04 January 2013

Islamorada Journal 2013…04 JAN

Thursday night's sunset.

Nope, not a shark fin.

Wayne and I lit out upon Florida Bay today to try for some real gamefish. The other day we just went out to "stretch our fishing lines," and there are almost always jacks, ladyfish, runners, and other smallish fish that are happy to do that. But it's more of a challenge to find the real gamefish...and to get them to bite.

We found several permit; these fish are part of the famous Keys "grand slam" which is made up of bonefish, tarpon, and permit...all very desirable to anglers...not to eat, but because they are wily and good fighters, to catch and release.

In shallow water these fish are typically found through "sight-fishing," in which, similar to hunting, you see your game and then figure out how to catch it. A fin sticking up out of the water is one way to spot permit.

We snuck up on that one and Wayne threw a shrimp lure at the fish [we hadn't taken the time to get live crabs which are the number one live bait for permit].

Wayne hooked up and we thought he was onto the permit...but it turned out to be a large crevale jack that had grabbed the lure. So we were disappointed, but still glad to have found permit so early in our stay here.

In addition to the first permit we also saw my first dolphins of the year...two small pods of them.

The first group were business dolphins, only interested in eating. The second pod came over to check us out, ran in front of the boat for a while, and then...apparently finding us uninteresting...lit out for parts unknown.

So we did see several permit and lots of redfish [another desirable gamefish] and...but caught only a few jacks.

Next trip for gamefish we'll bring the right baits.

Beautiful views of clouds on the horizon all day long.

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