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Fishing is a wreck!

The Palm Beaches to Key Largo

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Fishing is a wreck!

Postby The BEAST » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:47 am

I recently took a pair of New Yorkers, Jason Carter and his son Jordan, on 2 days of fishing. They wanted to do a full day of Sailfish and a night trip for Swordfish. I told them at the time of the booking that the Swordfish were not “on fire” right now and they might rather do 2 day trips instead. We left it at a “play it by ear” type second day.

They met up with Devon and I on Thursday and, once again, reiterated the desire to do a full day trip and a Swordfish night. I forewarned them that the Sword fishing was slow and could possibly end up being a bust, but they stated that they had made day commitments and wanted to have the night Sword experience, if for nothing else. With that decision etched in stone, we headed off to catch our bait. The bait was a bit persnickety but we managed to get enough for the day. After catching bait we made our way to the edge, on flat seas, to begin the day of fishing. Good grief! I hate calm seas when it comes to fishing, but it is what it is, and we must make the best of every situation.

Putting out our usual compliment of 5 rods, the day started off with a Kingfish on the down rod. After a bit we boated a nice chubby school Dolphin during a short tirade by these fish that seemed more set on harassing the baits than eating them. I talked to Dennis on “Mutuna” via VHF for a quick report. He as many had begun their day chasing these finicky Dolphin but that was the extent of their day so far. We continued watching the surface lines for activity while the Kingfish were keeping us semi content on the down rod. On one occasion we caught a Kingfish and as we had it boat side, about to bring it in for a release, an extremely large Barracuda came out from under the boat and bit off 1/2 of the fish. Devon told Jordan to drop the rod again to see if we could hook up this large ‘Cuda. Once again it came out from under the boat and ate the other 1/2 but unfortunately his mouth was so big it engulfed all of the wire and caught part of the mono leader…game over, boys! We caught and released another Kingfish and to our surprise another Barracuda. OK, enough of this, with 1 King and 1 Dolphin in the box and no Sailfish showing their snoots, we decided to go test the boy’s metal on some bruiser AJ’s for a few hours.

Arriving at our favorite “angler testing wreck” we sent down a couple of hardtails. KABOOM! It didn’t take long and Jordan was being taught a lesson in Amberjack 101. We finally had to break out the shoulder harness to keep him from flunking out of this school. His Dad and he, passed the course with a 66% rating with the top fish being 45 # on the scale.


We left the wreck with tired anglers and fishing time growing short, but hoping for a Sailfish in the last hour or so of the trip. It was not to happen this day as Jordan unexpectedly called the trip due to some plans he had made with a college friend. Total tally on Day 1 was 2 of 6 Kingfish, 4 of 6 Amberjack, 1 Dolphin, and 1 Barracuda.

I will make this part of the report much shorter since our night was mundane at best. Jason and Jordan arrived on Friday evening for their Sword trip. They were about an hour late (traffic). I wanted to have lines set up on the drift, right before sunset, but that was not going to be the case. Oh well. We made 2 drifts of 10 miles each, one deep and one shallower. The baits were hanging beautifully but nothing doing. We didn’t have a smack, whack, or bite the entire night. Not even a pesky night shark. The Hydro-Glow light didn’t pull in the usual assortment of baitfish. At 2 AM Jason called the trip. He remarked that I had forewarned them that this could very well be the outcome, yet the experience was still amazing.

All too often, many tend to lose sight of the absolute beauty that surrounds us. It takes someone like Jason and Jordan to remind us that there is enjoyment in the experience, the vivid colors of the sea, the sun or moon rising brightly over the water, the aroma of clean ocean air… success should not be measured solely by the pungent smell of fish in the fish box.

Capt. Jim
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