Monday, August 29, 2016

Key West Offshore

THE ANSWER MAN STRIKES AGAIN! (A Charter Fishing Rental Primer)

THE ANSWER MAN STRIKES AGAIN! - A Charter Fishing Rental Primer - Capt. Gene Chrzanowski - FishMonster Magazine 01

It’s getting to be that time of year again – “High Season” – i.e., that time of year when the “snowbirds” and tourists show up at our doorstep to crowd our hotels, inns, bars, restaurants and, thankfully, our harbors and charter vessels as well. This year will hopefully be no different and it could be one of greatest ever for …

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So Much Beer, So Little Time

Key West Offshore Fishing

In case you’re wondering why there was a combined September/October issue of FishMonster Magazine, one reason is that those months are traditionally slow for businesses in the Keys. The weather up north is still nice, the kids there are back in school, and it’s prime “hurricane season”. (That term may, in reality, be a misnomer for the Keys; we almost …

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The Answer Man – The Sequel!


A few months ago, I wrote an article entitled “The Answer Man” about the questions I’m asked by people passing by our boat and/or inquiring about our charters. It got a fairly favorable response from a few folks and my discussions with them and customers since made me realize that there are even more interesting questions we’ve had posed to …

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All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown The moon rolls through the nighttime, ‘til the daybreak comes around                                                             All my life’s a circle and I can’t tell you why                                                                                                           The seasons spinning ‘round again, the years keep rolling by                                                                                                -Harry Chapin The older I get, the more I realize that the above opening lines from a great old …

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A Tale of Two Months


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, …

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What a Difference a “D” Makes!


I originally planned to do a “feel good” kind of story this month about a great trip with a really nice bunch of people. Kelly Nelson runs “Gale Wins,” a great Key West “6-pack” cruise/snorkel/sightseeing/dinner boat at the Hyatt, under the business name “Yacht to Sea Key West.” His sister Dawn, brother-in-law Butch Sharpe, and some friends were in town …

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Dark Clouds, Silver Linings


There’s an old, trite saying about dark clouds with silver linings, but trite sayings often turn out to be truisms. That was the case with me in the month of March, around the time of my tenth anniversary as a charter captain here at the A&B Marina. The first dark cloud was a small one, i.e., realizing that I’d now …

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The Answer Man


Because of where our slip sits in the heart of the Harbor Walk in the beautiful A&B Marina, we often tend to be treated by passers-by as an information center. There are certain questions that I get asked repeatedly when we’re not out fishing. Obviously, there are the routine ones about directions, restaurants, the charters we run and/or “What’s biting?”  …

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The Wonder(ful) Years

2013 Dolphin Masters Tournament

There’s an old joke in the Key West charter biz that goes something like this: “How do you retire as a millionaire in Key West?” “Become a billionaire and buy a charter fishing boat here.” I’ve never hit either of those lofty financial levels and, at my current pace, definitely won’t anytime in the future, but approximately 10 years ago …

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Keep on Truckin’


In my past articles, I’ve often written about the amazing people that we meet in this lifestyle we call a job. You have complete strangers book trips and only find out their lives and their stories when you have time to chat during the charter. Then, you’re often amazed to find out who or what they are. That list has …

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It’s a New Year! Wahoo!! Another Year Gone! Oh, No!!


Ever wonder why some fish have the names they do? I have, especially because common Key West offshore fish names seem either extremely appropriate or downright odd. For example, the names sailfish and swordfish majestically describe the most noticeable characteristics of those fish and fit them perfectly. Other names, however, seem to make no sense. The fish we call dolphin …

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What We Know About Wahoo


As editor of FishMonster Magazine each and every potential cover photo has found its way to my desk and the ones that make it to the newsstands have my stamp of approval. The most common cover shot for the magazine over the last four years has been wahoo. When a wahoo picture makes it’s way through the FishMonster gauntlet and …

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It’s a Wonderful Life (in Key West), Too


To some people, especially to us “older” folks, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the quintessential Christmas season movie. According to Wikipedia, the American Film Institute placed it at number 1 on a list of all-time inspirational American films and it is always re-shown multiple times during the season. Directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, it …

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The ‘Lure’ of Key West


When I’ve talked with customers about what brings them to Key West over and over again, they almost always describe something specific that acts as a “lure” to bring them back. Those “lures” are as varied as the people. They include, among other things, the weather; the convenience factor/lack of the need of a car; the multiple water sports available; …

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Route (to) 66


Last month, the theme of my article was about taking the “road less traveled” and how that, to some extent, got me where I am today. That also got me to thinking (always a very dangerous thing). By the time this article is being read, i.e., October, I’ll be turning 66. I’ve always said that, once you start putting a …

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Miniatures for Miniatures


Permit… this member of the jack family is well known for frustrating fly anglers and testing the limits of light tackle spinning rods on a daily basis through out the Lower Keys. They are commonly found in the 10-20 pound range with some 30+ pound monsters found at times. When sightfished in the shallows, casting must be quick and accurate …

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Using Our Heads


I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken If you’ve read my previous articles, you know that one of the continuing themes I’ve used is that – …

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The Mako Shark

Mako Shark - FishMonster

As seen in the Keynoter on August 30, 2014 We weren’t setting any FishMonster Charters records the late August morning that Robert Quirk and John Palmer from Texas joined us. Our dolphin success was at a big fat ZERO and the deep dropping had been limited to just a few minuscule black belly rosefish and a mystery fish that departed …

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Small Bodies, Big Hearts


One of the great aspects of my job as a charter fishing captain is that I  am reminded constantly about life lessons that I learned at a younger age but sometimes forget in the daily job of living. I see people and things that jog my memory about those life lessons, which helps me keep my head screwed on straight …

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Big Grouper

Captain Seth Hopp and I have never lost so many fish as we have lately fishing over one of our favorite Key West artificial reefs with our charter clients. We drop the baits deep, they get eaten by a large gamefish and a battle begins. However, at some point during a few of these battles, a catastrophic failure occurs that …

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