Tuesday, April 25, 2006

4/25/06 P'Nuts!!

It turned out to be one those those days of endless trolling. We made it to 25.8 mi due east of the inlet and stopped to listen to the NOAA weather. Yikes, we ended up in the Gulf Stream but nobody bothered to put a sign up today. Can't they make one of those cross-guard signs warning you? Anyhow, the water was gorgeous blue and the sun was warm but it didn't feel hot since we kept a breeze going over ourselves by trolling. Capt. Jack set out all the rigs while I kept course heading due south. For a little while there, I was turned around but I knew we had found a rip current (color & temperature change) in the water. We trolled that without success. We saw no boards or weedlines. The kids were not thrilled with this kind of fishing (as opposed to bottom dropping). We came up behind a 5 ft long brown shark - sorry I can't be more descriptive than that. We saw about 6 flying fish get spooked into flying away from us. I saw a cobia and a small dolphin at two different times, but nothing would grab onto our ballyhoo.

Finally, we had gone from 120 ft down to 80's ft at Pelican Flats without a single knockdown. We had our picnic lunch and kept trolling. Then, Jack yells that he thinks we had a bite but no fish. He pulls the line off the pole that popped. As you can see, the fish was very clever in taking a bit without getting either hook in his mouth. Jack saw silver and figures it to have been typical Kingfish behavior. At least it gave us renewed interest. We trolled southbound towards Highbar reef but at one point, Jack decided it was time to head east and then pull lines. Someday, there is just no activity on the water. No birds out hunting. No balls of baitfish at the surface. Nothing striking lures. It's called getting skunked. He stops the boat and we start reeling in line when he gets a whack on his pole. He fights the fish which we think we see yellow/green/blue (mahi). Twenty seconds later..... off. BUT, they are not gone! It is 5 'peanut' dolphins also known as schoolies and their buddies, 4 remoras. Jack's yelling, "Chum, Chum!" I'm throwing squid and cutting sardines as fast as my fingers will let me. They did not want a jig and apparently the horse ballyhoo were too intimidating. So, he puts cut bait on there and whammo. He catches one smaller than the original one. We had a bit of chaos (AKA Chinese fire drill -whatever that means) and I couldn't get the other lines unrigged, throw chum and get to the other waiting peanuts. Jack pulls his guy in and when he turns around, the others are gone.

There is a saying that if you leave your one mahi in the water, you can catch the rest of the school. I believe it is true. They were sticking around until he was in the boat.

Anyhow, we did get this guy measured at 20.5" at the fork of the tail. Twenty+ is legal to keep. He went to the cooler for an ice bath. Unfortunately, nobody else did and he was very lonely for the ride home. Below is a picture of Jack with the fish. He was a bit disappointed because he should have let our boys bring in these smaller 'phins. It is no thrill for a salty fisherman to bring in a small peanut/'phin but it would have meant the world to the boys. We had our family debriefing in the suburban on the ride home. We usually do this in order to improve on what went wrong, how to improve it, and to kudos things done right. Next time, we'll be better since we have an idea of what to do. The boys will definitely be helping in the catching. I hate to disappoint them. They are avid fishermen too!

1 comment:

Renee said...

Cute pic of M!!

What a pretty fishy!

Love you!