I went out with Dave on his boat CatIsTropic to do some trolling. Between wind and entertaining friends with back country and reef fishing he hasn’t had much chance to get offshore. Today was the day.
We set lines out in 250 off Looe Key and headed south. Between the radio chatter and talking to some other guys it was shaping up to be a real slow day but fisherman are nothing if not optimists, eh? When we hit the second 600 without a hit, baitfish, birds or weed lines we were beginning to think it might be a slow day for us too.
After about 4 hours of nothing, in 275 feet off American Shoal, the rigger pops and I see a Mahi clear the water way back. We are hooked up!
The fish never jumped again and Dave steadily worked him right to the side of the boat. It was a big fish and just there, swimming about 3 feet from the boat and keeping pace. It was as easy as gaffing a log. I reached out with the gaff and ooops, this happened:
The fish was now pissed, ran off and started jumping. We got him back near the boat a couple of times but then another run off. We finally got him tired and along side the boat then gaff-less, redefined “heavy lifter” as it come over the side !
After a “do you know how lucky we were not to lose this fish” and high-fives Dave has his largest Dolphin so far and his first Mahi of 2012. That was it for the day but what a finish!
Dave and his 42” fork length, 27.75 lb., ( black/red kona head skirted ballyhoo. )