Wow! It’s been a long time since I was fishing on my boat – probably over a month. I think that is the longest I have been away from it since January. I have the Panacea withdrawal shakes. Now, I didn’t say I hadn’t fished in that long as I did make it to Costa Rica two weeks ago where I caught a 120 pound sailfish. Don’t believe me?Okay, yes, the guy taking the picture did cut the top of my head off, but yes, that is me with my bucket-list fish! I suppose it was more important to get the entire fish in the picture than it was to get the top of my head.
But anyway, I digress.I am blessed today to have the honorable Jim Pittman on my Triton. It is hard to believe that I have had the boat for eight months and he hasn’t fished with me yet. We remedy that today.
I came down last night, checked my bait trap and found 15-20 live pinfish. We have live bait! If you have read earlier blogs, you know that I said I wasn’t going back out again without live bait.Jim, as usual, is early. He arrives at 6:30 a.m. I hate early risers. The boat is already in the water from last night, so we get an early start – leaving the dock at 6:45 a.m. The sun comes up just as we exit the channel. Beautiful. I hate waking up early, but I do love sunrises.
First stop – K Tower. Nobody else here. Fantastic. We drop our live bait down. I am ready for quick hits. 30 minutes go by. Nothing! Well now that is disappointing. Tyler, at the dock, convinced us to purchase some frozen LYs. I think he was just upselling us though. Regardless, we cut one up and put one of them on the line. Immediately, we get a hit at the bottom. That doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Jim, being the better fisherman, gets the first fish in the boat. Key West grunt. Good-sized. But really, I am not here to catch grunts. Grouper or Amberjack would be nice.Jim catches the next 10 fish. All Key West grunts. I catch – not a damn thing.
The water is AMAZINGLY calm today. As calm as I have seen it since January, so we decide to head into deeper water and proceed to Bryon Reef. We drop down next to a couple of other boats. Immediately, we get HUGE hits. Immediately, our lines break. What? I just recently rigged all the grouper rigs to 90 pound test and 90 pound leaders. NOTHING should be breaking these lines. The guy from the other boat yells, “Black Tip sharks – fuckers are everywhere. That is all we are catching when they don’t break the lines with their tails”. Sure enough, Jim immediately gets another one on the line – except this time, his line isn’t breaking. These sharks are probably 2-3 hundred pounds and extremely strong. Good luck with that Jim. The fish probably weighs 2 times what Jim does and I don’t have a fighting chair on my boat. He does his best for 15-20 minutes (I am eating a sandwitch watching him kill himself), but eventually the shark breaks the line. Jim is thankful and exhausted.We troll for a little while. Something big does hit the trolling line and snaps the leader almost immediately. Goodbye Stretch 25. Dammit. Those lures aren't cheap. Why didn’t somebody tell me the sport of fishing could be expensive!
Since it is directly on the waypoint line back to the marina, we head back to K Tower. Keep in mind, the fish count is: Jim: 10. Marc. 0.We drop live bait down again next to K Tower. There are a few boats here but nobody seems to be catching anything, which I have found is usually the case at K Tower. A few minutes go by and I get a big hit. I fight this thing for 15 minutes. As it comes up, we can see it is a Cobia. That’s cool. I have never caught one of those. He is actually way too big to get in the net but Jim and I are so excited we never even consider the fact that I have a gaff on the boat. Novices. Anyway, we get him in the net (sort of) and voila, my fish count goes up by 1! Amazing how your fishing day can go from crappy to happy by just catching one big-ass fish.
We try trolling Oar Reef next but Hurricane Isaac has stirred up all kinds of seaweed making trolling impossible. We head back to shore relatively early.Not a great fishing day, but trust me – I have had much worse than 11-12 fish in the boat. And it is always good to spend time with Jim. It probably helps that I am so physically attracted to him.
Here is the fish on the dock and here is the fish on my grill. How does Cobia taste? Yum! Nice job on those filets Jimbo!Tight lines everyone.