I finally got a chance to take a good friend out fishing, Captain Todd Foucher. We used to fish together on his boats when he would scout for upcoming charters, or just wanted to be on the water, but it had been a long while. Todd got out of the charter business to pursue a more lucrative venture, which has worked out nicely for him, but knowing he didn’t get to fish all that much, this trip was way overdue. The fishing business is a tough business and although Todd was still running a bunch of trips before he stopped, the love for the job was gone. Last time I had talked to Todd, we talked about getting out on some tarpon, so I gave him a call on a Thursday and we made plans to fish the outgoing tide on Saturday.
Arriving at my place at two (right on time as always, pisses me off, I’m usually five minutes late :)), we threw our gear in the boat and headed to the ramp. Dropping the boat in was quick and easy at that time of day, and we were swiftly on our way to catch bait.
The big threadfins were not on the usual markers, so we concentrated on the smaller whitebait and pinfish on the flats, later on the search for pass crabs would start. After chumming up and successfully netting our bait we rode out to the spot where the fish have been chewing.
Upon arrival, we found what we were looking for. Tarpon feeding and lot’s of them. The silver kings were in town and ready to throw down. After setting the anchor in between some fellow anglers, we were in a great position to catch a fish. Tarpon were all around the boat, and sight casting was the key. On my second cast, I must have had the bait right in front of the fish at just the right time; my braided line flew off the spool, after flipping the bail, it was fish on.
We tossed the anchor buoy (an old lifejacket tied to a rope) and the fight was on. With Todd coaching me, I brought the hundred pound class poon to the boat in short order. His coaching was great, learning more about fighting tarpon, and it’s stuck with me. Once a Captain, always a Captain, he has constantly been a wealth of fishing knowledge for myself, and many others. Todd handled it for a picture, let it go and we staged up again.
With fish rolling all over, we were sure another would be boatside soon, but after a while of no action we were getting bored. The tarpon got real picky and the action died down. Off we went to look for the crab flush.
Shortly after getting to a good location we saw numerous pass crabs and netted them up quickly. With two dozen in the well we started fishing again, drifting crabs for a couple of hours to no avail. Todd started using small whitebait and pinfish again, catching small grouper and mackerel, but no luck on the targeted species. Contemplating leaving, Todd and I decided we would pitch a few more baits then take off.
Todd throws out small whitebait while I continue to drift crabs. Finally, his rod doubles over and we thought he had a huge grouper on. That was fine with me, I wanted some fillets, but after a slender silver king went airborne, we were happy. Todd had hooked a smaller fish, maybe sixty five pounds, and this was just what he wanted.
You see, Todd has put the hammer down on many tarpon; I haven’t. He explained to me throughout the day he would only “jump and dump” a big fish, but fight a smaller fish, so he got what he wanted. After a short five minute fight, Todd had the fish to the side of the boat and I released it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures, but Nick was next to us in the Aquasport and he got a cool picture of the “Toddfather” fighting the fish. After that hook up, we stayed for a little bit longer with no accomplishment in sight. Calling it a day, we dumped the well, packed up, and headed back to the ramp.
All in all, the fishing was sub par, but the company was good. Todd and I got to spend the day catching up and talking lots of smack. Todd got the fish he wanted, and I boated the fish I wanted. As a plus, fishing with Todd is always a learning experience, and if you can’t take away something from fishing with him, then you’re just not listening. This was a great day, and good to see one of the South Shores top guides on the water again.
Boat picture courtesy of Nick Angerosa, thanks bro!