2010-02-01 - The OU Fishing Report - Revised with Pics!

Thank you for taking the time to read our first detailed fishing report of 2010! We have been preparing a new format so we hope you enjoy it! We would appreciate any feedback you'd like to give us. Look for more information to be added on a regular basis as we move into 2010. Our goal is simple; to provide you with the detailed information necessary for planning your next great fishing get-away.

Please note that we have detailed reports available on our web-site for EVERY DAY WE FISH! Check it out below, listen and read about all the great fishing that's been happening. These reports are also posted on our Facebook Fan Page, as well asa number of social networking sites like Sportfishermen.com and Bassbarn.com. The are posted in REAL TIME, throughout the week!

We have finished up fishing in North Carolina for Giant Bluefin, and things are shaping up quite nicely in Florida and the Bahamas. The extreme cold weather we experienced in the beginning of the month seems to be behind us now, and the fishing has been quite good as of late.

Please let us know how often you'd like to be recieving these updates as we work to get you the information you want, when you need it!

Key West, FL

King Mackeral

Islamorada, FL

Sailfish & Swords

Ft Lauderdale, FL




Morehead City, NC

Giant Bluefin Tuna,

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Islamorada, Florida Keys

Trip Type
Full Day on 29'cc
Full Day on 29' cc
Full Day on 50'
Swordfishing Trip Two days
$400 (for up to 2)



Trip Type

Treasure Cay, Abacos
$300 per day
5/4 - Live-Aboard Excursion
5/4 - Cat Island, Hawks Nest
mako shark

50' Evans Islamorada, FL
55' Gwaltney Morehead City, NC
48' Ocean Yacht Morehead City, NC
54' Bertram Treasure Cay, Bahamas
46' Whiticar Islamorada, FL
45' Cabo Fort Lauderdale, FL
28' CC Key West
29' CC Islamorada
Flats Skiffs Key West/Islamorada

King Mac

King Mac Caught on our 29' Mirage CC

Ever Chartered with OU?


Islamorada, FL

Windy day - good catch of dolphins - Captain John Oughton

Sailfishing is smoking! Windy today... - Captain John Oughton
Double digit days here in Islamorada! Good Fishing...
Sails Still Chewin! - Capt Trey Rhyne
Bite still strong from Ocean Reef down to Islamorada - Double Digits Shots. Come get em while they are here!

Morehead City, NC

The Season It Wasn't - Capt. Joe Trainor
Where did all the Bluefin Go? Certainly not here this year...


Bahamas Wahoo Report including 100# Hoos - Capt. Thomas Neligon
Three 100+ Pound Hoos Weighed in at Cat Island

Key West, FL

Back-country fishing is red hot!

Kingfish has turned on, Blackfin & yellowtails - Captain Ted Lund
Kingfish bite is red hot and the backcountry coming back to life!

Fort Lauderale

Sails, Swords, Bonitas & Kings off Miami - Captain Joe McGivern
Not as great as it was, but getting 6-12 shots at sails a day. Saturday Joe fishes off Ocean Reef in Key Largo and goes 8-13 on Sails

Came in 5th place in Mayer's Cup! - Captain Joe McGivern

King Mackeral King Mackeral King Mackeral King Mackeral King Mackeral King Mackeral

We are coming off a pretty fantastic week of weather and fishing here in South Florida.  The highlight of the week was certainly the excellent sailfishing conditions that we experienced from Wednesday right through the weekend.  Double-digit sightings were the norm for the boats out targeting them. 

On Sunday and Monday a front moved into the area and it was just plain NASTY!  Looking ahead, the next few days should clear up and then we have another front coming through later this week.  We’d expect the fishing to continue to be impressive as the front moves through and the wind comes from the North.  This should produce ideal conditions once again, for targeting Sailfish here in South Florida all the way down to Key West.  The back-country remains pretty cool in the upper keys, but seems to be warming faster down in Key West, where we’ve seen some signs of things starting to turn around.  We probably need to give the upper keys another week or so of warming to help lift water temperatures back to somewhat normal levels. 

Over in the Bahamas, we are looking at some blustery conditions the next few days with winds ranging from 20-30 miles per hour.  Like in South Florida, it looks like conditions are going to be prime about Wednesday into Thursday as another front rolls through and the wind comes from the north to northeast.  This should get the Wahoo snapping again.

Moon moon moon moon moon
Today Feb 5 Feb 13 Feb 21 Feb 28

Islamorada Florida - Theatre of the Sea

Theatre of the Sea is one of many places here in the Florida Keys that we are blessed with. An absolutely great place to spend a few hours with the kids, it is a place that we all find ourselves going back to time and time again. www.theaterofthesea.com

theater of the sea

Welcome to Theater of the Sea! We are an educational and entertaining marine animal park where performances are up close and personal. At Theater of the Sea you can swim with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays in their natural salt water lagoons through our interactive swim programs. The lagoons, and lush, tropical gardens at are home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, alligators, marine invertebrates, colorful parrots, and birds-of-prey.

While some of our animals were collected and others were born here, many are non releasable as a result of imprinting and/or injuries sustained in the wild. The health and well being of the animals takes precedence over all other interests and their care and maintenance is supported by patronage alone.

Rigging Corner: Live Bait Sailfish Tricks

When the Sails are balling bait, the most productive way to hook up a Sailfish is by belly hooking your baits. The hook is placed right under the peck fins, there is a hard spot which will help hold the bait securely, and any other spot along the belly is much weaker so it can be ripped out much easier. We catch our bait two ways; the first way is by throwing the cast net. The baits we catch in the nets are usually beat up and handled a lot more, so this makes the baits weaker. The other way is a Sabiki rig which is a slow process that will produce very strong baits. These baits are released into the live well by means of a de-hooker, which limit's handling and overstressing the bait. It's very important to keep these baits calm, they are your hook baits, and the others are used for chumming. This is why we carry extra live wells onboard; the baits need to be kept separate. Also we try to only dip one bait at a time; this will keep the baits from freaking out, so to speak.

Cigar Minnows

Cigar Minnows

Cigar Minnow

Lip Hooked - Cigar Minnow

The difference will now make itself very clear, when that unstressed bait hits the water it will take off and head straight towards the bottom, its natural instinct. This is the most crucial part, because almost every bait that goes down will get a bite. One of the reasons we use light tackle here in the Keys, is that we have many obstacles to overcome. The water can be gin clear so we have to use light line, 10lb to 20lb is standard for our Penn spinners, with a 30lb leader and either a 7/0 or 8/0 circle hook. This makes it easier for the bait to pull the lighter line down with him; if you go any heavier the bait will struggle and become less efficient. Same goes for the hooks we use, they to need to be a light hook not a heavy duty one. Now realize that the bait balls are about mid level in depth so as your bait heads for what it believes to be safety, it finds itself in an unusual situation. All of the sudden there's a bunch of sailfish blocking its way. Unfortunately by the time the bait realizes this IT IS TO LATE!!

Cigar Minnow

Belly Hooked - Cigar Minnow

We have found that when using circle hooks it can help if you let the fish eat a little longer than normal, this will help with a better chance at a hook setting properly. Along with about 3lb to 4lbs of drag and keep the rods tip down. Once we are hooked up the drag can be moved up to 8lb to 10lbs. Sometimes first thing in the morning, before the boats get all stacked up, we get the opportunity to cast to the fish on the surface. The sailfish will have the bait pushed up on the surface and then it makes things all that much easier. Also an easier find since the frigate birds will be hitting the deck. All on board are able to see nature at its finest! Now you can pick a fish out and cast your bait several feet in front of the fish you would like to attempt to catch. In this situation we just lip hook the bait, this helps to keep the bait closer to the surface, it's much harder to swim down with a hook stuck in your face. It's always fun to watch a fish eat your bait.

Captain John Oughton