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All I wanted was a cero

xeniaxenia MemberPosts: 1,175 Officer
The girls wanted to go out on the boat to tan and I wanted a Cero for ceviche.  Got small to medium pilchard by the mangroves in the bay and medium ballyhoo on the patches so I figured with a baitwell like that a Cero was a sure thing.  Headed out to the vicinity of the old Whistle Buoy since Ceros are always around in that area, especially when you don't want them.  Loads of boats to the north, loads of boats to the south, so I anchored by myself in 63' hoping to get away from the craziness, and the sharks.  Put out a nice chum line and tossed out some livies to get the action going.  Two live ballyhoo on the bottom, a live ballyhoo and a live pilchard on top.  Nothing.  Not a bite, splash, jumper, nada.  After about an hour and a half I get a good bite on the bottom that felt like a decent mutton.  Thirty feet from the boat it gets sharked.  This plus the several boats that had congregated around me even though I was catching nothing made me think it's time to move.  I trolled two spoon squids, which I would use to crush the mackerel back in the day, for a couple of miles without a bite.  With slow current I decided to make some deep drifts,  Made two long drifts with a live ballyhoo on the surface, and one live and one butterfly ballyhoo on the bottom with no bites.  Drifted from 160'-80'.  Trolled back north with two different small lures  then as a last resort tied up to one of the many buoys that are out there now. I figured with all the boats chumming throughout the day there must be a cero in these parts.  Started tossing out netfuls of live pilchards and flatlining back a live one on a spinner, but again nothing.  Lots of birds following all the pilchards behind my boat but nothing chasing them from underneath.  Didn't see any boat fight or catch anything and the radio was dead except for a radio check.  Probably the most lifeless day I've had in 50 years of fishing.  If it wasn't for the girls having a good day on the water, I'd say this was the best day to decide to sell the boat and pick a new hobby.  So sad.

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