Captain’s Blog – November 20, 1009 – Marathon Florida Keys
No one, least of all the Captain, expected the surprise visitor to the boat during yesterday’s charter!
I set out for a day of reef fishing with some folks who spend the winter in Islamorada: Dora Potash, Bassi Kristmanns and David Barr. Yellowtail snapper was the target and, boy, let me tell you that fishing was just plain silly! Even with a self-imposed 14 inch minimum size, we limited out on mostly 16-plus inch fish and easily threw back another limit.
We had lots of visitors to our chum slick, including a rather aggressive kingfish. It was Dora’s turn at the rod, and she fought it like a champ. She tried to hand the rod off to me, but I told her a tough gal like her from Iceland can beat a little fish. And, she sure did – with the sore arms and big smile to prove it.
I spotted a few sailfish dancing around the boat, so I put out a jig with a balloon on the line just for kicks and giggles. I left the rod in the holder as we were more than busy with the yellowtail. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the balloon bob – bob – bob – and then heard the line scream off the reel.
I thought perhaps we had a wahoo, although we were a tad shallow for that. Dora’s brother, Bassi from Scotland, was on the rod and got the battle of a lifetime. When he got the fish to the boat, we saw it was a huge barracuda – nearly six feet long! That guy was no kid, and I felt badly that we snagged him as he had no chance of survival. He will serve well as bait on one of our catch-and-release shark eco adventures in the near future.
We fished in about 50 feet of water on the reef off Marathon. It was a Chamber of Commerce kind of weather day. There was a light breeze from the northeast, the current was slight but enough to work. The water was so crystal clear, we could watch the goliath grouper snatch some of the wounded yellowtail beneath the boat.
It was a fine day had by all and I certainly enjoyed the company of these seasoned anglers. They kept me laughing and I kept their rods bent. They gave me the king fish and it is brining right now, getting ready for the smoker and, ultimately, smoked fish dip!