While I was scheduled to fish Monday with Bruce Chard, we opted to reschedule and instead make up the day with a few in the fall. Tuesday I had booked Aaron Snell, and we decided that to go despite the colder weather. As an added bonus, we were able to break in his new skiff, a Maverick I that he has spent the last few months rebuilding. Given my (slight) elbow grease investment in the project, as well as the fact that I’m going to be spending no small amount of time on this boat in the coming months, I was extremely happy to be a part of its break in process.
We started by looking for permit and barracuda. This plan, while reasonable, led immediately to simply barracuda fishing. I had a few great grabs from large fish that didn’t stay kept, and soon we switched to a fly that had tandem hooks in order to assure a capture. We had a large group of fish over white sand, and in short order had hooked a nice fish. As we staked the boat for photographs, the wire connecting the stinger hook to the lead hook came apart and left us without a photo and the fish with a small piece of oral bling.
Soon we looked for permit, and found only a single on a channel edge that took off as soon as we spotted him. We saw another not long after, and while the water was warming we were unable to find any more permit with which to play.
We had a few more barracuda shots, and then went shark fishing, though the clouds plagued us and we found nothing to throw at. We found some rays over turtle grass that had some jacks following them, and I captured a small one: the first legitimate capture on the new boat. Aaron took the following photo:
At the end of the day, we waited for the warm outgoing tide to push over some known permit flats. Despite an hour of looking and a number of flats that by all rights should have held fish we were left without a shot. Tough.
Near home, Aaron powered down in search of a tarpon: it didn’t take long to get a large fish on a gurgler:
More to come after the Merkin, which starts Monday and goes through Thursday.