On Monday of last week, after the Everglades sadness and the Merkin euphoria wore off, I went fishing for a day with Ian and Carson Alexander. Carson and I split the day with Ian, and it was an opportunity for me to have some fun with friends and just go fishing without a tournament or a record attempt in mind.

The weather was still imperfect from the Merkin howl, but with the sunlight and lighter wind (not to mention a lack of nuclear winter on the thermometer) things seemed to be looking up. We started off in the morning looking for barracuda, which I haven’t thrown at in a while. The last day of the Merkin had them arriving in scattered batteries on the flats, and during that time I was unable to throw at them. I brought the cuda rig for this day, hoping to exercise some wolves. We fished two places in the morning with this in mind, and at the first we saw a large permit before we spotted any of the target teeth. We found few shots at this first place, and Ian soon called a move and we headed to the next spot. There we readied the barracuda rod and again were greeted by a tailing permit at the door. I was up, and while things looked good for the permit fishing we elected to stay with the wolf stick for a while. The barracuda showed in great numbers, and we bounced from fish to fish for an hour or so. I had a bite or two, not caching one, and then Carson was up. He had a few hard follows, but we struggled to get a playmate. I got up again, and we saw another permit. This time I was able to pass the cuda rod to Carson without spooking the fish and draw a permit sword from the rack. I got what I felt was a good cast off at the fish, but the target disagreed and headed off the flat to some deeper water to sulk at being thrown at.

We continued to fish for barracuda, and if it wasn’t for the absurd number of shots we were getting we would probably have started permit fishing earlier. The shots were too easy to come by to leave, and that we hadn’t yet gotten one to the boat caused us to continue on in search of some redemption. I had one last bite from a barracuda that also didn’t work out well before we headed off in the direction of some permit to harass.

Our fishing in the afternoon started slowly. A pair of barracuda approached the boat from a distance, and while we should have been ready to get the crab in front of them I swear they turned in to permit at the last second and caught us off guard. Carson got a cast off in their direction, though the fly landed a tad long and spooked the fish. I was up next, and we soon had another shot. This fish hung around and let me throw at it a few times, and we were almost convinced that it ate the fly when it got tight to the fly. We didn’t get a bite from this fish, but with the shots we had already and what we’d seen in the morning our hopes were high and we kept at it.

The fishing slowed in the afternoon, and by 3:30 we hadn’t found another shot for our efforts. We were scratching our heads at the absence of fish, so Ian ran us to a place farther from home to give a new plan a try. We arrived at nearly 5, and straight away saw a push of what we thought was likely to be a permit. We couldn’t see much more than a surface disturbance in the deeper water, and the wind made it tough to see even that. We stuck with it, looking for high spots. Carson had a shot at a wake, then I had a shot at a fish that flushed off when the fly landed. Carson had one, and when I was up next we had a good shot at a hard tailing fish. For this fish I left the boat, and was able to get int position for a good shot from the marl. I figured I was close to harm’s way on the first shot, and the second left me with the distinct impression I should be coming tight any time now. The fish instead ducked the fly and headed right for me, accelerating when it hit my shadow and swerving in a head down exit into an adjacent channel. I handed the rod off to Carson, who had another shot at an approaching bulge of water we hoped might contain a permit. Again we were left without a bite, and I had one more low quality walking shot at a tailing fish before the light ran out and we ran home.

I’d like to thank both Carson and Ian for a relaxed day of fishing that I was in desperate need of. After the hard loss with Steve and Chad and the tough win with John, just getting out and enjoying a day on the water meant a lot and was welcomed by this fisherman that often takes what he’s doing a little too seriously.

My parents arrive tonight, and I’m finally current with these reports. They’ve got Aaron Snell booked Monday through Friday, and I’ll try to get out with them one day. Chris McCreedy is visiting this week, and he and I are trying to hatch a plan to get out on Monday for some fishing.

 

More to come,

 

nathaniel