CaptainRyanDeansLowerKeysFishingBlog

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Starting June off with a Bang!!

Fishing has been nothing short of spectacular here in the Lower keys for the first 2 weeks of June. Some of the biggest Yellow Tail I’ve ever seen have been coming over the rails of the Triton along with many other species of fish. When the conditions allow and we can get offshore, the mahi bite has been really nice. As the month wears on(after this weather passes us by), continued offshore catches of mahi and reef catches of Yellow Tail and mangrove snappers will make certain that the rods stay bent on bayboat. Oh, and in between all of the fish catching there has been plenty of fish watching on our split day fishing/snorkeling trips that we offer. I hope you enjoy the pics and until next time Tight Lines

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Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Back Country Underwater Exploring in Summerland Key-May 2017

With the weather heating up down here in the Lower Keys the water is starting to look more and more inviting.  With so many options to jump in and get wet, we decided to head out back to the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  We picked some areas that I had fished before but never dove and, after gearing up, jumped in to have a look around.  What we saw was that the area was beautiful beyond imagination and that it was absolutely teeming with life.  But that is just my assessment…..you be the judge. 

I offer these kind of snorkeling trips as a snorkeling only trip, or as part of a split day trip where we fish for part of the trip and then end our day in the clear cool waters of Summerland Key.  So until next time, Tight Lines!!

 

 

Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Groupers and Snappers Here in Summerland Key!! May 2017

May brought with it a pleasant change.  Not only did the weather man finally decide to play nice but grouper season opened up as well….and we have been taking full advantage of both of these provisions!  Most of my trips over the last couple of weeks have involved reef fishing for both snapper and groupers and we’ve been coming back with full coolers, sore arms, and smiling faces!! 

One such trip recently involved a family of 4 who used to fish with me up in Sebastian.  Deb, Jeff, Sam, and Will made the trip south to test out the beautiful waters here in Summerland Key.  We met at my dock at 630am and started our day by fishing my pinfish traps for a pile full of fresh baits.  With the livewell filled we pointed the nose of the Triton SW in search of a hump I had been fishing in 70′ for the previous week.  We get there and set up anchor after marking some nice fish.  I deployed 2 chum bags and we settled in to wait for the fish to come into our slick.  Well, it didn’t take long when we started seeing yellow tail snapper darting here and there gobbling up our chum pieces.  We put 2 anglers on the drift rods in the back and 2 anglers in the front on heavier tackle aiming at grouper.  We didn’t have to wait long until yellow tailed gold started making its way into the cooler!!

We cycled through anglers so everybody had a chance to catch some of the hard fighting yellowtail off of the stern while we were waiting for the big bite on the other rods.  Well, it so happened that Will had the honor of holding the big stick when it bends double!!  With a little bit of coaching he made short work of the big fish and a roughly 20lb black grouper joined his yellow tailed cousins in the box!  We stayed there for a little while longer but by this time the sharks had showed up and were getting more of our catch than we were.   So it was off to greener pastures. 

We made a quick stop at a wreck and started deploying vertical jigs in the hopes of inviting a blackfin home for dinner.  The first jig down gets hammered and I think were on the fish but up pops Mr. Blackfins not-so-popular cousin the Bonito.  While they are great fights they are not great eats so into the cooler he went to become bait later on.  The next bait and the next jig down resulted in the same thing…..an almost instant hookup and an equally quick shark attack.  There isn’t much fun in feeding all of your tackle and your fish to the Tax Man so we pointed the nose of the Triton towards bluer waters.  With a 6 mile run to the deep drop spots we deployed a trolling spread with different color skirts and started the troll to our next destination.  It didn’t take us too long to locate a nice weed line in a little over 300 feet and we turned to follow it.  Almost as soon as the lines came straight the port longline starts screaming and a good sized cow starts putting on an aerial display!!  Jeff grabs the rod for what would have been his best Mahi to date and starts working the fish to the boat.  Well, Jeff did everything right but it just wasn’t meant to be because after getting the fish into gaff range it ran under the boat, jumped, and gave us our lure back.  Oh well, that’s why it’s called fishing. 

This marked the end of our good fishing for the day because when we reached the deep drop area the current was ripping!!  We had a drift of almost 3mph and even with 6lbs of lead we couldn’t hold bottom.  We gave it the old college try but couldn’t get it done so we went back to trolling.  We trolled in depths from 600-250 and only had one short-strike to show for it.  But, with a cooler full of eats we headed back to the barn!!  It was definitely another great day on the gorgeous waters of the Lower Keys!!

Until next time, Tight Lines!!

 

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Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Lower Keys Reef Fishing at it’s Finest!! 5/2-5/6

It’s been a busy week here despite the busted weather.  Something is wrong when you get excited about 15knt winds and 3-4′ seas.  But, that’s just the way it roles sometimes.  Had several trips this past week but I’m going to run you through one of our days on the beautiful waters here in Summerland Key.

The day started out with George and LeeAnn meeting me here at the dock at the crack of dawn and by safe light we were motoring out of my canal.  After a quick stop to unload one of my pinfish traps we were heading towards open water.  Well, let me tell you that the forcasted 10knt wind and 2-3′ was a little off.  We were greated with 4-5’s and a gusty 20knt NW wind.  But, with some hearty souls on board, we made our way out(albeit slowly) to the reef.  First pass over the reef had us marking good fish.  We drifted once to see how the boat was going to track and then we ran back above the reef and dropped the hook.  First time was the charm because when the boat nosed up into the current we were only 30′ or so from our mark.  I shut the motor off and got out the chum bags.

Whenever I go out reef fishing down here I take at least 4 blocks of chum.  Chum is the life blood of reef fishing here in the Lower Keys and you can never have too much of it.  I always start with 2 blocks out and maybe even toss in some oats as well…..this gets the fishing going right off the bat!!  Toss in a few majua as sprinkle baits and the big fish aren’t far behind. 

After giving the chum a few minutes to work we started freelining baits back into the slick using 3000 series Penn Clashes paired to Memory Stix 773’s.  Add in 20lb power pro spliced to 20lb floro and you have a stick that can handle even the biggest flags.  And flags we found!!  We started catching 18+” yellowtails on our very first baits.  First LeeAnn gets a solid fish and then George joins the party.  LeeAnn then gets the next 3 fish while George missed a fish or 2.  And then, the problems showed up.  Remoras, sharks, file fish…..all kinds of bait and fish stealers!!  This made it a challenge but they stuck with it and kept a steady stream of fish coming over the rails of the Triton.  At one point, when the yellow tailing slowed down, George dropped a big live bait to the bottom.  Well, that bait never had a chance because as soon as it got near the reef a solid 33″ black grouper inhaled it.  A short fight later and into the cooler he goes.  Then those sharks really start kicking in.  Next grouper up gets eaten.  Then George looses a nice yellowtail to a shark.  LeeAnn, not to be outdone, loses 2 or 3 fish herself to the man in the grey suit.  All in all we ended up feeding the sharks 4 grouper and several nice yellowtail.  Oh well, that’s the price you pay somedays. 

With sore shoulders and full coolers to go around, we pulled lines and headed to calmer waters to do some snorkeling.  We stopped in the protected waters off of Little Palm Island and LeeAnn and George had a great time watching groupers, snappers, angel fish, parrot fish, and other assorted critters swimming around the coral heads.  It was a great way to cap off an awesome day!!  We were back to the dock by 1.  Now that is a solid 3/4 day trip in my opinion!

Until next time, Tight Lines!

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Snapper Taste off–So many options to choose from!

There are bad problems to have and there are good problems to have.  Here in Summerland Key we are full up with good problems!  To go catch grouper or Tarpon?  To fish backcountry or ocean?  To go catch stone crab or lobster?  All kinds of problems!!  And, one of the ones that we encountered yesterday is which snapper tastes the best.  Armed with a bag full of filets from a recent outing I decided to put that question to rest.  I cooked one filet each of mutton, yellowtail, and lane snappers.  I cooked them all the same way and all were caught on the same day.  I did a blind taste testing for my wife to see if she picked the same kind I did.   And the results were…..inconclusive.  I chose the mutton snapper while she picked the lane.  I guess you’re just going to have to come down here and try them all for yourselves!! 

Oh, and dog was no help.  He liked them all!

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way to the Lower Keys!!

Well, I had the day off today so I gave a call to Capt. Marcus of Hot Rod Charters up in Big Pine and we headed out to the reef to enjoy guides day off.  First spot was a nice area of the reef where I had caught good grouper at before.  There was a little life down on the rocks so we set out the anchor and started chumming.  The goal for the day was to scout some ground for the opening day of grouper season on May 1st.  Well, after an hour on that spot with only a handful of Bonitas and 1 yellowtail to show for our trouble, we decided to make a move. 

We crossed the reef again and headed back into Hawks channel to see if the coral heads were still holding the grouper they were last week.  But, with zero current and gin clear water, the bite was extremely tough.   We strung together a decent stringer of small fish and picked up and headed back out deeper. 

My goal had been to scout a few spots I had, but with the weather finally being nice, there were a lot of other boats out there today.   And, not wanting to crowd anybody, we ended up fishing in the same general area we had started the day in.  Again…..we set the anchor.  Again…..the reef looked good.  Again….we put out the chum block.  But, this time, we flat filled the boat with Yellow Tail with an 18″ average.  You see, when the snapper come up to the top the way they did today, we call it “the yellow brick road”.  There is no sweeter sight in the Keys! We added a nice grey trigger, a couple more bonita, broke off what I think were 2 grouper(I’ll be back for you!!), and even fed a few to a very aggressive bull shark that decided our boat resembled a buffet line. 

We ended the day by checking out some shallow areas that will be hotspots as the mangrove snappers make their move offshore for the spawn.  But, the fish weren’t there yet.  After catching 3 grunts we called it a day.  And, even with all of that, we still hit the dock before noon.  We both had a nice cold beer while cleaning fish and we went our separate ways with 2 bags of some of the finest eating on the planet.  Not too bad for an impromptu trip with a  buddy!!  You have got to love Summerland Key this time of year….and it’s only going to get better over the next 3 months! 

Until next time, tight lines!!

 

 

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Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Still a great time here in Summerland Key despite the weather-April 2017

I can not remember a worse stretch of weather in my entire life.  2 weeks ago the weather was warming, the tarpon were showing, and the winds were variable.  Since then we’ve had a small cold front, one rain shower after another, and the fan has been stuck on the “gale” setting.  Our water temps have gone from 82 to 73 and the fishing has been strange to say the least.   In fact, as I write this, it has been raining for 6hrs straight.  Like I said….brutal weather.

But, despite pretty much the worst conditions possible, the lower keys do not disappoint.  We were able to get in some world class snorkeling on some wind-protected shorelines.  The backcountry trout fishing has been slow but steady with plenty of lady fish and jacks mixed in to keep it lively.  As bonuses you can usually count on enough mangrove and mutton snappers to put together a few tacos when we hit the dock.  But, at least for me, the highlight has been the light tackle barracuda fishing up on the flats.  There is something very cool about a 8-20lb fish that hits like a freight train, screams drag like a no other fish can do, and routinely takes to the air.  Some days over 40 cudas come onboard the Triton making for great action(and surprisingly good eating as well).  And with sizes ranging from itty bitty foot-longers to 20lb dinosaurs. 

But, despite putting together some really fishy trips recently, I’ll be very happy when the weather decides to play nice again. 

Until then, Tight Lines!

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Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Transition Fishing here in the Fabulous Lower Keys!!

This is always a strange time of year.  One day the weather is reminiscent of winter and next it’s like the beginnings of summer.  Because of how the weather keeps playing flip-the-lid, it has been an everyday hunt to stay on the fish.  But, with the endless opportunities offered down here in Summerland Key, the fish have kept the fish coming over the rails.  The tarpon have started showing up in decent numbers with 3-5 shots a pretty common occurrence.  The yellowtail are beginning to play well on some of our closer in humps, and while they are chewing up top the grouper and other assorted reef critters are hitting it hard down on the bottom.  When the wind blows the backcountry is still offering good catches of trout, grouper, sharks, and barracudas.  As April progresses the fish will settle into their summertime patterns….which means lots of tarpon, mahi-mahi, mutton and mangrove snappers, and world-class yellowtail fishing.   We are filling up for May already, but there are still some days available. 

Until next time, Tight lines.

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Charter fishing Florida Keys with Captain Ryan Dean, Sebastian Inlet, full grown, trout, Triton, Penn, giant fish, best fishing, best fishing charter, Summerland Key, Lower Keys, Cudjoe Key, Key West, Keys Fishing, Triton, Penn, Giant Fish, Fishing Charter, Best Charter in the Keys, Capt. Ryan Dean, Final Point Charters, Full Grown, Sore Arms, Charter fishing the Keys, memmorystix rods, mirrolure, lil john, guides secret

Things are Heating up here in the Lower Keys!!

Well, with spring break in full swing here in Summerland Key, we have been running trips every day! We have been beyond blessed with the response down here and are continuing to work hard to provide a great experience for everybody who chooses Final Point Charters for their fishing/snorkeling needs in the Lower Keys.

Over the last week we have had some horrendous wind, but thankfully it started to lay down Wednesday morning. With the seas and winds still elevated Wednesday afternoon, we decided to stay in the backcountry to the North of Summerland Key. We ended up doing 3 different fisheries and Jay and Krissy caught 5 new to them species including trout, barracuda, lemon shark, ladyfish, and jack crevalle. Despite the near 20mph winds we had a great time and were ready to go the next morning.

The next morning we were on a mission to get Krissy a World record. Our goal was black or red grouper on 4lb test. To say this is a tough challenge is an understatement!! We hooked plenty of fish, but getting them away from their rocks was another thing all together. We ended up missing the World Record for Red Grouper by 2 inches on the one grouper we were able to get to the boat. We did catch a pile of YT snapper though to make the grouper defeat a little more palatable.

My guys for Thursday afternoon were long time clients/friends from the Sebastian area. The idea was meat fishing so we made our way out to the patch reefs to see if we could load the box. Well, if grouper was in season we’d have sunk the boat, but as it was we still came back with a limit of YT snapper and some other mixed lanes and mangroves. Good eats to be had by all!

Friday morning had me meeting return client Cotty with his son Josh and his niece’s husband Jonty. I asked them if they wanted fish to eat or big fish and the unanimous response was “Big Fish”! So we headed to the back country and started drifting a flat that I know holds big cudas. The first hit we got was on Josh’s rod on the bow of the boat. He says “Oh!! He missed it!”, which made me turn his way just in time to see a giant torpedo of a barracuda inhale his lure 15′ from the boat. He hit coming at Josh and when he felt the hook he took to the air slamming into the side of the Triton right at Josh’s feet!! After rebounding the cuda headed under the boat at mach 3. And while Josh had to keep his rod submerged in the water to keep the line from breaking on the bottom of the boat, the rest of us were treated with the cudas aerial display as he burned off 60yds of line while staying more out of the water than in it. But Josh did a great job of fighting this hard running fish and several minutes later a true trophy cuda hit the net. At nearly 30lbs it was the biggest fish he had ever caught! We caught several more cudas throughout the day, but couldn’t complete the day with the requested big shark. So, we ended the day catching more smaller cudas and everybody left with great memories and sore arms.

Saturday started out with rough but clear conditions which made the reef fishing tough. Myself and my crew of 3 decided that after giving it a go for the first part of the day(with only a few catch and release grouper to show for our efforts) that we would head out back. We opted to throw soft plastic mirrolure lil’ Johns for trout and whatever else we could catch. Over the next 2hrs we caught several trout to 20″, lane and mangrove snapper, numerous ladyfish, jack cravalle, and big bluefish. We were catching 50 fish an hour. Hard to complain about that as a back up plan!!

The fishing in the Lower Keys and Summerland Key in particular is nothing short of amazing!! Book your trip to come see how awesome it really is!

Until next time, Tight Lines!

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Wintertime Patch Reef Fishing in the Lower Keys!

Had an afternoon trip planned so, with a brief weather window before 4 days of strong winds, we baited up and headed to some nearshore patch reefs. With a well full of nice sized pinfish, a bonita in the cooler for cut bait, and several dozen nice pilchards as back up we were loaded for whatever wanted to play. We reach the first spot and immediately deployed the chum block. While we were waiting for the chum block to work it’s magic, my guy pinned a pinfish to a jig head and started floating it down to the bottom. Well, that poor pinfish had a life expectancy of about 12 seconds on this particular spot and this time it was even shorter than that. Half way to the bottom and his line gets hammered and it’s now a serious tug of war. But, this time at least, the angler won and a 25″ black grouper came on board for a quick photo op and back to the water he went.

Over the next couple of hours we spent time catching yellow tail, mangrove snapper, red grouper, bonita, and more black grouper. The highlight of the day came on a live pilchard that got slurped up by a 29″ black grouper that better be thanking it’s lucky stars that grouper season is still 2 months away. And, with the sun setting and a box full of goodies, we headed home. Did I mention that this was only a half day trip? Yeah, that’s the greatest thing about fishing here in Summerland Key. Everything is close by and the options are just endless! This place is definitely an anglers paradise!

Until next time, Tight Lines!!

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