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Well, was supposed to fish back-to-back trips on the YC in Key West, the 1/24-25 and this trip, but the midweek trip was canceled due to only seven people being signed up :)confused:). I flew down on Wednesday anyway and Greg was kind enough to let me stay on the boat on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Hopped on a flats charter on Thursday morning and caught a pile of nice jack crevalle, seatrout and ladyfish, which was a ton of fun. Other than that, I spent the two days hanging out on the boat with mates John, Matt Shawn and Nicole, as well as eating some meals with the Miscos, who had also planned to fish both trips.

The forecast was initially a little dicey, but we left the dock at the scheduled 10 PM on Friday night with about 25 people aboard. We began fishing around 4 AM in a bit of a choppy sea, and enjoyed a slow but steady pick of muttons through sunrise, despite a raging current. I got my first, a 12 lber, around 5:30 AM on a piece of boat ballyhoo, and had a bunch of 'tails as well.

Once the sun came up, the wind died down, but so did the fishing. We had a slow pick throughout the day, with some keeper red grouper and muttons coming aboard. I kept busy first by dropping down a chicken rig and having some fun with yellowtails, grunts and porgies, and then put down a 6 oz diamond jig and caught a bunch of little 3-5lb amberjack, which fight incredibly well for their size!

Early in the afternoon, mate Matt had some time off and dropped down a chicken rig. As he was bringing up a keeper 'tail it was cut in half by a nice kingfish. I put down my mutton rod, grabbed my 20lb spinning with a stinger rig and tossed a live yellowtail out. Within a few minutes a decent kingfish of about 20lbs smoked it and was on the deck a few minutes later. I put another live 'tail down a little while later hoping for a repeat, but instead of a king I found myself attached to a 20lb barracuda, which we cut off at boatside. Still, a ton of fun! Later on, I saw a monster kingfish eat a yellowtail I was bringing to the surface, but couldn't get it to eat a live one that I put out.

The wind died in the afternoon and the seas become practically flat, with just a gentle breeze to keep us comfortable. There were still a few mutts and reds coming up, and a guy on the other side of the boat nailed a 28lb black grouper--on a spinning rod! That fish would take the pool. I had a couple of smaller muttons, again on pieces of boat ballyhoo.

As night fell, the bite picked up a bit, and we had our best fishing of the trip from about 9-12. Furthermore, there was much bait to be caught: flying fish on the surface, which those with dip nets caught, and goggle eyes on the bottom, which were taken on sabiki rigs. Glenn and Kim Misco and I got an assembly line going--I catch, Glenn unhooks, Kim bags--and within about 20 minutes we had 20 fresh gogs in the cooler. I managed two more muttons on pieces of fresh goggle eye, and got owned by what had to be a nice black grouper. The fresh flyers caught a bunch of fish as well.

Around midnight, however, the bite really died off. Eventually, I went downstairs for a "brief nap" at 2 AM, and reemerged from my bunk at 5! But judging from the reports of the handful of anglers still at the rail, I hadn't missed much. The wind puffed up substantially to around 15-20 knots, and we fished until about 8:00 before calling it a trip and cruising home with a following sea. We were at the dock a little after 2:00.

Overall, judging from the comments of some of the regulars down there, it was a pretty slow trip, but I still had a blast, ending up with 5 muttons, a nice king, a couple of decent mangrove and lane snapper and a pile of yellowtail snapper. I also had the pleasure of meeting a couple of the Florida regulars, including Albert, Glenn, Stan and Chuck.

I was at the Key West airport by 5:30 PM and back in chilly Boston by 12:30 AM.

Thanks to the YC captains and crew for making the trip so much fun! I really enjoyed meeting the new mates, and Renata's food and company were fantastic, as always.

I forgot my camera, and used Greg's instead, so I don't have any pictures at this time, but will hopefully upload some in the near future.
 

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Well Will,

Sounds like he gave it his all out there and turned out to be a good trip! that is a **** of a captain to let you crash on the boat! saved you tons of money.. i was going to go down next month but i got wedding bells rining in 10 days! YIKES!!

If you decide to go down there again before then come back(whenever that is) let me know i would be interested in heading down with you!
 
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