This past week I fished 2 different functions the Pace High School fishing tournament in Islamorada and the Project Healing Waters outing at Flamingo.
The pace Tournament was out of La Siesta so I turned it into a weekend get away (sort of) for me and my wife. I fish this tournament every year with my son James and his friends Danny and Johnny who is on leave from Coast Guard. We ran 25 miles to a spot that's been holding Tarpon and they were there, we had already netted some finger mullet and we got to work. As we got the boat into position we stayed nice and quite so not to spook them. I guess it didn't matter because they wouldn't eat. We wasted three hours throwing everything in the boat at them. I decided to leave the next spot produced on first few cast. Johnny had the hot hand he caught 2 Snook and a Red. There were also a few missed fish. It is a short fishing day so we went back to Tarpon spot. We had mullet out and James a really good Tarpon hooked up, the Tarpon jumped and then grey hounded throwing the circle hook. He pitched the mullet back out and hooked up again this time we are good or at least I thought we were! This Tarpon threw the bait also and we were running out of time. We hit a couple spots on the way out and put a bunch of Trout on the score card giving Johnny a Slam. It was late and we had a long run back time to see what the Skeeter SX23 can do.
I am at Flamingo today fishing Project Healing Waters. This outing is put on by Colonel Anthony Fernandez, retired Marine. Project Healing Waters gets Marines awarded a Purple Heart on the water to experience one of the coolest places on earth. I had 3 Marines Mark, Manny and Pablo on my Skeeter and we started out looking for Tarpon, we saw a few but the wind was blowing into the spot and fish weren't rolling. We were casting jerk baits rigged weed less. Manny was working his and had a giant blow up but because of the winds he never noticed the Tarpon. It wasn't happening so I went to a spot where we could bent the rods. I didn't take long and we had an assortment of Trout, Mangrove snappers and Jacks. Pablo said they didn't catch anything bigger than 15 inches yesterday so I wanted to change that. We went to an area that hasn't been very good over the last couple years but last week I noticed some activity there. We were still throwing jerk baits and we got into a really good Snook bite. Every body got in on the action with Pablo catching the biggest but throwing bait at the boat. The big Jacks were also in there and they wore these guys out. This was my privilege to show these guys a place they didn't know exist, Manny called it God's country, I think we all agree.
This is a night where guides and anglers come from St. Lucie to Key Largo and across from the west coast of Florida. We all show up because we are friends of Jeff Maggio (AKA Lunkerdog). Jeff does his own thing and is a social phenomenon, he has his own saying's like HOGLEG and get a dozen. All these refer to mullet and the mullet run.
There also might of been some alcohol and some story telling. I Met some new guys and saw some old ones, lot'sof fun. It gets bigger every year. Great job Jeff.
The next 3 months allot of things happen down at Flamingo, including the opening of Snook season September 1st. We get bait runs, cooler water and fish school up making fishing fun. If you have the need to catch fish and would like to experience Flamingo give me a call at 305 333 8149. I now have a bigger boat and can handle families, bring your kids and I'll teach them some techniques that will last them forever.
The Mullet run will be here soon!
Thanks, Captain Jim Hobales