My husband grew up fishing, but I actually had never been fishing in my life until I was about 30 years old! We entered a contest with the Miami Dolphins to win a boat. You can imagine my excitement when I was called and told that we’d won 1st prize! I thought OH MY GOD! We won a boat? We did not win a boat. That was the GRAND prize. We did win a fishing charter trip though with former Miami Dolphins player Channing Crowder. It was a really good time and we caught some Mahi. We went with a professional captain though and it wasn’t the same experience as if we were to go just us. It was also choppy that day but we were on a big boat and with pros so it was doable.
My first real fishing experience though was in Key Largo 2019. I was blown away! Key Largo is always a beautiful place but when you get the days where the perfect weather conditions align, the only way I can describe it is MAGICAL. When I say perfect weather conditions, I don’t just mean no rain. I am also referring to the wind conditions because unfortunately when it comes to boating, wind affects much of what you can and cannot do. You don’t get the days with no wind every day so when you do, you need to take advantage! Especially with the kids, we take advantage of these days to go fishing.
If you know anything about fishing you know that the fish are usually biting at sunrise and sundown. This means when we fish, we need to head out very early. While it’s never any fun to wake up before the sun, this is one of those times when it’s so worth it! There is nothing like coming out onto the channel, especially on a flat calm day, and seeing the sunrise. The ocean looks like glass and you can barely even tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins. Photos will never do it justice and it is just stunning!
It’s moments like this that take your breath away and you realize how beautiful the world God created for us is. I feel so thankful, grateful and blessed when I get to experience things like this. We go fishing in Pickles Reef which is maybe 20-30 minutes away from us. As we head to our spot we see the sun slowly coming up in the sky. I usually go nuts taking pictures because it’s so impressive to me.
Once we anchor up, that’s when the real fun begins! We throw chum in the water and as it starts to thaw out, all the fish start to come! As we build life, the party starts and we start getting all kinds of visitors! On these flat calm days the water here is so beautiful and crystal clear that you can actually see down to the floor even though we are in about 60 feet of water. It looks like an aquarium and it is something so special to experience with the kids who get so excited when they see all these sea creatures! Apart from all the fish who come we also saw sharks and barracudas! We also saw a turtle! Honestly- what didn’t we see? I try to get photos but it is tough! I don’t know if I’d do better with a professional camera rather than relying on my iPhone but for now, this is what I have.
All the photos I am sharing here are from our first fishing trip of 2021. We had a good fishing day! We go specifically for yellowtail. Usually we’ll need catch a few blue runners before we get to the yellow tail but this time our first one was a yellowtail! Early on in the morning we already spotted that the school of yellowtail had arrived to the chum party so we knew it would be a good day!
Don’t get me wrong about the blue runners though- while the goal is to catch something edible, specially yellowtail snapper, the blue runners are great for the kids to start learning how to fight the fish! They get really excited when we hook one since it gives them an opportunity to participate in the sport. We don’t trust the kids to catch dinner yet! haha
This time we also hooked someone we did not mean to hook! It was such a cool experience for the kids! We hooked and Peter fought a small nurse shark! Don’t worry, no sharks were harmed in this process and obviously after we had our up close and personal experience, we let our new friend free.
On days like this, the ride back is also GORGEOUS! Peter says he actually enjoys it more than the sunrise ride because you can see the patches of water where there is white sand and where there is reef. You can easily tell where the white sand is because it’s this BEAUTFUL turquoise color that I don’t think you will find anywhere in the continental United States other than the Florida Keys.
As for me, you’ll notice while I love to go fishing, I actually don’t fish. I am also not to be trusted with something that could possibly be dinner and I like to leave the little blue runners for the kids. Truth be told, I should probably learn. There were so many yellowtail surrounding our boat that Peter believes if we had more than one person on our trip who actually knew what they were doing, we would have caught double the amount of fish. We ended up bringing home 5 yellowtail. We hooked 7 total. One of them was too small and and not a keeper so he got to go back home and another fell back in while Peter was trying to remove the hook. He swam off so fortunately he did survive. It was not his day.
So you are probably wondering why I love to go fishing even though I don’t actually fish. Of course it’s nice to have fresh fish for dinner BUT for me it’s about the beautiful sunrise, seeing all the sea life around us, and of course, watching the kids soak it all in! I absolutely LOVE that they are growing up on the water! The ocean was very special to my grandfather, Abuelo Ricardo and I know he is proudly watching these moments from heaven!
Thanks for visiting!