06 January 2014

• #6: Islamorada Journal 2014…06 JAN [First Fish of the Season…Sort of…]

Catching up with a few photos you might enjoy:

Click on any photo to enlarge

Sunday night's sunset morphed from cloudy to almost cloudless:

Finally got out on the basin wall to try a few casts with the fly rod.

Nothing much happened for 6-8 casts with the 7-weight, throwing an all-white clouser minnow.

Then a fish hit the fly.

I knew it wasn’t much of a fish as I could pull it in easily by stripping the line in with the left hand rather than putting the fish “on the reel.” I kept the line tight to the fish, not allowing any slack, but after a few strips the line went limp and I figured the fish had gotten off the hook. Au contraire! The line suddenly went tight again…and the fish was pulling much harder.

After a bit of a tussle the fish came alongside the wall and I was able to see that it was a decent little barracuda…maybe two feet long. However, the rod, tip bent down almost to the water, suddenly snapped back and popped the fish I’d hooked up to the surface.

That is, part of the fish.

The one I’d originally sunk the fly into was a small jack or blue runner that had subsequently been grabbed by the barracuda who took a few moments to chew through the hooked fish.

He got all but the head.

I would have liked to catch [and release] the ‘cuda, but this result was fine. Barry got himself a meal, and I got to land the first fish of the season…or at least part of him…and on the fly rod yet.

Definitely a portent of fishing days to come.

And as to the weather forecast:

Small craft advisory will be required late this afternoon, gale warning may be required tonight.

Monday night: Northwest to north winds 5 to 10 knots...increasing to near 25 knots and gusty this evening. Bay waters mostly smooth...becoming extremely rough. Scattered showers before midnight…isolated showers after midnight.

Tuesday: North winds 20 to 25 knots and gusty. Bay waters very rough.

Wednesday: Northeast winds near 20 knots. Bay waters rough. scattered showers.

Thursday: Northeast to east winds near 15 knots...decreasing to near 10 knots by noon. Bay waters a moderate chop...becoming a light chop. Scattered showers.

So it's going to be a little tough to get out fishing...until the wind tapers down.

That's a great blue heron who stopped by to watch the sunset.

One of the resident land crabs.

Did a big cleanup on Shoo-Fly today, so she's ready to go when the weather cooperates.

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