Dolphin. Gheenoe. FPI. saturday 5.21.11

Its summer..... again.

Friday night as I watched the Florida Gators get a beating from the Kentucky Wildcats baseball team, I was also calling/texting my contacts in Vero Beach, looking for some local marine forecast/conditions. Reports have been good on the dolphin bite, and two of my friends that were beachside told me it wasnt perfect, but the Gheenoe has seen way worse. With that I decided to leave after the game, and I finally arrived in Vero at 3am. Plans to meet up with Kyle(my fishing partner) at 5:30 am fell wayside, and i got woken up at 7am by another friend working on the beach. Kyle and I meet up around 7:30, finally splash the boat around 8am, and my motor was wouldnt start right away( i think i flooded it). long story short, the handle came out of my hand and i punched myself in the lip, i was spitting blood for 45 minutes.... BUT we got her cranked up and we cleared the inlet by 8:30, bloody mouth and all. Dave, the bait guy, had already run out of baits due to the dolphin tournament, but told us where we could find some. we get on the bait, and after we black out the livewell, we start seeing some 20-30# kingfish on the outskirts of bait pods. we hooked into 4 fish while catching bait, had two cobia come to the boat, and a 8 foot shark jumping off the back off the boat that may or may not have been hooked up.

this is all in ~30' of water. We did this for an hour or two, as the swells and direction of winds were a bit too much for my boat right now. well, eventually the conditions changed and for once they changed for the better. With a full tank of gas we started heading directly East. Our goal was 90 feet. We reach our goal, but no weedlines.... so we continue east towards a group of 5-10 boats, all on an amazing looking weedline. We try going through some of it, but the greenies kept getting tangled and we kept thinking all the boats out here must have picked over any fish that could have been holding to it.

we find an area away from most boats and do a slow troll, almost bass fishing style with the baits, pitching in any eddy of water that is surrounded by the floating sargussam.

After 10 minutes Kyle spots a green and yellow fish, tells me he's gonna have one hooked up, and sure nuff, hooks up. i was in disbelief when i saw the 20# cow jump in the air, re-assuring me we had dinner on the line. after 5 minutes of fighting it, Kyle says he sees a bigger one underneath the cow. I catch a flash of color from it, and know I have a good chance at the bull. Kyle has his fish under control, but still in the water, so while im getting a bait to put on my hook, he is feeding the unhooked mahi a dozen or so baits. I watched it engulf one 15 feet from the boat, and i toss my hooked one right at it. it slurps it up, and like a rusty fisherman, i set the hook too soon, and then the hook comes out within 5 seconds. i re-bait, and the fish comes right back and enhales again. this one was so close to the boat and with water so clear, i see the scales of the threadfin passing through the dolphins gills, his last meal.... i let him swim around for 20 full seconds, making sure that hook is in his lower intestine, finally i hook it, and we now we have a double in the Gheenoe. As i fight mine, Kyle tires his cow out, and lands it in the boat by himself. well, the cow wasnt too tired, because as soon as it was on the deck, it was back in the ocean, no longer connected to mono, but swimming quickly away with an earring(gaff).

now we have a problem. big dolphin, no fish in the box, no gaff. pressure is on ME! i had mine near the boat, under control, and we are discussing how to do this. meanwhile, another group of anglers is now watching us from about 70yrds out. They saved our trip and let us borrow their Gaff. probably 8 other boats passed us trolling hoo's while we were fighting..... im very glad these guys stopped and hbung out as long as they did. We quickly end the battle, share some high fives, take some pics, and ride back in. They were caught in 124'

i found out the tourney winner for dolphing was about 35#'s

....this trip i will remember for a very long time, it was my biggest dolphin ever, regardless of boat make... but because it was from a Gheenoe, it makes it that much sweeter.
Kyle 246704_213280975371818_100000697517330_710685_3598147_n.jpg

Me(Kyle also, lol)


and a bunch of "hero" shots... in no particular order, thanks again to those guys in the boat that helped us out and emailed these pics to us....






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