Written and edited by Capt. Gregory Mercurio on 3/3/14
October 30 2013 Wind Northeast 25 Knots Temperature 85 Degrees
At the last minute we were able to get enough anglers for the last Pulley Ridge trip of the year. Look for a report on Sunday. Next trip after that is a charter next Tuesday afternoon. IF you looking to get on a ultra limited load with a great group of anglers (mutton killers) this trip is it. Please contact me at email@example.com.
November 7 2013 Wind Northeast 25 Knots Temperature 85 Degrees
Greetings from the command center. Only one trip since my last report.
Our last Pulley Ridge trip of the year was a success. Incredible weather, nice people and a very respectable catch. When the dust settled we managed the white box full with all the usual suspects. When I counted up the species for the trip we tallied 25 different types, just incredible. You never know what your going to bring up. We had some good bites and some slow times too. The night bite was a little slow at night but around 4:00 the tuna's came on strong till sunrise. Toss a jig and get a bite. When it was all said and done we managed the white box for 9 anglers. I was pleased. I think we could have even got in the blue box but we lost the last six hours of the day 2. I called the trip 7 hour early because of the approaching cold front. It was the right call but of course we had just done our best drift out in the deep on big fish. However safety first. always.
Since pictures always tell a thousand words, enjoy.
Also found a link with a trip report. Please click here.
Very quiet around these parts. We are taking a much needed break. It is just as well. The wind as been screaming, 20 knots plus all week. The ocean is no place for humans on my boat in the DT's.
Next trip is not for 8 days. Loads of room, basically a wide open trip at this point, even stern spots. November has traditionally been a a favorite month for me. Great mixed bagged trips. Lets hope we get some decent weather.
November 12 2013 Wind Northeast 15 Knots Temperature 80 Degrees
Happy Tuesday from the command center. Not much to report here. No trip over the weekend. the crew and I had a nice quiet weekend away from the boat. It was great.
No trips till the weekend. I am incredibly happy about that. The next two days the wind is going howl. A big blow is shaping up for Wednesday and Thursday. Even some gale force gusts during that time. The worst of the wind will be on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. It appears however it will be short lived with the winds coming down on Friday. Just in time for our next trip hopefully. The wind should be down by 10 knots on Saturday. All we need now are some anglers. Still loads of room with stern spots too. Please click here.
So the rest of the week we will be working on the Capts. Projects include updating safety equipment, a little cleaning and prepping the boat for our annual USCG inspection next week.
Soon as I get a update about the weekend I will post it.
November 13 2013 Wind Northeast 35 Knots Temperature 75 Degrees
Well folks this weekends trip is not going to happen. I just pulled the plug. The weather looks lousy, the wind is not going to slacken till Saturday night. With only a handful booked I saw no reason wait any longer.
So a nice weekend on the streets of Key West for me. I have to say I'm enjoying this break. My checkbook does not but what the hell.
Anyway next trip is next weekend. Still loads of room, please click here.
November 14 2013 Wind Northeast 35 Knots Temperature 75 Degrees
Well the wind forecast was right on the money. The wind is cranking, Sustained at 30 knots with higher gusts. So very thankful I am not out on the water. It is not fit for humans on my boat in the Dry Tortugas.
So what do I do with my spare time? Spend money of course! So thinking about a new shirt design and came up with this-
So I will be offering this shirt in the every near future. Perfect gift for the holidays! Soon as I receive them I will be taking orders.
November 18 2013 Wind Northeast 5 Knots Temperature 85 Degrees
I really can't complain about the stretch of weather we have had the past 10 months. However I swear it always plays out this way. We are now tied to the dock and we have no wind here in Key West. Very typical.
The best part about this weather is we are getting ready for our annual USCG Safety and Equipment Inspection this week. Nothing of note to report really. I have done so many of these things over the years they are routine. I just follow the checklist I am given from the OICM and follow it to the letter. Of course things do pop up and it always seems we find one or two things. That is a good thing. It is always prudent to get a second set of eyes looking around checking things on board any vessel. Everyone looks at things differently. I anticipate no issues but will be happy to get this behind me. Basically I am ready to go back to what we do best. Go fishing.
Hopefully our next trip will be over the weekend. As of today we really do not have enough to sail. It has been two weeks since our last trip. I know myself and the boys are ready for some salt. If your interested please click here. Its a little early to make any predictions about the weather but it appears it will be fine.
That's it for now, more later.
November 27 2013 Wind Northwest 35 Knots Temperature 75 Degrees
People often ask me what's the worst part of my job? For me without a doubt it is sweating the weather forecast. As I type this it has been almost a month since my last trip. Between lack of interest and some incredibly windy weather it is now official. I have had enough. It appears this weekend is not going to be any better. I am seeing some improvement with the forecast as we get closer but I am very guarded in my optimism. At this point if your booked please stayed in touch with the office. I will also keep this page as well as my Facebook page updated when I decide something. I was hoping for a quiet day on Thanksgiving but given the circumstances I will keep my phone on and will answer e mails. My e mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also we did send this e mail out to all customers that are booked-
Turkey day is fast approaching and I know you�re all aching to get fishing this weekend. I just wanted to send out a quick message about the weather. It�s far too early to say anything for sure, but the forecast that Capt. Greg has been watching is very iffy as of now. Obviously, we usually don�t take a marine forecast seriously until about 24 hours before departure, and today being Tuesday, its very early and anything can happen. However, be warned, we are watching it very carefully and if things to don�t change, we may have some trouble. Please keep in contact with the office, and make sure that I have a good number to reach you at either Thursday night or Friday morning. I know many of you are coming from a ways, as soon as I know ANYTHING I will make sure everyone is informed. Remember that my number (305-923-4401) is textable! I will be with family on Thursday, as I am sure all you will be as well, but if you want a quick update, feel free to text or email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If there is any cancellation or change in departure or any news at all I will contact everyone on the manifest as soon as possible. Please check in with Greg�s fishing reports for information as well. If you DO NOT HEAR from me, (it means it�s a go!) I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
That's it for now, more later.
November 28 2013 Wind Northwest 25 Knots Temperature 66 Degrees
The trip this weekend has been cancelled. I stared at the forecast all day and could not get it to change. I tried really hard too. Anyway next trip is December 6 at 5:00 PM. Still loads of room and even some stern spots. Please click here.
Until then Yankee Capts is standing by....................................
That's it for now, more later.
December 12 2013 Wind Northeast 20 Knots Temperature 76 Degrees
Tonight departure has been delayed until 5:00 PM Friday night. I am hoping the timing of the wind machine is correct and things will settle down as it is predicted too.
If you would like to head to Key West tonight and stay on the boat your more than welcome too. The boat will be available at 9:00 PM. If your coming down please mail me at email@example.com.
Lastly new shirts are in.
Long sleeves are $25 and short sleeves are $22. Plus $5 for shipping. Shirts are available in tan only.
Please email for info and ordering, firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's it for now, more later.
December 19 2013 Wind Northeast 20 Knots Temperature 76 Degrees
Well where has the time gone? Hard to believe it is the end of another year? Some years go by fast. this year? I have no idea where it went? I don't know if it is a good or bad thing. As I think back it all just blends together. No doubt though it was a great year!
I wish I could report the last trip was better. Again Mother Nature reared her ugly head and let us know who was in control. Another tough catch. No one will be happy than me to see this weather pattern change. It has been a long six weeks.
Not much else to report this way. we are in lock down till after the holiday. I am leaving the country and will not be available till the 26th. I will not have phone service or email till I get back. So if you need to get a hold of me please contact the office. Our next trip is December 27th, a 3 Day Mutton Marathon. Still some room.
Until then everyone here at the Yankee Capts wishes you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season.
I will report back just before New Years.
December 31 2013 Wind Northeast 20 Knots Temperature 76 Degrees
We are back! Nice to finally get a trip in with some decent weather and catch.
The last trip of 2013 was not too bad. During the first part of the trip we picked away at the groupers and muttons. Seemed that we had plenty of yellowtails around too. In fact that was a good thing. The weather for the first half of the trip started sloppy and improved as the trip went along. In fact by Sunday night the weather was very nice. I decided to try to fish for muttons. That was a mistake. I had a voice in my head telling me to stay on the reef and pick away. I knew that was the right thing to do but also knew the anglers wanted muttons. So I made the plan to stay deep and we paid the price. SLOW. Even made a substantial area change. I was surprised that did not help?
At the dock we had 17 totes. Everyone seem pleased. Plenty of compliments from guests about the new crew. I was happy to hear that and made my day.
Of course on every trip something breaks. I can live with that. I know the game. However the timing always amazes me. We have just finished a 6 weeks of "vacation" because of the weather, why couldn't it happen then?
On the way home just 7 miles from the dock the port engine just quits. No warning, no alarm, no nada, just shuts down. I have had plenty of engines issues over this the years but this was different. My first though was a fuel issue but that was quickly ruled out. I found a spray of oil on the front of the engine as well as crank case oil in the coolant. Also the engine would not turn over with the starter on by hand. So something has the engine locked up. I think the water pump bearing failed and misaligned the gear. I am probably wrong but it seems the most logical situation. A quick conversation with the CAT technician today seemed to agree the gear train was the first place to start.. On Thursday morning we will tear into it. I can't wait!
Thankfully no trip for 9 days. Plenty of time to get this resolved. I will post updates as soon as I know something.
Lastly and most importantly -
On behalf of the entire Yankee Capts Crew and office staff, I wanted to express a sincere thank you and personally thank you for your continued support. Without you, the Yankee Capts wouldn't be a reality for the last thirty seven years. We hope you have a safe and wonderful New Year, and we hope that 2014 brings you the very best year of your life.
January 2 2014 Wind Southwest 20 Knots Temperature 76 Degrees
Days like today make my job tough. Not good news from the engine room. The port transmission is toast. So it needs to come out. Once it gets out we need figure out if we can rebuild it or we need to get a replacement. Plus all the labor and parts coordination that goes into this.
How long will this take? At point it is anyone's guess. Between the holidays and other scheduled jobs it might take a few days till I get things all lined up.
I wish I had more answers but I don't. As things play out I will pass them along. Here we go.
January 3 2014 Wind North 20 Knots Temperature 66 Degrees
Just found a link from last trip. Please click here.
No news from the engine room. We are stand-by mode. I should know something on Monday.
January 8 2014 Wind North 20 Knots Temperature 60 Degrees
Greetings from the command center. Happy to report we have made some progress with the transmission repair. Not as much as I would like but forward progress. However these things more slow. The transmission is sitting at Key West Engine. I am hoping they will begin to tear into today. Once the transmission is apart we can figure out the best plan to get fixed or replaced.
I have to admit it is incredibly frustrating, The waiting is the worst part. I like to get things done and I am not the most patient person when it comes to this. But if I could speed things up I would.
If you were on this weekends trip I thank you for your patience and understanding. Updates as I get them.
Update at 1500 EST.
I found a transmission at the Twin Disc distribution center in Jacksonville Florida. They promised to get in shipped and delivered to Key West tomorrow. I am working on getting the technicians scheduled to get it installed. Of course the other 40 things that need to be bought or coordinated needs to be done too. However we are now going in the right direction. The hard part is over. Hopefully.
January 12 2014 Wind North 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
I am happy to report we start the install of the new transmission on Monday morning bright and early. I believe we have all our ducks in a row so I am hopeful we will be done no later than Wednesday afternoon. Our next fishing trip should not be in jeopardy. I will update on Monday evening.
January 13 2014 Wind North 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Well we got started bright and early on the transmission install. As of 1300 EST we have not run into any issues. The gear in attached to the engine and the alignment is occurring as I type. Then all the little things need to done. As long as we don't run into unexpected things we should be going for a ride on Tuesday. Fingers crossed!
January 14 2014 Wind South 15 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
No sea trial today. Maybe Wednesday.
The battle continues. Everything wants to fight back on this project. It never seems to end.
January 16 2014 Wind North 25 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Ok. Well at least were running. Still a thousand little things need to get done. Hopefully I can find the time on Monday, my next day off.
Departure for tonight's trip is a go. Lets hope the wind lets go as they say it will. It vey windy here this AM.
January 19 2014 Wind North 5 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Finally back on the water. Overall the fishing and catching was just as we left it. Some good stops and some slow. Plenty of yellowtails around if you wanted to fish for them. I was hoping the mutton fishing would be better but it was slow. If you had GI's you were able to get some bites. Any other bait including kingfish did not seem get the interest. Speaking of kingfish plenty of them around especially southeast of the islands.
High hook had 10 muttons, it went down from there. The weather was up and down. For the most part it was nice. A little chilly but nothing a sweatshirt could not cure.
Our repairs from the past week seemed to hold up. However as with any job like this things pop up left and right. Over the course of the trip the list for Monday repairs grew larger and larger. Boats, it never ends.
Next trip is Tuesday, hopefully. Another front for Tuesday night. Very strange indeed. We have not seen a cold front since yesterday. I will be ecstatic when this weather pattern breaks.
January 21 2014 Wind North 5 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Greetings. Sitting in the wheelhouse waiting for the charter to show up. Back out today for our month Anglers Bait and Tackle Charter. Weather looks a little bumpy but theses guys are tough or at least they say they are! Anyway back on Thursday, look for a report in the evening.
Next open boat trip over weekend has plenty of room. It appears we are going to be blessed with warm temps and light wind easterly winds. Please click here if your interested.
January 23 2014 Wind Northeast 20 Knots Temperature 60 Degrees
Well without a doubt the wind machine will not stop. Mother Nature seems have a hair across her bottom and just keeps the wind turned up. This trip was no exception.
We headed out on Tuesday and made a beeline to the islands. It was nice ride and the first couple of stops were reasonable, Then the front came through and it was a struggle. Every stop produced a few fish, mostly yellowtails. At the dock yellowtails ruled the totes, thank god. Muttons were few and far between. I even made it out deep but the predators were eating mutton soon as we hooked them. What a waste!
Many thanks to the group from Anglers Bait and Tackle. Always a pleasure to host them. I enjoy their monthly visit.
Next trip is Friday night. seem like we might get a break on the weather this time. Sound like the wind will be coming down on Friday night. Saturday looks good and so does Sunday. I might have to make it over to St. Mary's tonight and light a candle. Every little bit helps these days.
January 26 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Finally! Some decent weather. As I stepped off the boat today it does not feel like I hit in the head with a rock. I must admit it is a great feeling but strange sensation.
The bite was all over the place. Some stops good, others not so much. Plenty of tails and red groupers with muttons mixed in. Even some scamps, which are always a welcome addition. I made the decision early Sunday morning to go chase some muttons. Certainly not the results I was looking for. We hooked plenty and had most eaten by bull sharks. What a waste. For sunrise on Sunday morning a made steam to a different area hoping for different results. The only thing that changed was the size of the sharks. In hindsight I have stayed up inside and picked away at the mixed bag that was available. I guess what grinds me the most I thought we had the conditions and was very confident we could have done some damage. But typical "Capt Greg" always wonders what might have been and what could I have done. I do it every trip.
Another bust week on tap. However a welcome day off on Monday. Still picking away with issues with regards to the transmission. However the end is in sight. Who knows might even get some personal time too. Next trip is Tuesday night. A 3 Day trip. Thankfully every weather forecast gets better so the plan is to head deep into the GOM and chase some groupers on the edges of the hard bottom. Still some room if your interested..
Last I have a 4 day ultra limited charter in two weeks that is looking for a few more bodies. As of today they only have 10 people. The price is heavily discounted at $675. It leaves on 2/3 and returns on the 2/6. Please contact me at email@example.com.
February 6 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Just back in from a private 4 day Pulley Ridge charter. Everything full, out of ice.
Groupers to 60 pounds, Golden Tiles to 30 pounds, Grey Tiles to 20 pounds and 75 tunas. We managed 25 different kinds of fish. The weather was spectacular.
Pictures coming and a link to the trip.
February 10 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 80 Degrees
Greetings from a very sleepy Key West Command Center. I have been trying to shake the cobwebs ever since last weeks trips. Long days and long nights have been the norm. Thankfully a good night sleep in a non moving bed did the trick. Another busy week on tap so here goes.
Let's start by getting a link to the last Pulley Ridge trip up. Please click here. This thread will be the one to watch in the coming week. It will be updated and should tell the story better than I can. Also I would follow this thread also.
This was one of those trips when every just went right. Every move I made seemed to be the right one. Plus the fish cooperated too. The fish on this trip on average were larger than anything we have seen out there. I would like to think it was my ability to make this trip what is was but I can't take too much credit. I will be the first to admit I don't know squat out there. All I have been doing is what I know how to do. Toss crap against the wall and hope it sticks. Just by chance this trip we had our best fishing on a mistake. I started a drift and expected to last till we made it to the drop off. I was prepared reset after that. Well I got distracted in the wheelhouse and let the drift go to far. When I realized what I had down I was pissed at myself. I don't like wasting time when your fighting the clock. I came out of the wheel like a ball of fire and was shocked what I saw. 6 20 pound plus fish laying on the deck and another 6 anglers hooked up. I turned my attention to the sounding machine and saw nothing except what looked like the Home Depot parking lot. The plotter looked worse. I was in the desert or so I thought? Any we carried that drift for another hour with incredible results. Large Queen snapper, 20 pound plus groupers and medium Golden Tiles. I was happy to stumble across this bottom but I wanted to know why. I made two more drift with the same results. I stared at the sounder and plotter and tried to figure what was going on. At the end of the day I had no clue except it was working. Maybe deep water fish like to follow the boat out into the sand? I don't think so but it was the only thing I could come up with. Plus this was the first time we drifted in this direction on a trip. Maybe the direction of the drift and the orientation of the bottom was the key? Plus I had never I fished this edge before. In fact nothing I fished this trip had ever seen the Yankee Capts before. More questions than answers, the quest continues. Maybe this summer we can put some of the pieces together and connect some of the dots?
The weekend trip saw a quick start. For the first 12 hours we held a good bite of quality fish. Plenty of yellowtails too. After that the bite went into the crapper. We could have used another 12 hours but as usual the boss had other ideas. The weather was spectacular. High hook had 10 muttons and it went down from there.
Another busy week. Our monthly Anglers Bait and Tackle trip is tomorrow and then out for a 3 Day Mutton Marathon over the weekend.
Can't wait to get back out on Tuesday, Monday's everyone wants a piece of me and they usually get their pound of flesh.
February 10 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 80 Degrees
No "Manic Monday" this week. I was out on a trip plus it was a federal holiday. Instead it is "Everybody wants a piece of me Tuesday. I could think of nothing better to do than write a report. Here we go-
Another busy week with two trips. Thankfully the "Great God of Wind" has let down her fury and blessed us with great weather. As far as the bite goes it was up and down. High hooks had 10 muttons each. Plenty of yellowtails some stops. Plus grouper fishing in the shoal water in the Gulf of Mexico was good too. Mostly Reds but Scamps and true Blacks made it into the totes. Thankfully we have the ability to fish out that way. It is a long hike but at least we can keep them. The grouper closures in the South Atlantic is a joke and everyone knows my opinion on it. No need for me to rehash that diatribe.
Got lucky last week and found a edge that was loaded with XXL Red Snapper. First line jobs, 25-30 pounders. What a shame to see those fish get tossed, June 1 can't come soon enough. Best fish of the week was a 122 pound Warsaw grouper. We don't see many special fish like this so it is a welcome treat.However as we push further into Pulley Ridge and beyond I would hope to think these will become more common.
Which leads me to this next subject. Demand for Pulley Ridge trips is incredible. Today alone I booked two more charters. Last week I added another 3day and 4 day trip. I can honestly says I'm just about out of days to book starting June 1. A friend said to me this very AM, "Greg is that place going to able to handle that type of pressure?". I told him it is so vast that I could spend the next 10 years there and not find everything. Since the Reel Seat Charter is now history I can no reveal this. They were crash test dummies so to speak. On the steam out I headed to a different area. I know the Yankee Capts was never there and it looked like a great place to start. Guess what? I never moved more than 7 miles from where I started. I am not worried about it. Hell we still have Rankin Ridge to talk about. That is another 40 miles from Pulley Ridge. I am hoping to see that place on the 4 day trips.
Here are the trips we have added-
3 Day Pulley Ridge April 24-27 Departs 8:00 PM
4 Day Pulley/Rankin Ridge August 14-18 Departs 8:00 PM
I know I am playing with fire with the weather on the April trip. So at this time I am only asking for a small deposit for that trip. Who knows we might get lucky. We have seen some nice days in April.
Next trip is Friday. Hopefully this week I get a day for myself and then fix some stuff.
February 20 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 80 Degrees
Happy to report a couple of trips links have been posted. You guys are lucky, they are much better read than anything than this scribe could ever do. Enjoy.
Reel Seat Pulley Ridge charter and Angler's Bait and Tackle monthly charter.
February 21 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 80 Degrees
Just found another link. Please click here.
Out tonight back on Sunday. Look for a report them.
February 28 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Sorry for the delay in reporting. I was hoping by now a report would have been posted from last weekends trip. However the individuals seems to have forgotten where there bread is buttered so to speak. Price of the charter just went up my brothers. Surcharges will be forth coming.
Anyway last weekend was blessed with great weather. The bite was great for some and slow for others. The guys up in the front of the boat always had a mutton or two on. At the end of the trip those guys had upwards of twenty muttons each. Size was average but the numbers were there.
Sadly some people just were not prepared as well as they could despite my best efforts to make it so. Not to go on a long rant here but please follow my guidelines. As you drift away from we tell you put yourself at a disadvantage. As always I can answers all your questions here. My goal is for all anglers to be as prepared as possible. Here is the list-
2 & 3 Day Tortugas Trips
8 ft. 50 lb. Conventional rod. Shakespeare USCB 1180-XH is a great choice, with a Diawa Saltist 50 reel with 50 lb line and
8 ft 30 lb. Conventional rod with a Diawa Saltist 40 reel with 30 lb line
7 to 8 ft. 20 lb. Class spinning rod with a quick retrieve reel
3 Sabiki rigs for catching Goggle Eyes and small bait fish.
Small cooler for bait and a reusable cold pack
25 or each: 3/0, 5/0, 7/0 Mustad hooks, model # 9175, file to sharpen hooks
5 - Triple Hook Kingfish rigs
20 - #1 Barrel Swivels
30 lb. And 50 lb Leader material
10 each 6 ounce and 8 ounce egg sinkers
Yesterday we got back from another charter. Again the weather was spectacular. Light winds and calm seas again. The bite was better than the weekend. Especially for the muttons. On early Wednesday morning I found another piece of hard bottom out in the middle of the dessert. I can report without a doubt I got very lucky. I had my head turned for about 60 seconds and just caught the show of fish as it was going of the screen. I made a quick turn and was able to find some life as I steamed up the reciprocal course. I anchored up on what I thought was the best of the bottom. We sat there for 4 hours with one or two muttons on all the time. All nice size stuff from 10 to 15 pounds. I think we had six full totes off of it. Finally as the sun came up the sharp nose sharks took over and the bite was done. As I was hauling the anchor I realized I was a million miles form where I should have been.
Either the place had more fish than I thought I saw or the fish came off the hard bottom and swam to the baits. Either way I got lucky. I will take luck any day all day long.
The rest of the trip was a steady of mixed pick till the a west wind came up. Then the bite died. Very common and I was not surprised at all.
No rest for the this week or next. Very busy and happy for it. We will be back on Sunday then another charter and open boat trip next weekend. Next weekend is still a little light. I have no doubt we will get enough anglers but would be surprised if we had more than 20. If your interested please click here.
More on Sunday.
March 3 2014 Wind Northeast 10 Knots Temperature 70 Degrees
Finally the link has been posted. Another masterpiece!
Enjoy. Please click here.
Back out in the tonight on another Anglers Bait and Tackle charter. Look for a report on Thursday. This weekend is still a little light. I have no doubt we will get enough anglers but would be surprised if we had more than 20. If your interested please click here.
More on Thursday.