Last week I had the opportunity to fish in the panhandle with Captain David Mangum. While I first met David a few years ago in the shop, we had never gotten together to fish together until these three days. My hope was to find some slightly larger tarpon to pull on, in preparation for the Gold Cup which starts on 16 June.
We started with high hopes for our time together, as his fishing the day before I arrived was pretty good from the sounds of it. We began by fishing in the morning light to rolling schools of fish, approaching us from a distance. While we didn’t hook one we were happy with the shots we had, and soon moved to a place that would allow us to do some sight fishing. As the hours ticked by and the fish didn’t swim, our hopes remaind high: the fish were here recently, and we waited for the pour to begin as more time passed. Nothing came, and while we had a shot here and there at fish by 6 PM we were fishless on our way in to the dock.
While unhappy with our results the day before, David smartly didn’t try to reinvent this particular wheel and we stuck with the plan. Our fishing improved slightly, primarily since we were on high alert and looking to convert every shot into a bite. At the place we started the day before, we were able to hook two fish and catch one–both nice fish, though neither over 100. Following that, we had another bite at a nearby edge. While our shot number wasn’t hugely increased, we did seem to be able to turn our shots into leaps well on this day. The staying on part was difficult, unfortunately. We finished with a fourth and final bite (the capture again eluding us) before calling it a day, then headed home to a great dinner with my good friend Chris Robinson and new friend Greg Dini before cashing in for sleep
Our third day of fishing wasn’t as great as our day previous, but we were able to dry a few off nonetheless. Our fishing was decent but again slow in terms of shots, though throughout the dayt we were able to hook three tarpon. Two were decent sized, and one of those two I fought near the boat for a grab until the hook broke. The other two fell off, leaving us wondering what we could have done differently.
All in all, I had a great time with David Mangum and I look forward to fishing with him again.
Thursday and Friday with John, Sunday Monday with Simon, Wednesday with John, then with Doug for the Gold Cup.
More to come.