Fishing with John and Ted
On Tuesday, I fished with Ted Margo and Captain John O’Hearn. Here’s what happened:
With the clouds in full effect, we decided to start early and look for some small tarpon. In the rain, we found a number of small tarpon. I caught the first one we hooked, and then we had to deal with the falling-off that’s so typical of small pons. In total we hooked five from three spots, and while the fishing was good the company was even better: nothing like enjoying a cigar with two of my favorite people while tarpon fishing to remind me that I love my life.
Following this we looked for some bonefish, and while the numbers of these fish has been reduced since the freeze four years ago it was passable as good bonefish fishing. We saw about a dozen fish, many of them quite large, and were unable to hook one before we called it a day.
Another day, another round of clouds and glare. We began later, and with a small break to our favor in the haze found a couple permit shots. I had a few, then Ted nearly hooked one that John spotted close to the boat. The fish turned around and looked as if it was going to eat the fly but bolted when it saw us.
After this we looked again, and I had a single shot at a fish that never materialized after I threw the fly before we made a large move for some lower water. In the shallows, we found some tails and had some fun. I waded after a pair of small permit, hooking one on my third cast:
As the fish approached I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a small permit but instead a giant bonefish–big enough, obviously, to make myself and two other fisherman think it was a permit. On the final pass to land the fish, however, the hook came out, leaving the true size of the fish up for debate. I’m not one to throw around numbers, but I’m happy for the chance to hook a huge bonefish any day of the week even if it does fall off in the eleventh hour.
After I walked back to the boat,
I had another shot at a tailing permit that looked perfect: the fly landed, the fish ran over to it, but when I felt something and set the hook I was already in the turtle grass. The permit had lost the fly in the bottom, and before I could throw it again he bolted. I had another four shots at tailing fish, and while some of them landed on target no one wanted to play. Ted had a shot next, and threw a good cast at a group of four permit that bolted when it landed: all typical of fishing for permit in The Calm, all heartbreaking, all awesome.
We called it a day after a final shot, and though I didn’t join in the next two days I did get the following picture from John and Ted, who took it upon themseves to redeem the boat with the following permit, caught yesterday:
As always it’s great to fish with these two guys, and I can’t wait to do it again. Monday and Tuesday with Will, reports to follow.