As you know I have been running the G.Loomis owner’s tournament series. There has been three of them so that has kept me pretty busy every weekend.
But what you don’t know (some might have guess) that I”m also shooting the 2014 Florida Sportsman Calendar. Normally this isn’t an issue. However what is an issue is the time frame. The shoot is due next week so I have been burning the candles getting all this to fit.
True to the Saltyshores style, I do not shoot fish that has been in the cooler. This makes it tough but having freshly caught fish equals much better quality images.
The coordination of time, people, fish, locations, weather has not been the easiest to deal with. We are getting it down however and it is looking very promising.
Hustling and hustling to get these things done has been the agenda the last two weeks. This allows for little time to do reviews, videos or even fish myself.
But not to neglect you guys any longer here are some images from the shoots.
I promise though, this will be the best Florida Sportsman Calendar ever
It has become tradition for good friend Capt. Tim Mahaffey (www.flatshead.com) and I to take a day to pursue and attempt a 5 fish slam on fly that to my knowledge has not been documented in the past. These 5 species are the most sought after gamefish in Islamorada; Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Bonefish, and Permit. To achieve a feat like such would be the ultimate accomplishment, but to document this with professional cameras and a pro photographer will certainly raise the bar. Timing had to be perfect, the skiff had to be set up right, and the fly anglers on the skiff had to have their act together and be able to work well as a team poling and/or fishing.
Our tools: My Mercury 115ProXs powered Maverick 18 Mirage flats boat, a range of old school and new school G Loomis fly rods, lots of different flies, and lady luck.
With my good buddy Rick De Paiva tagging along to capture todays events, we headed off into the darkness of morning in search of silver. The day started off as planned with a 50lb Everglades tarpon to the boat for a quick photo, fly extraction, and safe release. The next species we would spend time on would be the elusive snook. Luckily, our first snooky looking hole held some small tarpon and a snook that was willing to eat a minnow fly. I fought the snook more carefully then I had fought any other snook I have ever hooked. With some luck, I kept the sub-slot snook out of the snags in the water and it finally came to hand. With two out of the way, we moved on to the venerable redfish. We poled the 18ft Maverick flats boat up onto a very shallow flat where the tide was bottoming out. The tide had not been right yet and the mood displayed by the fish were evident of this. It didn’t take long for the tide to turn over and the water to start moving again. Once this happened, our flat lit up with happy spotted flats waving about in a very civilized manner. We caught half a dozen redfish on the tail covered flat before moving off to find our 2 other species in Islamorada. It was difficult leaving so many fish but to catch our next two species, we had to race time and tide. Luckily, at 50mph+ we arrived where we needed to be right on time. While bonefishing, we had a quick shot at a pair of permit that didn’t seem interested in our offerings. Our bonefishing led us to find an area with better current flow. Once we found that, it yielded 4 bonefish shots, 3 fish hooked, and 2 bonefish landed. The toughest of the 5 species was the last challenge to complete our already epic day of fishing. We poled our way onto a flat that should hold permit only to have the red zone on the flat run over by a weekend angler in an Actioncraft with rods flying out the back of his poling platform rod holders and cuda tubes doing pinwheels. Disappointed at what had just occurred, we poled the rest of that flat and didn’t get that permit shot we needed. Coming this close to achieving the ultimate slam only means we should attempt this again another time. Perhaps our next attempt will be more rewarding, as if the day of fishing we just had wasn’t rewarding enough.
FINALLY… we had a taste of some slightly cooler air and light NE breezes last weekend. The slow transition from summer to fall has been evident in nature. The way the fish behave, the feel of the air, the lack of hot women prancing around at the boat ramp in Miami, my being able to stay out longer during a day of fishing, and my willingness to spend the extra 15 minutes outside cleaning the boat meticulously after a day on the water. I’ve spent a few days in the past couple of months pre-fishing for the Herman Lucerne Tournament but it seems that the last couple of days spent pre-fishing would be the ones that matter most with the changing conditions. Practice days for tournaments such as these can be harsh so I had to take some “me” time to do what I really wanted to do this time of year… chase after bonefish, permit, and tarpon.
We had good success on our practice days fo the Hreman Lucerne Backcountry Memorial fishing tournament. The challenge is to catch 7 species within the Everglades National Park in 2 days… redfish, bonefish, tarpon, black drum, seatrout, snapper, and snook. Though it is a difficult format, if our last 2 practice days will give us any merit, then I will feel confident. Jeremy and I will have to mix in blind casting, sight fishing, trolling motors, poling, fly fishing, plug fishing, jig fishing, and just about every style of fishing you can do in the glade’s to meet what nature throws at us these next couple of days. The good news is, my Maverick 18 HPX-V skiff is set up to do it all. I’m taking a day off to rest tomorrow before the weekend of hardcore fishing begins. Wish me luck and I wish you all good fishing this next weekend…
Last week I was out of town for a few days attending DOA writer’s event at River Palm cottages. The writer’s event is a once a year event put on by DOA lures to help network with writers and manufacturer involved with the company through out the years. It is an invite only event with only about 20-30 people get to attend each year in the summer time.
Essentially it is a very laid back atmosphere where the writers/photographers/manufactures mingle, eat, drink and fish for two days. I find this a lot more fun than attending the shows since everyone is not “on guard”.
Amongst the sponsors this year was Johnson outdoors(Minnkota, Canon down riggers, Humminbird), Hobie Kayaks, Plano, Seagar, Costa Del Mar, Shimano and of course River Palm Cottages. I got to talk to many of the manufacture about up and coming products as well as test out some of the new gear on the verge of being release this year.(more on this later)
The weather we had for the 2 day event was very stormy and cloudy for the most part. One minute it would be fine then 15minutes later a rain shower would come down on us. The mornings usually was calm and predictable and as the day goes by the storm clouds would build up and it starts to pour down. The weather made for some interesting fishing indeed.
The first day on my boat was local guide, Captain Greg Snyder and Blair Wiggins the host of the TV show Addictive Fishing. These guys are excellent fisherman and a blast to hang out with. They are good friends and you can definitely tell.
Greg was running his 22′ Action craft Costal bay and wanted to go for snook early in the morning, hit the tarpon then go after permit. The snook at first light started off a bit slow but they got going good. The lure of choice that day was the Clear with silver specks DOA 1/4oz shrimp. We had several break offs on the 40lb leader and manage to land a few, the largest being about 10lbs.
Next we moved on to the tarpon which rolling right off the beach. Casting shrimp, terror eyes and bait busters we did not get an eat on our boat. The boat next to us did get an eat on a DOA cal jerk bait. The fish was hooked on 15lb braid and took quite a long time to land. Since the boat was with the event I snapped some shots before leaving to look for permit.
Now when Greg told me he has been catching permit on DOA terror eyes I shook my head but deep down inside I sorta, well, kinda didn’t really thought it was a consistent thing. With the overcast skies seeing the permit flashing was next to impossible. We drove around for a while catching random bonito, blue runners and such. Around 2 pm the cloud started to clear for us and could see large flashes in the distance. Up on further inspecting these were large 20-30lb Jacks which we did not want any part of.
Just as we were about to move, a pod of permit swam up to the back of boat. Everyone started casting the brown terror eyes(304 Rootbeer/Gold Glitter). I can remember thinking, “I wished we had some crabs..” then Greg hooks up. Then I was thinking “Jack?” but it wasn’t moving fast. Greg brings in a nice permit and was then a believer. I put down the camera and started to cast along with Blair. The Blair hooks up and lands his. After some photos I then hooked up one. Unfortunately mine got wrapped around the wreck/structure and broke me off.
At this point the bite slowed and the storms started to rolled and so we decided to called the trip and head back to River Palms to join everyone for dinner. The next 2 days was filled with over cast skies and intermittent thunder storms. This was definitely not fun for taking good photos.
This change in the weather slowed the fishing down for us while fishing with with Mark Nichols of DOA and Hobie Kayak guys. There were fish caught but not of the size we were looking for. Darn mother nature turned the switch on us and it just did not happen for us that day. It was however, quite an adventure that day dodging storms. I also got some great video of Mark’s 15 year boat filled with all kinds of useful and funny contraptions he conjured up.
Quick video of How to work a DOA Terror Eyz for permit. If you look carefully I’m using the new 2012 Shimano Stradic FJ and the new Shimano $49.00 price point spinning rod. (for the price it’s excellent!)
My buddy Dave Teper (www.worldangling.com) had rented a house in the lower Keys for the month of July so Jeremy and I decided to take his 18 HPX-V down to Key West this last weekend for a couple of days of fishing. Fishing was good, food was great, and the good times had were second to none. Thanks, Dave for the invitation.
Jeremy, David McCleaf, and I decided to make a game plan covering all the different types of fishing that Key West had to offer. The crystal clear waters were teaming with life and the many types of fishing that could be had in one day were too good to pass up. There was bait everywhere, lots of clear water, and the remnants of lobster hunters stayed well away from where we planned on fishing (except for that one tool bag in a big catamaran who decided it was a good idea to get in front of us and motor up to every tarpon that swam towards us). The versatility of the Maverick 18 HPX-V allowed us to cover everything from the shallowest inshore flats where permit and bonefish tailed to the wrecks and reefs in the deeper waters. Making the crossing through Northwest Channel, Lakes Passage, and Boca Grande Channel to the Marquesas had never been this comfortable. We kicked off the first hour of fishing with our first small permit and proceded to mix things up from there. From the wrecks to the flats, we caught Permit, Bonefish, Cobia, Snappers, and even hooked a Tarpon on fly. Some of the food I had this last weekend was absolutely epic; Lobster dinner on the first night, the best cuban food at El Siboney the second night, and then grilled up the cobia we caught on the final night there. This was definitely a weekend to remember…
This has got to be the most exciting and anxious time of year for most of us anglers who love to sight fish on a flyrod, crab, lure, or whatever. The warm weather starts to settle in and the sight fishing all over Florida begins to yeild epic days on the water. For those of us in the upper Florida Keys, the possibilities of the ultimate grand slam… fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit in a single day becomes an easier reality.
Jeremy and I have been running his new Maverick 18 HPX-V with the 21 Pitch Powertech 3 blade PTR prop. Compared to the 20 pitch 4 blade we were running before, this 3 blade had much more bow lift, better top end, better fuel economy, and made the boat perform like a whole different machine. The only thing sacraficed here was the ability for tight cornering at higher speeds… which isn’t much of an issue considering that this boat is meant for crossing big water in the Keys. We are going to subject the boat to further testing but so far the results are amazing. The concept applied to my 17 HPX-V years ago when I switched over from a 4 blade 18 Pitch PTR prop to a 3 blade 19 pitch PTR prop. This hull loves the bow lift and unfortuantely the 4 blade props on this HPX hull make the front end dig when running a big chop. This is a huge plus if you are planning on crossing those big basins in the Florida Keys. Give the folks at Powertech Props a call and they can provide you with whatever info you’ll need on these props. If you need to order one, you can contact your local Maverick Boat dealer or Shallow Water Customs.
Joe at Carbon Marine delivered a new Carbon Marine/Loop Push Pole for Jeremy’s 18 HPX. All I can say is this pushpole is SWEEETTT! It is much stiffer then all the Stiffy poles, lighter then both teh Graphite and Hybrid, and is great for poling deep water as it is not as floaty as my Stiffy Guide. The best part about this… the warantee that Carbon Marine offers is unparalleled and the price for these push poles is worlds less then the comparible Stiffys. Loop and Carbon Marine have come together and outdone themselves on this product. Oh and the Lambda shaped foot is pretty freakin sweet!!
It was a very busy few weeks and I have had very limited days on the water. Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated with me at all when I was able to make it out but fortunately, we still caught some fish. This semester is finally over and it is time to get busy on the pushpole…. and possibly spend some time on the pointy end of the bow if I’m lucky. Stay tuned guys and gals… this should be an AWESOME Spring and Summer.
April 8th 2010
First let me say thanks for all the happy birth day wishes today and all the birthday Cash that came in the mail. Not!
This morning first thing I did was to re edit the photos I got down in Sugar Loaf the last couple days. They were embarrassingly way too dark. For whatever reason the laptop I use to edit on the road, shows all the photos bright but when I get home they are all way too dark. I will need to calibrate that display.
A couple answers to questions I got about this shoot:
That is not a nurse shark it’s a lemon shark.
Yes, I was in the water about waste deep holding an underwater housing
Though lemon sharks are not normally aggressive towards human, probably shouldn’t try this at home.(for the record, I probably shouldn’t have either.)
The Camera I used was a Nikon D300 in an Ikelite underwater housing.
This is what they should have looked like
April 6th 2010
Well today all I had to do was get on the water with a tank of gas and batteries being charged it would’ve been a successful day! I am happy to report that did happened today..yaaaaaaaaaahhh!
We woke up a 6am and started brewing coffee. We were launched idling out by 7:15am this morning. Our mission was to get some bait in the morning then use the bait to get some shark footage before going after permit. We put out the chum bags and got ballyhoo in the slick right away. I was surprised we did not get more jacks and mackerel in the slick however. Going to the ocean side was out of the questions with the 20mph east winds so we fished the bay side again today.
Getting the sharks to come around was not a problem today. Jay and the gang must have caught over 20 sharks include a few over 100lbs. One was a best at 8 feet long that I did not get a chance to witness. I did get a chance to do some underwater shots today of the 100lb ones though. It was pretty cool and at times a little scary hanging in the water bare footed with a pissed off shark!
After I video a few shark eats I decided to head out to do some permit fishing. Jay said he say some yesterday but couldn’t hook up. I didn’t see anything yesterday due to my lack of fuel issue. It was a bit frustrating at first with a few blown shots. Since I’ve been fly fishing a bunch I haven’t had much practice on the spinner. I was also giving a good test to to the new TFO Gary Loomis signature series spinning rod I got a hold of last month. $99.00 with a lifetime warranty, the concept is pretty interesting.
We didn’t give up on the permit though. The intermittent sun kind of put a damper to things every now and then but for the most part we had lots of sun. Our perseverance paid off today. We got two 20lb permit to eat and got some cool pics before letting them go to fight another day.
We called it early as we wanted to get some dinner at the famous Square Grouper. I have to say today went very well considering the frustration that happen to us yesterday. Sometimes things just work out.
Speaking of things working out, one of guys down there just told me about an early Palolo Worm hatch that happened last night. It was a bonus I did not expect this early in the season so I didn’t have any worm hatch fly on me. Things down here are looking great for a change. The water temperature today was 76 degrees… finally!
A chain of islands better known as “Keys” lies at the southern-most region of Florida. At first glance, we begin to notice that once we step into the realm of this wonderful place, time seems to slow and the tranquil pace of life takes the place of the “get up and go” lifestyle that is Miami. Who would know that a major metropolitan city would neighbor this republic of tranquility? For some those like myself who have lived the fast paced life and seen the late nights and early mornings through the eyes of a college student and club hopper, there comes a time when life must slow down. There comes a time when one seeks a shot of tranquility on the water rather then a shot of Tanqueray on the rocks at a stuffy night club. The chaos on the dance floor transitions to chaos on the poling platform as a bonefish muds on your fly and fly line jumps stark raving mad through your guides. There is a time to party, there is a time to relax, and then there is a time to enjoy life in this paradise that is the Florida Keys.
I returned to the Florida Keys this past week to take advantage of this vast diversity of terrain. Fishing from as far south as the atoll known as the Marquesas, moving up to the Purple Isle (Islamorada) and fishing as far north as the Biscayne Bay, my friends and I targetting bonefish and permit on the clear shallow flats that were teaming with life. Both the Maverick Mirage HPX-V 17 and 18 proved to be versatile skiffs built specifically to take on the challenges of big water, shallow flats, and weary fish.
We started the week down south in Key West. Capt. Frank and I met up with my buddy Twig in the AM. We decided on a 2 boat fishing trip as the crossing over to the Marquesas can be a treacherous one if something out of the ordinary were supposed to happen. As I’ve said before, Boca Grande channel is no joke… but both our Mirage skiffs proved ready to handle the task of the crossing this very day. Winds blew about 15kts, swells kicked up, props would breach the surface, but the permit were chewing, and us anglers very anxious to throw flies and crabs on their dinner plate. Capt. Frank and I managed over 25 shots, having one permit eat the fly and missing him before hooking 2 big fish and landing one on a crab. It was truley some of the best permit fishing I had ever experienced. After the fish stopped tailing, we visited a near shore wreck and caught our limit of big mangrove snappers to come home for dinner, then stopped at the reef and played with some very big sharks on fly before calling it a day and heading back. The amount of life and scenery was truley amazing. This is what keeps us coming back.
My next stop brought me to Islamorada where my buddy Jeremy and I would take his new 18 HPX-V out for an afternoon of bonefishing. Jeremy had just put a new Powertech 4 blade 20 pitch PTR prop on the boat and it proved to be a major improvement over the previous TRO prop that was on there. I feel there should still be more we can get out of this boat with a different prop though. All techy stuff aside, the fishing was definitely improving. Bonefish are starting to transition into their spring pattern and feeding hard. We managed 6 shots and hooked 2 bonefish. I caught a weight fish and Jeremy got spooled by an absolutely huge downtown Islamorada slob bonefish.
My journey ends at the north end of the chain of Keys known as Biscayne Bay. My buddy Tim had invited me to fish in his newly purchased HPX-V 17 so we decided that a bonefish would be the perfect first slime in the boat. 10 shots and 2 fish later, mission accomplished. A fitting end to an incredible few days on the water…
The clock winds down and spring is definitely approaching. The fish are finally starting to feed well as the temperatures rise. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Spring. The first days of spring have finally arrived. All there is left now is to wait for the poons to show. We will be there, down in the Florida Keys waiting off the flat in the tarpon highway with 12wt in hand… rise tempertures rise!
Until next time…
Spring break had finally come and I took a week off to log some days on the water. The initial plans were to spend 3 days down in the lower Keys but due to circustances, that plan had to be put on hold for now. Instead, I chose to do something I had wanted to do in a long time. In 5 days straight, I fished in 4 different locations throughout Florida in 4 different style Maverick Mirage skiffs. Fishing had it’s ups and downs, but company was great, the overall experience was great, and I had a blast doing this. Upon introduction of the Mirage series of skiffs, Maverick Boat Co. revolutionalized the shallow water fishing industry. In 2000, Maverick introduced the HPX series of Mirage skiffs. These new hulls, floated shallower, rode drier, and were dead quiet. The HPX-Tunnel introduced stealth with the ability to float shallow, run in water once through too shallow for anything but a jon boat, zero hull slap. The 17 HPX-V allowed for anglers to take advantage of shallower draft while still providing a dry smooth ride in the rough and of coarse, zero hull slap. The 15 HPX-V, HPX-Micro, and 18 HPX-V later joined the line of Mirage line of skiffs and continue to raise the bar. I got to fish all 4 models in the last 5 days.
Skiff: Maverick Mirage HPX-Tunnel
Desitnation: Titusville, FL
My buddy Will invited me to spend a day fishing on his HPX-Tunnel up in Titusville so I took advantage of the situation and got to get out on the water with him for a few hours before I had to head back down to pick up my skiff at Maverick Boat Co. and head back home. We met up at dawn and got an early start, making our way through the shallows to get to our destination. The Mirage tunnel skiff handled the Lagoon chop fairly well and got us into some real shallow water where we would start our search. The sun was still hidden behind the clouds so we waited for the water to warm up, blind casting some shorelines in the meanwhile. Blind casting was not too fruitful so we made our way to the flats a little early to wait out the tailers. Once the sun broke through the clouds, the water warmed up, and the light revealed to us a couple of big red tails flags waving in the distance. With 9wt in hand, I tied on a simple modified redfish slider and had a few refusals before coming tight to a few smaller redfish. The day then revealed to us something different. Big grey tails began popping up and the through of being cold and throwing at reluctant oversized redfish had left my mind in a hurry. Being from South FL, we don’t get many opportunities to fish tailing black drum. We approached the first of many and this fish ate my redfish slider. After landing that big drum, we caught several more on a variety of flies ranging from a black merkin crab to black rattle shrimp flies. These drum aggresively attacked the rattle shrimp. It was pretty amazing. My buddy Will is fairly new to the fly game and managed to catch his first and second black drum on fly. Screams and high fives defined the degree to Will’s new fly fishing addiction. Time ran out and we left the fish tailing for the next group of dedicated anglers to find. This was definitely a cool experience neither of us will ever forget. I then headed home and made a stop at Maverick Boat Co. to bring my skiff back home after a minor nip/tuck.
Day 2 & 3
Skiff: Maverick Mirage 18 HPX-V
Desination: Key Largo and Florida Bay
My buddy Jeremy picked up a new 18 HPX-V with a Yamaha F115 last weekend so we spent the next couple of days tweaking the boat, testing it under real life conditions, and trying to get this boat dialed in properly. Unfortunately, the TRO model prop we have on this motor is not the right prop for the job so we are still waiting on different props to test out. Rest assured, several props are on their way and this boat will be dialed in. We will have more technical info for this setup shortly. Our first day on the water was rained out so we just took the boat out to run around Blackwater sound in Key Largo to make sure everything was in top order. The weather finally gave us a break the next day and we were able to take the 18 HPX out that afternoon for her maiden fishing voyage. We started out fishing East of Flamingo and had a few shots at some very big redfish that were reluctant to eat any of our offerings. From here, we boogeyd out to the oceanside of the Keys and paid a visit to one of flats where bonefish have taken residence. Jeremy managed to hook his first bonefish but the fish ran away from the boat first filling the air with the sound of the screaming drag. Then the bonefish turned and screamed towards the boat. My buddy reeled as fast as he could but could not keep up as the fish ran under the boat and spit the hook. The wind had picked up and the clouds rolled in so we headed back in staying bone dry and comfortable as we ran through a 2ft chop. Earlier in the day, while poling around in some real skinny stuff, I was amazed again to see how this boat performs on the pushpole. The 18 HPX drafted significantly shallow as we poled through some real skinny water. To put things into perspective, the only part of the push pole submerged in the water was the foot. It had to be no deeper then 8 inches and the 18 HPX was not even touching the bottom. When we had hit a hump no deeper then 6 inches, the 18 HPX was a breeze to push off it. The effort to push this boat was no more then pushing my 17 HPX-V with F90 but the stability when poling around in rough water and heavy winds was second to none. This is truley a remarkable poling skiff with an amazing hull. I will likely find myself in one in the near future.
Skiff: Maverick Mirage HPX-Micro
My buddy Jason also picked up a new Maverick Mirage this last week. For the type of shallow water fishing he plans to do and the long range runs out west, Jason opted for the HPX-Micro. With the inevitable implementation of the pole and troll zones that are to be enfored at Flamingo in the near future, the ability to run in shallow water will not as big of a factor as the ability to pole easily for longer distances, float shallower, and be a ble to take to handle running in a slight chop. The HPX-Micro fits this bill perfectly. The skiff floats in extremely shallow water. We poled around in water with the tips of grass protruding from the surface and slid along with ease as we poled for great lengths chasing down big schools of redfish pushing across the flats. The ability to be able to pole fast and set up on these fish is vital to success. Jason and I managed to feed countless numbers of redfish on a variety of lures and flies. I must admit, even having caught plenty of redfish on fly in my past, there is still nothing cooler then watching a big school of redfish dogpile on top of each other to try to eat a topwater plug. After being taken in by the cool ad I’d seen in a fishing magazine, I bought one of Bomber’s new Badonkadonk ( I also liked the name) topwater plugs and fed it to a bunch of redfish today. The fishing this day was spectacular as we plucked doubles off of each of the different schools of fish. Not only were there large numbers of fish in each school, but we encountered at least a dozen different schools of redfish up in the real skinny stuff. With the water continuing to warm the sight fishing opportunities on the flats is returning to the way it should be. Fishing can only get better from here. On the way back to the ramp, the wind had kicked up pretty bad but the Micro took to the chop surprisingly well and we stayed dry. The only thing I would change on the Micro is the engine HP rating. I would love to see a F60 or F70 on the rear of this boat. The F40 performed nicely and fuel economy is second to none, but the ability to scoot around faster would be nice. I must say though that even with an F40, the Micro was able to jump on plane in less then a boat’s length and with very little squat once tabs were applied. I also got to test one of Carbon Marine/Loop’s new push poles. These poles are amazingly stiff and light weight. I did not find a problem at all poling it in both shallow or deep water. The Carbon Marine Loop push poles are pretty impressive and priced unbeleivably cheaper then the Stiffy poles. After having used the Loop push pole, I highly recommend one for the absolute best value per performance.
Skiff: Maverick Mirage 17 HPX-V
Location: Key West and The Marquesas
During my 5th and final day on the water, I decided to take my own 17 HPX-V out to fish as south as I can go. Jeremy, David McCleaf, and I headed down to Key West to throw crabs and flies at Permit. Jeremy had never caught nor had a shot at a permit before but this day we produced many shots. Our first few shots came off a strip bank where there we had shots at 3 big fish. One cast was dead on but the fish spooked and didn’t eat (welcome to permit fishing). Towards the end of the day, we decided to make the journey across Boca Grande channel and look for some permit over at the Marquesas. We had 5 more solid shots at the end of the day and Jeremy ended up hooking his first permit. The fish ran under the boat during the fight and somehow ended up breaking off. This was a heart breaker but we were very content with the amount of shots we had and the fish we hooked. The day was growing late and the wind was steadily picking up so we decided to head back. Running back was no walk in the park. We made our way across Boca Grande channel again but the wind and current had sped up this time creating a consistant 3ft chop with a 4 to 5 footer mixed in here and there. I had the skiff airborne several times but she felt solid running across the chop and brought us home dry, humbled, and in one peice. Boca Grande channel is a definitely a force to be reckoned with but having the right skiff for the crossing is a must. Once Jeremy gets his GPS installed, we are going to try taking the 18 across to the Marquesas. This time, I can perhaps hopefully capitalize on my first permit on fly.
Spring is finally here and I am absolutely THRILLED about the warmer weather and good fishing to come. Stay tuned… the next journey has just begun!!