Most folks who read this magazine live under the delusion that all I do is go fishing all the time. The rest think I’m a captain who travels the world taking other people fishing. Neither could be further form the truth. I do get to spend quite a bit of time on the water, but unless I’m at a Marlin University, when I’m out offshore I’m in journalism mode, trying to get photos or a story. And when I am at Marlin University, I’m trying to teach and coach students, so I get zero rod time on those excursions as well.
That’s why I was so excited this past September when I got the chance to attend the Penn Media summit held at the world famous Sailfish Marina in West Palm Beach. Not only would I get a chance to do some fishing myself, but I’d get to check out Penn’s new gear in the process and rub elbows with some cool fishing and TV personalities as well.
Our first day out we enjoyed flat calm weather and I fished aboard Steve Gordon’s little center console with Penn’s Hunter Cole which was one of the most practical little boats that I’ve ever fished on. The 26-footer sported a 9 ½ foot beam and a no nonsense cockpit that could be hit with a pressure washer and gallon of bleach to make it look brand new again! It would sorely need it after the blackfin tuna carnage that we would put it through. Gordon also sells live bait, so the boat also had two huge livewells breaming with bait.
Once we got out to about 100-feet of water, less than two miles from the beach, we started seeing football sized blackfin busting the surface so we slowed down and put some flat lines out. It took about 30 seconds for the first of many blackfin tuna to pile on the sardine I let out. We must have caught 20 blackfin and skipjack in relatively short order. With all the bleeding tunas, the fish box and deck looked like something you’d see on an episode of Dexter, but the plain Jane interior cleaned up with a quick brush and a bucket of seawater to look as good as new.