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The holiday season here in Key West. That means you get a lot of families on the boat spending quality family time together. These days with way too many kids having their nose stuck in their phone and oblivious to everything around them, it is still as important as ever to actually spend time with kids. Generally speaking, you can tell the families that do things together on a regular basis by the way the kids behave. I am not a parent and I am sure there is more to it, but the families that do a lot together are usually much more behaved.

So we get a lot of families going out for a fishing excursion as part of their holiday week activities. Sometimes it is their first time and a big item on the family “bucket list”. Other times, they are repeat customers back out for another adventure on the waters of Key West Florida. Either way, it is important to me to make sure their time on the Southbound lives up to their adventure expectations.

We had a very nice family from Chicago onboard today. They didn’t have any particular type of fish in mind. They just wanted to have fun and hopefully get some dinner out of the deal. There have been some late season Mahi out deep, but we only had a 4 hr trip, While some boats found some good fish, other boats never had a strike. For first time fishermen such as this family, we discussed it and opted for staying inshore for the higher probability fo success.

Catching live ballyhoo, (baitfish), on the reef has ben working well. So I went with the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Back to the reef we went.

Catching the bait was relatively easy. We didn’t get a ton, but it was enough to fish with. Once we started slow trolling the live ballyhoo around the bites started coming. Plenty of Cero mackerel still around the reef and most are a pretty good size. One of the best things about this kind of fishing is that, if they are paying attention, the customers will see the fish bite. It is usually a pretty good “explosion” on the bait. Cero mackerel don’t nibble. They strike fast and furious. They will miss the bait or bite it in half sometimes. Usually, if you let it sit for a few moments, you will get a second chance at them.

We ended the day with a nice catch of Cero Mackerel, one big Yellowtail Snapper, and a nice Yellow Jack. We released a nice Barracuda. Plenty for dinner and threw some smaller ones back