We left Palm Beach early in the morning on June 1st as we headed south into some sketchy weather and rough seas. With our state-of-the-art Garmin electronics and our weather mapping service, we were able to navigate several squalls that we encountered during our 7-hour trip to Marathon Marina. After arriving, we had to quickly settle in for our 2-month stay in Marathon as we had five fishing trips planned over the next several days.
Our first trip was with Forloh LLC. It was all about fishing and filming for their new fishing clothing line that they are about to launch. Chenelle and I, toting two cameramen along with gear, set off for our day on the water.
After setting up the drone, we were soon on the reef with snorkel gear pulling a line off our rudder that was floating beneath the surface. This allowed the cameraman to film underwater while the girls were snorkeling.
Soon after, we headed to the Marathon Hump fishing grounds. As soon as we put the lines out, we had fish on. We boated several Tuna before hooking up with our first Mahi. We caught a few more Mahi over the course of an hour when a rain squall hit us.
This gave the crew the opportunity to break out their rain gear line as they continued filming in the downpour as we hooked up and boated more Mahi.
Thirty minutes later, we were back in bright sunshine, and the girls were back in their bikinis. We ended the day fishing with a great big 40 lb slammer Mahi caught by Andy, the owner of Forloh.
Over the next several days, we had several trips with different folks from Texas. We were catching Mahi in the double digits each day, along with 4 or 5 Tuna here and there. Conditions were challenging, with seas ranging from 4-8’, but this is where our gorgeous 62’ Viking outshines the entire fishing fleet.
There were hundreds of trips canceled in the Keys that week, and many of the brave souls who went out were stuck in open boats getting soaked and rocked around all day! Meanwhile, our clients enjoyed dry conditions, caught fish, and relaxed in an Air conditioned vessel.
The highlight of the first two weeks was client Mark and his 11-year old daughter Charley catching her first Sailfish! As with our other trips, we started early and were soon into the birds and quickly caught a Tuna followed by some Mahi. We worked our way offshore, picking at the Mahi all day. At one point, we came upon an area teeming with life. It was an awe-inspiring scene as flying fish broke through the surface of the water, gracefully gliding and frantically scattering as they desperately tried to escape the predator fish below and the swooping hungry birds above.
Shortly after that, we had a pod of porpoise show up, putting on an aerial display and playfully riding our bow wave. It was getting late, so we picked up another Mahi and decided to make one more pass. Suddenly, our right rigger clip snapped open, and the rod started to scream; I instantly knew we had a good fish on! A few minutes later, this was confirmed as we watched the beautiful Sailfish bounding all over the sea. After 20 minutes of aerial action and excitement, we got the fish to the boat for a successful release. Congratulations to Charley Hicks on her first Sailfish!
Finally, we caught a break to catch up on boat cleaning and maintenance. My good friend Capt. Greg Fabrezzi had a day off, and we decided to stay inshore and look for some Mutton Snappers on our day off. What a day we had! Landing several big Mutton Snappers and as an added bonus a rare for a daytime catch, Cubera Snapper. The Mutton’s are spawning until about Mid-July, and it is a great time to target them now.
If you are looking to fish in the Florida Keys this summer look no further than the Rhino fishing team. If you are looking to fish in the Palm Beach area we are available for hire from September-May at the Sailfish Marina. Call Captain Frank at (210) 355-6200 or visit our contact page for more details.