Islamorada is a worldwide hub of excellent sportfishing! They don't call it "catching", because some days are difficult.
Bottom line, we didn't catch...all day...or catch live bait. Some days truly go like that - and some of those days end up in a review. Targeted species, sailfish. Species caught, pure bycatch of 3 Mangrove Sanpper.
JR is the current mate, comical at times, and a great host - though he told me that our charter was his first official commercial charter of this particular business with Captain Jorge. While limited, I have 5 yrs of frequent Keys fishing experience, and I had no doubt from the observed tactics that JR knows his stuff, when he is able to influence the situation.
Captain Jorge failed to impress this day, and JR seemed, no he was in fact, disgruntled in his coordination with the Captain. On great days any Captain can easy impress clients, a great Captain can do it on tough days.
There is a saying here that if you can't catch bait, you can not fish. Within the first two hours, I had told my guests from California that we had a low shot of catching any sails - and proved to be accurate.
By 12:45 Capt and Mate agreed that bait fishing was a must, and tried no less than 7 anchor sets before retiring that idea for our exhausted mullet and one ballyhoo. (Last set near Tennessee Reef light may have produced except for a very discourteous competing Captain who ran on top of our bait location while we were chumming and netting). So some credit give at mid day, we had the bait, but at no fault to the crew. It left.
Returning at 1430, we had a better day on the water than being in the office, winter ice storms, or any day in LA traffic but this transplanted local recommends other attractions unless other reviews are more impressive. Check out Early Bird at the Postcard Inn near Shulas Burger for a stand up Captain who has consistently brought me back with my targeted species.
Recommendation: I believe some Captain ethics are needed, and when you flat strike out offer some sort of incentive or refund. Ditch the heavy pressure for taxidermy, unless it's a near record fish or something significant. Put a foot in the game so to speak.
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