Yesterday I mentioned what a difference a day can make in the fishing. On Thursday, we had a great day and fishing was easy. Yesterday, on Friday, not so much. We only caught 3 “throwback” dolphin and we stayed late to do it. Lots of boats, lots of Sargasso weed but not a lot of fish. Today was much better. We did not “crush it” by any means. But we did manage to catch everyone some fish and bring back about a half dozen “keepers” for dinner.
Our biggest fish was a cow dolphin that was about 15 lbs. She should have been closer to 20lbs, but she was very thin for a fish her length. With all the Sargasso weed to act as habitat for the bait, maybe the fish are having trouble finding the bait in the weed. Eventually, the bait in the weed should explode in population. Most species will grow to fill their habitat. Maybe a better way to put it is that a species growth will be limited by its lack of habitat. If there is no Sargasso weed, there is no place for the bait to live and be protected from predators.
Right now there is so much weed, I would expect the bait population to explode over the next year or so. There are vast areas of Sargasso for the bait to hide in. If I’m correct, when the bait population explodes, the dolphin, wahoo, tuna and billfish populations should increase. More food-more fish. That’s my theory, but then again, my “scientific background” qualifies me to be a good cook. So we will just have to wait and see if I’m right.
The group we had fishing today was a bachelor party. Most of the time I recommend bachelor parties go in the afternoon. I generally prefer fishing in the morning, but the bars in Key West close at 4 am. With most bachelor parties, someone always wants to “stay for one more” which turns in a bunch more and everyone gets home at 4 am. As I said, I like to fish in the morning and I usually leave at 7 am. When you get home at 4, (usually not real sober) and you have to be at the boat at 7 am, most bachelor parties will show up with that “not so fresh” feeling. It doesn’t work well. It doesn’t matter what you are catching, if your head is in a bucket, you are not having fun. So for that reason, I recommend afternoon trips.
Today’s group insisted on a morning trip and promised they would be on time. When they called for final directions to the boat on Friday it was about 4 pm and they were calling from a bar. Honestly, I was not optimistic about them being on time for a 7 am departure. l was wrong. At 6:55 up puls their uber and out they came. And to be honest, nobody looked like they had too much of the night before. Everyone looked (relatively) bright-eyed and ready to go.
The group was great. A mix of experienced fishermen and beginners. All had a great attitude and were a blast to have on the boat. The Bachelor was one of the more experienced fishermen in the group and he caught the biggest fish. He let all his friends go first, which was a classy move. I look forward to fishing with these guys again
What a difference a day makes!