NAS Dolphin Derby26 May

Well, third time's the charm. Having fished this tournament twice before, it was looking like another one of those days (peanuts, gas leaks, sick crew, you name it....) when the engine wouldn't tilt down for the sunrise go out. After much wishing and hoping, and sifting through etec owner's groups, hull-truth boards, you name it...I got mad and shook the engine. That was the trick....tilted down with no issue. Well, 8am is better than nothing.....but it is disturbing when the marina calls and asks "are you still fishing the tourney and forgot to check out?" So, word had been you have to go past the wall. I've overrun the fish many times by going out to 2k feet with nada to show for it, but old habits die hard. It was baby butt smooth, so easy to shine the scattered weeks, the few rips in 600' and go for the stream (rumored to be 14-18 miles off Sand Key) Finally in 1500' we saw weed but very scattered, looking like massive clearing efforts to troll. Kept going and saw the drift east at 2.5 kts indicating wer were finally in the stream. Put down lines and hooked up a cuda on the down rigger blue/white ilandr at 2200' Those guys really get around! Out past Woods wall, one peanut on the no-meat popper and after two hours getting antsy. Picked up and ran back in to 2000' and then the dreaded scattered weeds had us rebaiting and clearing, but lo and behold a bird pile! Moving fast like skippies or bonita but a peanut busted the we decided to follow and two minutes later the center rigged bird/wahoo wacker goes off. Nice cow jumps, and then the port rigger goes with a big bull jumping. I help our non-fishing visitor from MI with the cow, Leadering and gaffing, then work on the bull. 20 minutes later fish in the boat. Picked up a few nice chunky peanuts (26-28") variety on the way back in at 300' weedline, under the birds.
Caught the money fish 3 miles east of Woods Wall. Purple Black colors of choice. Big one took a tracker w/meat. Doesn't take a big skirt to catch a nice fish....
32.8 and 20.


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