Well, so much for the last blog. As I was writing it, a breeze came up back in Bimini, and a friend of ours caught and released a bluefin.
It turned out that the engine was fried, a cracked exhaust manifold and some scored pistons and liners. A major rebuild was required, due in large part to getting no warning from an engine overheat alarm. (Look for a column or feature article on alarms in Marlin magazine in the near future.)
A little patch of crummy weather in the Gulf of Mexico, too small for a name, has caused a billfish tournament to (wisely) be postponed. I would take a boat out to try to rescue someone in the weather it is generating, but would not risk injury to the anglers or damage to the boat just for fun. It was a good call by the committee of the Texas Billfish Championship.
If you have next weekend free (June 21-24), call Dave at 936-661-1600 to see if a good charter boat is available.
At home I have continued to catch, and release, heaps of snook, mainly under legal size, on tiny little 2-inch swimming soft baits called “shad.”
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday. I took Erin and Lucky (our little rescue dog) out in the kayak — a cheap roto-molded two-seater I got from Bass Pro years ago. It doesn’t track that great, but is very stable, which is why I bought it after testing it in their pond. I can stand up and paddle, or pole, this kayak, which is an enormous help to me when sight-fishing shallow water. I saw the thing eat Erin’s tiny bait (luckily, I use extra-strong jig heads) and expected not to catch it — and it turned out to be even larger than I first thought.
I thought we had it made when it ran out into the center of the dredged channel. Wrong! After I poled out after it, it buzzed off yards of line and made it under a dock. I poled over to the dock, and Erin stuck her rod past a piling as the fish made another run. By the time she got the rod passed under the dock and around the piling, the fish was back in open water again, and our hopes went up, and then down, when it headed around another remote piling, but we were hot on its tail, and we fought it back into open water.
Then Erin got it by the bottom jaw, barehanded, and dragged it right into her lap. She worked the partly straightened out hook free and released her fish, a healthy slot size 30-inch, 15-pound snook on a tiny lure, in a tiny creek from a kayak.
Then I realized my rod and reel was gone, lost overboard during the fight. “Come on, we can find it; I’ll go overboard if I have to,” Erin said. Luckily, my jig had snagged in the mangroves, and we saw the line and pulled up the rod and reel.
I have caught granders that were less fun!