02 March 2015

• #45: Islamorada Journal 2015…02 MAR Monday: Sharks!

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

Sunday's sunset. Eh!

Who's that peeking at us over the rim of the boat basin?

It's Gilbert, the Great Blue Heron.

Gilbert doesn't like paparazzi.

Ingrid the Ibis.

Formal portrait...putting her best foot forward.

Wayne and I decided to fish Florida Bay today...again...despite the lackluster results we'd been achieving recently.

What is it they say about people who keep repeating the same action but expect the outcome to be different?

So we got out into the Park and...wait for it...there were muds! Actual muds! [You may recall that muds are stirred-up areas of water created by feeding fish...or sometimes by dolphins.] But muds are also where sharks may lurk, feeding on the smaller fish that are stirring up the water.

So we baited up our meat sticks...the heaviest rods we had with us...which were not at all that heavy...with some pinfish, and, because the wind was honking at least 15 kts out there, we threw over Wayne's drift bag.

The drift bag is intended to slow the boat as it drifts through the water, pushed by the wind. In this way our baits would stay in the area of the mud much longer. With the bag in the water we drifted at less than 1 mph according to the GPS.

Waiting for any sharks to hit our pinfish offerings, I threw a jig in the water hoping to catch one of the mud-making fish. Whump! A shark of around 20-30 lbs., a spinner shark, hit my jig, which didn't have a wire on it, and promptly cut me off.

Wayne then hooked and landed a 20-lb. spinner on his pinfish rig and boated the fish...photos below.

And then I hooked maybe a 30-pounder which jumped twice and straightened out the snap on the end of my wire leader.

It pays to match your rod set-up with the size and power of the fish you hope to catch...which I obviously failed to do.

Later on I hooked this 40-pounder and managed to get it to the side of the boat where the wear and tear of a 20-minute battle finally broke the line.

Still, though, Wayne touched the leader, so it was a "caught" fish.

Here's Wayne's shark at that delicate moment when he's trying to get the Boga Grip in the fish's mouth so we can bring it on board for photos.

On board the boat now. Note that I'm holding the camera taking this photo in my right hand and Wayne's GoPro cam in my left hand.

The proper pose for the photo album.

And a look at sharky's teeth...which are not nearly worth as much as Wayne's teeth. Only a few people will understand what I'm talking about here. :-)

We also jumped a tarpon which yanked one of our rods off the boat [bad planning again, but we managed to retrieve the rod as the tarpon had spit out the hook almost immediately] and we caught several spotted seatrout and ladyfish and jacks...so it was a good day on the water.

Hopefully the fishing will continue to improve.

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