Yankee Capts, here we go again!
The weekend trip was rough, even by my standards. I was fishing the pulpit, taking a beating and near the end finally took a soaking from a nasty wave or two. Rain pants saved my bacon, but retreat I did.
The catch was not huge, but there were decent muttons in the totes and happy customers at the dock. Doug, my fishing buddy from New Brunswick is still waiting for his first “epic” Tortugas trip, but was happy to land his first mutton ever and given the challenging conditions, he did well.
OK, so now the good news.
I had been planning to go on the Anglers trip on Tuesday, but as there was a front coming through on Wednesday, in the middle of the fishing and as I was beaten up pretty good from the weekend, I wasn’t going to go. We cleaned the weekend fish, went to dinner and I crashed to catch up on my missed sleep. I was in dreamland for less than an hour when my wife, Janice
somehow communicated that Alana was on the phone from the Yankee Capts office. She might as well have said that Martians just took my fishing gear and were on the pier herding cattle. The Tuesday trip was being moved to Monday to avoid the weather. Was I in??? HECK YES!!!
So now, after five or six hours sleep in three days, I was wide awake and excited, checking off the details in preparation for departure only twenty hours away. Which leads me to reason number one Randy kicked my butt at the mutton total.
1) Read above paragraph…
So I gathered my stuff, corrected my tattered gear and realized that Randy might want to go. So every fifteen minutes I called and got his answering machine, from 10AM till I arrived at the boat at 2PM, two hours before departure. He somehow threw his gear together and magically appeared pumped up and ready to go, which is somehow reason number 2).
3) I had a sore thumb… I cut the finger from a rubber glove and slid it over the ailing digit, calmly ignoring the remarks about the “condom” on my thumb. I simply gave thumbs up when I was excited and thumbs down when I wasn’t.
So the fishing began and what fishing it was. At the first stop, only two muttons came aboard. I caught the first and Randy the second, then the rest of the guys woke up and started kicking mutton ***. Muttons at the bow, muttons at the stern, muttons in the middle. Most stops had action and both captains Greg and Derrick put us on the fish.
I caught my second mutton and my energy started to fizzle…. Reason number 4). Meanwhile, Randy, fishing between Glen and Kieran was clicking away mutton numbers three four and five, smiling a silly smile and suckng back his twentieth cup of coffee. By now, I knew I was in trouble.
I lost track of time, obsessed with catching up instead of catching fish, (reason number 5) and things really heated up when the night bite started and we were invaded by flying fish in schools of up to a hundred at a time. The muttons were biting like mad, Randy conveniently “lost count” and I thought I had somehow caught up to him, so I alternated between catching flyers and fishing. Several dozen flyers later, I realized we had more bait than we would ever use on this trip and went to retrieve my line, which I had left in free spool with the clicker on, to warn me of a bite. After cutting off two hundred feet of badly tangled line and retying, I nailed another half dozen muttons. Somewhere in that mess are reasons 6), 7), and 8). Oh, and I can’t even Blame Randy for using my fliers, he was using speedos.
Our side of the boat was being harassed by small jacks, so I switched to my chicken rig in hopes of finding new territory with better fish. Now the muttons bit for me and three went in the box, along with eight very respectable porgies and a half dozen flag yellowtails. Take that !!!
Reason number 9). I hung a banana peel on Randy’s reel for bad luck. A low blow, don’t jinx your buddy.
All around us, great catches were being gaffed, Glenn had fourteen, Randy had the same and I had eleven, plus the porgies. Dominic, Rob and Kieran at the bow had stellar catches, Rick on the starboard had a big total, the guy with the electric reel was nailing them at the stern as was the rapper. “I gotta catch a fish.. cause I ain’t go enough… I gotta catch a fish… cause I ain’t got enough… I gotta…..
Even the guy with the fashion statement that I will never understand was crushing them, with the **** of his pants pulled down to his knees, revealing his XXL size tartan underwear. At times he had a **** belt on, turned backwards, leaving the fishing rod socket strategically positioned so that anyone with a sick sense of humor and a short handled flag pole could really complete the picture. Where was my camera???
What a diverse assortment of fishermen. Rappers, rookies, professionals, fashion gurus, stoners, Asians and old retired guys. Heck, just between Randy, Glenn and I we total 203 years old, with no oxygen masks or wheel chairs to slow us down. The best part is, fishermen of all shapes and sizes were hooking up and having a ball, dragging up muttons nearing twenty pounds, planning their next trip and grinning at the dock when the fish were handed out.
There were seventeen totes plus five or six more in coolers, a great catch.
Oh, and reason number ten Randy caught 14 and I caught 11, his biggest beating mine by two pounds?
10) I taught him every thing I know, and the beggar must have been watching someone else and learned a few new tricks.
Great job Randy, Game on!!!!!