May 2021 Fishing Thread

Post your reports and questions here. Get out and get on 'em!

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

I went offshore out of Wilmington on Sunday with Captain Rick Croson of Living Water Guide Service. He runs a 41' Sea Hunter with triple Yamaha 350s. We were hoping to target tunas on poppers. Not much flying fish activity so we started working some jigs but didn't have a drift at all with wind and current opposing each other. Moved around to deeper waters around 350' and marked some tunas deep and also bottom fish. I caught a small scamp grouper on my new slow pitch setup. Which was my first grouper ever. Switched back to speed jigging setup to target tunas more. Hooked into beast 50-75 off the bottom and got completely worked and sharks got to the fish before I made much progress. I assumed it was an AJ but I reeled up about 10 lbs worth of a gag grouper head. Captain estimated it would have been a 40 lb gag grouper. The state record is 48 lbs. Got the hot rod for a bit catching a bigger scamp grouper, silk snapper, blueline tilefish. Other exciting things happening during this part of the trip a wahoo hit a jig right at the boat and 15 seconds later was gaffed and in the boat. A smaller wahoo was also caught on the jig. A couple of 20 lb gag groupers were caught. The bite slowed down on this ledge. We headed back to the tuna rocks to end the day. We put out some Halco 130s to troll while looking for flying fish. All 3 went down about a minute into trolling. Got two of them and one got cut off. The other guys got a few more on the jig but I was committed to the popper and that bite never came before having to head back. Will add pictures when I get them from the mate and one of the other guys on the trip. Here's a link to the youtube video of the trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUlgA_M5g8w you only see me grimacing with that big grouper in the video haha

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Pretty work. Some of those sea creatures are too big to be horsed before the taxman comes.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Yeah it was big and felt like a big AJ but I also need to lift hard and be able to handle the heavy drag.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I don't see the tile in the last pic. Did it have to go back? I LOVE me some Golden Tile. Was wondering if the blueline tastes similar. It sure looks similar (with no golden specs and less head density).

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

It's in the top left. Never had tilefish before. I had some parmesan crusted wahoo last night which was amazing.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I know it is hard to believe, but tilefish is even better. Tilefish and tautog, prepared by someone who knows what they are doing, are at the pinnacle of my fish eating (I don't each much.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

My top 4 would be Mangrove snapper, spanish mackerel, flounder, and tautog with tautog being top dog. Tautog if well prepared is amazing and unbelievably good for a fish with human teeth.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Spanish are up there, and I have not had snapper. Flounder is too flakey for me.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Never had tautog, I'll look forward to having some tilefish then. I know they do headboat trips out of Rudee for Tilefish deep dropping in the summer.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Yep, there it is. Sorry i missed it. I havent had blueline tile, but golden tile are similar and eat similar. The taste and texture is lobster like. A-Fin- MAZING! Enjoy!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Finally got pic of grouper head

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Damn! That's huge. Look at that mouth (the fish's... 馃ぃ). Shark got a meal!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

That is incredible, what a huge fish, I bet that was a scene!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

The sharks got it probably 200' down so couldn't see anything. Just reel up a big grouper head.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Fauuuuuuuuuuuck!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 馃帲

Uh Oh competing may fishing threads between French and 3rd Gen. Run for the hills!

I was just too excited to post my offshore report haha

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I am going to try cobia fishing off Buckroe Pier for the first time in a week or two. I have been told that you utilize a drum fishing set up, with a longer leader and a live threadfin. Any other pointers?

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Zman plastic bottle test result posted in April thread...

Weldon striper run is on, per social media.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Loading up for Florida gulf surf fishing finally as the trip approaches. Curious what people think bigger Jacks might hit from the shore I have gotten the opportunity to borrow a long range spinning rod to reach out a bit more and have a bunch of sting silvers I use for blues and was planning on trying them at least but other than that I was thinking maybe some bigger plugs. Does anyone have any thoughts on what else could be effective for cruising jacks?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'd bring some poppers for Jacks. Tsunami makes a decent popper for 7-8 bucks. Diawa SP minnow or XRap would be good as well.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Got me thinking I may have a few jumbo poppers that we used in the north east for stripers that could work. Also got some 1-2 ounce spoons that should do the trick. Also might grab some of the jumbo zman swimbaits as well to give me weight to cast to them and rip them along the subsurface to get a hit.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yep I think those would work. Big swimbaits should work too. You could also go with a different brand swimbait that's more dense which will cast better than the Zman.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

They love those 10" Zmans I threw them on TT Headlock 2 and 3oz just for casting distance and ripped them in as fast as possible. That and just wildly retrieving poppers gets hit every time when they school up.

(add if applicable) /s

Curious which colors you used anything other than a natural houdini or chicken off the chain color?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I used Smoky Shad.

Turns out those Mag Swimz are only 8" but they worked really well. They swim true even when you burn them in.

(add if applicable) /s

Got their biggest swimbait the mag diezel minnow at 7 inches and one pack of the TT headlock 2 oz heads to try out. Greentop was out of most of the decent colors I like but luckily I still have a few packs of baits so they should last the week. Going to hit up bass pro for a popper as the only ones greentop had we 19$ and I cant pay that for one bait I may only use a time or two.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

$19? Don't start musky fishing!馃槀

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 馃帲

Only time I plan on musky fishing is with someone elses tackle not my own I cant throw baits that expensive for fear of squirrel fishing with it,

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Tsunami poppers are half that price if they have them

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Yeah I did a double check that they have them hopefully they still do otherwise I'll just stop at the couple of tackle shops between here and ft myers and find one.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Would people recommend using a flouro, mono, or metal leader when chucking this large of a popper? Never chucked stuff this size and would prefer not to lose it easily. I have metal leaders I typically use for when I'm chucking silver for Spanish but I'd think something heavier or tie it straight to the 50lb braid I have would be fine

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'd use 50-60 lb mono. 2-3 foot leader. Mono is better for topwater because it floats.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Thanks, I've got some 40lb flouro but I'll stop and grab a thing of 50 lb mono for that and for using for spanish if theyre around and the water gets really clear.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

You're welcome. I think 40 lb flouro would work fine too. I've used flouro for topwater a bunch trout fishing.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I'll go 50lb mono for the plug atleast I'm only bringing one so atleast I want it to last a little bit. I would tie it to the braid but I want some shock absorber at the bait to not risk a snap.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yep, I wouldn't tie directly to braid when targeting bigger fish and in clearer water.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I remember buying a Rapala back in the day for $5 and thinking that was expensive...

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Pepperidge farm remembers those days. Hell I remember the old greentop all tight and packed and trying to bring myself to actually pay the full price for a tiger rapala.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I had an old jointed one in that color and pike would eat it all day every day. I think it's still in my old box probably needs new hooks but man that color or the fire tiger color killed it

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Jacks will eat anything. Just it get in front of them

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Going to try and focus on the surf stuff more this time and work with what I learned last trip to try and get more on the fly and more bigger fish hopefully. Had alot of fun going in blind but I can definitely reduce my tackle needed knowing what I need/ dont need now. Last trip I had 6 rods and 2 fly rods and an ungodly stash of tackle this time 2 rods and one fly rod and a manageable pile.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I took 12 fly rods to the Keys. I ended up using 4. I only took 3 spin rods and 2 spares. Used the 3 but only because there were three of us fishing. I'm trying to pair down my tackle needed on these trips.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'm bringing my 9 weight and my kraken and some 30# and 50# flouro for leader and my salt fly box is all this time aside from my backpack of terminal stuff for spining rods. The fact we have to ferry to the house limits what we can bring which isnt the worst for an overpacker like me.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

This! Some weight to get it out there is essential.
Once in Indialantic, FL, I was throwing a 7" surface plug with an offshore wind at dusk for big jacks. It was a walker with rattles in it, so had to work it constantly, but it got hits. Caught one, about 20" long, great fight. Then recasted with the wind, really got it out there, started walkin it, and a huge king mackeral blows the lure out of the water. That fish was at least 6 ft in the air. Missed hook set. Damn! So, i casted it again, started walkin it, BOOM, same fish does it again! And, another missed hookset. No repeats, damn.
That fish was every bit of 4 ft long.
Go get em!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

I'm definitely going to be trying this now, I have a greentop card and I'll be stocking up on a few surface and large spoons as well in case I can find some spanish mackerel as well. Would love to get a jack or something to eat on the surface that would be unreal.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Didn't make the trek to Hampton this AM because I woke up at 5:00AM to a half dozen emails from Singapore and Wales that I needed to address. I hope everyone is catching this weekend.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Weather is being weird. I'm prepping the boat for the guide season.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

For anyone that wants a sweet fly rod for bass, I'm selling my used Redington Predator 7'10" 6 weight. It's been sitting for years not used amongst my other 30 fly rods, so I'd like to unload it. Very good condition, $100.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I made the internets again... man I hate my voice.

Flymen Fly Fishing Podcast with Scotty Davis

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I'll be heading to Lake Erie at the end of the month to chase smallmouth in and around Presque Isle Bay. This used to be an annual trip but I haven't been in about 5 years. COVID and work have absolutely wrecked my fishing in the last year and a half, and this will be the first serious trip I've taken since 2019 (shit). Trying to load up on tackle and I'm in the market for a new spinning combo as I'm down to one good one and several older ones of varying quality. Hopefully the smallmouth will be up on the flats and hungry. Generally the bass are in all stages of the spawn during this time, and the action can be awesome if the weather holds out. I'm ready for a good trip in a bad way.

Recently got a new finesse rig for river smallmouth and got a 6'-6" Medium fast action st croix triumph and matched it with a shimano nasci 2500 and its so good for small baits to medium baits for smallmouth. Ended up with line and all being under $200 so its a good budget choice.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Sounds like what I'm looking for - I'll take a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

What type of fluro are you guys throwing? I've had mixed results in the past and typically stick to mono and braid given the areas and types of fishing I do. The water in Erie can be gin clear and my focus will be on light line (6lb-8lb) and finesse presentations. Mainly throwing drop shot rigs, small tubes, wacky rig, etc.

Honestly even in the clearest of water I steer clear of flouro unless its a leader. I really dont like how it binds and knots up so easily. The number of birds nests you get with it arent worth it when mono works just fine. I stick with 10 lb big game trilene in clear color for my 2500 reels and I'll up to 15 on my 3000 size setups as they double for specks and stripers in the salt. I think youd be fine going 6-8lb clear mono and have plenty of luck I do a massive amount with tubes and stick baits on the bottom in clear water and do just fine with mono but if you can handle flouro go for it. I'm also cheap as crap so the cost of flouro vs mono is a big point to me.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Shimano Nexgave rods are a good budget choice too. I was really impressed with the performance of the Nexgave I got my nephew. He was outcasting me (he is 9) with that rod and a 1/2 oz shad dart vs me with a St. Croix Premier ML.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I'd use 10 lb braid and a flouro leader. The sensitivity you get with braid is unmatched in my opinion.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I've finally converted and man do I love it but the only place I wont use it is on a baitcaster or on my river rods as braid in a moving boat is a pain. For saltwater though I've switched over entirely to bass pros pro braid as it casts so smooth even better than 832.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Bass pro brand braid is good?

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

It's power pro I forget the brand name I usually get it at bass pro but it's what we use on our salt gear now a days and it casts so smooth. I'll dig it out tomorrow and let ya know the brand

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thanks to my Maryland buddies who wanted to catch sea mullet, I hitched a ride in the back of a Prius down to Virginia Beach yesterday. The roundheads didn't cooperate, but a school of nice size spanish moved in off the end of the pier. I caught two and lost a third and got two small blues before the school moved out. Some porpoise I think factored into their absence. After a slow rest of the morning, we moved to Virginia Beach Pier. Better looking water, but it didn't happen. While I saw a couple of bigger bluefish get caught (1-2lbs), I only managed one snapper and one sand perch.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

On the road to Alabama with the Titan in tow. Me, my dad and brother-in-law are going to Guntersville for the week to try and bag some hogs. Weather is supposed to be drop dead gorgeous.

Update: bass are tough to come by down here right now. Talking with some of the pros here for the Bassmasters and seems they're struggling to find the bite as well. Someone's found it, 22-23lbs today for the first day of the tournament, but a pile of guys sitting around 14 with a full bag. We're catching fish, but nothing of any real size. Biggest thing I've caught was about a 6-7lb catfish...which was heartbreaking when I saw it lol going out tonight, gonna toss some frogs on some grass beds; showed some potential last night when me and dad went out.

But, I've been kicking the shit out my dad and brother in law on the golf course, so, that's good.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

SWFL report from last two days, strong easterly winds have kept the gulf crystal clear and calm making for picky eaters. Snook on the beaches are turning everything down even live bait. Flies haven't tricked one but got a look or two atleast may size my leader down a bit as the winds are supposed to hang out of the east all week. Most catches are speckled trout and everyone out in their million dollar rigs is running around with popping corks so I assume that's the main bite right now as little else seems to be out in the surf atleast. The beaches here seem to be a bit shallow so I don't expect to find many mackerel or big jacks in close enough to cast even though I'm easily able to pitch my jigs and spoons well over 150 yards with the long range rod.

Gulp has been the best ticket with diezel minnows a close second. Probably going to give short curly tails and some poppers a go this evening to try and find bigger trout.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Norm Ziegler 's crystal schminnow is the only fly I've heard that's been fooling snook on the beaches lately. If I (finally) get to go this weekend I'm thinking 20lb bite tippet might be as heavy as I go. Water is SUPER clear right now. They're going to be finicky now through end of June as they have almost nothing but fish sex on their brains with these water temps.

If you're on facebook, I highly recommend joining the Florida Salt Water Fly Fishing group and the Fishing Report SWFL group. Really some great info in there most days.

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

Norm Ziegler 's crystal schminnow is the only fly I've heard that's been fooling snook on the beaches lately.

You clearly don't have any of my Cone Head Gurglers...

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Haha, I do not. Wouldn't mind giving a few a whirl!

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

You gotta pay the big bucks for these. No, I am not kidding. This is the one pattern I have never released publicly on socials. So good I've had clients clip them off and put them in their pockets and claim I tied a bad knot. Those clients have never fished with me again via my choice. It absolutely destroys smallmouth, albies cannot resist it and there is no way a snook eating little minnows would either. Best of all, the secret ingredient is Border Collie hair.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I mean, I'm not shy about spending money on flies, so....

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

Just got back from 3 days on the Missouri River with family. Trout were plentiful but my wife, per usual, caught more and larger fish. And she got this tank on her last cast on the last day. Not that she didn't enjoy fishing, particularly fly fishing for brookies, before but it's safe to say that now she's completely hooked and is already looking forward to our next fishing trip. Even better than catching fish was seeing my dad, wife, uncle and brother get more confident and successful with the sport. Hopefully I won't have to twist anyone's arm to go fishing locally anymore.

Great fish! Even better doing it with family and getting them hooked.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

That is a gorgeous brownie. I always loved seeing those brown trout up on White Top Laurel. Way prettier than rainbows.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Stripping streamers?

Nope drifting nymphs.

Nice brown

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I've been perusing marketplace for a 6-10hp motor and a trailer for the boat I'm building.

Ran into a guy selling a pristine 8hp mariner, perfect sized trailer, and an aluminum flat back. So I bought it for a $1k steal

Still looking for that outboard and trailer for the boat I'm building though.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPEk49eDRmS/?utm_medium=copy_link

(add if applicable) /s

and he might take monopoly money

looks like you just have an extra flatback...what am I missing?

Nothing at all.

I'm really just bought the whole package for the motor and trailer. I'll probably end up selling the flat back but the more it sits in my yard the more I like it.

(add if applicable) /s

that was a hell of a deal!

Especially in this market. I know low HP motors don't have the buying pool but there are plenty of great condition 8hp two strokes selling for $1k right now.

(add if applicable) /s

I assume you're looking for a short shaft, correct? Does it matter if it's 2 or 4 stroke?

Honestly I've probably stopped looking, that comment was sorta in jest (also my fianc茅 might kill me if I buy more boat things). The 8 on this will be perfect to go back and forth or permanently bolt onto the skiff in building.

I already listed the hull for that flatback but I took it out today and won't be upset if it didn't sell.

(add if applicable) /s

You're not even married yet and she's already going to kill you for a hobby?

There is no freaking chance in hell I am ever getting married.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Lol it's sarcasm bud. I know you have your anti marriage angst but my fiance is great and supportive of my hobbies.

(add if applicable) /s

I know you have your anti marriage angst

You have no idea.....

Glad you found a good one!

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Throwback Friday! My niece turned 12 yesterday and she asked me to take her fishing for her birthday. After going to a couple of spots I used to fish from shore on South Holston Lake, we found a nice spot on a point with some shade, structure, and a nice drop off. In a couple of hours, she caught a half dozen carp up to 8 pounds and some small bluegills. Awesome morning

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Great catch French, both the common and grass carp are on my bucket list of fish to land. Good looking, beefy fish. Just encouraged me to figure this species out. Cheers!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

If you are on a TVA lake, they aren't too challenging. Find a snag free point that is close to deep water on the main body of the lake. Tie a carolina rig with 10-12 lb mono leader and a size 4 baitholder hook. Throw out a big handful of corn, then put corn on the hook and cast into the midst of it. It usually takes 20-30 minutes and then you will be in them thick. Occasionally freshen up the corn slick.

At least on South Holston Lake, carp are the easiest species to catch. Even easier than bluegills.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I'll give it a go; I head to a buddy's lake house Sunday. Hopefully I'll have a new species in the bag, and a story to tell!

Thx for the tips

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

Yep... shouldn't be too tough if there is a local population. The key I found growing up on South Holston was finding a spot where there was an easy transition from shallow to deeper water. Size 4 baitholder hooks are about as big as you want to get... they can hold 3-4 pieces of corn. Go bigger, you lose bites. At the same time, bring pliers because some will swallow the hook. I would recommend using better hooks than Eagle Claws. I had one snap on a 5 pound class fish. Very poor.

Cast into the area where you threw the corn, and leave some slack in your line. When you see the line move, set the hook when the slack tightens up.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thx again, we'll give it a go!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

Well fellas, its been fun fishing but I'd like to take this moment to announce I will be retiring from the sport as I have achieved all I could ever dream of and now that I have landed a 100 pound tarpon nothing else simply compares. Just kidding of course what else would I spend all my money on to keep my wallet shrunken.

Florida was fantastic as always even if the snook werent very interested in biting. Long report coming up folks so buckle up.

Wind stayed hard out of the east all week keeping the surf side calmer and clear as a neat martini which made snook fishing a pain. But after talking to a few locals and our fishing guide it sounded like the snook were off spawning or in another spot as most people werent finding them in numbers and the few that were around werent very big. So maybe it is a red tide thing or they are offshore a bit on the reefs and wrecks spawning but who knows they were skittish and wouldnt touch anything in the clear water. Even dropped the spinning gear for my fly gear but they had no interest in the mule drivers and multiple variants of the crystal schminnow I had both weighted and unweighted. Luckily the wind did switch one day and blow out of the south churning it up and letting me use some diezel minnows to manage 2 nice snook from the surf but as the wind switched they went back to being picky and a pain.

Luckily the clear water didnt throw off the speckled trout at all and I was able to figure out their surf patterns well enough to widdle the beach to a few good spots and fish them in the right windows of the day with dusk producing the biggest and most fish than the early mornings which didnt produce near as much. Best bite was after the sun had set and the moon was out and our biggest fish all came truly at night when you could hardly see the baits. Managed one 20 inch speck(Finally a releaseover20 for me!) and one that was 19-1/2 or so both on topwater with my new favorite speck bait the chartreuse super spook. Most evenings I could managed anywhere from 3-4 or some nights 5-6 all nice 15+ on the topwater so that added a nice end to each day.

Best day of fishing came on Wednesday when we went out with Capt. Alex Fisch out of Captiva and what was supposed to be a simple day of meat hunting for snapper began with a well lets just go see if the tarpon are biting to two hours of grueling fights later the wife and I both had 6 foot plus and 100 pound plus tarpon boat side and released. Got to the area they were in and roughly 25-30 boats were present and fishing all in a tight area and Alex had no interest in joining the circle jerk so we stayed outside the bubble and setup and within minutes had tarpon rolling all over and after 15 minutes the first fish ate and I got to watch as the tarpon slowly broke my wifes spirit and made her question her own will but in the end after it dragged up 3/4 of a mile into all the other boats we got it beside the boat got a picture and a nice slap from the fish and he was off. The guide was pumped as was I so we went back to the anchor and rebaited and sent another baitfish to its doom as withing 30 seconds of soaking the poor guy another tarpon ate and we were back in business much to the dismay of the other boats. This fish was mine as my wife was crippled at that stage so I gave it all I had and 45 fun yet panic filled minutes later we had my fish boatside. Our guide let me wrangle this one which I'm sure he enjoyed watching it toss me about but I got a few pictures then sent it on the way. Best damn day ever and I slipped up and said that with my wife close enough to hear only for her to admit it was probably the truth for her as well so hell who cares I'll say it again best damn day ever and its not even close. Unreal to have two lifetime fish by the boat and to even see and fight one for a minute was a blast but to land it was even sweeter. Couldnt recommend it more to anyone who hasnt tried it just go do it just for the hookset alone its an unreal experience that has to be had to believe. For anyone in the Captiva area the guides info is in one of the pictures and I couldnt reccomend him highly enough having to run the boat and try and land tarpon by himself and he couldnt have been happier doing it. Damn I envy getting to have that kind of fun for a job.
Edit: Forgot the best picture from the fight.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for the write up and pics!

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Thanks man, every trip to florida makes me envious of the year round smorgasbord they have in the salt.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

That is a hammer trip! Well done.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks man it was definitely a trip of a lifetime, not a bad way to spend a delayed honeymoon.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Great job catching, bud! Wowzers, that tarpon must have felt like a million bucks. Awesome pics!

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

I had instant regret after the first tarpon that I didnt try and hold it or touch it fearing I had missed my opportunity until who knows when I would ever see one close again but luckily I had luck tattooed to my ass I just didnt know it.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

That's a nice Poon! Sounds like a blast man, glad you enjoyed it. Them snook are a pain in the ass sometimes!

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

I want to go for the smaller ones on the fly but I have no interest in a big fish like that on the fly as I'd lose a finger or something like that. Glad I got a 100 pound fish off my bucketlist and where I dont feel I absolutely have to keep chasing bigger and bigger fish.
I tried my fly arsenal but they were getting fished by ever passing skiff and that was like every 15 minutes so I think hey simply saw too many baits and werent that desperate. Feels like everyone in florida went out and bought a hells bay skiff or a tower center console this past year the boat traffic coming from Sanibel and Captiva was nuts, it was nothing to see 20-30 boats out at any moment.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I know that feeling. This time of year for the most part, folks are after two things if they're on a boat- tarpon and keeper snapper/grouper. Especially those that hire the guides. Dad and I went out with a guide a few weeks ago and I asked him how the fishing for snook/trout/reds had been (since I havent been able to go and find out for myself) and his exact answer was "I don't really know, you guys are the only trip that booked for April and May that hasn't specified tarpon as their target".

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

Well done! Folks, take note.... if you wear a Knot the Reel World / Fly Guy hat, you will catch big fish.

#MakeVTFootballFunAgain

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Not sure if its the wife or the hat so they both go on every trip from now on. Dunno what theyre made of thats different but its holding up really well to constant wear and tear.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

DUDE THAT IS AWESOME!!! CONGRATS!!!! those are some bad ass pictures too man

Thanks man, google pixels have some awesome cameras with the google lens to help get the best shots. It never hurts to video and export frames later as well for the action shots.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Headed to Erie on Saturday morning to chase smallmouth. We were supposed to be fishing this afternoon but the forecast for tomorrow is calling for gale force winds and 6 to 11 foot swells. Not ideal in a bass boat. The weather is supposed to push out Saturday with Sunday looking pretty good and Monday looking real good. We'll be heading back Tuesday morning. No idea how the weather will affect the fishing or how the spawn is going, but we're headed north regardless. I'll post a report when I get back next week.

Went out last Friday, hit my normal route of spots...caught a handful of dink trout...lost a lot of dink trout on short strikes. Then witnessed a mass dolphin feeding. about 15 pushed into the creek and worked both banks, strand feeding and throwing water everywhere. Watched that for a bit. Obviously switched creeks. Lost a stud trout at the boat. Then 2 casts later broke off on a PB flounder at the boat because of a lazy leader knot, I'd guess she was 25+" will relive that one for awhile. Sight fished a couple 14" reds pushing into a creek then called it a day.

Boat is coming along nicely. Just flipped it over and its actually much more uniform than expected. Have to epoxy the chines in, quite a bit of sanding then I'll throw some glass on it.

https://imgur.com/800h6XV

(add if applicable) /s

Looking good on the hull, how heavy is it? It looks like it would be kind of light weight to me.

Leader knots suck when they give out I use a albright knot and I've had the main leader loop not sinch and give out and thats a bad feeling.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

It'll be slightly over 100lbs after 10oz glass and foam.

(add if applicable) /s