My wife and mother (and my repeat clients!)can attest to the fact that one of my favorite things to say is: “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” I can always find a way to fit this around just about anything, usually in jest (but sometimes not). So, much like my casual saying, there is good news and bad news. The good news is, several important and relevant facts have come to light since the last time I had a chance to post an update. The bad news is that several of them came about during a storm that apparently made national news for a brief period. Where was I during this ‘perfect storm’? In the middle of a 39 mile run home from a trip, in open water!
The first thing I learned for certain this week is that the Tarpon have definitely moved out of the pass. The bad news is jigging has all but come to a standstill. We did manage 3 or 4 decent hook ups on a jig, with 2 to the boat. The good news is that we were pretty much the only boat in the pass, so we had the whole place to ourselves. This made the task of getting those hooked fish to the boat just a little bit easier. The other bit of good news is that these fish are DEFINITELY still around. Crabs, threadfins, large whitebait, ladyfish, and even some 12 inch anchovies from offshore have all been producing well. If you ask me, fishing these scattered fish may be slower paced than some people like (and you definitely need more patience and a bit more fishing time) but it produces as many, if not more fish to the boat.
The second thing I learned is to always trust my instincts. The bad news: I have had to cancel one trip this month for possible impending weather. This is possibly the hardest decision a guide or captain can make. The weather isn’t there yet, but the safety and happiness of your clients depends on you making the right call. I think there is just always that lingering feeling of “what if I call it and get back to the dock and it never actually hits or it clears up in twenty minutes”. The good news: I am a pretty good judge of weather, as proof by the 3rd thing I learned.
The third and final lesson is kind of a bundle. The bad news: I spent about thirty minutes in absolutely the windiest conditions I have ever been in while on, or near the water. Add to that 4ft+ seas, pouring rain, and lightning so close the boom happened about the same time you saw the whole sky around you light up (mind you I am traveling in open water with a giant shiny lightning rod that I am hanging on to). The good news: I made the right call, used all 250 Yamaha horses, and got my clients for that day off onto the beach (it was a beach pickup location in Sanibel, VERY cool) just in time so that they stayed safe, happy, and dry. More good news: I had a revelation about my Century 2202 Tower, and the Century Boat Company in general. They build one HELL of a bay boat. I have spent my life on boats, and I would say I tend to push things to the limit when I am out alone (never with clients)…and this was probably the limit of most boats. There were registered gusts of almost 70mph, 4ft breakers, and this boat got me home at 40mph without even breaking a sweat. It is also the DRIEST boat I have ever been on. Since I have owned this boat, including this storm (with quartering seas no less) I have not taken even ONE face full of spray. As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone on this boat has gotten wet from anything that wasn’t rain or sweat from their battle with some real bruiser tarpon, sharks, and kings.
So the fishing is good, changing, but good. The Snook fishing could not possibly get any better, Nearshore Kings have numbered in the double digits with tournament-winning size fish on almost every trip, and the sharks are staying hungry. I would like to personally thank Century boats for getting me back safe, sound, and salt free (I cant say dry). My 2202 had the speed to get my clients off without a hitch, and to get me back to the dock through one hell of a storm. I didn’t take any pictures fishing this week, just stayed a bit too busy on the boat (good for my clients, bad for followers of the blog), but I did snap a couple shots as I approached the storm as I moved the camera and my phone to a safer location.
Enjoy, and be safe…I should take my own advice, but hey I like to live on the edge sometimes.
The GOOD news: is the fishing is spectacular and is’nt slowing down
The BAD news: Your at work and arent booked for a trip next weekend. Dont you deserve some time off?