Monday, March 26, 2007

Trip In the Winds

It was blowing yesterday and it was blowing today. When I got the call from Scott at Almost There for a Tarpon/Permit last night I was flabbergasted! I told Scott I would go, but with winds out of the Northeast at 25 plus knots?

It was an early start for me to get everything ready for the seven o'clock departure from Cow Key Marina. The best shot for tarpon under the conditions was the Demolition Island area in my opinion. Actually, the best shot in these winds was the marinas! That would be cheating though.

Luckily, my crew knew that the conditions were less than optimum. I told them I would give it my best shot. If no tarpon/permit we would at least stretch a line.

After a couple hours of fishing, I thought I might have to eat my words. I was not slow from seven to nine, it was dead! With the wind against the current, I settle on a section of Calda Channel where we could anchor and fish out of the back of the boat.

Calda Channel can be loaded with fish, but I hate fishing with all the boat traffic. With the wind howling, traffic was bearable. There was enough activity from the variety of jacks and snapper to keep everyone entertained while we waited on the big one.

Unfortunately, the tarpon that normally show, just to check things out, had made other plans. The flats were totally dead with everthing being blown to the west with the Wind. We did hook four or five mystery fish, (ones that got away)that gave the crew a feel of what big fish are all about. The first, my angler palmed the spool on an unknown brute that kicked in the afterburners. Snap! Game over.

The second was probably a big grouper, not the fish of choice for twelve pound test.

The third, my lady angler hooked into a nice shark, that would be a blacktip or spinner. Before I could start the boat to chase, a hundred yards of line was stripped off the reel and contacted the barnicle encrusted channel marker. Snap! Game over. That fish was hauling hiney!

The last, my angler did everything right. Great drop back, patiently waited for the fish to turn, solid hook set and fish on! This fish ran up current with a quick but steady pace. I'm thinking Cobia as I start the boat. Just as I get ready to turn the anchor loose, the hook comes unbuttoned!

Thankfully, we had plenty of action with good sized Jack Crevelle, large blue runners, lane snapper, mangrove snapper and a six pound or so bonnet head shark my lady angler had a blast catching on light tackle.

We finished the day with one shot at a tarpon in the twenty to thirty pound range. The baby tarpon looked at the pinfish, flipped me a fin and swam away. It was a disappointing day for me with five lost chances. The crew had a ball and will come back in April when the tarpon are more consistent.

So why would I tell you about a mediocre trip? With twenty-five knots winds gusting to near thirty, where else could you get five shots in a 21 foot bay boat? That is one thing that is great about the Keys. There is always somewhere to fish when the wind blows, If you just give it a shot.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Captain Dallas if you every want a second place to post fishing reports I have a couple sites that could use them, you get link back and credit for them