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Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 127
Location: Miami, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Sweeeet! Reply with quote

A buddy of mine, “Hoss” who is serving in the Army, sent one of his troops our way. Tony, called to book a full day with us, He said that “Hoss” had told him that we would keep them busy catching fish, big fish. Yeah… no abnormal pressure there! I told him we would do our best to get them hooked up. BTW… A shout out of thanks to my bud, Hoss, for his continued service to our country! Love you, Brother!

Tony, Curt, and Jim arrived early from Sarasota, tired, having slept in the truck at a rest stop for a couple of hours that night. The day was breezy and forecasting 3-5’ seas. We loaded everyone aboard and I fired up The BEAST.

We headed out for a handful of Hardtail baits and then on to the Ballyhoo patches. The day was a bit on the rough side but the guys were having no problems coping with the motion. It’s looking like a fishy day if we can just get these worms to cooperate quickly. Cooperate they did and in no time we had a well full of “hookers” and the other well full of “netters”! Looking toward the edge and I see some big standing waves on the shallow side of the reef. I’d rather make sure everyone is safe and secure than save 2 minutes run time, so I slowed down to “herd of turtles” pace. We made the transition into the blue water, easily and comfortably. The seas on the that side were still large but had enough duration between them to make it totally fishable with good stability on The BEAST.

Devon set up the spread and we were fishing in short order. We hadn’t been fishing but a few short minutes when Jim gets hooked up to a fish. The fish is digging deep and our guess was that it was a Blackie. When we see color it is evident that we have a nice Blackfin Tuna coming to the boat. Devon sticks the steel to the fish and we have some sushi aboard.

With the spread reset it doesn’t take too long and the guys are into some more fish. This go round was a duo of chubby school Dolphin which join the Blackie in the fish box. Working the area a bit more and the down rod starts running off. Tony’s on the rod and getting busy on this nice fish. 5 minutes pass and we are beginning to see some color below. Barracuda? No, it’s a good Kingfish! Devon strikes the fish with the gaff and a pretty 20# “smoker” joins the trio in our collection.

All set up again and 10/15 minutes pass with a few cut offs here and there. Zzzzzzzzz! The down rod is screaming at us. Once again Tony gets on the rod and this fish has some shoulders. Tony is fighting hard just to keep the fish from taking more line. It seems as if he is gaining line by mere inches when the fish takes yet another run. You can see frustration on his face but now his opposition is tiring. All lines are cleared now and I turn the BEAST toward the fish to help Tony gain line. Get after him Tony! The battle continues for several more minutes and As the fish rises to the surface we see a really nice “smoker” King. This one is going into the box with the others but first we need it. The scale drags down to reveal 31 pounds of excellent smoked fish dip.

Devon is busy, busy, busy on this trip already. The lines are back in place and the clock hasn’t turned too far on the dial when there is a boil on the short rigger bait. It’s Curt’s turn and his fish is off to the races. This one is acting like a Tuna type. Come on fish be another Blackfin. The longer the fight goes on and we are beginning to think… eh, maybe not. As Curt has the fish approaching the boat we see it is a tuna type alright but not a Blackfin. This is a Bonehead, as we call them, more often known as a Bonito or Little Tunny. It’s this fish’s lucky day and he earns a quick release. I look at my watch and we had only been fishing for 2 hours. This could be a super day!

Well, I guess I should have kept my thoughts to myself because we entered into a 2 hour lull. Nothing was happening. Devon kept checking baits and I began hunting for busy fish. Ba-Zing! Finally, one rigger line goes down and a schoolie Dolphin takes to the air! The flat line on that side goes off and then the other rigger loads up with another fish! That’s how we like it! Let’s git’r done boys! We managed to catch all 3 of the fish without any incidents. Devon took a few minutes to gather himself and clean the blood off the deck and gunnels. Catching those fish often makes the boat look like pure carnage! The lines were strung out again and we are fishing.

Next! It didn’t take too long and we and we had another visitor. This time the flat line gets picked up and when we get tight on the fish it takes to the air and spit’s the hook immediately! Ugh… it was a Sailfish too! That round didn’t last too long.

A few turns around this area and the down rod begins sounding off. Tony gets on the rod and we’re thinking this is another nice Kingfish. I’ve got to stop doing that! Tony works him hard and as he approaches the boat we see a very large Barracuda, a.k.a. Caribbean Spotted Mackerel on our boat. The way this day is going that was an insignificant catch, although the guys didn’t think so.

Setup again and this scenario is repeated 2 more times. Difference is that the next fish was a small “snake” Kingfish and the third fish was another bruiser. Once again Tony is on the rod. Hey what’s up with that, right? Seems like all the pics are of Tony and a good fish. Hey… I just get ‘em on fish and they figure out who is on the rod. But I digress! OK… back to the action. This fish is trying his best to school Tony but he has had some OJT that day. He plays this fish out like a pro and we see yet another “smoker”! This bad girl tips Devon’s scale at 22 pounds.

Good Lord! Can this day get any better? YES! As the sun is sinking on the horizon Devon sees another bill pop up on a bait. Sailfish! Feed him Curt, let’s get a solid hookup! Flip the bail and reel! Reel! BOOM! You’re on Brother! The fish is energetic and acrobatic but it stays pinned on the hook for the duration. 20-25 minutes later and Curt wins the contest. Leader in hand, then bill in hand, and Devon muscles the fish aboard for a group photo.

After the release we called it a day. These guys had a wonderful day with the proverbial “fish gods” smiling upon them. What a nice day… 5 Dolphin, 4 Kingfish, a Blackfin, Bonito, Cuda, a Sail, and numerous cut offs or misses! Sweeet! The sun was setting but the smiles were still blazing! Break out the wood chips and fire up the smoker!

Capt. Jim
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