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Boca Sat 7/23. Good to be back on the water.

After dealing with the repairs and insurance process for the past month, I finally got my boat back last week. I was anxious to try out the new helm, electronics and lower unit-- but even more anxious to just be on the water and maybe bend a rod. Ria and I cleared the inlet around 7 and ran out to around 450' to start the troll. Quite a few weeds around, but it was manageable at first. Then, about 40 minutes later, we were heading deeper and the weeds go so thick I gave up and ran about 8 miles off to find an edge with a little cleaner water. Fair amount of bait around, but still no takers. I was becoming a little frustrated because my GPS, which is now interfaced with my gauges and NMEA network, was acting up and giving me some pretty random readings. (Turns out it was not yet configured to read the proper antenna on the network.) As my frustration was rising, I look back and see that my short flatline had become weeded... again. I went back to clear the line, uttering expletives under my breath, let the line back out and as soon as I tighten the drag, wham. Fish on! Ok, now we're talking. I see a decent size phin take air behind the boat. Ria asks if I want her to pull the speed back, but I say "no, let's see what happens here..." Seconds later, line two starts to sign. Sweet! Ria gets on the job and asks me again if we should pull it back now. "Nah..." And off goes line three. Triple! Fish 3 looks better than fish two that ria is working so I have her swap for the bigger fish and I work my fish and the other smaller one. I pulled the speed down just a hair at this point so we can gain some line on our fish. That's when line 4 goes off! So Ria and I are both working two fish each. (She did a great job!) I finally get my fish into gaffing range and need to abandon rod #2. It was one of my ugliest showings on the gaff, but luck was on our side and I finally boated the fish. During the process I glance to my left and see us pass within 15' of a pallet. That explains a lot! Unfortunately, at this point we had lost one fish and were down to two on the lines. I went to start working the other fish, but just as I grabbed for the rod, he took one more shake and was gone. I didn't feel too bad though, because both fish were schoolies and Ria still had her fish on, which was a little better. After an almost equally ugly performance on the gaff, fish #2 hit the box. Our adrenaline was pumping for sure. Here's the catch:

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We were pretty pumped because, not only was it a blast to be back on the water and having some action, but we now had some fresh fish for a dinner party we were hosting that night. We looked for the pallet for a little while but couldn't locate it. The storms were moving in and we decided to run back and take a swim in Lake Boca. Ended up rafting up with Matt on his BW2550 and they shared a feast of stone crabs and Italian sausage sandwiches hot off the grill with us. Thanks again Matt!!

Awesome day on the water, and so good to have the boat back.

-Chad
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