Saturday, January 14, 2012

Well, the Boat Didn't Sink

Long ago, in a place that seems so far, far away, a commenter on the Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum mentioned that the reports on the forum were all good, no one ever mentioned the not so good. I am a firm believer in never saying negative things about people or fishing trips. But, since honesty was requested, I compromised and say more realistic things about the less than stellar trips that happen at times. Most of the time there is some humor in the telling that makes up for the negative side of the truth which people seem to want, but rarely truly appreciate. Today, the boat did not sink :)

Bill and his lovely wife Chris hired me to fish with them on their lovely boat, which had thoughts about sinking, but decided not to. An unnamed worker for an unnamed employer working on a boat of unnamed manufacture, with twin brand new Suzuki outboards, forgot to dog down a hatch. It made for interesting conversation back at the dock and a rather slow day of catching. So fishing wise, we caught the largest Pork fish I have seen in ages, a large variety of small but very attractive fish and an appetizer size portion of legal Mangrove Snapper.

I would love to say that I was the hero of the day, but that honor goes to boat of unnamed manufacture and the brand new Suzuki four stroke outboard engines. The villain of the day is Karma.

After four straight days of absolutely gorgeous fishing weather and no customers. The weather report on Friday the 13th looked good for offshore on Saturday the 14th. With visions of tuna and cobia for dinner I awoke to 24 knots winds and no hot water. I blame the cat for the lack of hot water. Heck, I may as well blame the cat for the high winds. As I drove to dock with the cold winds buffeting the Tahoe, listening to the cheery weather report of 10 to 15 knot winds and 2 to 3 foot seas, I could only chuckle. Because of the winds, we changed plans, deciding to fish the Hawk Channel Rock piles for Lanes and other critters waiting for the bait to show and the winds to die. Then we may have a shot at the reef later. The current was not bad, it was horrendous! A surface current out the back of the boat and an under current straight up the anchor line. I brilliantly decided to head to the East in the sheltered channel to catch the Seven Mile bridge current to get the wind with the tide. That lead to the discovery of the boat's plans and later the discovery of the cause of the boat's plans, once we had returned to the dock.

After the boat was bailed out and things placed in reliable order, we headed to the Long Key Bridge, with two additional anglers who had discovered that fishing the reef was not all that great of an idea. They may have listened to the same weather report on the radio. With bait, live shrimp, enough for two anglers we arrived at the bridge with four anglers and managed to turn two anglers worth of bait into 3 keeper mangroves just before the current got right to catch many more Mangroves. I think this was plan G or H by this time and I did forget the bait situation somewhere around plan F.

So the short version is we went out and returned safely with nearly enough fresh fish for an appetizer.

The moral, dog your hatches, maintain a sense of humor and keep a cat around so there is someone to blame for bad Karma :) Tomorrow is another day, with another angler and with these winds, another bridge. Catching wise, we will probably do better, though the day may be a little less exciting.

Londonfisherman, this post is for you.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our boat not sinking 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

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