This was to be our last day in our trip to Key West and we awoke to a glorious sunrise and no wind.
The A team consisted of Robber; Sergeant Geoff who got promoted yesterday and Chris the AJ who also got a citation. Our Captain was Big Bill and we were on the Cool Water.
The B team was Keith and Cruncher who were with Captain Manny.
The A team had a plan and after buying some Goggle Eyes from the bait boat we set out to fish a wreck in 240’’ of water hopefully for some Red Snapper.
Unfortunately no one had told the snappers and first drop down a reef donkey (AJ) was hurting Geoff’s back, Next, it was Chris’s turn and it was the same story.
Robber was under fire for not having a go but was forced into it and no one would take the rod off him when it bent double.
Being an Admiral he set the scene with an 8-minute battle with an Amberjack a tough target to beat.
Plan B was set in motion; the idea was to slow troll a whole Bonito on the beastie gear for a Hammerhead.
This was trolled around for about an hour around the wreck but no Harry Hammerhead.
Then another boat close by reported seeing a big Mako and by big I mean about 600lbs.
More slow trolling but no Mako.
Plan C was next, fish the whole Bonito alongside the wreck 240’ down hopefully for a giant Jew Fish or the Mako which may have gone down.
This was Robbers last chance for another “personal best” and we had the tackle to do it.
The plan was to have so much drag on the reel that humans couldn’t pull it off, the rod would be in the holder and if a fish was hooked the boat would hopefully drag it clear of the wreck.
On our second drift the rod arched over and Robber was on the reel, note the rod is still in the holder, with this much drag it could be man overboard.
Everyone thought we had a Big Jew Fish, but we were wrong another greedy Amberjack had taken the whole Bonito and Robber slowly cranked it to the top.
It was decision time and the crew opted to have a last shot at the Tarpon, they jumped two and landed none.
Not a brilliant end to the adventure, but how could you complain about an AJ every drop after all they are fish and they do pull….and pull….and pull !
The B team were also having a tough day although they did catch some big yellowtail snappers.
Robin Cruncher mentioned that he hadn’t caught a Permit for 16 years; Captain Manny said he could change that.
A 10-mile run to the Permit Patch and the last cast of the trip Robin and Keith had a double hook up and both landed their Permits.
A nice way to finish.
All in all it was not the best fish catching trip, it started off brilliantly with 36 Tarpon to the boat in the first two days. Then it was patchy.
The Shark fishing was exceptional with the A team boating 26 on one day.
Robber had a P.B. Lemon Shark estimated between 230-250lbs, a big Bull Shark over 200lbs, Tarpon up to 120lbs and some superb Tunas.
Chris the AJ who prior to this trip had only caught fish up to 16lbs had dozens of fish up to 100lbs. Geoff broke the AJ record for the most caught.
Keith and the rest of the shipmates also had many great fish.
This year we had no broken rods and reels, mainly down to Daiwa. Super Kensaki rods did the business and without doubt must be the best travel rods for the price in the world.
A variety of Daiwa reels were used and every one has an incredible drag, without a good drag you will not land anything of any size.
Yes we had the bad luck stories mainly revolving around broken hooks, that’s fishing and it can happen.