is also a goal. Fishing alone can be fun at times, but it can be unsafe. A bump on the head and a splash in the water is all it takes to wind up on the news. Be safe and good luck to all in life, and fishing in 2009. See you on the water!
So, there are the goals set for 2009, let’s see how I actually performed.
Finding new areas to fish and Changing Tactics:
I figure combining these two goals is best. Over the course of the year, I spent a good amount of my time looking for a few new “top secret” honey holes. This was partly because I resolved to do it, and partly because I had no other choice- it’s crowded out there on the South Shore of Tampa Bay. When you are familiar with and fish a certain spot on a regular basis, the fish may not always eat, but at least you know they are there and there is a possibility of landing a couple fish. This gives an angler such as myself confidence and makes it tough to not throw the anchor at that favorite spot. I forced myself (and whomever was on my boat) to go off the beaten path anyways. Being on the water scouting helped me out considerably. I found a few new, rarely fished spots that produced well. Fishing grounds other anglers would just run right by. Spots I didn’t think should have even been tried. I didn’t find all these new holes myself, some friends helped at times, but many were found on my own and were shared to return the favors done for me by others. I also used knowledge taught by others to scout these spots. Diving birds, mullet schools, baitfish and other clues were used on a regular basis to look for fish. This was a big change as I fished in the open water a lot, not just my normal mangrove lines and passes. Techniques I would never have tried the year before, such as different presentations and baits, lures that I have no confidence in, and different rigs were all used with success. Accomplishing these goals has been a huge confidence booster for me, and gave me the knowledge to adapt to the conditions around me for the most successful outing possible.
To start, I didn’t do much, if any, trolling for grouper that I can recall. I focused all my attention to dropping baits in the shipping channels and deeper portions of the bay. Fishing with my friends numerous times, friends that have knowledge in this area of expertise, helped me learn the techniques of fishing, in different areas, as well as what to look at besides the depth finder. All I thought that was needed to be successful was sitting on the ledge and dropping a pinfish down to the bottom. Boy was I wrong. Now it’s the norm for me to successfully fish for grouper on my own with confidence. I have had success fishing for deeper water grouper in the channels, and even more luck when shallow water grouper fishing in areas I would never have thought a grouper would be hanging around. I really put an emphasis on learning all I could from other excellent fisherman, and putting my time in on the water on my own. Snapper fishing was also a plus; I found many new rock piles and techniques to pursue this fish as well. Overall, bottom fishing this year was great, much better than I expected.
Last year, I finally got off my summer inshore kick, and chased the “Silver King” with reckless abandonment. Reflecting back, when fishing for grouper and tarpon this year, I rarely even brought light tackle gear on the boat. This helped; I had no excuse to give up. After my first tarpon hook set, it was all over; I had the legendary “tarpon fever”.
Using the proper knots, leader size, and even analyzing what hooks were being used was like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. So I finally put that piece of the puzzle together, but there was more. When out on the water, I still had to use my head and as stated above, I had to make sure I didn’t stay one dimensional. Changing tactics and adapting was imperative. I learned that tarpon fishing is not just soaking a bait and waiting. For me, it was trying different methods, baits and conditions which helped me in landing my first tarpon. I can now say with confidence that I know how and where to fish for tarpon, and maybe even land one or two.
Making New Friends and Spending Time with Family:
Over the course of the past year, I can’t say that I have made a ton of friends or networked to a great extent. I really didn’t want to try and become Mr. Popularity, because I’m not. What I can say is that while making some really good friends in 09’, quality has made up for quantity. Considering myself a very good judge of character, I surrounded myself with people who, as a good friend of mine would say, “Are assets, not liabilities”. You guys (and gals) know who you are.
As far as family is concerned, finding the time and spending it with my family was not always a top priority; sometimes this took second. In 2010 it is of a great significance to me, especially after some tragic events that took place last year. The times I did spend with the family were fun though. I finally put my father on his first snook, my family and I had numerous barbeques, camping trips and parties, and all of us enjoyed each other through a year of adversity.
All in all, as I had stated, 2009 was a hard year. When reflecting upon the past years events, I won’t do much complaining about what happened and don’t want to change much about it. I learned a lot about life and feel I have become a better person in general. For 2010, I haven’t really come up with many resolutions. Some of my focus will be put towards furthering my knowledge of writing, photography, of course, fishing. Targeting some new species is something for me to look forward to also. I will be heading down to the Keys for some bonefish and permit action, with maybe a few tarpon mixed in. Continuing to make friends and doing a little networking will also be in the mix, and for sure, spending time with loved ones and making the most out of life is my top priority. We have all heard it before, but life is too short to take anything for granted.