From Across The Pond And Way Down Under

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We all have those clients that become special friends, not so much clients anymore but good friends. These blokes happen to be from across the pond, that’s right, England. Steve, Albert and Peter have been fishing with myself and Captain Jeff Shelar for well over a decade. They book a couple of days with each of us while here on holiday. Their request is simple they want a challenge. Big fish, strong fish on light tackle. After years of tarpon fishing, the boys have become quite adept at the process and love the challenge. They can be found each  morning at The Tackle Box in Marathon picking up live bait and supplies as well as some advise for their tarpon quest and like I mentioned before they have become proficient tarpon anglers. Early evenings they can be found at Porky’s Restaurant or Castaways enjoying a well deserved pint while swapping sea stories with other anglers. This year it was all about permit, amberjacks and the quest for a big dolphin on light spinning tackle. The game was on and while most people will tire after one big jack these fellas do not know the word quit. We caught a bunch of amberjack all released and were doubled up litterally all day both days. After a good morning workout we decided to jog offshore in search of a few good dolphin (mahi mahi - same thing, not the mammal but the fish). We found some weed lines that held some smaller fish but nothing big enough for these guys, did I mention this was all catch and release? We then came across some floating debris. Lots of bait on the floaters but no fish.... hmmm, that seemed odd. Not really, many times in mid or late day you will find that those floaters loaded with bait do have fish on them, but they are way down under. A vertical jig or butterfly jig dropped down a hundred feet or so and worked back to the surface at a high rate of speed will often times work miracles and it did on that day. Down went the jig and when it came up so did the dolphin. After catching a few medium sized dolphin, Steven and I saw a huge head wake. While we did not see the fish we knew it was big. A live bait was thrown in its direction to no avail. We continued to catch some dolphin and then the big one came back. Smaller dolphin shot by the boat running for their very lives as this bruiser came flying past the boat. A well placed cast and the right tackle and the game was on. Albert had his hands full as we would later weigh this big bull dolphin at the dock and find that it came in at a whopping 61 pounds. It took close to an hour to land on twenty five pound spinning tackle and needless to say they did not want to release it. It was bragging rights and these English gentlemen, true to their character, gave all the meat to people who generally don’t get to go fishing. Hats off to my friends from across the pond. I look forward to the next year as I have for over a decade. [gallery link="file" ids="3979,3978,3976,3975,3974,3977"]


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