Porgie time on the Yankee Capts.
So now that I'm home, rested and tricked by daylight saving time, into being awake an hour early, here is my latest adventure...
On the heels of yet another blown out Yankee Capts trip, where we spent 8 hours out of Key west, hunkered down, waiting for the wind and waves to die, (they never did) prospects did not look good for my freezer having any take home fish in it. My three grandsons in Nova Scotia are wasting away, no fresh grand-dad fish to eat and I was feeling the pressure to produce and save the future generations of our family.
Capt Greg has been more than generous, giving us partial or full credit for shortened trips this year and has gotten very creative with his departure times, to put us in the fishing zone, with as little wind as possible. But Mother Nature has been cranky, very cranky.
All but convinced I would be feeding shrink wrapped, northern fish to friends this year, I quickly brightened up when Amanda and J.P. invited me on their YC charter, leaving only a few short hours away. Janice all but pushed me out the door, throwing my crocs after me saying something like "Go! Mopey Moe and don't come back without fish!" And with that I joined the collection of New Yorkers and New Jersey boys and girls waiting to depart on the Yankee Capts.
Without interruption, we zoomed at light speed directly to the Pulley Ridge area and started our fun. Before long, the boxes were filling and angler satisfaction set in. Jigs and bait were enticing scaly floppers to taste the offerings and they paid the price; a long wet elevator ride, a searing pain in the head or shoulders, an embarrassing photo moment, then a very long and cold "time out" in a smelly fish box.
A few surprises this trip. The hosts of this trip, JP and Amanda, own and operate two charter boats, up north and catch many porgies. We have much bigger porgies in the south, but rarely see more than three or four on our Pulley Ridge trips. Not so this time! Porgies came over the rail in record numbers, dozens of them! Big porgies, totes full of the delicious fish. So, you ask, how many did I harvest of the bunch? Well, I'm embarrassed to say, I caught only one, very small, skinny, starving porgie and was too upset to put a tag on it. But everyone knew it was mine at the dock, thanks to a "leak" from a mate. No secrets here.
One of the inevitable tangles led to a really good fish being lost and the fishing gear cut off, hopelessly tangled in the running gear under the boat. A few minutes later, I notice a ten pound mutton, swimming erratically, only a foot or two behind us, trying desperately to keep up and join the cruise. I yelled for the gaff and by some miracle, the missing fish wasn't really missing at all and never had been. It was still hooked and got involved in the tangle.
Another big fish got off at the side, before gaffing and was floating, just out of reach. I tried and failed to recover it and Josh, the mate, was about to jump in after it. But JP, experienced professional sea captain that he is, instructed us to stand aside. He closed his eyes, wet his finger in his mouth, held it up in the breeze quickly, (to get wind direction and speed, not to taste the bait) raised one bent arm into the air holding his fishing rod and lifted a foot off the deck. (almost exactly like the Karate Kid, just before the infamous "Crane kick" that won him the tournament) And with a gentle flick of the wrist of his raised hand, JP landed that jig precisely in the fish's mouth and hooked it. Outstanding!!!
Long story short, we all caught dinner, had a ball, made good friends, ate too much and will never forget it.
Thanks for inviting me and for the Capt and crew of the Yankee Capts for making it go right.