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DougK

skunked yet again in Florida..

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took the boys down to Florida Seabase near Marathon, 5 days on a sailboat learning to sail and snorkeling. That was great fun. The fishing was pretty much a bust though - on the three boats over five days, the biggest edible fish was a 15" catfish, the biggest non-edible was a barracuda of 30" caught by one of our boys. I flyfished morning and evening off the diving step at the back of the boat, which made a good platform, but never a touch. Snorkeling around the boat showed one barracuda, one evening, otherwise a mostly empty sea.

 

The offshore reefs we snorkeled had some good schools of barracuda up to 4', but wasn't able to fish there, too many people in the water.

 

During the sailing we trolled plastic skirts etc, sometimes sweetened with a strip of fish. The barracuda already mentioned,

 

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a small jack which was bitten in half by somefishy on the way in,

 

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and a small tuna, either a juvenile blackfin or a false albacore - didn't get a good look since the captain was in a hurry to release it. I had tossed my fly into the water as the scout retrieved the tuna, hoping his friends would follow him to the boat. No such luck - instead the hooked tuna made a dart at my fly, would have got it too if not restrained by a big-game rod and 40lb line..

 

In 1991 I spent a week on the Keys, camping at Long Key State Park and Bahia Honda, mostly sightseeing and pottering around with my wife, but fishing at least a couple of hours each day. We saw a couple of juvenile tarpon from the canoe which ignored all my offerings. I saw two bonefish but spooked them both by duffing the cast in the strong gusty winds. Hooked a bonefish while fishing blind, he ran off 100yds or so and shed the hook in some seaweed.

 

A total of twelve days in the Keys, and never caught a single fish. That's about the worst luck I've had anywhere.. not sure if I have a Keys jinx, or just haven't focused enough on fishing there. Of course hiring a guide would probably help, but I can't really afford it, and prefer DIY anyway - to my mind paying for a fish is just a touch shameful, should be able to figure it out myself. May be running out of time though.. if I stop buying Scotch for a year, that's $200 or so, a start at the guide fees ;-)

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Hey that doesn't seem too bad. Looks like you had a good time and some good opportunities. Sometimes they don't want to bite and sometimes they don't want to stay on the hook. I wouldn't consider it a true skunking, though. After all, you did hook up a few times, and tarpon are just weird fish, so seeing them and having them ignore your offering is nothing unusual.

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Just leave your line out there also.  They like to hit in the wake.  put up a flag or bell.  then run down and bring it in.  use a top water plug. skimmer  

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