“Check it out! There’s something big floating over there!” exclaimed Eric. We shot out of Tavernier on the last day of July in hopes of ending the month with a bang. On our way towards the 409 Hump, there it was. A giant, boulder-sized piece of insulation floated aimlessly through the cobalt blue water just waiting for us to pitch our lines at it. We instantly hooked into keeper schoolies and ended up boxing about a dozen when the bite shut down. Happy with having a few filets to go around, we decided to move on to the next best thing.
To set the story up for you a little better, we noticed earlier in the day that we were having a problem with our portside trim-tab. It wasn’t trimming and despite trying to level the boat out with the starboard tab, we were plowing through the water, and therefore, not very fuel-efficient. After we got that dozen fish in the boat, we decided to try and mess with the tab in hopes of running a little smoother. I masked-up and jumped in the water and made the guys promise that they would keep an eye out for sharks or anything else that may lead to my demise. The trim tab wouldn’t budge…and I couldn’t help but notice that I couldn’t hear very well with the engine noise and water splashing against the boat.
Then it happened. All I could hear was shouting and the guys running around in a craze on the boat. I looked up and saw Ed reaching out to help me get back in the boat – All I envisioned was Jaws. That’s it. I thought I was going to die (it’s a story y’all – I’ve gotta add a little drama :P).
After getting back onboard (and collecting myself), I realized what the guys were shouting about. BIG dolphin – three of them. We threw jigs, pinfish, and chunks of ballyhoo at them. We hooked into them twice but despite our best efforts, one broke off and the other spit the hook. We allowed about thirty seconds of trying to spot them before we started sending our baits back to troll the area. I had one line set back about 40 yards and set it in the holder. Then, 3…2…1…BAM!!! Instant hook-up…and it was the big one!
We fought him for about 25 minutes. After a couple of good runs…and trying to keep him from getting caught up in the props…we got that big boy on board and in the box. As always, we celebrated big time. Can’t help but be excited. A couple bruises and battle scars later, that fish grilled up nicely with a bit of seasoning, butter, and sliced key lime from Pops’ tree. Fish-on, Florida!!!
***For those of you that were wondering, we ended up trimming the starboard tab to the same position as the port side. Much better on gas. Thanks for checking it out Ed…I wasn’t about to go back in!!! Hahaha!
Fort Myers, Vero Beach, and Islamorada, FL