Thursday, June 26, 2014

15th DOA Outdoor Writer's Event - Day One

Doug Olander and I double up on BIG 19-pound bonita
Capt. Greg Snyder's patented snook release 
With a hot summer weather pattern in place, keeping the Southeast well into the 90's, it was Go Time once again for the the annual gathering hosted by Captain Mark Nichols of DOA Lures. A fish camp along the Indian River Lagoon known as River Palms is the setting with the 'Old Florida' feel that make the visiting writers and fishing guides right at home. Arriving for supper on Sunday afternoon Nichols always speaks up  to thank the sponsors on site like Trokar / Eagle Claw hooks, Costa sunglasses, Humminbird, Shimano, Engel coolers and Tailin' Toads. The fishing talk and scuttlebutt continued to relay that challenging conditions persist after the ecosystem was tested by both extreme weather and pollution in recent years. However, after two days of fishing by this group of knowledgable anglers, the overall catch reports seem to be on the uptick. On Day One I met Capt. Greg Snyder at the Chickee Hut at 5:30 a.m. to load gear into his boat, and we were soon joined by Doug Olander and headed to the rock jetty at St. Lucie Inlet. Local guide Snyder had a plan to hook a snook before first light, before they got lockjaw during the heat of the day. With the sun just beginning to rise, Snyder used a 4-inch DOA shrimp in holographic to land a nice snook, getting our day off to a great start. Olander is the editor of Sport Fishing magazine and he was delighted to break out his GoPro camera and make a series of photos of Snyder and the snook using the burst mode, which is a still frame photo taken every two seconds. The hot weather made the Atlantic Ocean flat, and Snyder put his 22-foot Action Craft into overdrive as we headed offshore to fish a weedline. Unable to find any mahi that were reportedly in the area, we did see some sailfish but were unable to get them to eat. Just then, a school of beefy bonita showed up allowing Olander and I to double-up using a DOA baitbuster in silver flake. We moved back nearshore and fished over some reefs and scored a jack crevalle and spanish mackerel. A memorable moment included when bull sharks  surrounded the boat when we had a cobia on the line, and due to an underwater altercation beneath the boat the line was parted. More bonita crashed the party and were easily the most consistent fish of the day.
Doug and Greg .... Meet Jack

To view past blog entries from the DOA Writers Event click 20132012, 2011,2010 or 2009.

Marking time in 2014 at DOA Camp

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