Ending on this Friday past, I fished with Captain John O’Hearn. Our target, in hopeful anticipation of the upcoming Gold Cup, was tarpon. Here’s how it all went down:
We started near Islamorada, and found a spot to scratch something out in. Our fishing started out with a bang, with John getting a bite while I fussed with a tangle in my running line, and we both felt like the fishing was only going to improve from there. Unfortunately, this proved not to be the case. We fished all day for another few sippy bites, never putting one in the air. Of note was a final stop we made on the way back to the dock, which gave us a number of great shots and hard follows but still avoided any jumped fish.
In order to make good on our investment from the day before, we spent the day settling the score with the same tough fish. While still hard to feed in clear water, we were able to exact some revenge. I jumped a small fish, then hopped up on the platform to give John an opportunity to fish. It didn’t take long for John to catch a small fish himself, and in a few hours (just about when we were agreeing to disagree about what had been responsible for the last fish, the new fisherman or guide) I caught another fish. John grabbed it and we took the fly out, and we even took a release picture to practice for the Gold Cup. After this we had some more shots on diminished fishing, and headed to one more spot before heading home that yielded no bites on a handful of shots.
On the last of the three days, we were joined by my friend Adam Linhardt. This was Adam’s first time fishing the flats proper, and we had a nice reduction in the wind that made things a lot more possible. Right off the bat, we had four bites. Each was from a big fish, and none resulted in a hooked fish. Each time we adjusted something small in our hook set, though we were still unable to make good on our plan.
I had a good bite from a smaller fish, this time getting the hook into the bone through the first jump but not after. In a few hours, we had another bite from a 55 pound fish that we were able to catch and secure the release from.
We had great fishing, but less fish brought to hand than we wanted to. Adam struggled with the wind, but I suspect this won’t be the last we see or hear of him on these pages.
Tomorrow and the next I’m with John again, practicing more for the upcoming event. This week is the Hawley, in which we are not fishing, but I will post the results here when I get ahold of them.
Reports to follow,