Last weekend (5-6 July) I fished with Captain Joe Rodriguez in the Poor Boys tournament in Islamorada. While we had a great first day of fishing, it wasn’t enough to carry us through a second tough day that was, for us, fishless. Captain Brian Helms came through with a super-solid second day, posting four releases. With his one from the first day, he beat us out with five fish. As always, hats off.
Our fishing on the first day was incredible. Joe found a shrimp hatch, and in a short hour and a half we had over 15 bites and were able to secure the release on four fish. I’m not exactly sure what led to the poor average, though I suspect that the shrimp-popping bites had something to do with it. More than once, I had a fish bite the fly and simply kick it back out, and a few times fish busted the fly so sincerely that they simply pushed it out of their way. For what it’s worth, I’d like to mention that this day was probably one of the best tarpon situations I’ve ever been in, and thanks are due to Joe Rodriguez for putting us in the middle of it.
Our second day was full of high hopes for a repeat performance by the fish (and, we hoped, an improved ratio from the guy on the bow), but this turned out not to be the case. We had a single bite in the morning, then went to the ocean for an afternoon of cloudy frustration that led us to no more bites.
I’d like to thank Joe for a great two days, and I look forward to fishing in this fun tournament again next year.
Next week the Del Brown, and I’m hoping for anything other than a close second. For what it’s worth, I hear the permit fishing has been great.