Still Haven't Made it to Bimini

Shooting Clays in Florida Until I Get to See the Big Tuna

Peter Wright Headshot

Peter Wright Headshot

I still have not made it to Bimini, and it looks like some decent weather will be here for a few days — 10 to 15 out of the southeast is between hopeful and decent, and it can, depending on on very localized weather, quickly turn to great!

One good summer-type rain squall, blowing hard for an hour, can turn us from hoping against the odds to saying “Man, oh man, look at this! They have to come.” Which, of course, they do not.

Still, it’s hard to sit in Florida, thinking it might be good but not being able to get there. The worst is finding out you missed some good days, and then it goes to slick calm the day before you cross the Gulf Stream, and there’s no chance of tuna for the whole week you’re there.

There is always a remote chance to see some tuna, maybe “pushing water,” making a wake on the surface, like a school of mullet do, only much bigger, so you go looking, and hoping, in the morning, which gets you away from Bimini and all the pressure the hundreds of Miami-based outboards put on the reef-dwelling bottomfish.

Off Cat Key or way down off Orange Key, if the Gulf Stream current is running hard to the north, I can stay in the tower and continue to look for tuna while the guests drop jigs to the bottom.

In one spot on the drop-off, a cast to the east will fall in 80 feet of water and one to the west could be in 300 feet. We entertain ourselves catching snapper, grouper, jacks and barracuda while trying to hope hard enough to actually see some tuna.

Superstitions become important. “Bring me a sandwich. Maybe they’ll come through if I have my hands full.”

I don’t golf and don’t plan on learning, but having read the book Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect by sports psychologist Bob Rotella, I watch the game once in a great while on TV. I’m trying to improve my mental game in my favorite addiction: shooting sporting clays. In both sports, the pre-shot routine is very important. Your subconscious brain is supposed to control the move, the mount and the shot, based on all your earlier practice. Thinking about (especially questioning) how to do what you want to do is the absolute kiss of death. That and a loss of concentration on focusing visually on nothing but the target.

So that is what I was doing — watching the U.S. Open while I went through and rerigged a whole bunch of fishing gear. I started with a pink spinning combo Erin and I had bought at Bass Pro Shops. It will be a belated graduation present for a niece. She likes to fish, so I will take her out in the flats skiff to see what I can find.

There’s quite a bit of bait in Manatee Creek in the backyard, and I’ve lost a couple of snook. I’ve heard that the action along the beach has been good, so I will be fishing and shooting clays until I get to go chase the big tuna.

Good fishing — Peter B.