Hi Everyone ………………….. Day twelve for the Team Gulp Gang in Key West. It’s been another sunny day with highs in the mid 80’s and a strong breeze. ………………………………………. Hi Everyone
The final days fishing for the Team Gulp Gang in
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was originally manned by Steve and “Gus” but was later boarded by pirates in the shape of Mick and Roy when their skipper was unwell. They returned to the site of
Boat 2 (Capt Chris) was manned by Roy and Mick. With winds up to 31 mph from the North East it was perfect Sail fish weather. Several boats were cancelled but Team Gulp in the form of Mick and
We freelinded Thread Fin Herrings and it was not long before Roy had a hit, the mandatory 5 count and wind down hard went to plan and seconds later a Sail headed for Cuba. It was a long battle due to the fish only making one Jump and the hard task of releasing loads of Sargasso weed from the line. It was a good job
Boat 3 ( Capt. Buzz ) Was manned by Keith and Tommy. They opted to go shark fishing in the Gulf. They went to
And Finally from all the members of Team Gulp.
I hope you have enjoyed our Team Gulp News, we have all had a great time and have caught some awesome fish. The words “In the Zone” are now constantly used by our boat Captains. All of our rods stood up and we had no breakages, Big Game 20lb was our main line and landed some monsters in arduous conditions . Whiplash Pro 30lb test was our main reel braid line and is used by most of our Guides. Berkley Fluorocarbon in all breaking strains never let us down.
Thanks to everyone who sent us Gulp and all the tackle, without doubt Gulp is a brilliant bait as you have read in our reports. Not surprisingly several of the top guides in
Well what more can I say, a fantastic two weeks! I’ve caught too many new species too mention, oh go on I’ll mention a few. Tarpon over 100lb, Goliath Grouper over 200lb, Bull Sharks 250lb plus, Sailfish over 70lb!!! All of which were entirely new species for me. If anyone ever tells me that drayton carp pull hard again I’ll laugh them out of town. They’ve got nothing on an angry Tarpon tail walking 150 yards away on its first run. The fish out here redefine power and my backwind has been firmly locked in place, without a drag I wouldn’t have any fingers left now! So to cap it all I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, you could probably tell that from the above though! The crack has been brilliant and the banter relentless, best start saving for next year! It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.
I can almost say I want to go home and have a rest, I am that worn out. The variety of fishing here is so amazing it is a place every angler should visit at least once just to experience. The skippers we used throughout the trip were superb and we relied on their knowledge to put us in the right place for the conditions. Fish wise I caught everything from Tarpon, Jacks, Tuna to Sharks. My highlights were probably watching Steve getting beat up by a Jewfish well in excess of 200lb, then catching his daddy of 350-400lb my largest fish not counting sharks. The other highlight was flat boat fishing, which is more like hunting than fishing. In a day of hard work I was lucky enough to get a tarpon and 8lb bonefish from water that wouldn’t come half way up your calves.
Roll on next year.
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Roy and Paul. It was going to be a Tarpon day, Paul had wanted to catch a Tarpon all holiday so he was out with the Ace Roy. The wind had gone to the North and was blowing 15-25 mph first thing and a small craft advisory was issued. Hardly the best forecast for Tarpon. The morning started at Boca Cheeca where they had about two hours of the incoming tide left. After a bit of coaching Paul had a couple of Tarpon and Roy 6. The tide turned and the wind dropped away, the opposite to the forecast. The rest of the day was unbelievable, they finished the day with 29 Tarpon and one Nurse shark. A new record for Roy and 6 more than Captain Jacks best. The Tarpon were not monsters but certainly averaged 60lbs each plus the Nurse about 100lbs. That works out at just short of 2000lbs of action. No wonder they are tired out. They could have possibly caught a few more but Roy had to tackle test a new boat reel destined for the UK market. It passed the Tarpon Test and had already passed the bottom fishing test. These smaller Tarpon spent more time in the air than their bigger brothers, some of the jumps were awesome. Roy and Paul were “in the zone” all day. Most of the day they were moored next to local legend Garry Marconi. Roy gave him the last of his Gulp crabs These are becoming very rare in Key West, Garry had 6 permit on the white crabs yesterday.
Boat 2 (Capt Manny) was manned by Tom and Alan. They started by motoring out to the Permit patch. It was pretty windy this morning and Tom says it was a fairly wet journey out to the area. It was quite rough out there making it very difficult to locate the elusive Permit. Alan caught one but that was that, the shoal had disappeared and our gang didn’t manage to find them again. After a fruitless half hour searching the whole area they gave it best and motored off to look for some Yellowtail Snappers. This was a very shrewd move and for the rest of the day our happy pair were catching fish after fish. They ended with 40 – 50 fish between 2 and 4 lbs, a brilliant afternoons sport.
Boat 3 ( Capt. Buzz ) Was manned by Steve and “Gus”. The plan was to catch some mullet for bait and then use these to try and catch some Tarpon. It took around an hour to catch the bait and Buzzy suggested that they might as well have a couple of drifts for Sharks before going Tarpon fishing. The shark fishing was hot, the Tarpon got forgotten as a mixture of Lemon and Black Tip Sharks found their way to the boat. To cap it all, Steve hooked a Bull Shark estimated at 250lbs. The monster tore off 500 yards of line from his spool and it was at least half an hour before the fish was near enough to the boat for Buzzy to remove the hooks. Another great day’s fishing for Buzzy and the lads.
Boat 4 (The flats boat) was manned by Keith and Mick. They had arranged to split the day into 2 sessions. This morning they fished for around 3 hours and caught a couple of Barracuda, lost a shark and had a few casts at Tarpon that were swimming past. They are out again at around 6pm and are hoping that they’ll catch a few as the light fades. Oops, we’ve just got back from eating and Keith & Mick are still here watching TV. It seems that the guide forgot to pick them up this evening even though Mick spoke to him at 6 this evening…how bizarre.
And finally from “Gus”
Two weeks has flown by and I can’t believe that we’ve only got one more days fishing before our return to the UK. It’s been another great adventure with a terrific bunch of lads. We’ve had lots of sunshine, not a drop of rain and more than our share of calm days, in fact we’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading our reports and that they’ve given you a taste of what it’s like to fish in Paradise.
Day eleven for the Team Gulp Gang in
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Tom and “Gus”. They had a comical start to the day when “Gus” hooked a Tarpon. Whilst playing it, a baited hook appeared attached to the line. Captain Jack cut off he hook and “Gus” continued playing his large Tarpon. It soon became apparent that all was not well when “Gus” saw the end of his line inside his rod rings but the Tarpon was still 50 yards away. What had happened was that the fish had taken Tommy’s bait without registering a bite. “Gus” had tangled Tom’s line and in the process broken Tom’s line. The end of the story was that the knot eventually came apart and the fish went free. After that there was no further action. They tried a couple of other Tarpon spots with no reward. There followed a run out to the Permit areas but it was too rough and you couldn’t see the fish. They finally returned back to the harbour and fished a different area (Bocacheeka) where the Tarpon were feeding freely. Tommy caught a few and “Gus” caught the biggest !.
Boat 2 (Capt Damon) was manned by Mick and Steve. After yesterdays success with the tarpon a decision was taken to spend the first two hours in pursuit of the silver giants. However things never go to plan over here and it was 45 minutes before any action to the boat, it was then that Steve had a solid pull from a good tarpon, sadly despite winding like a maniac he couldn’t keep up with the fish which ran at the boat at a rapid rate of knots, hence when it jumped clear of the water the hook just fell out. Captain Damon was suitably unimpressed and announced that Steve had been over zealous in his sticking (attempt to set the hook), and just winding into the fish would have sufficed. Mick then proceeded to catch a procession of bottom species showing that he was spending most of his time where his bait shouldn’t have been. The only other action in this spot was when Mick was winding in a mackerel and a barracuda proceeded to bite it clean in half. A move was called for and around 1000 yards down wind Damon marked a load of fish and the anchor was dropped. It was at this point that the pilot boat for a large cruise liner coming in announced we were anchored in the shipping channel, Damon though begged to differ and told them to carry on fishing! Two minutes later the pilot boat was back and asked them to leave again, Damon then feigned deafness until the pilot boat radioed the coast guard upon which Damon’s hearing kicked back in again and off we went. Next stop was to catch some bait, and Mick took the honours here with a constant stream of big herrings, even the attention of another barracuda failed to halt his charge. Armed with top notch bait we headed out to the reef full of confidence. It was here that Mick switched to the gulp and proceeded to remove most of the groupers in the area from theirr homes. Steve on the other hand spent most of the next few hours snagged on the bottom and proceeded to lose most of Damon’s jigs. Something that Damon certainly didn’t seem to be amused by. The afternoon went by with a few decent Kingfish to Mick and a big barracuda for Steve. Then things slowed and only two small sharks came to the boat. Damon must have cheered up at this point as he gave Steve another jig head and back down it went. I’ll let Steve tell the story from here! “ After a couple of minutes yet again I was snagged on the bottom and fearing the wrath of captain Damon I let out a load of slack line and pretended it wasn’t stuck for a bit. That became boring though so I thought I’d best see if I can get the jig back so I gave it a good pull and it moved. Good I thought whatever I’m snagged on is coming up, then it kicked and started to swim. It felt like a dead weight but it was definitely swimming. Damon and Mick then declared it was a big shark and to take my time and I’d get it out. Bear in mind I was only on 10lb test. After 20 minutes nothing was happening , I wasn’t gaining but I wasn’t losing. Then out of the blue a turtle appeared on the surface. I lifted the rod and I couldn’t be sure but the line seemed to be coming from the turtles mouth !! I tried to tell Damon but he wasn’t having it and said it was just a coincidence. Ten more minutes and I’d gained a bit of line when whatever I was playing rose to the surface, first a head that certainly wasn’t a fishes, then a shell the size of a mini appeared!! Id only gone and hooked a turtle, and by the looks of it in the mouth too!! Damon then declared if I could get it in he’d pull it up into the boat. I then piled on the pressure in a bid to land the monster and up it came again, Damon then went back on his word and said that even if he, Mick and me tried we wouldn’t be able to lift it into the boat. I was still giving it some serious pressure and twenty minutes later it was back on top, only this time it had a mate with it, personally I think it had called in reinforcements, although Damon was of the opinion it didn’t know it was hooked. At this point it went down and started to run, I could do nothing to stop it and realised after an hour plus of fighting the monster I wouldn’t be seeing it. Two minutes later the line parted to put a fitting end to an eventful day!! After that we wrapped things up and on the way back I was keen to know what the record turtle was, but alas no one could tell me!
Boat 3 ( Capt. Buzz ) Was manned by Keith and Roy. They had a great plan, catch some herring for bait and go out over the reef for some serious action. Two hours later and with not one herring in the boat we had to change to plan B. Plan B was to catch a load of Mullet in the cast net and go Shark Fishing in the Gulf. On board with us today was Radomire our cameraman. He was filming for various companies so we desperately needed a good day. We went out to Jew Fish Basin and found a mullet slick. This is an area where thousands of Mullet were feeding and digging up the bottom. This resulted in a huge trail of grey water, perfect for Sharks. It was only a couple of minutes before our free lined Mullets were ravaged by a succession of Black Tip and Lemon Sharks. Radomire thought this was awesome and he filmed every fish, to Keith and I they all looked about the same. I was talking to Radomire and he told me his biggest fish ever of any species was 30lbs. Suddenly two huge sharks attacked our chum line baits. These were eating our Barracuda and a Tuna hanging from a rope. I cast my mullet at one of the monsters and I could see it was going to eat it. Quick as a flash I gave the rod to Radomire and grabbed his camera. The next 45 minutes was like a circus, Radomire must have walked around the boat about 10 times being pulled by the Shark, Meanwhile Keith landed two more Lemon Sharks around 40lbs each. Finally the beast was near the boat, Keith and Buzzy grabbed its tail while I carried on filming. It was sheer pandemonium as they tried to lift it on board. The problem is that two men cannot pull out a 300lb plus shark by the tail. I filmed it all so you may see this on TV, it was awesome.
And finally from “Gus”
Another great day out on the water. It was a tad frustrating watching Tommy hook Tarpon after Tarpon without him ever seeing a bite, but he’s such a nice guy that I couldn’t begrudge him a single one. We invited the skippers round to dinner last night and Keith did a great job preparing a variety of delicious fish (except for the prawns that were battered but somebody (Roy) forgot to take the shells off. I’ve attached the photo that has one “Picture of the Trip” . I have all of Roy’s photos on my computer and I’ll put them on to some DVD’s for Roy to distribute.
Day twelve for the Team Gulp Gang in Key West. It’s been another sunny day with highs in the mid 80’s and a strong breeze.
Bad news, The Key West Classic Tournament has been cancelled. The word is that Team Gulp consisting of Roy and Keith were too dangerous having won the event 3 times out of the last 6. It turns out that unfortunately the other competitions have been more popular and The World Sailfish Tournament was a major draw with over 130 boats taking part.
Day ten for the Team Gulp Gang in Key West. It’s been another sunny day with highs in the mid 80’s and a strong breeze. Three of the boats fished for Tarpon in the harbour so we’re a bit short of variety today.
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Keith, Paul and Radomir. ( The cameraman)
Keith and Paul tried hard to be top Tarpon boat today. They finished with 2 tarpon out of 6 hook ups, plus a big Kingfish over 25lbs on a tarpon bait, no mean feat when you are fishing without wire. A great assortment of smaller fish including a good Gag Grouper, and assortment of snappers .
Boat 2 (Capt Damon) was manned by Roy and Steve.
Steve and Roy were in the Zone today, we finished up with 6 Tarpon for 10 Hooked, it would have been 7 but Tommy on the next boat cut one off. Steve was in top form and our boat was hot. Three fish around the 100lb mark gave us some good pictures.. We also had a big red grouper that will be on the menu for tomorrows dinner. The usual assortment of snappers and mackerels kept us on our toes.
Boat 3 ( Capt. Buzz ) Was manned by Mick and Alan.
The original plan had to be changed, on leaving the dock it was obvious that it was going to be rough in the Atlantic and wet. Plan 2 fell into place when Buzzy located a huge shoal of feeding mullet in the Gulf that was being ravaged by sharks of all species and sizes. The pair had a great day with over 40 Sharks boated, sport was so good they ran out of big hooks and finished up on snapper hooks that the toothies kept straightening. Species included Black Tips, Lemons, Spinners, Sand, Nurse and Bonnets. Best Fish of the day was a 200lb Nurse landed by Alan. The majority of the remaining sharks were between 50 & 100lb, several times the pair were playing fish together as the feeding frenzy lasted all day. The pair also caught Jack Cravalles and Lady fish on jigs in amongst the feeding mullet. Mick also landed a 75lb Black Tip shark on a jig without a wire trace, Alan unluckily also lost one on similar tactics. Arms aching the rest of the team decided that they should buy the ice creams.
Boat 4 (Capt Chris) with Tom and “Gus”. They fished for Tarpon at the entrance to the harbour. First cast Tommy lost a tarpon, next cast he landed one, then “Gus” landed one, then Tommy landed one and lost and lost another, then the tide turned and that was that. All over by 10:30. For the rest of the day they caught an assortment of bottom fish but no more Tarpon.
And Finally from Gus
It was a bit too windy to fish offshore today so we ended up fishing for Tarpon in the harbour. I spent most of the first 2 hours watching Tommy play fish (the boat has to follow the Tarpon, so the other angler can’t fish
whilst his partner is playing a fish). I did manage to sneak one big fish whilst Tommy was in a tangle. He then let me fish off the other side of the boat in the chum trail, and within 10 seconds the tide had stopped running !. I’ve attached a photo of Roy taken a few moments ago (at 5:15pm), I think he’s still tired after fishing for 4 hours past time a couple of days ago.
And Finally finally a quick word from Steve.
Well what a day, as Roy has said we were well and truly in the zone! I had only had one days tarpon fishing prior to today and had really struggled, so to say I was apprehensive was an understatement! However a few hints from Roy and I was ready for action, it took me about half an hour to get my head round it, but from then on myself and Roy fought a number of fish throughout the day. Well I say Roy and myself fought tarpon, that wouldn’t quite be true as every time Roy hooked one up he decided he was on camera duty and passed me the rod! Playing ten tarpon in a day is hard work and I now have the blisters on my hands to prove it. Words of encouragement from Roy, such as you’ve got him now were well received at the time, but thinking back he might well have been talking to the fish! Such is the power they possess. As the day went on and we continued to catch, our shouts of we’re in the zone every time we hooked up seemed to be less and less well received by our neighbouring boats. This wasn’t helped by the fact we seemed to be the only ones catching in the afternoon period! At this point we decided to tone it down a bit for fear of reprisal attacks such as Tommy’s uncalled for cut off!! Personally I put our catch rate down to Damons power chumming as we drew all the tarpon from the other boats, well that and the fact we were on the end peg for a change anyway!! So all in all a great day, with some fantastic tarpon, some great banter and equally good company. Roll on tomorrow!
Day nine for the Team Gulp Gang in
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Roy and Alan. They opted for Tarpon fishing in the harbour. Alan had never r caught a Tarpon prior to this trip and he fell foul of
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Keith, “Gus” and Radomir Krkic, a photographer who is making a fishing film for Serbian television. They started by fishing for Yellowtail Snappers on the reef. Then a spell fishing the deep water produced an Amberjack for Keith and 3 lost fish for “Gus”. They finally moved over to the Permit patch but that was very quiet and “Gus” caught a single Bar Jack.
Boat 4 ( Capt.Buzz ) Was manned by Tommy and Paul they fished the
Boat 5 (Capt Travis) with Steve and Mick.
They had great day on the flats and both landed their first Bonefish, Mick also did battle with a Tarpon for several minutes. This type of fishing is more like hunting than fishing in water that is often less than 2 feet deep.
The pair had a close up view of loads of Rays and Sharks.
And Finally from Gus
After yesterdays bad behaviour by certain so-called members of the team, there’s been a certain degree of contriteness shown by the naughty boys. It’s amazing how fishing can change from day to day when conditions seem to be identical. Today we followed pretty much the same schedule as yesterday, but results were totally different. In particular, the Permit had done a complete disappearing act, which was a great shame. Never mind tomorrow is another day and we’re still in paradise.
Sorry for this Gulp News being a day late. It was all down to Roy and Tommy on boat two. They did not get in till 8pm , the rest of us were in at 4 pm. It was very selfish of them, we thought the worst, or was it the best when they did not return on time. We were all starving and could not go out to dinner because they had the car. Read on to find out what caused the problem.
Day eight for the Team Gulp Gang in Key West has been another sunny day with highs around 83 degrees and a gentle breeze. Another pretty good day for the team as follows :
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Keith. The day started badly when Jack, the skipper, dropped his car keys overboard at the dock. They decided to stop fishing a little earlier than usual so that a search could be organised. When they got back from fishing it was only a matter of minutes before somebody swam down and retrieved them, so a happy ending there. They fished for Tarpon but although there were loads of them crashing around in the harbour, they were hard to tempt and the final score was 5 Tarpon hooked and 2 landed.
Boat 2 (Capt Pat) was manned by Roy and Tommy.
Our day started with us catching some brilliant bait and our plan was to target the King Fish in the Gulf. It was the wrong choice, the tide was wrong and we only had two in the first two hours. We made a decision to go over the reef to a deep water wreck some 20 miles away. The wreck in 250 ft of water only produced two Red Snappers. We moved on to the Sub and Tommy landed three big Amberjacks up to 60lbs . Roy lost two monsters that made the wreck. Tommy was a wreck and was complaining of back ache We fished a couple of other wrecks and Roy had a good Amberjack but nothing else. It was looking pretty bad, we had tried hard but had only a mediocre day. It was 30 miles back to Key West on the way Captain Pat said that if we saw any Tarpon rolling in the harbour we would give them a shot. That is where the trouble started. We did see a tarpon and set up our chum line. At 4.10 Tommy hooked a monster that towed the boat about half mile before wearing out his 50 test leader. It was now 4.40 and back on the buoy Pat hooked another monster, after 20 minutes it jumped and threw the hook. Things went quiet and Roy said that we should give it to 5.30 and then head home.
It was 5.29 and Roy hooked a monster that just kept going. Key West Harbour is full of anchored sail boats and this fish made the first boat, Roy eased off the drag and by some miracle we passed the rod under the anchor rope. The problem now that the fish was some three hundred yards away. We chased it down but this time it went under another sail boat, this boat had an anchor rope and a trailing rope. Again with a loose drag we somehow freed the line from both ropes, the spool was now dangerously low in fact the fish was now 400 yards away. Full speed again to try and gain back the line, nearly caught up with the fish and it has gone under a rusting red sail boat that must have been abandoned. The line was running through the barnacles on the hull, after what seemed an age the line came free. That’s three sail boats, surely luck must be with us. No chance, next the fish went round a rope on a crab pot, again a free spool and what seemed an age we freed it again.
The fish that was still some 300 yards away decided to run a flat where we could not follow, it was looking curtains, maximum drag on badly fraid line. The fish turned and snagged another crab pot, this surely must be the end. We pulled up the crab pot and passed the line around the rope all on a loose drag, the spool was now nearly empty and it holds 520 yards. We gave chase yet again and eventually closed the gap. In front open water and no boats. This fish had had its wheetabix. Roy thought he had foul hooked it as it was so strong.
It was now 7pm and we saw the fish for the first time, it was a Tarpon that we eventually leadered. We estimated its weight somewhere between 130 – 140lbs. Now you know why you did not receive Gulp News yesterday . Tommy was on the camera, we have some brilliant pictures. Three sail boats, two crab pots and a mile and half chase is another record. We only use 20lb Berkeley Big Game reel line, its tough stuff.
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Mick and “Gus“.
An excellent day which started with some bottom fishing in 60ft of water next to the reef. That produced a Mutton Snapper and a couple of Grouper. They then moved to a deeper spot (200ft) and caught an Amberjack, Mutton Snapper and 2 more Groupers. The next move was to the wreck of a submarine that is laying in 220ft of water. This mark is famous for the number of Amberjack that inhabit the area. These are some of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean. You can get them to within a few feet of the surface only for them to dive right back down to the bottom. You really wouldn’t want to catch too many of them, they simply beat you up too badly. However Mick is a glutton for punishment and after catching one of around 50lbs he went straight back down to try and catch another !. Luckily for him, it took a while before he hooked the next one, a mere tiddler of around 20lbs. Meanwhile “Gus” who had caught one at the previous mark, plus 2 in the first 2 casts over the submarine had retired for a lay down. Getting fed up with waiting for Mick, he foolishly lowered a bait to the bottom for it to be immediately eaten by a monster Amberjack. Having played it for around 15 minutes he’d managed to get it about a third of the way to the surface when something ate it!. The most amazing thing about this place is the way that fish weighing 50lbs or more are simply swallowed by some unseen monster. For the last 90 minutes of the trip the group moved to the Permit patch at Western. The Permit were hungry today and Mick caught 5 to “Gus”s 3, all were caught on Gulp crabs.
Boat 4 ( Capt. Manny Ravelo. Another Grouper )
Paul and Alan fished with Manny today.
Boat 5 (Capt Travis) with Steve Ringer. Captain Travis has a flats boat, a shallow draught boat capable of fishing in a few inches of water. Steve decided to make things as difficult as possible by fly fishing all day for Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish. He didn’t actually catch one, but says that if he’d known what he was doing in the first hour then he’s sure that he’d have hooked a Tarpon. He cast at quite a few fish but they simply wouldn’t take the fly. When you consider that these Tarpon weigh in excess of 100lbs, hooking one probably isn’t the same as landing one.
And Finally from Gus
I had a superbly enjoyable day today. When Capt Damon called “lines out” I thought that he’d made a mistake with the time, it felt like noon, it was actually 3:15, that day really flew by. We didn’t catch hundreds but we caught some wonderful, arm aching fish . It was just a perfect day !….until the selfish part of the group decided that they would ignore the fact that they had the van keys and would just fish for an extra 4 hours ! Tommy, who was Roy’s partner on the boat tells a different story to the one penned by Roy above. It seems that when Tommy hooked his Tarpon around 4pm, Roy said that they were short of time and needed to get in, so he tightened Tommy’s drag until he lost his fish. When they returned to their buoy where Roy intended to hook a fish, Pat the skipper was inconsiderate enough to hook one first. You can’t really tighten the skipper’s drag to breaking point, so they had to wait until that fish was landed. Then back again to the buoy (it’s now two and a half hours after the official finish time but Roy still insisted on catching a fish). Roy duly hooked his fish and, as normal, played it on the loosest drag possible. Time that was so important when Tommy was playing a fish was now totally meaningless, the “Chosen One” took his time to land the fish, some 4 hours later than the normal finishing time. Does he cheat this much when he’s fishing the Glebe ?.
Day seven for the Team Gulp Gang in sunny Key West has been another sunny day with highs around 83 degrees and the wind dropping to a light breeze. The fishing has picked up and we have lots to report.
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Paul and Alan. They fished 3 wrecks in the Gulf and had a tremendous days sport. Their catch included Bluefish, Kingfish, Cobia, Gag Grouper, six or more Lemon Sharks, Lane Snapper, Yellowtail Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Goliath Grouper (2 landed and 2 HUGE ones lost), Grunts plus a couple of other species that we’d never heard of and have now forgotten. They had to motor for around an hour and a quarter and fished around 30 miles from shore. When they got back to the harbour this evening they were raving about how many fish they caught on Gulp crabs, better than the real thing !.Paul caught dozens of fish on the Gulp Crabs; some monsters also liked the crabs, in his own words: ‘they were choking themselves’. Back at base camp our remaining Gulp Crabs quickly disappeared ; I wonder who has them?
Boat 2 (Capt Chris) was manned by Roy and “Gus”. They fished the reef and caught a variety of fish including Amberjack, Yellowtail Snappers, 4 different varieties of Grouper, Bonitos, a Mutton Snapper and a Triggerfish. The 5“ Gulp Shads were popular with the Groupers along with the 4” Gulp Shrimp for the Yellow tails. A 15lb Mutton Snapper fell foul of a 4” natural shrimp. To finish off the day
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Steve and Mick.
They had an unbelievable day plundering big Yellowtails on 4” Gulp Shrimps, they had at least 150lbs of Yellow Tail Snappers. Mick had a big Mutton Snapper that weighed 16lbs, along with a boat load of Groupers.
Steve could not resist a shot at the Chubs; they are treated as a nuisance fish down here, he had two around 4lbs. He found out they don’t half scrap. Sharks, Trigger Fish and Amaco Jacks made up the rest of the catch.
Mick has nabbed the remaining 4” Gulp Shrimps.
Boat 4 ( Capt. Manny Ravelo. Another Grouper )
This is a new Guide for us, but what a day he gave our anglers. The boats motley crew consisted of our Team Organiser Keith, Veteran Tommy and Marcus, who opted to go Tuna Fishing in the Gulf. They ran 50 Miles into the Gulf and fished among the shrimp boats. The trick was to avoid the Bonitoes and our team were shown tricks that few men know about: the secret to catching the Tuna. Keith landed a great fish on the Fly, weighing in at 30lbs. That is a good Blackfin the all class world record is only 44lbs. A total of Ten Blackfins were landed. Some big snappers were also caught. Several big sharks added to the fun, the problem was they were chomping on 20lb plus tuna.
And Finally from Gus
Roy still lets me take photographs for him in his bright red Berkley shirt; he has given me a union badge.
I had a Triggerless Trigger Fish (doesn’t that make it just a fish?) today that weighed 15lbs. The team were not going to let me count it because it was not in the book. I out-voted them, because it was the first one I have ever caught, so it counts.
Roy has just found his secret stash of Gulp, I know where it is hidden. Say no more. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks great; it is amazing what a good day does for everyone. Due to a mix-up with the boat bookings tomorrow, a couple of us will be fishing on our own, including Steve, who will have his first day flats fishing with Capt Travis Rolan. There are no certainties but it should be good.
Paul, who wanted to catch a monster Goliath ( he had a couple of small ones around 200lbs), was nearly lost overboard today. We spooled his reel with 150lb Fire Line and 200lb leaders. With a full harness there were times when it was touch and go whether he would remain in the boat: he has opted to NOT fish for Goliaths tomorrow.
Do not think for a minute that this is all fun. We are too tired to go out to eat, so we have eaten in. We are all stuffed on Tuna and Grouper that top Chef Keith prepared. It’s up again at six in the morning; I bet you are all glad you do not have to take the pain and suffering that we are all enduring.
Please feel free to e-mail us with your feeling-sorry-for-us stories.
Team Gulp really shone today. Our latest delivery from Kimberly has been greatly reduced. We had some captains that were non believers in Gulp but they are now converted. Team Gulp was in the Zones today, I reckon we caught more fish on Gulp than ever before. We have some great Gulp shots, the problem is that they often totally swallow the stuff.
Watch this space for tomorrow’s Adventure in Paradise: we plan to be IN THE ZONE.
It is day six for the Team Gulp Gang in sunny
Boat 1 (Capt. Scotty) was manned by Keith, Tommy and Marcus. They spent the whole day Tarpon fishing. The fish were hard to find but eventually Marcus hooked his first ever Tarpon. He played it for an hour…then lost it !. He was devastated but determined to try again. Next person to hook a fish was Tommy and he played his Tarpon for around half an hour before landing a superb fish estimated at 125lbs. An hour or more later, Marcus hooked a Tarpon which managed to tangle the lines from 3 other surrounding boats, causing untold chaos and panic. The fish was eventually landed giving Marcus his first ever Tarpon. Then just before “lines out”, Keith hooked and landed a Tarpon of over 100lbs. The fish were huge but thin on the ground.
Boat 2 (Capt Chris) was manned by apprentice Steve Ringer and “Floatman“ Mick Wilkinson. They motored out to the
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Roy and “Gus”. They too went shark fishing. They both caught a 100 lbs plus Nurse Shark quite early in the day, but then things went very quiet. Incidentally, the Nurse Shark really doesn’t live up to its name. It’s a big brown soppy fish of very limited intelligence and with no desire for a fight. It’s been likened to catching a pet puppy dog !. Yet again Roy hooked a big Spinner Shark that lived up to its name, after a searing first run of around 200 yards it leapt out of the water spinning the line along its body, the rest is history. After a couple more hours
And Finally from Gus
Another tough day in paradise, the fish were really hard to tempt. Fishing again with Roy meant that a few interesting moments were guaranteed. Once again he didn’t let us down. He landed a Lemon Shark much bigger than the one caught by Steve, except that Steve’s was hooked in the mouth !!. Roy then insisted on inviting this rather unhappy creature on to our boat so that he could have 100 or so photos taken of him and his catch (and his Berkley shirt of course). The shark came aboard fairly quietly and then tried to take a lump out of Capt. Damon’s leg. I didn’t know that ANYBODY could move that quickly. One other incident of note was when Roy hooked a Tarpon in the harbour. There were dozens of sailboats moored all around us and his fish went under several of the anchor ropes. There followed a tricky manoeuvre that involved passing the rod under the rope. Roy was laying flat on the gunwale of the boat, Damon had to grab the rod and I had the choice of pulling Roy back into the boat or giving him a gentle nudge into the beautiful blue water. Of course I did the honourable thing….maybe next time?. One piece of good news is that I have got back my photography proficiency badge. I managed some great pictures of Roy and his shirt and the Lemon Shark. Over dinner it was suggested that Steve was booked for Goliath Fishing tomorrow, his reply was unprintable. The world Sailfish Championship has finished, a boat docked in our little harbour has won it.
The final prize has been estimated at almost 2 million dollars. Would anyone like to sponsor Team Gulp,
Pools are only 25 thousand dollars. Any one interested please get back to us.
We all plan to try harder tomorrow, it is tough and we are tired out. However some one has to do it and we would not wish this intense pain on anybody else. Our new saying is “ Are you in the Zone?” It is written all over Roy’s shirt, he looks like a racing driver. The second loudest shirt belongs to our event organiser Keith Arthur, you can see him a mile away, he looks like a giant yellow canary on a fishing boat. I think he supports a UK football team, I think I have heard him mention it before.
Watch this space for tomorrow’s adventure in paradise.
It is day five for the Team Gulp Gang in sunny
We had a man short today, Paul who had battles yesterday with the Goliath Groupers was too ill to fish today.
It is rough and tough but the rest of Team Gulp soldiered on. The wind has picked up and changed direction, it may not seem much of a change but the fish have noticed it.
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Team Leader Roy, Master Chef Keith and “Gus” who can only be described as the worst photographer in the group. Fighting the Goliaths was out today because of the winds.
Our boat opted for some shark fishing mixed in with some Tarpon. Gus drew first blood with a big shark , but after a good battle it straightened a 6/0 circle hook and was gone.
Boat 2 (Capt Chris) was manned by apprentice Steve Ringer and veteran Tommy Young. With the wind blowing they opted to go Sailfish Fishing. The morning session was frustrating as most of the hooked fish were eaten by Barracudas. Steve was desperate for a Sail, he has never done any of this type of fishing, luck was with him and he had two magnificent Sailfish in the afternoon. That has now given Steve a grand slam, Tarpon, Permit and Sails, drinks tonight are on Steve. It wasn’t all over after the sails, a mystery monster hit Tommy’s Sailfish bait Tommy fought the fish for nearly an hour , but age started to tell and he went wobbly at the knees.
Rather than risk a fatality, Steve volunteered to take over, but after a further 20 minutes he realised that there was more line out than when he took over. It was becoming a one sided battle, the Captain had to be called in to assist. More drag was applied but eventually the line broke. The fish was never seen so we do not know what it was.
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Mick and Marcus.
They opted for some blue water fishing, Sails were the main target. Nylon leaders are the norm for Sails but the toothy critters decided that any live baits were fair game. After numerous bite offs, wire was called for. Great sport with Kingfish,and Barracudas followed but the Sails were too smart for the wire. Back on the Berkley Fluorocarbon and it wasn’t long before a Sail hit the bait. Several spectacular jumps but the sail won the day and threw the hook. Plenty of Bonito kept the action going to the end.
Special thanks to Kimberly at Pure Fishing, today we received a box of Gulp baits, Stocks were getting very low. If we can get the weather we will target the Grouper areas, that should also produce several different species for us. Team Gulp will be back in the Zone.
And Finally from Gus
It has been a tough day for the team, the change in the weather seems to have put most of the fish off the feed. We had an interesting day on Jack’s boat. We were fishing away, minding out own business this morning when a boat approached us called “Law Enforcement”. This seemed a really strange name for a boat and then I noticed the blue lights on the wheelhouse !. There could only have been 2 possible reasons for the visit. Either they were going to arrest Roy for wearing an offensive shirt, he looks more like a race car driver in his bright red Berkley ’’in the zone’’ shirt, or Jack had been damaging Pelicans again (I can’t tell the full story of Jack and the pelicans, suffice to say that Jack had to do a number of days “community service” after the unfortunate accidental death of a couple of pelicans a year or two back. Anyhow, it was neither, simply a routine examination of the boat and its safety equipment. No problem and the officers of the law went away happy. The wind is forecast to drop a little tomorrow, so we’re hoping to get back “into the zone”
Incidentally, if you think that match fishing is expensive in the UK you should read on. The world Sailfish tournament is taking place in Key West, it is a three day event. Enter all of the pools and the winning boat of maximum 4 anglers will win a cool 1 million dollars. Roy suggested that we should get a sponsor for Team Gulp, I suggested we e-mail his boss Graham Thomas to see if he would pay our pools. The pools are 25 thousand dollars, yes that is correct. Roy politely suggested to me not to waste an e-mail. Steve is showing a lot of interest in the big money tournaments out here in the US. He’s decided that 25 grand from Fishomania is just a days work to the guys taking part in this competition.
Tomorrow we will all try harder
Watch this space for tomorrow’s adventure in paradise.
It is day four for the Team Gulp Gang in sunny Key West. Once again it’s been roasting hot, high eighties and absolutely no wind.
Our team increased overnight with the addition of Paul Blanksby from Rotherham, Alan from New Jersey and Marcus, an Englishman now living in Florida.
Boat 1 (Capt. Jack) was manned by Mick Wilkinson and Steve Ringer. They went after Goliath Grouper, the biggest, ugliest Grouper that God created. Incidentally, they used to be called Jewfish but in today’s world of political correctness they changed their name. I just wish that I’d been there watching….it seems that when Steve hooked one there was Steve at the butt of the rod, Mick lifting the middle of the rod on his shoulder and Jack the skipper lifting the tip. This joint effort resulted in a “tiddler” of something over 200lbs. Then the fun really started, Mick hooked a “proper” one that could have eaten Steve’s fish. That too was landed and estimated at 350lbs plus.The apprentice Steve was heard to say that one Goliath was enough for any human being. Words like “it made me badly “ were heard. Mick the Gulp Wilkinson has now caught more fish and more species than anyone in the team on Gulp. Today he even landed a small Goliath estimated at 60lbs on Gulp Crab. Thanks to Mick the entire team is eating Gulp caught fish for dinner. Grouper and several species of snapper are on chef Keith’s menu. Word has got a around and Key West Tackle stores are almost completely sold out of Gulp.
Boat 2 (Capt Chris) had a trio of Team Gulp members with Keith, Marcus and “Gus” on board. They spent most of the day catching Kingfish to around 30lbs, then spent the last hour or two catching a few Permit. Seeing those Permit in 60ft of incredibly blue ocean was an amazing sight, just amazing. We have now converted several of our captains to 30lb Whiplash pro braid, without doubt the best braid in the world.
Boat 3 (Capt Damon) was manned by Tommy and Alan. They spent most of the day fishing for Kingfish and Tommy says that at a conservative estimate they caught over 50 fish, averaging between 15 and 30 pounds each. That’s a GREAT day’s fishing.
Boat 4 (Capt Buzz on Crankenstien ) entertained Roy and Paul. The day started well, and they caught a couple of hundred pilchards in the throw net and filled the livebait well. Then it was out into the Gulf to target the wrecks. The first wreck produced some nice Cobias that pounced on the Gulp Squids. The second wreck in 65ft of water was solid with Baracuda and Permit. The water was so clear and calm that they could see the wreck on the bottom. They were in the Zone and their target was again the giant Goliath Grouper. The heavy gear came out, serious ABU superline rods and 50lb Fireline. (Roy reckons this breaks at over 100lbs). Paul had his Marlin rod and a reel to match. To cut to the chase, the combined score was Goliaths 10 anglers none, well that’s not quite true as they did land two smaller ones. Less than 100lbs is a baby.
Not to be beaten again Roy and Paul tied both of their lines to a single swivel down to the one hook, now that is some serious combined tackle. A Goliath estimated to be the size as a small car took the bait and the battle commenced. Both drags locked down on a combined outfit around 180lb test , the rods were bent double. The monster pulled both anglers down on to their knees, and they both hung on for grim death fearing for their lives and the risk of some serious injuries. Like true Brits they did not give an inch. With sweat dripping off like they had been thrown, they hung on, in fact they managed to pulled the beast at least two feet towards them. That only left another 63 feet to go. Then things turned nasty, the beast realised that it was hooked and headed towards its home in the wreck. The boat actually tilted and Buzzy had to hold on to both their belts to prevent two men going over the side. That made the score 11 nil to the Giants. On the way back to the dock they have hatched another plan to beat the monsters, if it works you will read about it in Gulp News
And Finally from “Gus”
Can you believe that grown men can hook 11 fish and not land a single one?. At one time, in the depths of despair, they tied both lines to the same swivel and still couldn’t hang on !!. I hear that Paul was on his knees and Roy was nearly pulled overboard. Paul brought a huge selection of lovely new, expensive end tackle with him. He lost all of it on his first day !. Paul has gone to bed early and has taken loads of pain killers, he looks like a man barely alive. Keith and Tommy have also retired to bed, but it is well past their bedtime (it’s 9pm !)
Perhaps now you will believe that this is not all fun.
It is rough and tough but we have agreed to do it to save you the pain.
Plans are being made for tomorrow, will the Goliaths win again?
More Gulp is on its way, thank you.
It is day three for the Team Gulp Gang in sunny
Our team organiser Keith Arthur was charged with a misdemeanour today. He miscalculated how many boats we required , with the result that Roy and Keith each had a boat to themselves.
Boat 1 today was manned by Mick Wilkinson and “Gus“, they went after the Kingfish with Capt Damon on the Outcast. That plan only lasted for the morning as they limited out with great Kingfish up to 35lbs.After that they fished the rock piles and bagged up yet again using Gulp. Several species were caught but the new outstanding bait for the Groupers was the 5” Jerk Shad. Mick devastated the rest of the team with his new bait.
It says on the packet that it outfishes live baits, well today it certainly did. It was so good that Mick was offered bribes from Captain Damon and “Gus” for a packet. You can guess the outcome. On the way back they dropped in on The Permit Patch and had a double hook up. After that a Hammerhead Shark decided he wanted some action and chased an estimated 500 Permit over the flats, an awesome sight.
Boat 2 today was manned by our apprentice Steve Ringer and veteran Tommy Young.
Steve is currently resting in bed. His first two fish were Amberjacks over 80lbs hooked in 250ft of water. He has severe back ache . Tommy managed one then decided the punishment was too great. Captain Chris on Cool Water decided to cover some water quickly, his boat has only two speeds stop and fast. Steve looked like he had just come off a race track after their day covered over 100 miles round trip. They did stop at several locations and had some great Groupers. Steve was heard to say that AmberJacks are painful.
Boat 3 Consisted of Team Leader Roy and Capt Jack Kelly best friend of “Gus“.
Boat 4 was tour organiser Keith Arthur with Buzz on “Crankenstein”
Keith is responsible for this late report as he went AWOL.
It’s now 7:20pm and he’s just walked in the door, exactly three hours overdue. It seems that neither he nor the boat skipper had ever been taught to tell the time. The abbreviated story is that apart from tons of Kingfish the reason for making the rest of the team late for dinner was down to the fact that a Goliath Grouper ate a four foot lemon shark that Keith was fighting. Only the tale of the shark was visible sticking out of the Grouper’s mouth. Even our Team Organiser Keith could not defeat that particular Goliath, and after a brief battle, Keith lost. Not to be outdone the heavy tackle came into use. First drop with a three pound bait and a smaller Goliath estimated at over 200lbs nearly pulled our angling hero overboard before it was safely landed.
Captain Buzzy said that just like the local Indians he did not know the time because he doesn‘t wear a watch, but tells the time by the position of the sun. Looking at Keith‘s face this evening, we’re pretty sure that he’s talking about RED Indians.
When asked to comment if he’d had a tiring day catching all of those fish, Keith said, no problems I just pace myself. Interestingly, when we got back from dinner he was sound asleep !.
If Team Gulp News upsets you, then it should. Team Gulp is working its little socks off in appalling conditions. We have to get up early every day, we are having to pace ourselves.
The food is fantastic and we are tired out . This is only day 3.
It has been noted that there is considerable jealousy over Roy’s bright red Team Gulp “In the Zone Pro Team” shirt. Team Organiser Keith today had to wear his bright yellow Arsenal shirt to try and compete, unfortunately he looked like a giant canary.
Watch this space for tomorrow’s adventure in paradise.
It is day two for the Team Gulp gang in sunny
Boat 1 consisted of Keith Arthur and float maker extraordinaire, Mick Wilkinson. It was a slow day for Tarpon, they only had 3 fish but they were all over 100lbs. Keith did Jack, the skipper, a favour and dropped the anchor. Unfortunately he tied it with a granny knot and when they tried to lift the anchor the rope broke and Jack lost his anchor!. The less said about this the better, so please do not tell anyone about this, Keith may get agitated.
Boat 2 was manned by the veterans Tommy Young and Gus. They caught their limit of Kingfish (a very large version of the
Boat 3 saw the team leader Roy Marlow and his apprentice Steve Ringer follow a similar plan to Boat 2 although
All of Team Gulp caught loads of excellent bottom fish on various flavours of Gulp. The new squids claimed another first with a ‘baby’ Goliath Grouper‚ falling to Team Leader Roy.
It is not all fun, back at the dock apprentice match angler Steve Ringer and
The weather forecast for tomorrow is much the same as today, to be honest it’d be nice if there were a bit of breeze or a cloud in the sky.
Yet again Gulp was used to catch some superb Permit and
Finally another plea to those kind people at Pure Fishing.
Dinner was cooked by our resident chef Keith Arthur, we all suffered from podge having consumed vast amounts of Yellow Tail Snappers, Cobia, Mahi Mahi and Mutton Snapper. We had to follow it with strawberries, bananas, and a gallon of ice cream.
Will everyone back at home please remember this is very hard work, up in the morning at 6.15am, fishing in the hot sun all day, arms aching with fighting fish, then to top it all we have to eat some of our fresh fish to build our energy for tomorrows exciting adventure.
Watch this space for tomorrow’s adventure in paradise
It is day one for the Team Gulp Team in sunny
The weather today has been a cool 83 degrees . Not a cloud in the sky, almost flat calm and some awesome fishing. Our party of 6 split into 3 boats and we all did something different.
Boat 1 consisted of Sky presenter Keith Arthur and our latest recruit, ace match angler Steve Ringer. What Steve didn’t know is that Keith & I had hatched a secret plan to break his back. Up to this date, Steve’s biggest fish was a carp of 17lbs but today he released a tarpon estimated to weigh 120lbs after a battle that towed the boat 2 miles !. Sadly for Steve, he didn’t pace himself and he will be early to bed tonight. Keith had one tarpon but then decided to reduce our stock of Gulp by catching dozens of Snapper, Grouper etc on a wide variety of the new Gulp varieties.
Boat 2 was manned by the veterans Tommy Young and Mick Wilkinson. They had to change their plan after motoring for over 2 hours into the
Boat 3 saw the team leader Roy Marlow and his sidekick “Gus” fish a perfect plan. The day started with a bait catching session where we totally blitzed the surrounding boats by cutting tiny pieces of Gulp and using them to catch bait fish. This was followed by a session of fishing for Yellowtail Snapper using both natural baits and Gulp. An unusual catch amongst the Snappers was an Amaco Jack, a rare visitor to
Thanks to the team who supplied us with a large quantity of Gulp. Unfortunately, we’ve already caught so many fish on the crab and shrimp versions that we’re desperate for reinforcements. If anybody could arrange a quick delivery to the
After 1 day’s fishing we’ve already caught around 200lb of prime table fish on Gulp. The forecast tomorrow is for temperatures in the eighties and light winds, so we’re very hopeful of another great day.