one of the best parts of my job
is the Longtime Customers or Regulars. If you treat people right, they will come back and after a while, you don’t feel like you are fishing with customers, you are fishing with friends. Today was one of those days. The folks I had onboard have been fishing with me for just about 30 yrs, which is how long I have been in business. June of 2022 will be the end of my 30th year owning the Southbound. We have had some great days and a couple of not-so-great days. Fortunately, many more of the former than the latter. They know I will always try my hardest and it usually pays off.
They had a friend with them,
which always adds a little pressure. The friend has heard all the stories about the Wahoos, Sailfish, Mahi, Snapper, and Grouper they have caught over the years. This may be the only trip the friend goes with the Southbound so their opinion of myself, my mate, and my boat will be based on this one trip. Good, bad, or otherwise. After 30 yrs in business, I want everyone to walk away from the boat at the end of the day happy that they chose the Southbound. In reality, fishing is fishing and there are some days that are tougher than others. You just gotta give your best every day.
We were looking for action and eating fish today. My regulars have caught Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi, and everything else offshore. But it has been slow offshore as of late and they wanted to make sure their guest had plenty of bites. So we went to the reef and caught some live bait, (Ballyhoo). The bait was easy again. It has been relatively easy all winter thankfully. While we were anchored and chumming for the bait to get close enough to throw the cast net on, we started catching some nice “keeper” yellowtail snappers. It’s nice when are putting fish in the box even before you have started fishing “seriously”.
Once we got our bait, we pulled anchor and started to slow troll around. The water where we caught our bait was not as clear as I would have liked, so we ran a little east to another reef and started fishing there. The Cero Mackerels were hungry. The yellowtail snappers continued to bite and we picked up a big Spanish mackerel and a nice King Mackerel. that gave us a “mackerel slam”. We had all three of the Mackerel species, (not counting the Wahoo, which you don’t find on the reef)
I moved off the reef hoping to catch some Mutton snappers. We did get a couple of “throwbacks” They were just barely short but just barely short is still short so back they went to be caught another day. I moved out deeper to the outer Bar or reef and finally, we caught the big Mutton snapper we were looking for. It was close to 15 lbs. That is a “Stud” for mutton snapper. We fished for a little while longer and we were out of time. Another good day