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The fishing has been tough! There is no pretty way to say it! The
good news is that it is turning around in a hurry! I have been getting great
reports of some dolphin starting to show up. I spoke with Capt. Brian Cone
of the CONTAGIOUS and his mate Justin. Brian has just returned from his
knee surgery with a bang! His first trip out he wrangled a big slammer bull
dolphin while fishing on the edge. This guy can find the fish! He went out the
next day and scored big too Capt. Scott Birk and mate Jason on the
ISLAMORADA LADY 2 found a few nice gaffers and a Wahoo out in the
deep on a color change this week also. Even though the wind has been blowing
I decided to give it a try and found some schoolies around the 250 foot line
too! When you get a chance come on down to ROBBIES marina at mm 77.5
and check out the excellent captains and guides that have assembled there.
The CAPT MICHEAL has been sailing three times a day and catching snapper,
grouper and king mackerel. They catch a lot of fish! The cAvr m WHEAL is
a first class operation I would recommend to everyone.
I spoke with Capt. J.R. Rudzin on the CAPT JR and got a great story
about 2 20+ pound black grouper, a handful of nice mutton snapper between
4-10 pounds, and 2 huge mangrove snapper. The mangroves were so big that
an fwc officer remarked that it was the largest he had ever seen! Great job J.R.!
I’m sure those guys will be back for more soon. Capt. J.R. Rudzin sails
from HOLIDAY ISLE marina. He is a hard charging-hard working fisherman
who brings 100% to the table day in and day out! (Not to mention a rack full
offish!) Check him out down at the dock. He will be ready to go The windy
conditions have clouded the water and the yellowtail bite has been good. Capt.
Mike on the MAN-O-MAN reported nice tails on the patches. He has been
sand balling for best results. The same patches have been holding ballyhoo
and even a few nice king mackerel. Time is the key. The problem is you have
to spend a lot of it chumming them up.
There are still big kings out in the gulf as well as cobia and Spanish
mackerel. Don’t forget about the big sharks too! The blacktips and lemons
have been strong. A big blacktip is an amazing fish. They average around 70
pounds and jump and run like crazy! They are great to eat too! There are
plenty of other fish out there to bend the rod on also. There are bluefish,
snapper, runners, jacks, permit, pompano, huge goliath grouper, red and black
grouper the list goes on and on. Capt Juan Garcia of BEATS LAND
CHARTERS and Capt. Rick Cannon have been catching tarpon at the bridges.
The guys have been talking about several encounters a trip with one or two
landed fish. The fish have been running from 50-80 pounds on the average
but, Capt. Juan told me about a huge 175 pound monster he worked over
this morning. There are many great captains and guides all over Islamorada
who can take you out on the water either in the Atlantic or Gulf. Go down to
one of the many marinas and get out on the water and fish! You won’t catch a
fish at home on the couch! Don’t miss out!


I love live bait! There is no greater thrill than to feel a nervous bait
desperately trying to escape right before it is engulfed by a ravenous fish. Whatever
you are after, live bait can be exciting and rewarding. On the Killer Instinct we
are live bait crazy! I have two livewells with oxygen to keep the baits frisky and
happy. I also like to do a lot of live bait chumming. Nothing will fire up a group
of neutral fish like a bunch of “freebies”. I spend a lot of time in the gulf of
mexico fishing wrecks and reefs. The live bait is key to a successful trip.
Oftentimes while fishing, it is important to have several types of bait available for
the many opportunities that will arise while out on the water. A fat sassy shrimp
will always fool a triple tail into the box while a cigar minnow will undo a king
0 mackerel everytime! Pilchards ahhh pilchards; what more can I say except
where are they? I need more!
On the Killer Instinct I like to have my customers with a rod in their
hands. I prefer not to troll (if possible). Usually with live baits we can get the
fish to come right to the transom where we can enjoy multiple hook-ups. Mahi-
mahi are a great example of multiples. Most times we can get the school of fish
to stay with us and we can pick away at them until we are satisfied! Blackfin-
tuna are another example of fast fishing. We live chum with pilchards until the
Lifish come up. Then we catch them four at a time until your arms fall off! Out in
the gulf, I like to catch Spanish mackerel on light spinning rods and live shrimp.
We chum the fish up into a frenzy then enjoy one fish after another until you’ve
had enough! When a big shark shows bp, we hook him, then chase him around
for awhile. The black tip shark is a thrilling predator much like a tarpon with
thrilling jumps and reel screaming runs! There are few greater thrills in life than
to watch a mullet trying to evade a tarpon only to fail after several attempts
followed by wild half hour ride through the bridge pilings.

The only thrill I like more is to see a 40+ pound king mackerel skyrocket
on a runner and then dump all of the line on your reel before you can spin the
boat around!! The Killer Instinct is a 26 foot Angler with twin Yamaha’s
capable of 48 mph. She has a 24.5 degree deadrise for a smooth ride and an
electric head for comfort. Call Capt. Joe Petrucco at 800-375-7280 to arrange
trip of a lifetime!



Steve “The Machine” Spatenga with one of many amberjacks he
caught onboard the Killer Instinct with Capt. Joe Petrucco.
Steve busted one AJ after another until the sun went down!
Those fish didn’t stand a chance. Any mere mortal man would have
stopped by three but not Steve!! yeahhh!!


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