Few locations offer the variety of fish found in the waters of Key West, Florida. The weather cooperated with warm temps and blue skies. Bruce and I met Captain Brian (aka – Goose) at the Sunset Marina at a reasonable hour of 7:45 a.m. I had booked the All in Wonder fishing trip with Dream Catcher Charters.
Capt. Brian (aka-Goose) holding a Ladyfish.
Dream Catcher Charters offers a variety of fishing options, from backcountry to reefs. I prefer the flats and in-shore fishing versus the deep water. The fish are smaller, but the excitement of the catch is quicker.
Cast and Catch:
Once we arrived at our first fishing spot, Goose gave us a quick “how-to” casting lesson and we were set to catch fish. It didn’t take many casts before a theme appeared: cast and catch. The catching was so serious that soon we didn’t even have time to take photos. I estimate at the end of the day, we caught between 20-25 fish that ranged from Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, Yellow Jack, Porgy and Grunt to name a few of our estimated 12 different species.
Annie’s first catch, a Mangrove Snapper. The excitement was only beginning.
Then came Goose’s announcement. We have company…lemon sharks. How would you like to catch a shark? Absolutely! Goose rigged the rod and we began casting into some 4′ to 6′ sharks. Someone must have rung the dinner bell because before the count of ten, “bammm,” one of sharks took the bait. Goose instructed me to let him run with it. Then, count to three, tighten the tension. When the rod bends, stick-it (set the hook). The power and pull on the line was impressive, breath taking. Four times different Lemon Sharks took our bait and taunted us by breaking the line. But, we outsmarted the fifth one. We got him to the side of the boat before he jerked just right to free himself. They make a powerful statement.
Bruce and Annie showing off a nice size catch.
We visited different locations with depths ranging from 6 ft. to 25 ft., each producing different species of fish. Some, real fighters, like the Ladyfish, who are clever at spitting out a hook.
Key West Grunt. Push on it and it really does make a grunting sound.
Toward the end of our fishing adventure, Goose suggested we try our luck with the Goliath Grouper (Jew Fish). This is NOT a petite fish, weighing on average, 400 lbs. Goose prepared the heavy-duty rod/reel and we began tempting these Goliaths. Before long, one of the giants took the bait and began escaping to his home under the reef. The power of this fish was something I have never felt before. The fish was pulling out line and Goose was urging…”reel, Annie, reel!” Right! I had no chance. I was totally out-matched. Only minutes later, the line went slack. The fish had a free meal. From the beginning, we knew we wouldn’t have the success David had with his Goliath. I couldn’t resist that one! I think Goose just wanted me to experience the power of a fish of that magnitude.
Capt. Brian and Annie with a Porgy, one of my favorite catches of the day.
I love to fish and this was my best fishing day ever. If you are traveling to Key West, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a day fishing these teaming waters. Give Dream Catcher Charters a call at 1-888-362-3474 to book the fishing trip of your dreams. In talking with Capt. Brian, he mentioned that soon Dream Catcher will be making trips to Cuba. Also, August begins the lobster hunting trips. If you like to “snorkel with a purpose,” put this on your summer vacation wish list.
About the Author:
In 2010, Annie Coburn created Fab Placez. In 2014, she changed the name of her website to FAB Senior Travel to better define her target audience, mature travelers. She publishes travel articles from other writers, as well as her own, in order to provide diversity of locations to match the breadth of interest of FAB’s subscribers.