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Russian fishing!

The Palm Beaches to Key Largo

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Russian fishing!

Postby The BEAST » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:29 pm

We received a call from Yuri who was coming into town from Russia by way of Maryland. Yeah, that’s what I said! It turns out that his brother lives in Maryland. Yuri wanted to fish 2 days while the rest of his family saw the sights, etc. So we booked him up.

Day 1 and Yuri is 30 minutes late. That’s not a big deal to us because we can sip some coffee while waiting. Why should we get upset anyway as long as we are ready, it’s their dime and their time. We loaded him aboard and headed out

I headed out for the usual bait stops but the waters have been getting cooler and there have been fewer and fewer Hardtails at our spots. We made the jaunt to the worm hole for some Ballyhoo. They came up slow, but good, and the best part was that they were hungry. Dis and dat and we are we were full of bait. Off we go! We were welcomed on the edge with some tall standers running about 5 feet. We made it across that mess and the blue water was 5’s but enough duration to make it easily workable.

Devon put out the normal 1 man spread and within minutes we had a taker on the down rod. This fish had some strength and size but we weren’t expecting an Amberjack again. I’m not sure what is going on this year but normally we do not catch as many AJ’s in the winter as we have this past month. The AJ was a fair sized fish and Yuri wanted some groceries so we put it in the box.


We reset the lines and the fishing was a bit slow so Devon instructed Yuri how to work some speed jigs. He had several hits by some toothy critters that cost us a few jigs. We call that… 10 dolla! 10 dolla fishin’! Yuri hung into something that wasn’t real big and it didn’t have teeth. It was a muy grande Blue Runner. Ahh, that explained the concentration of bait marking on the sonar. We went into a short lull but Yuri stayed busy playing with the jigs. We missed several Kingfish hits on the top and 1 or 2 cut offs on the down rod. Suddenly, Devon sees a Sailfish working on one of our baits and the line begins to free line. Yuri came tight but unfortunately the bait had been dropped. I worked that area hard for the next 10 or 15 minutes and once again a Sailfish pops up and Yuri seems to be preoccupied with the jig. By the time he gets situated on the bait rod, the fish has dropped the bait. Hey, it’s his trip and if he is having fun working that jig, by God, let him jig ‘til his arms fall off! I don’t need to hang fish on a peg board to prove that I can fish. Our focus is on making the customer happy and sending him home with a smiling face. Yuri’s focus was on speed jigging. His count is 2 swing and misses on Sailfish… 2 Strikes!

For the next 90 minutes the ocean was alive and the bites were coming fast. We had about a 12 baits cut in half and we did manage to hook up 3 very big bites. The first 2 we believe were Kingfish and the 3rd a big Blackfin tuna. I mean to tell you, they were smoking the reels. The last one smoked the reel so hard that the line was melting off the reel as if someone poured acid on the spool. All 3 of these fish worked Yuri hard and the first two made direction changes and cut the mono leaders. The Blackie, worked him deep and scraped him off on some bottom debris. Scat happens! The next bite of the day was on the down rod and this fish was dealing with wire and stinger hooks. He stayed pinned on long enough for Yuri to bring that decent 15 pound King Mackerel to the boat.


Football tunas were breaking everywhere and we even had an 8’ shark come up and take a swipe at some teasers. As the shark returned to get a better look at his mistake, the down rod began growling. This fish has some power and Yuri is in a tug of war. He is working the fish and the fish is working him. This tennis style match went on for some time before Yuri began getting the best of it. I already knew what species we had on by the thumps and bumps of the rod. Confirmation came quickly when I saw the silhouette. Yup, it’s a shark! We brought the 5½-6 footer up close enough to cut the line close and let it swim off.


Then as if someone turned off the switch, the bite simply went dead. We were running out of time and we chummed out the wells. Let’s see if this trick will work today. 15 minutes more. We were about to pull the lines when the long rigger starts to run free. Yuri, put the jig down and get over here!!!! We tell him to flip the bail, reel and hit him! He does almost exactly as told with an extra 5 seconds of feeling the free line for a pull. The line comes tight, he gets 1 jump out of the Sail and it is running the line. I get the boat turned and we start after the fish when suddenly the line goes slack. We gathered all the line back on the reel and the leader and hook came with it. Swing and a miss, STRIKE 3!

We were running late and a little dejected but you know what, even the big leaguers strike out. I pointed the BEAST’s nose to the west and put her in cruise mode.

Days 2 and Yuri was a few minutes early this time. On the way out the channel Yuri was giving Devon instructions on his video camera. Today instead of just helping him with a photo or two and running the video every now and then; he was planning for Devon to be his videographer. I couldn’t stop laughing to myself as Devon looked over at me!

We bypassed the first bait stops and hightailed it straight for the worm patch. The weather was crap with little sunshine. We did get the bait good but the trip across the edge was not very pleasant even in the big World Cat. Just like the previous day, the offshore side of the edge was big but enough time between them to be totally fishable. It was looking like it could be a fishy day.

We started off with lines in the water for about an hour or more before we finally got a taker. The fish hit the down rod and Yuri was on a hot little Kingfish. It wasn’t huge but those fish are swift and plenty of fun to catch.


Time was passing between bites and the only thing that seemed to be consistent was Yuri’s love for pitching that speed jig. He would work it for a bit and let it sit for a bit. That went on almost all day. He did catch some big Blue Runners and even a Rainbow Runner. The clock is ticking in slow motion which matched the bite on this day. Suddenly the surface action begins to fire up. Well… maybe smolder is a more appropriate term. The long flat line gets pounded and Yuri is on a good one that is fighting him down and dirty. He kept the pressure on this fish and within 5 minutes I begin to realize this isn’t what we wanted but it is a fun fish. As we see color, the recognizable shape of a Bonehead comes into view. This fish gets his picture taken and goes in the fish box for future bait.


We no sooner set back up and the short rigger line explodes. Missed it! Bazam! It’s on! This could be the one we are looking for but you never know. The fight begins winding down and the fish begins coming up. There he is! That’s a Blackie. Can you tell that they are one of my favorite fish. They are a cousin to the Bonito, both in the tuna family, but they aren’t even close in relationship on the dinner table. Got Sushi?


The bite, for lack of a better term, has gone cold and the weather is going south. The skies are getting nasty, the winds changed direction and got blustery. The seas were big and running to the beam with the wind off my bow. Stick a fork in us, we’re done. Sorry Yuri, you’re going to have to return some day to try and get a Sailfish. We blew that deal 3 times the day before. Devon and I buttoned up The BEAST and I pointed toward the barn and cracked the whip.

Yuri must’ve had a great time. I sent him all the photos I had taken and Devon must have done a master videographers job on the camcorder. Yuri sent me an email from Russia stating what a good time he had and he would like to return in May if we’d have him. Sure, May is a good time and then August for Cubera and then…… and then.

The Miami International Boat Show is coming up around Valentines day and I would like to remind you that there are only 7 days in that week. You might want to drop us an email if you’re thinking about trying some of our fantastic S. Fl. fishing.

Capt. Jim
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