Retirement Party To Remember
December 6th 2022 – Perry and his boys decided to come down from Ohio to Key West and do some fishing for Perry’s retirement next week. They just wanted to bend some rods and have some fun.. According to Perry he chose the InXS for this very important day because she looked like one of the nicest boats in Key West. We hope they were not disappointed.
Winds were moderate out of the ENE. and rain was on the horizon. Overcast skies and a pretty decent West bound current out past the reef to as far as 300ft that we knew of. Water clarity got really good after 150. It was anybodies guess where the fish would be or what they would eat. We started off short to try for the wahoo bite as it was just a couple days to the full moon.
This was our first day with our new outriggers we got from RUPP marine. Garrett and I were super excited to try them. We went from 32ft to 41 feet long and super reinforced. They call them the “Big Rigs” from RUPP. They have been very easy to retrofit and super easy to Tune with some quick adjustments that can be made on the fly in the field.
We let them out and the first baits back Garrett said to me.. “These are nice”!..
Perry was first angler in the chair as we dropped baits back and went on the hunt. It did not take long before our first eat. The hit was on our deep troll (downrigger) bait. The fish hit and ILAND Islander light blue and black. Pulled a good bit of line and Perry fought him well for the 3 minutes it lasted.. No Jump just hard and steady. I did see the fishes black back come out of the water as he went lateral across behind us. Tip came up and loose. We lost him.. Boat was beat but not toothed up. Our guess was a sail grabbed it. Not a crappy way to start the day with some lessons. Perry stayed on as first angler for the next bite. Good thing he did.
Wahoo For Retirement
Still in the hunt we were seeing very little to offer us any hope of an easy catch. After the first bite I was encouraged to keep working the 180-220 ft range as one of the other boats on the radio just raised a sail in the same depth down the reef aways. Then it happened. The deep troll again, the reel sounded like an alarm as the fish was peeling off line on the 30 like it was his. We were pulling a Iland rainbow witch with some flash on wire with a rigged ballyhoo. After the initial run Garrett had all the lines in and the fight began. Perry did an amazing job of the slow and steady power play against a this nice size wahoo shown above. The really kewl part was his buddies decided to spring for a mount to hang that beautiful fish on the wall for Perry to remember his special day. It was a pretty kewl moment.
Moving on from the photos and packing that wahoo on ice we were in the meat and seemingly in the right area to keep catching. Back to the hunt.
This time of the year when deep sea fishing I like to pull naked ballyhoo on most of the spread. Naked meaning no lures or skirts in front of them. Just a good swimming well balanced piece of meat on my outrigger lines. With the lack of baits I was seeing the natural approach was my best bet to be loaded for a possibility of a large mahi or sailfish this is a great all round option to catch another trophy.
We got bum rushed by a sail that was pretty tricky to start with. Came up knocked the bait out of the clip and managed to eat without getting hooked. This happened one more time as Garrett was cussing at them for taking his artwork of perfectly rigged ballyhoo swimmers and not rewarding us with another photo op. Then it happened. We got smashed Hard!
Don’t you just love it when a plan works. I know I do, especially when it puts a sailfish like this one in a guys arms for the photo. This fish ate two of our trolled naked ballyhoo baits and took the second one to the hook and ultimately being made famous during his photo session. Jeff did everything right as this sailfish fought gallantly to try and get away. He brought this fish to the back of the boat where Garrett was waiting to slide him right in through the door. EXPZ – no heavy lifting super easy on the fish and we get to pull the hook, grab a photo and slide him right back in the water where we can revive him to go fight another day.
As we kept hunting we had another sail that did not make it to the photo op but the angler got the best part of him before he spit the hook at the back of the boat. Then we raised another sail that was pretty tricky. He managed to knock down and eat three of Garretts perfectly rigged baits one at a time. Always missing the drop back and sneaking away with a fresh lunch. I was very entertained listening to Garrett mutter obscenities at these sailfish for making him re-rig.
A really fun day with a great group of guys on board the INXS.
Check out my Key West Fishing Calendar to see what month works for you. December fishing is great when we have the weather. This year so far it has been unseasonably warm and perfect. Later in the month it can be quite busy. So, if you are thinking about fishing here in Key West on Christmas week.. Call us soon so we can set you up in our schedule or help you find someone that will get you out.