Lobstering in Islamorada with Field Ethos

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from Jason Vincent. Jason is one of the founders of Field Ethos Journal. He had a last minute opening for a trip to Islamorada, and they were heading down for the lobster mini-season. This season always starts the last Wednesday in July, and it only lasts for two days.

Let’s just say, with an offer like that, I immediately checked the airlines and confirmed the trip. I highly recommend never turning down an opportunity to dive or fish in the Keys.

I flew out on Tuesday. I was met at the airport by Jason and Patrick Adams. Patrick is Earnest Hemingway’s great-grandson and an all-around good guy. We then started our trek to Islamorada.

We arrived about two hours later at our destination. The party, though, had already began. John Hill of the F.E. Hill Ranch in Texas was already on island time with our host, Mark Mitchell.

Around 10:30 p.m. that night, my good friend Donald Trump, Jr. arrived. Don and I have know each other for the better part of 20 years, and I was looking forward to being in the field with him again. He’s one of the best outdoorsmen that I know.

We got up Wednesday morning bright and early to chase the lobsters. We were with Capt. Sean O’Donnell and Capt. TJ Zinkand. They put us on a number of good spots, so good that I believe we were just a couple of lobsters away from our limit. You are only allowed six per person per day, after all.

The next morning, we went back out with Capt. Brian Cone. Once again, he put us on the hot spots, and we caught a number of lobster. And when I say “we,” I mean Don. He can dive.

The next two days were split between the backcountry and offshore fishing. We caught a smorgasbord of fish. When fishing in the backcountry, you never know what is going to bite next. We caught everything from game fish to sharks.

Offshore fishing with Capt. Brian was incredible. Half day charter with 13 Mahi, topped off with a 36 lbs bull. We definitely have fish in the freezer!

Gary Turner with a huge bullfish.

The best parts of the trip were always back at the house. Great food, cold drinks, and plenty of entertainment. Most stories can’t be shared here, though. If you run into me, you can ask about them. Spending time in the field with friends is the best, and we are already making plans for next year!