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Today, I think we were fishing for the wrong fish.

There are many different species of fish here in the waters of the Florida Keys. Different species provide different angling experiences for different people. Some fish are “food” fish. They are sought and caught for table fare. It’s sort of grocery shopping on the ocean. Grouper and snapper are some examples of these. Some fish are strictly “trophy” or “game” fish.  You catch them for the challenge and release them. Sailfish, Barracuda, and Tarpon are a few of our most popular “catch and release” fish.  Many of our fish are both a challenge to catch and good to eat. The Wahoos and Dolphin we have been catching fit this category.

As the Captain,

It’s my job to direct people toward the “right”
kind of fish to fish for. I always ask what people are looking to get out of their day on the water. Once I know that, hopefully, I can steer them toward a fishing experience that will satisfy their goals.

Today, my group was looking for action

they could also take home for some dinner. Considering the conditions, either Yellowtail snapper or Dolphin would give us the best chance of accomplishing that goal. I suggested we go looking for Dolphin. Dolphin fishing has been good lately. I didn’t go offshore yesterday, but one of the boats that did found some debris with a lot of fish around it. I figured it was worth a shot even though we only had a 4 hr trip. IF we fished for Yellowtail snapper, we would have to anchor and only 2-3 of the 6 would be fishing at one time. With dolphin, we would be trolling with 6 lines out and always the chance that everyone would have a fish on at the same time.

Frankly, I should have gone for Yellowtail snapper.
We started out in 200 ft of water

and headed south looking for birds, debris or weed. Anything to indicate some dolphin might be around. We did see some frigate birds, which is a good sign. But they were flying up high, which is not a good sign. I trolled out to 750 ft of water without a bite and time was getting short. None of the other boats that were fishing out deep were catching any dolphin either.

With time running out,

I ran back inshore and fished the shallow reefs just trying to get some bites. Hopefully, we could catch a Kingfish, a mackerel or maybe even a grouper or mutton snapper. Nope! We did end up getting a few Barracudas. A couple were decent sized, but it was a tough trip.

I did hear of a decent number of Sailfish

being caught, but I wasn’t fishing for them as they are catch and release and not “food” fish, I wasn’t really fishing for them. I was fishing for the Wrong fish. The one that wasn’t there. Tomorrow, I have a full day. Hopefully,  we will be fishing for Sailfish or Yellowtail Snapper. I’m not planning on heading out deep.