14 January 2015

• #13: Islamorada Journal 2015…14 JAN “Tarpon and Sharks!”

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

The day started off on the punk side: Fog was thick about 200 yards in front of the house...so I went over to Wayne's house to kill some time until the weather decided what it was going to do...obviously the forecasters had no clue...we'd just wait it out.

Photos of Wayne & Linda's orchids...

...red poinsettia...

...and white poinsettia were taken with my cell phone rather than the trusty Canon EOS Rebel XT, so the pix are not up to the quality of the actual flowers.

But we finally got out on the water after 1 pm. The wind dropped and it was quite spectacular out there. We didn't have a lot of luck with fish as we weren't into catching jacks and ladyfish...but rather hoping for something more interesting. Wayne did pick up a small ladyfish and suggested I put it on my shark rod as we were pulling into an area that spinners, blacktips, and bonnetheads are known to frequent.

No sharks took an interest in the bait, but we spotted two tarpon of about 30-40 lbs. that came quite close to the boat. They didn't spook but just ambled off out of sight. Then we saw their wakes coming back toward the boat...we were in 2-3 feet of water so any fish of that size will throw a surface wake. They kept on coming toward where the ladyfish was drifting at the end of my line.

The two tarpon circled the ladyfish three times and then one grabbed it. I picked up the rod, closed the clicker, and let the line come tight. As the ladyfish was on a circle hook, I couldn't set the hook...just had to let it come tight so the hook would turn and grab the tarpon's lip. The line came tight. I felt the tarpon's weight on the line, and then it all went slack. The hook had not done its job.

Bummer. Would have liked to get at least one jump out of the fish.

White pelicans.

Later on I had a shark, not a bonnethead, turn and come at my shark fly...but he declined to bite.


So there was a dark cloud over the boat.

Not really...it was all good fun...and that's fishing.

I don't know what these birds are, but they're pretty.

Clouds were coming in for sure, so we hightailed it for the dock.

Wednesday's sunset.

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