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Think it out!

The Palm Beaches to Key Largo

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Think it out!

Postby The BEAST » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:35 am

Adam, Dan, and Alden came down to escape the frozen tundra and soak up some warm S. Florida sun. They were doing a 3/4 day and possibly extending it to a full day. We loaded them aboard and I fired up The BEAST. We pushed slowly into the Bay and made our run out to the Worm Hole, one of our favorite spots for bait. We grabbed some bait in pretty good time and headed out to the blue water.

Arriving on the edge, things looked OK but not good. It is what it is my friend. I found some good water and Devon put out a small spread, 3 on top and 1 down. We bumped around the area and suddenly the down rod got a visitor. A good thump but our visitor took what he wanted and left the rest. By the looks of his calling card, it was a ‘Cuda. Strike one! We worked the area, north and south of the bite, but nothing was happening. This lull was dragging on with unbearable monotony. I hate when the fish stop feeding. It makes us look bad! What’s a crew supposed to do but struggle through it? Not… Enough of this! I decided to make a major move and Devon reeled them in.

I pulled up just a bit outside of the destination and Devon reset the lines quickly. We hadn’t gotten very far when, Zzzzzzzzzz, the down rod blasts off. Dan jumps on the rod and he is on a good fish. I’m thinking Kingfish until halfway through the fight I start to see the telltale thump of the rod. Dan works the fish up and as I suspected we have a big “Caribbean Spotted Mackerel” aka Barracuda.


We released that fish and reset the down rod. I approached my area and the closer I got the thicker the scattered weeds became. Devon never gripes, he just works the pit tirelessly. We couldn’t efficiently work the area so I pulled offshore of the weeds in deeper water than I like to fish. The down rod gets another bump and we have a small Kingfish hooked and quickly into the boat. The fishing was slow out there and I knew I had to get inside the weeds. Figuring that the tide was moving out, I made a move to go into the weeds and see if I could clear them at my spot. I apologized to Devon as everything got weeded up. “No problem.” he said. We got across the weeds to find that, indeed, the winds and tide had cleaned my house. We weren’t in there long and we had already picked up 3 Cero Macks, small ‘Cuda, and a small Blackfin. We missed about a half dozen down bites and we knew why by the size of these Kings and Cero’s that were all over the area.


We were already over time about an hour and I asked if they wanted to turn the ¾ into a full day. I got a unanimous “Hell Yeah!” We continued to work the place for another 30 minutes or so and I made a silent decision to slowly work the edges of this area. At 4:15 a Sailfish makes an appearance on the short center line. We were feeding him when both of the rigger lines popped off. I got a guy on each rod and Devon and I start yelling “Go, Go, GO! Come tight on ’em!” We have us a triple Boyeee! The fish are being somewhat manageable by hanging in the same general area. The guys are commenting on how strong they are as one or the other has line peeling off the reel. I looked forward and saw Alden playing with the drag. NOOOOO! One more jump and snap goes his line. I always ask, why do you do that? The answer is always… It was taking line. Uh huh! That’s what it is designed to do. Let the fish take, instead of break, the line! And so ends the lesson, Grasshopper! Down to 2 fish and the guys are doing a good job. Adam gets his fish to the boat and Devon gets him in the corner for a photo op. I told Dan to play his fish easy while we get Adam‘s photo.


Photo, a clean release, and we turn our attention back to Dan who is doing a very good job of just wearing down his fish. The Sail makes a half hearted run and Dan brings him back to the boat. Devon grabs the bill and we repeat the previous process for Dan’s photo.


That’s a done deal! 2 out of 3 on Sailfish is pretty good, not quite as good as 3 for 3 though. With 15 minutes of time left, Alden was thinking he wouldn’t get another shot at a good fish. I signaled Devon to dump the few leftover baits in the wells. I was trying my best to stay in the midst of the few fish swimming about when the rigger line pops off. Here we go! Alden comes tight on the fish and everyone is thinking it might be his Sail. Devon and I realized that this was probably a Tuna. Minutes tick away and Alden keeps his hands clear of the drag knob this time. We see color and it is black and gold. He has a nice Blackie! Devon puts the steel to his fish and he is proud of his 14# Blackfin.


The fish was immediately bled and tossed in the ice. Pretty work, Boys! Devon hit the wash down while I pulled in the riggers. I turned the nose of the Beast toward the west and kicked the spurs. She caught scent of home and galloped into the sunset. I proved to myself, once again, that you have to stay alert, be patient, and think things out when conditions are less than optimum. What a great day! Smiles were rampant on The BEAST.

Capt. Jim
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