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Yankee Captains, March Anglers Charter

Perfect weather, calm seas and a great bunch of friendly fishermen. My prediction to Capt. Rick, from Anglers, was "Fish boxes full, out of ice and home early". And I was right on all three counts. Capt Greg wasted no time in putting us on the fish. We left the dock at noon and were fishing well before sunset. The very first stop yielded a great catch of muttons and porgies, I think in 160 or 170 feet.
Rick, on the pulpit was ripping them to the surface, then swinging them over the rail, a fishing machine. I think at that spot he had four or five muttons and as many big porgies. The mates were busy, too busy to take fish to the stern storage coolers, so they threw freshly caught fish in the anchor rope box and carried bucket full after bucket full to the stern, when the bite slowed a bit.
I was suffering a full on head cold and only managed two porgies and about a dozen lost hooks during the first part of the stop. So I went to bed and really didn't start fishing till after sunrise next morning. During the night, an all out war against king mackerel was waged. Dozens went to the boxes, down and out. Finally, I was able to focus on fishing and before long, I landed two scamp groupers in over 200 feet of water.
American red snappers outnumbered the muttons about five to one and were all released as they are out of season. After catching three reds, I was finally rewarded with my first mutton, a ten pounder. My next was a muffin, (a small mutton) legal and very tasty. We moved out of the deep water to get away from the reds, back to 160-180 I think. Yellow tail snappers invaded us in the shallower water and stringers of big, flag, tails went into the coolers. At one of these stops, I hooked what I was sure was an amberjack, as each time I gained forty or fifty feet on the fish, it would rocket back to the bottom. This happened several times before I started winning the battle. My scepticism turned to awe, then relief, as the mate gaffed a 30" very hefty mutton to the deck. That baby had shoulders!!! It probably would have won the pool for biggest mutton, but Emoji I wasn't in the pool.
Flying fish were everywhere! Dip nets and cast nets were supplying fresh baits, sometimes snatching a stunned flyer out of the path of a hungry porpoise, just in time. Six "Flippers" were wreaking havoc, right there in front of us. They would disburse a school of a hundred flyers, single out several, then catch and joyfully munch on their un-flying fish. What a sight! Mayder, a porpoise that has been appearing every year, for about five years, was the leader of the pack. He has a distinctive scar and his dorsal fin is partly missing. I think he was actually "getting some" from one of the smaller females, right there in front of us!Emoji Way to go Mayder!!!
So much happens on a Yankee trip, besides fishing. We saw two sailfish at night, below the surface, snakes, crabs and huge schools of bait fish were there. A seagull flew into a couple of us by mistake and spent most of the trip recovering on the bench. Toward the end of the trip, I held him up at the rail and he flew a short distance before hitting the water. He struggled, then took a short flight. For several minutes, he regained his abilities, till he finally flew away. We all felt good about that!
Mahis came around a couple times and gave themselves up to a bait. An occasional black fin tuna was landed and a beauty of a cobia made the mistake of messing with the wrong fishing legend. Yes, he is a legend, at least a legend in his own mind.Emoji You know who you are!
At the final fishing spot, the current was ripping, but the bite was hot! I landed a chubby ten pounder, then a muffin and another chubby. Rick was on fire on the pulpit and it looked like a seesaw battle, muttons being flung, gaffed and flopping on the deck. At the stern, 25 pound black fin tunas were flopping on the deck, one after another. A school of hundreds of flyers was tantalizing me, circling the boat, time after time, doing their mating dance with each other, daring me to drop my rod and start dip netting them. I mostly ignored them, caught a porgie, a couple more small muttons, then the bite stopped. The trip ended on that note, a very good note indeed.
At the dock, there were a lot of full coolers and awesome catches. My buddy, Mel, and I each filled our coolers. He had an assorted catch, of 22 fish including 6 muttons. A great catch for only his second trip. I had eight mutts, four really nice ones, a couple scamps and three porgies, along with three and a half dozen flying fish for future trips. (one flyer was 16 + inches long)
I haven't a clue who had high hook, I think we all felt like we did!

There is a Pulley Ridge trip leaving this Monday night, 23 March, into a perfect weather forecast: but it needs a few more anglers before it will leave. Emoji All of my PR trips have been cancelled this winter! Make my day!!!! Sign up and help fill the fish tubs with deep water delight!!! See you there.


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