Hello everyone, and welcome back to our first report since Hurricane Irma! A lot has happened down here in the past few weeks, starting with a major hurricane, but we are recovering nicely and things are beginning to get back to normal. The upper keys were spared, as the center of Hurricane Irma went Southwest of us, and we literally just missed the worst of it by 20 miles or so. Mainly from Marathon to Big Pine Key encompassed the majority of the damage. There were several homes and businesses in the upper keys that were hit pretty hard, but mostly in low lying areas, or with structures that just weren’t meant to be built where Hurricanes could hit. For the most part, things are pretty much back to normal. Restaurants, hotels, local businesses, and everything in between is mostly back open. There are a few businesses and hotels that are not open yet, and a couple might be a while, but there are plenty of places to stay and eat for sure. Most of the charter boats are back to fishing, and the live music is playing again at the Islamorada Fish Company, so I’d say life is on its way back to the way we love it! A lot of you have reached out to offer a helping hand, or assistance in many different ways, but what the Keys need is for all of you to keep doing what you have been doing! Just keep coming down on vacation and spend your hard earned dollars in our local economy! We don’t need or want anything handed or given to us, just come on down and get your money’s worth! That’s it! We all feel very blessed to still be able to go home, and there are a lot of people in the lower keys that cannot do that anymore, so our thoughts and prayers are with them as they start the rebuilding process. Well, having said all of that I am sure you guys are wondering how the fishing is? I bet you are, and let me tell you that up until this new tropical activity started with the low over the Bahamas and T. S. NATE on the way, this fishing was pretty darn good! The offshore bite on the Swords was good, with at least 2 people I know that went both catching fish over 200 pounds! The Mahi bite was a little slow, but it really wasn’t that surprising with it being late September. There were some fish caught, but with the amount of debris that has been out there, there really aren’t that many fish. Like I said it isn’t that surprising, but the Blackfin Tuna Bite is on fire on all of the humps. Some humps are a little more full of sharks than the others, but all 3 have some really nice fish on them! The deep drop scene has been decent too with Yellow Eye Snappers and Vermillion’s. The Snowy’s and Tiles are closed, so not a lot to choose from, but we are going to go target the Queens this weekend, so I will let you know how that works out! The wrecks and deep reef this week were really good with Mutton’s and Groupers. We caught our limit of Muttons by 10:30 am one day, then 2 nice Black Groupers to 30 pounds the next. Not a ton of Bonita, but a good number of Kings are in the area too, so plenty of action to be had. The reef remains decent as the SW current has been moving well, and the fish have been happy. Seems that not much has changed in this area. Well, that is pretty much it for this week! Nice to be back, and thanks again for all of the well wishes and support!
Capt. James Chappell