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Topic: Lower Keys Report 4/20/07, trout/bonefish< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
randrums Offline
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Posted: April 21 2007,11:45

Today's fishing trip was, by design, a lot of paddling - about 12nm round trip. I paddled out to Jewfish Basin, adjacent to the Mud Keys. The two things I wanted to accomplish were to catch seatrout for dinner, and see if I could pick a bonefish or permit off the flats - not my strongest thing (yet!). Arriving at the basin, a beautiful sight unfolded - a huge mudslick signaling feeding trout, jacks, blacktip sharks, and many others. I set up a drift and set out a DOA shrimp to slowly troll behind me close to the bottom; simultaneously I put a live shrimp on a jig head and worked that. Boom - a 24" ladyfish (FUN to catch) gobbled the shrimp and started somersaulting all over the place. While reeling him in, the DOA rig went off. Two fish on! I quickly released the ladyfish, and started retrieving the DOA rig.........bingo, a nice 17" keeper trout. By the time I put him in the bag, I had drifted away from the action, so I paddled back up wind, started drifting again, and zeroed in on just the DOA rig. Not a minute later.......boom, a fat 19.5" trout - just in the slot. In the bag he goes. Another short upwind paddle, another drift, pow, a small 14" trout. The tide was slacking and the bite died. OK, on to objective #2. I hustled out to the Gulf side flats, about another mile and a half of paddling, and started prowling the flats. The water wasn't real clear and the wind (15kts) had stirred up the surface, so spotting fish wasn't going to happen. So I set out anchor in 3 feet of quickly moving (incoming tide), water, started throwing a small amount of diced shrimp into the flow, and set out 2 baits - a light rod with 10#mono holding a live shrimp on a bonefish jig, and medium light rod with 15# mono with a live blue crab and enough weight to keep him down. First up (as often happens here), a 3' bonnethead shark pounded the crab. Released him and waited. It took about 10 minutes, and then ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, the shrimp rig went ballistic. After a short fight, I took pictures with a nice little 18" bonefish. Too cool. That was the only bone, but I did catch a few snapper and some sea catfish as well. To add to the fun, I watched 3 other flats skiffs (guided charters) who were doing a lot of fishing, but not much catching.  :p

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RDS Offline
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Posted: April 21 2007,15:55

Sounds like you had a great trip. Any fishing trip with a bonefish caught is worth reporting. 12 nanometers ("nm") seemed to be a bit short on the distance paddled though :laugh: . I had to look up where Jewfish (Goliath Grouper?) Basin was (somewhere in that mess of little keys between Bahia Honda and Key West), and realized I'm not going paddling there too often until I get to retire or convince my wife that we should vacation there where she can sit on the beach...or...um...scenic rocky shoreline.

RDS
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randrums Offline
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Posted: April 23 2007,14:10

pics added to original post......thanks
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PALADIN Offline
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Posted: April 23 2007,16:29

A great day by any standard!!!

:cool:


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Tight Lines and Tail Winds
               Mike
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chefmik Offline
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Posted: April 25 2007,17:13

Randrum..sounds like a great day....bonefish out of the kayak is got to be awesome!
I need to spend some time down there soon.
:chef:


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Chef Mike
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