Waving the Flag Islamorada Style
Waving the flag Islamorada style means something different down here. It means catching big yellowtail snapper. I had three generations of Hansons from Oklahoma and Kansas on the boat with me for a four hour, half-day reef trip.
These guys have never fished with spinning tackle before. So there was a learning curve that we had to overcome. I had my work cut out for me. Not only did I have to show them how to use spinning tackle but then I had to teach them how to freeline chumballs, how to set the hook and then fight a fish on the gear.
We had flat calm conditions today. The tide was running out very strong and we had good current. These were The perfect conditions for my favorite yellowtail spot. As we drew closer to the coordinates it look like there was another charter boat on the numbers. But as I slow down I realized he was not quite on them. We came tight on the anchor in a quick fashion and started marking fish right away. They were down there!
I deployed the chum bag and started chunking to get the tails going. Most people want to start fishing as soon as the chum bag goes in the water. I don’t like to do that. Instead I wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the chum to get going, depending on the current. Sometimes I wait even longer than that. This time we waited about 12 minutes before we put the first chumball down. Yellowtail can be very smart. If you start hooking them too soon they won’t bite as well as if you wait, let them get used to the charm and start feeding heavy.
I demonstrated the technique on the first chumball and promptly hooked a fat yellowtail . Always nice to get one on the first try. The guys took the coaching very well and after a few strike outs started to muster a bit of a groove. We ended up putting together a nice box of yellowtail which included some bonifide flags which are the biggest models, typically over 4 pounds. We got one fish that weighed 6lbs on the boga. That fish is getting mounted by Gray Taxidermy.
It’s almost the 4th Of July! We’re waving the flag Islamorada style! Book your trip now. 954-629-0211.