Tarpon. We’ve jumped eleven in the past couple of days, some were small, thirty pounds, and some were magnificent giants. Yesterday with Bill Chorske and Jeff Wyman, we fished several spots jumping a few at daylight and patiently waiting for the tide to perfect Lake Mysteriosa, they were there, giants, and they were happy. Jeff jumped one, about a hundred pounds, we lost it to a broken, “store bought,” leader. Ten minutes later, after carefully crafting another leader, a giant rolled about sixty feet from the boat, there were some nice bubbles, Jeff made the cast and when the line went tight, set the hook. Nothing, just immobile dead weight on the line. “Nice hook set on that one,” I said, laughing, we all thought he had hooked a snag. I tried to pole over to it, to get the hook off, the funny thing was, I was having trouble getting the boat over it so we could unhook it. There was no wind or current, it shouldn’t be that difficult, just as we were all reaching the same conclusion, the “snag,” was moving imperceptibly, a giant burst out of the water right under our bow, with Jeff’s fly in it’s mouth. Game On! I poled as hard as I could to keep up with it, I didn’t want to start the motor, there were tarpon all over this lagoon, but after the second circuit, with the fish heading for the exit I had to, I had to get up on her in case she dashed through the narrow opening. We did get up on her, she hesitated at the entrance, giving us just enough time to close the distance but just as we got over her she bolted through the gap pulling out two hundred yards of backing in the process. The backing was tangled nine ways sideways under the roots, we were still in the lagoon and the fish was out in the pass. Jeff was laying on his stomach on the foredeck with the rod underwater trying to free it from the roots, Bill was standing over him and they were passing the rod back and forth, Jeff would push it under one snag then hand it to Bill to pass over the next, this went on for eleven mangrove snags, all the while backing was peeling steadily off the reel. At snag number seven, the rod broke about a foot back from the tip, at snag number eight while I was backing and forwarding , trying to deal with the current and trying to keep both Bill and Jeff on the boat, my push pole snapped in half, at snag number nine the rod broke again, about two feet behind the tip. You probably won’t believe this but we cleared the creek mouth and still had the fish on, there were three wraps of backing left on the reel, she had all three hundred yards out and was still fighting. Once in the open water we had some room to move and we got up on her again with the motor, I jumped on the foredeck and cut away the broken pieces of the rod, It was getting personal now. Still we had her, and we began to think, maybe, just maybe we might have a chance to land this fish. Then the reel broke, the handle came completely off. We still had her and Jeff continued to try to gain line by turning the spool by hand with no handle but by then it was no use, we had lost control and the backing, weakened from the congress with the oysters and mangroves parted. It was giant, when they’re that big I have trouble estimating, it might have been two hundred pounds. We had that fish on for about forty minutes. Jeff Wyman, giant on fly, Everglades Style!
April 30, 2007
April 20, 2007
Everything is the same only a little better. We caught a bunch of snooks today, all by sight, on fly, Everglades Style! Bob Milgram and Steve Newman.
April 16, 2007
April is the cruelest month. High winds, storm fronts, muddy water, and, for the intrepid, some of the grandest fishing expeditions you could ever hope to fight your way through. Bring foul weather gear and a strong constitution. Chris Killenberg and Don Klingler.