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|There She Blows
I left off on my last report with talks of some 40-knot winds. The winds plagued
us a better part of last week and were later followed by a significant cold front that
dropped morning lows into the upper 30s. Being that I am in the quality
entertainment business, the week resulted in a total scratch with either cancelled or
postponed trips. The timing was unfortunate as it all came on the full moon of
the traditional moon phase of the largest female snook of the year.
The scaled sardines that are so critical to angling success left, broke up, and scattered. I relocated a small gathering of them on Sunday and again on Monday. Both days saw intensive efforts to secure them over several hours each day. Snook, gator trout, redfish, and jacks marauded the magic minnows on every drop of the anchor on both days. Many of the species are sharing the same places at this time of year and both days were spent with all rods doubled over on virtually every cast. The pains and aches of throwing a 14 lb. cast net all morning subsided with happy clients. As a matter of fact John and Paul Puerling over looked the qualities of trout for dinner and released them during their half day on Monday. No worries. While discussing the tablefare of the fish during the last 15 minutes of their trip, they still were able to sample the fish with a limit catch. We then left them biting for another day.
When I rounded the corner on Tuesday to the minnow location, I was greeted by the fact that I had now been (mysteriously) found out. I wont get into a long negative campaign, as I am slowly accepting the inevitable changes within the business. Non-the less, the bait I acquired was minimal. A favorite and long time client/ friend was on the books and a call via my cell phone set the trip for a later date. Tuesday morning I rounded the corner again, this time only to be beaten to the tiny spot by 8 times as many folks. Despite the area being flooded with chum, I acquired a few minnows. After discussing the prospects under current weather and bait situations with the Clarks from California, we decided to go for it. With 15-knot east winds, cold rain, and slow quarter moon tides, we turned up a couple of trout and jacks for our efforts over a couple of hours. Ed is a die-hard fisherman and June as personable as anyone can be when the acts of Mother Nature become a major factor during a well-planned vacation. Young Spencer @ just 5 years young, was any parents pride with exceptional manners and temperament on a tough day fishing.
Winds increased to a sustained 20 knots today and naturally a fly fishing trip was the order of the day. I met Gene and Alice Orynycz at the dock this morning. After a few minutes of holding our hats on our heads in the parking lot, it was obvious to all this would be an impossible task. Gene and Alice seemed to be very nice people with warm smiles throughout our meeting. I was inspired by Genes offering to offset my expenses and time for just the effort of showing up. I am grateful to have met and attract so many fine people in all the years Ive been doing this .many in which are like family to myself & family.
After departing the ramp this morning, I decided to go for a drive to scout new potentials for the sardines. If the wind is going to blow, at least if I have the minnows I can still achieve professional results in near any condition. The mission proved successful and I will continue to run without reservation and caution within my reputation.
They weather has left little to be desired since near Thanksgiving for not just Florida, but the eastern seaboard. Sooner or later it will break just as it did a few weeks back. The water temperature is right and the fish (and all wildlife) are very hungry. Meteorologists are saying the patterns of the last 3 years are very similar to a pattern that occurred at the turn of the century (20th). If that holds true, these adverse and extreme conditions could be a pest the next 30 years. As in all wildlife, we will adapt and only the strong will survive. The more and more time goes on, the more I realize that it was the right decision to get rid of my "flats boat" (Bounty Hunter II) of 6 years for the luxury of a weatherproof Cadillac 2000 Dorado 23 LE.
I think it is "safe" now to reveal there was an initial gathering of March giant tarpon in the area prior to the blow. There is no question in my mind that this will be a year worthy of note. Again the temperature is right right now. A few consecutive sunny days and a decrease (or at best, less consecutive days) of high winds and we are in business. The same holds true for the migration of spring cobia, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and the nearshore grouper bite. Hang in there, they are waiting just like we are.
Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!
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