Capt Ryan Dean Fishing

Capt Ryan Dean Fishing

End of June Fishing Summerland Key Style!!

The past week has been a great time fishing here in the lower keys. We had several days of good spear fishing(and lobster scouting too for that matter) as well as some stellar days offshore. I want to tell you the story of a quick afternoon/night trip that we did the other evening.

The day started out by meeting at the dock at 5pm. With some of our guests showing up a little later than expected, we didn’t leave the dock until 5:45ish. The first stop was to fish the pinfish traps, and armed with a livewell full of assorted sizes of live baits, we pointed the nose of the Triton towards open waters. Our first stop was a spot just off of the reef in 75′ of water. The bottom looked really nice so we set up and deployed the chum bag. It didn’t take long before nice sized yellowtails started coming in over the rails and the yeti started looking respectable. We stayed there for another hour, but with a slow bottom bite and the yellowtails getting smaller, we made a move to another spot I had about a 1/2 mile to the east. I pulled up and started marking good fish so we repeated the setup process. But, after the chum started working, I realized that the fish that I had been marking were hundreds and hundreds of undersized yellowtails. So, just as the sun was setting, we pushed off to the north about 300yds into a spot I like in 75′. This last moved proved to be a good one!

Over the next 2hrs we lost our share of solid fish, including a few to the sharks, but we landed some really nice ones too. The highlights were rock hind, several solid mangrove snappers, and a really nice mutton that came on the lightest rod on the boat! We were drifting live and/or dead baits down into the slick and picked our way towards a really nice box of fish. There is something very cool about catching big, hard-pulling fish on relatively light tackle! We gave it up when the wind started picking up a little and ended our night with a comfortable cruise back into Summerland Key. The end result was 9 bags of filets in 4hrs of fishing!! Not to bad for a 1/2 day trip. 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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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

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

Winter Time Fishing in Summerland Key!! January 2017

Well, we finally completed the move down here to Summerland Key during the first week of January.  For those of you who don’t know Summerland is located equal distance(about 30mins) from both Marathon Key and Key West.   Being centrally located in the Lower Keys, Summerland is one of the fishiest places I’ve ever had the pleasure of casting a line!   I can be in blue water 6 miles from my dock or I can be in the backcountry in half of that.   Having the choices that we have here allows for a wide range of fishing opportunities….as you will see from the pictures!

One of the best things about this area is the variety you can encounter on any given day.  Have calm winds?  Head out to the Atlantic side to fish the reef for an assortment of groupers and snappers, king mackerel, and various members of the tuna family.  Winds are howling?  Head to the backcountry for trout, mangrove snapper, mackerel, sharks, and Barracuda. 

I’m just going to walk you through one particular day we had about a week ago.  I was busy that morning so the only option we had was a quick afternoon trip.  My buddy Danilo met me at my dock around 3pm and we headed out to the reef to take advantage of the nice weather and calm seas.  Because we didn’t have much time we elected to stay shallow and fish structure in Hawks channel.  We picked a spot that I had marked but never fished before and set out a chum block.   We gave it a minute for the chum to start working and then started sending baits back in the slick.  Armed with a well full of pinfish and a cooler full of various dead bait we were prepared for anything.  One of Danilo’s first baits back was quickly inhaled by a nice quality Mutton Snapper.  Dinner mission accomplished!!  After that was some keeper, albeit small, mangrove snapper.  Then a good thump on a live pinfish turns into a serious tug of war with a keeper, albeit out of season, black grouper.   A couple more just undersized mutton snappers hit the deck along with a 4′ moray eel that couldn’t resist my pinfish on a knocker rig.  Then we started getting cut off….almost as soon as the baits hit the water.  Curious as to what toothy critter was out there eating our gear, I threw a Guides Secret Mucho Minnow on my 5000 series Penn Battle II and casted it back into the slick.  I engage the reel and almost had the rod yanked out of my hand in the same instant!!  A few minutes and one lap around the boat later a 20lb king hits the gaff.  After that it was nothing but pandemonium on the Triton as cast after cast resulted in 20lb schoolie kings on the Mucho.  We quickly caught our limit and, with a box full of goodies and the sun setting, we headed back to the dock.  Total time from pulling away and pulling back into the dock was under 3 hours.  Got to love wintertime fishing in the Florida Keys!!

Until next time….Tight Lines!!

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1 Brown, 2 Red, and 3 Grey-Last of May to the First of June

Ok, so that title is a little weird but after you’ve been writing these for a while it’s hard to come up with good ideas all the time.

Over the last few weeks the fishing has been good all over the spectrum.  My wife and I returned from an anniversary trip on May 15th and I went right to work that afternoon.  Had some good trips over the next 4 days or so that included snook, reds, trout, jacks, and flounder all caught on artificials.  The week after that was mostly offshore with many, many red snapper, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, some really nice triggerfish, and one mahi that I failed to get a good pic of.  Then it was back inshore for 2 trips to catch a late season slot snook along with a few jumbo reds and jacks before going back offshore for a repeat of the previous week.  After being shut down for 3 days because of rain and wind, I am about to start up a really busy rest of June.  By the way, the one brown is flounder…..the 2 red are American Red Snapper and Redfish…..and the 3 grey are Gag “grey” grouper, Grey Trigger fish, and Mangrove “grey” snapper.

This time of year is great for fishing because of mostly moderate temperatures and calm seas.  I spend the majority of June and July out of the sight of land and hope to keep up that pattern this year.  If’ you’re interested in going offshore it is hard to beat the next 2 months here on the Treasure Coast.

I’m really sorry if you’ve called or emailed me about trips recently….I’ve just been so busy that I don’t have the days available that I usually have.  Please keep calling and we’ll get out there sooner or later!  Until then, Tight Lines!

 

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Red HOTTT December!!

This was, by far, the warmest December that I can remember.  We haven’t turned our AC off once and I haven’t even needed a jacket in the mornings for my trips.  I’ll tell you….there is something really cool about wearing shorts and flops here in the Florida sun while I hear my clients talk about snow and ice from whatever frozen north state they are here visiting from.  (Don’t take offense to that last statement….I love looking at the snow….from my living room…on TV!)

But the weather isn’t the only thing that is hotter than normal.  The redfish and snook fishing has been absolutely on fire this entire month.   Whether it’s fishing with live baits or jigs, anchored or drifting, daytime or nighttime, we have been putting some seriously quality fish in the boat.  Up until the 15th, we were able to invite a snook home with us(assuming they were of legal size of course), but since then this fishery has become entirely catch and release.  As soon as the water cools down it will push the snook up into the river and south down towards the Stewart area.  But when the water warms up around April(and snook come back into season) I will be looking forward to getting back on these hard fighting, great tasting game fish!!

I could talk about this fishery for ever but in this case I will let the pictures do the talking!

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World Class Fishing in the Sebastian Inlet!!-Nov 2/3 2015

I had the pleasure of fishing the last 2 days with locals Derrick(and his out of town friend) and Tony.  I’ll start this post with Tony’s trip.

Tony had work things to do until 4 so we made plans to meet at the ramp at 4:30pm.  Usually my trips start out with catching bait but because of our late start I launched a little early and already had the live well full of a mixture of pinfish, pigfish, and croakers.  I scooped up Tony and off to the inlet we went.  I had planned to anchor up and fish the tip of the jetty but there were already 5 boats there when I showed up so I went to plan B.  We set up inside the inlet and began to drift some live baits.  It didn’t take long before we had a fish on….and it’s pulling some drag.  I knew by the fight that it wasn’t what we were looking for and I was proven right when the 8lb jack came boat side.  The next 3 baits resulted in the same thing and then a screamer hits.  This fish makes a long, blistering run into the current that had me chasing him down.  It took us 3-4 minutes to even see the fish and when we did it was the full grown version of jacks we’d been catching.  And I mean full grown!!  This thing was well over 20lbs and had some serious shoulders.  I’ve always said that pound for pound these things are the toughest things swimming and this one was proving it!!

After a short break to let the arms cool down(and to let the sun set a little) it was back to the drift.  Usually, as soon as that sun sets, the jacks just kind of shut down….and tonight was no exception.  Once it got dark the fishing really got hot.  On our first drift we lost a nice overslot snook boatside that had no idea it was hooked until it looked up and saw Tony staring back at him onboard the Triton.  I guess Mr. Snook didn’t like what he saw so under the boat he went, got the leader wrapped in his gill plates, and we were minus one hook along with the snook it was attached to.  Oh well.  I retie and we are back at it.  After that I don’t think we did a drift without hooking into something.  Next up is another overslot snook that makes his way into the boat for a photo-0p before being sent on his way.  His twin brother, big brother, and slightly smaller brother follow suit before his “just right” brother makes it onto the measuring board.  I look down, readjust the fish, and see that he is ON the 32″ mark.  Yep, snook for dinner tonight!!  Next drift results in a 40+” red and then a few more overslot snook hit the deck.  The bait of choice was large, hand sized pinfish.  They chose those over everything else we threw at them.  All in all we had a great night on the water with a bag full of filets heading home with Tony.  He said he wants to bring his son next time and I can’t wait to put him on some big fish too!

After fishing pretty late I had an early morning meet time with Derrick and Eric.  Fortunately I still had about 25 baits left over from the night before so we head out to the inlet to try our luck.  We anchor up off the jetty in a good location and it’s looking fishy.  I grab a rod, bait it up with a frisky croaker, and fire it out.  I just get a chance to hand the rod off to Eric before that croaker gets hammered!  Eric does a great job fighting his first ever saltwater fish and a nice slot snook comes on board and into the cooler.  Not a bad start to the day and it’s only the first 3 minutes!  We repeat this process for the next hour with no bait lasting more than 4 or 5 minutes in the water.  We missed several fish while my clients were getting the hang of fishing with circle hooks, but we still invited 2 other slot snook to join his buddy for dinner.   We also had several of their big brothers on board the Triton for a family reunion before being sent back after having their picture taken.  Our small fish was just under 30″ and our big fish was right at 37″.  By this time my leftover bait was all used up so we decided try something different.  I headed through the inlet and back to the river in search of some fish lurking in the mangroves.  But, after no hits in 20 minutes, that super fast paced action at the inlet started appealing to us again!

Fortunately, I had a good bait spot not too far away and we put a nice mixed bag of pins, pigs, and croakers in the livewell.  We had about 40 baits and I figured that was more than enough….but I was wrong about that.  By the time we returned to the inlet the tide had switched and we were searching for fish.   We found them in a little different area, and our first drift over them produced a triple hook up!  We lost one fish due to a tangled line but 2 well over slot redfish eventually made their way into the net.  After they were released we set back up in the same area with the same results….2 overslot reds.  This became a theme for the next 90 minutes or so with our biggest fish being just over 40″.  Next up came a snook, then another red, then 2 snook, then 3 or 4 reds.  By this time we weren’t even netting the fish….I was just using the dehooker on them boatside.  You know the fishing is hot when you don’t even stop to take a pic of the 35″ reds you’re catching!!  Interestingly enough, the bait of choice from last night wasn’t getting touched today.  It just goes to show the importance of having several types of bait available.  We ended the day when we the livewell was empty and headed in.

On the way we stopped by the sandbar so Eric could take a dip and cool off(I guess it’s not 85 degrees in November back in Oklahoma).  As we are pulling in to the shallows we are greeted by the very cool sight of a large manatee lumbering along in the shallow water!  Eric got an up close and personal view of this docile and graceful creature, got cooled off in the nearly 80 degree water, and we were back to the ramp by noon.  It was Sebastian Inlet fishing at it’s finest and is one of the main reasons why this area is considered a truly world class fishing destination!!

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Shallow water snapper fishing!!

This is one of my favorite types of fishing to do here on the treasure coast.  The best part of this kind of fishing is that you can fill a cooler with some great eating fish!  Add to that you are only using really light gear….2500 series reels spooled with 10lb invisibraid attached to 20lb floro leader …and you are in for a real treat.  For this type of fishing our day usually starts with deploying  a chum block over some nice natural bottom.  After that I like to use small hooks and relatively small baits and present them as naturally as possibly.  And there is nothing like having your line drifting slowly back in the chum slick and then having it just start ripping out through the water.  You close your bail, raise your rod tip, and wait to see what is on the other end.  Sometimes it is a mid sized mangrove snapper that will strip a little drag but are great fights for beginners and experts alike.  Then on the next cast you hook into a fish that peels 30′ of drag instantly and you’re wondering what you could have on the other end.  A few minutes later you can see color down under the boat and then a beautiful mutton snapper glides into the net and then into the cooler.  Over the next few hours you can catch other species of snapper along with margate, sharks, various reef fish, palmetos, and undersized AJs.  It’s fun, fast paced fishing that the whole family can enjoy!

Ryan

 

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Sebastian Cobia Madness!!

I met William and Jerry at my usual ramp located near the intersection of US1 and Hwy512 at 6:15am.  I had frozen bait and chum in the cooler, and our first stop of the day was going to be for some live bait.  We break the inlet to some beautiful conditions and make quick work of filling the livewell with an assortment of pinfish, pigfish, grunts, and bluerunners.  After that we made our way offshore to some good structure in 90′ of water.  The fishing was kind of slow at the first few spots with only a large throwback Red Snapper and some beeliners to show for it.  Then at spot #4 things change a little.  I hadn’t planned on stopping at that spot but we ran over it on the way to another location and it looked fishey so we gave it a try.  The first 5 minutes or so were like the other place and then it changed in a hurry.  My big rod gets hammered and it’s a nice fish.  At the same time Jerry, while using lighter tackle and a chicken rig, gets tight on a nice one as well.  My fish turns into a nice cobia that came off the bottom in 90′ while Jerry’s turns into one of my favorite fish to eat….a grey trigger!!  After that we deployed the chum bag and it was on for the next 2hrs.

Jerry continued to catch some fish on his chicken rig, but on one drop the line went slack half way down.  He comes tight, sets the hook, and soon sees that he caught a remora on the way to the bottom.  But, when Jerry reels that remora in, he didn’t come alone….he brought half a dozen cobia up with him!  I already had a jig tied on a medium/heavy action spinner so William chucks it out there and is rewarded with an instant hook up!!  After landing that fish and a few other triggers things were slowing down a little.  I was marking what I thought could be mangrove snapper under the boat so I floated a squid back on light tackle to see what they were.  It didn’t take me long to hook up and when I did it was another cobia!!  Only problem was that I was using a 2500 series Battle II with 10lb braid and 15lb floro for leader so it took me way longer to land that fish than I wanted.  But, land it we did and into the cooler it went.

After this is when things got really interesting.  We look over the side and see not 1 but 3 giant bull sharks all in the 400+lb club circling just under the boat.  That’s the bad news.  The good news was that they were covered up in cobia!!  Over the next hour we had multiple hookups with undersized or just legal cobia…all on artificials.  Every fish turned into a pressure filled fight to try and keep them away from the hungry Bulls.  We succeeded for the most part but still lost 2 cobia to the tax man.  One of the highlights was when I floated a squid back in the chum slick and hooked a good sized bonita.  Now I know most of us think that bonita is terrible eating, but I can tell you that those sharks don’t agree!  All 3 of them were chasing that fish all around the boat in their best interpretation of a fat guy during last call at the buffet.  One of the Bulls actually broached in his zeal and got my pretty wet when his tail slapped the water.  But, alas, it was not to be.  That bonita must of had some secret squirrel training because even with 1200lbs of bullshark chasing him he still managed to escape and evade.  I figured that he would want to cool off after that run and he went into the cooler too to be used for bait on my next trip.

The fishing was so hot that Jerry even caught a nice little 8lb king on a naked bucktail ment for a cobia.  That was a first for me.  We ended the day with a  3 man limit of cobia, 5 good sized triggers, that kingfish, and some beeliners.  We left the cobia biting so that we could make it in before the storms hit.  It was a great day with some great people!!

 

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