May has been opened to be booked for 2022. It was mostly filled with my regulars and customers looking to mount fish, but there are a handful of dates possibly. You can book open dates by calling Bud n’ Mary’s Marina at 305-664-2461 and asking to book Capt. Rick. If I’m not available I recommend Capt. Brandon Storin. I am opening June to customers looking to mount trophy fish now, and they will be open to the public roughly a month ahead of time. If you have a dream of catching & mounting a trophy tarpon please email me to get your dates locked in! Sign up to my mailing list to get notice when I open up more dates later in the year. I’m sorry I know this may be frustrating for some, however with a family myself these days I’m wanting to be more available for things that come up during our busy time (February through June), and I know I won’t have a problem booking those days out with a months notice. So I will be referring everyone to Brandon who is running my other boat, otherwise if you want to wait and try to book me short notice I’ll be posting on here and instagram/facebook when I’m opening bookings – it will likely be a month ahead of time (So for April, I’ll open things up likely in early March sometime).
IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park. You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park. Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one. You can also purchase an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov
Have caught a couple size XL snook the last couple times out into the backcountry. My dads buddy pete caught a PB close to 40 inches. We also caught a couple others in the 36 inch range. Here is a cool video of his epic catch! Good to see some of the ‘big girls’ showing up as they’ve been a little harder to find the last few times we were out in the Spring. But summer time is often good for snook fishing and the big ones come to do the spawning. We had good overall snook fishing yesterday as well catching some nice size fish in the creeks on pilchards, and plenty of tripletail floating around off the backcountry beaches too. If you are wanting to come down this summer drop me a line, I’ll probably book some stuff ahead of time for August/September time frame. June I’ll open a few days soon as well as July in another month or so.
Well we got out just before this last front came in… one of the coldest we’ve had in over a decade! It got to 45 degrees in Islamorada, brrrrrrrr. I got out with my dad and friend Ron Modra for a fun day riding in the leading edge of this cold front. Didn’t really know what to expect… Often with my dad we’ve gone ‘trophy hunting’ as we’d put a lot of time in specifically targetting larger snook, redfish, and drum and had good success the last few years with that. However this last year and couple months in particular it hadn’t been very good for us, and usually the winter time after cold fronts was always the best time. So we didn’t know what to expect but on this day several areas we fish were loaded with cobia! Very interesting and we ended up catching a half dozen or so, and lost a few others (1 got eaten by a shark!). A couple fish were in the 35 to 45 lb range. Just amazing to see and awesome to do on light tackle as well. We got the biggest one after quite a the battle he went around 2 lobster pot buoys, almost got eaten by a shark, and then we were able to get him in a big landing net. Now this front we’re experiencing now I’m sure will put an end to this, but when it warms back up hopefully a few of these ‘brown bombers’ will be hanging around in the near gulf. February is fairly booked up for me but I’ll be opening days for March probably this week, so check your emails I’ll be sending out that blast email to those on my mailing list who want to book dates.
Well we’ve had our first handful of ‘cool fronts’ here one right before Thanksgiving, and another one just recently after it. I say cool front as it only dropped down into the low 60s and not a ton of wind – but that’s a good recipe for fishing as with the lighter winds it doesn’t churn up the backcountry waters too much and the cooler temps often bring down some of the winter time species redfish, drum, snook, and more. I had some epic fishing recently with my dad and two sets of customers. Some very big snook showed up with pops as well as a few big redfish and had a large cobia get eaten by a shark – that was all a few days before Thanksgiving. I was then out of town for a week but just fished the last two days after getting back and as mentioned another mild front brought water temps back down into the high 60 degree range. A good number of decent size black drum showed up, as well as a few more ‘bull’ redfish in the 20-30 lb range! Also got a tarpon for the SLAM today as well. Some big snook as well. Just awesome to see we played with the ‘big boys’ all day on both trips, and boated close to a dozen yesterday and well over a dozen today. Always nice when you can just focus on big trophy fish all day though definitely not an every day occurrence so don’t always expect that! But the next few months when its colder and calm weather it’s definitely possible and a lot of days we at least get a shot or two at bigger trophy fish like this while spend the rest of the day on the numbers of smaller fish.
Been getting out here & there it’s finally started to slow down just a little bit here in the Florida Keys. We had an incredibly busy off season with people flocking south for the warm weather and ability to enjoy safe activities like fishing! I’d been off a few days though recently with having my whole family battling flu. But yesterday my dad and I got out with legendary Capt. Bouncer Smith for a fun day of fishing. Another cold front had hit us not super strong but it got into the mid 60s sunday night and a 15 mph north breeze. We just brought some shrimp along with us for bait. Fishing was a little tough but we worked at it. We ended up picking about a half dozen redfish, half dozen snook, small goliath grouper, and a tripletail fishing around some various shorelines in the backcountry. So again some stuff to catch but definitely no red hot bite for us anywhere and i figured the water was cool enough that the fish would eat shrimp fine (it was 68 degrees). But sometimes when the temperatures fluctuate like this early on you get some periods where the fish just aren’t super happy. On the way home we stopped and got lucky we found a few big snook that were happy and Bouncer caught a nice 10 lber and lost a bigger one. Then I got a whopper close to 20 lbs I would say! Fantastic way to end the day and a little unexpected unfortunately the big fish have not been super cooperative these last few months, I’m hoping after it really gets cold some more will show up but time will tell. But good to see a few around and fun day on the water with two fishing legends! I’m pretty busy through the end of the month and out of town for Thanksgiving anyhow, but I do have some days come early December so give me a shout! Plus Capt. Brandon has been doing well on the seacraft too.