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We had a full day trip today.

It was the same group we fished in the Gulf of Mexico with yesterday. Like yesterday, it was a full day today. The wind had come down as predicted and they wanted to try for different fish so we went to the Atlantic.

Our plan was to get some live bait and fish the reef for a while.

Just looking for some bites and some dinner. If we were successful, they wanted to spend some time looking for a Sailfish or other pelagic out deeper. It sounded like a good plan to me.

The live bait was easy,

I got all we needed in one throw of the cast net. I like that because it means I got to stay dry!

We started slow trolling around the reef

with the live ballyhoo and the action was great. My mate Paul could not get a full pattern out. The fish were biting too fast. We were getting Cero Mackerel on the live ballyhoo. Cero mackerel is the “tropical” cousin to the King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel we caught in the Gulf Of Mexico yesterday with these folks. We were also catching some nice sized Yellowtail snapper on a little jig rig. Only one person in the group was fishing. For the first couple of hours, it was nonstop action. It was a great way to start the day.

Cero Mackerel and Yellow Tail snapper caught in Key West fishing on a full day trip today with charter boat Southbound

About 4 hrs into the trip,

we had plenty of fish in the box and plenty of time left. It was a full day trip so we decided to go looking for that Sailfish. We reeled our lines in and headed south to deeper water. There had been some Sailfish already caught today, so I was optimistic.

We set up with our live Ballyhoo in about 150 ft of water.

There was a slight “color change” just inside of us. We slow trolled our live bait for about 30 minutes when there was a big “explosion” on one of the baits. I knew right away that it was not a Sailfish. They don’t make that kind of splash when they strike. I was thinking it looked more like a Black Fin Tuna strike. The way the fish was fighting made me think it was a Tuna even more. Black Fin Tuna fight down, not out and this fish went straight down alongside the boat. We were fishing with 20 lb spinning tackle, so it was a pretty good fight.

After about 10 minutes,

my mate, Paul, gaffed a nice Black Fin Tuna. Not the Sailfish we were looking for, but a quality offshore fish. We had about an hour left to fish, but one of the group was still not feeling well. She had not been feeling well most of the day but hung tough so her brother could keep fishing.  So we headed in a little early. We will have to catch the sailfish next time