Friday, March 21, 2014

Hair of the Dog

I am supposed to be fishing part two of a fishing 101 today but instead I am sitting in the RV looking for more stuff to fix.  The reason is one of my customer is sick.  I have some customers that are fortunate enough to have an event free vacation and some that aren't.

Their vacation started with winds that set their trip back a couple of days.  Not a big deal since I try to set aside a couple of weather days this time of year.  Once the weather laid down, I met the guys and we did the pre-fishing shopping trip so they had the right basic gear for fishing in the Florida Keys.  They bought a pair of the Aries AS 60 combos I am testing and a 7 foot cast net along with the basic hooks, weight etc.

The next day I meet the guys and we get ready to head out.  The sister of one of the guys was staying with them and had brought a dog imported from Honduras named Oso.  The first thing Oso did was bite me.  That might have been an omen.  Then during the introductions I thought I was standing outside of Oso's leash range, but he had a good reach and managed to bite me again.  That might have been an omen.  

After locating the bandades and sterile paper towels for compresses to stem the close to profuse bleeding, we started towards the Bay with one of the original customers and Oso apologetic owner.  The other guy was too ill to fish due to something from either an allergy to TB, in any case bad enough that he was ready to get on the water.

Leaving the dock I asked where the cast net was.  Dunno was the answer so after a complete search and back track the cast net was declare stolen by migrant labor so we added a pinfish rod to the mix for bait catching.

The first spot in the Bay started a little weird but we managed to catch plenty of pinfish, the goal of that spot and hair hook a fair number of live ballyhoo.  I mentioned how nice it would be to have the cast net so I could finish teaching basic bait catching and we could load the boat with ballyhoo that were every where.  One of the ballyhoo on a wire trace produced a nice Cero mackerel that Oso's owner caught which was another goal of the fist spot, to have the guys hook something large enough that I could critique their angling technique.  We intended to get a photo of the Cero, in the roughly 5 pound range, but there was no gaff on the boat.  This is another part of the fishing 101, shaking down the boat and crew to find out what else they may need.

Then we did a little basic navigation tour from the Bayside to the Ocean side stopping at one of the rock piles out in front of the old Seven Mile Bridge.  That spot produced a couple of triggerfish and mangroves for the box plus several Grouper for photo ops had the camera worked.  We left those fish biting to head out to the reef for basic reef fishing.  While chumming on the reef I noticed that there was a cast net in the T-Top netting well above all our heads.  Due to consumption of red wine the person that stowed the cast net in the T-top netting had forgotten where they had stowed the cast net.

The reef bite was slow so we continued our tour of a few snorkeling areas and spots that were extremely close to their dock so that quick trips could be planned in case the allergy/TB/red wine sufferer wanted to risk a fishing trip that he was paying for but not yet able to experience.

Today, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and I can almost hear the fish calling, but instead I think I will wax the floor in the RV.  

BTW, the Aries AS60 combos they bought came with spare drag adjustment knobs (one broke in the store while I was explaining how they can break in the store) and I have found that Loctite, the low strength type should be another item provided with the AS60 Combos.  Several of the screws cannot be torqued down enough to stop them from trying to back out so a dab of Loctite easily fixes that issue.  I am amazed at how what could have been a kick butt fishing combo is getting a bad reputation because of poor planning.  But that may be good news for you.  Knowing what to expect you can prevent problems and get a very fishable combo dirt cheap.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

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