Friday, June 27, 2014

15th DOA Outdoor Writer's Event - Day Two

Jumping tarpon I caught on a DOA Baitbuster
Capt. Chris Myers sight fishing
WIth a little help from DOA's Ed Zyak, I was paired with another local fishing guide in Captain Chris Myers. And then for good measure Capt. Willy Le would also be aboard the Hewes Bayfisher that Myers has been piloting for ten years now. A 5:30 a.m. start ensured that we would make the 20-minute run to the Stuart Inlet and beyond in search of the pods of bait that Myers had seen the day before. All around those bait pods were schools of tarpon and nearly non-stop viewing opportunities, but despite three hours of working those tarpon they did not have a strike. On Day Two the waters were still calm due to a hot weather pattern that remained in place, but the tarpon had disappeared. Myers was disappointed while Willy and I were content to hunt them up a while. Sure enough after about two hours of searching we found two schools of tarpon, and they were on the move heading North with such a purpose that the trolling motor could not keep us in front of them. Myers had to crank the engine and run into position, then we would lie and wait. On several occasions the tarpon swam right under the boat, leaving us scratching our heads about how to solve this fishy equation. Finally the tarpon slowed down and Myers put me in position to cast a #372 DOA Baitbuster in front of the school. About three casts went unanswered but I went to school of each retrieve and soon had the bait in the right place with the right motion and WHAM a solid tarpon slammed the lure and began an aerial display. With two cameras snapping pics behind me, I remained on the bow as the tarpon first ran away from the boat, and then right towards me. My struggle to keep the line tight during the second run was successful, but the fish kept greyhounding and shaking, showing me the power of an 80-pound tarpon. Eventually the hook was marked Return To Sender by the poon postmaster, but we shared a celebratory moment before getting back into the chase. However, the tarpon school sounded and did not offer any more opportunities - but we had already made something special happen when that tarpon turned on. Heading inshore to the High Point area we found Capt. Mark Nichols wade fishing for snook and jacks in knee-deep waters, and plenty of other boats chose to fish inshore as well. As Day Two fishing came to an end at lunchtime back at the Chickee Hut I was able to thank Mark Nichols for hosting the event, and shared my tarpon story with Rufus Wakeman, knowing that just one good fish can make your day.
Mark Nichols (right) leads the wading anglers

To view past blog entries from the DOA Writers Event click 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011,2010 or 2009.

At the Chickee Hut the friendly faces were evident

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.