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Ed J

Tarpon Tarpon every where………

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But can ya believe the bite was sucko?


Well it was redface.gif


I got home last Sunday, but Monday put me on the road to Nort NJ & LI and I got home late last night, can ya believe it took me almost 5 hours to go from Islip NY to Manahawkin NJ yesterday? ...........Sure ya can redface.gif .


Well anyway, back to the Tarpon & the keys.


Our trip started out well with an early flight out of AYC (Atlantic City airport) got in to Ft. Lauderdale. I have this weird streak go'in where every time I fly somewhere I run into someone I know, this trip was no different. While I'm waiting for my wife & kid to use the potty, I hear "Hey Ed" I turn around and see Alex (Flukezilla) with that big smile he always greets you with smile.gif . He tell's me of the weather (sucko) and a progress report on his boat, and we wish each other a safe trip.


We grabbed our bags, hopped a shuttle bus and got dropped off to our Camry with the keys waiting it. Typed the address for worldwide sportsman into the Hertz never-lost and headed down the road.


We hit the Fl. Turnpike about 11AM and it was clear sailing all the way into Homestead, been how many years since Andrew went though there? .......... But ya can still see some areas where the trees are just starting to come back.


Traffic was light all the way to Johnny Morris's place. Sat out on the deck of the Zane Gray lounge and ate lunch. Was nice to finally be "down there".


A few hours later we were at our place in Marathon. Pool, tiki bar, marina, private beach ............ everything you could ask for.


Once settled in I call my buddy Jeff who lives down there. He goes on to tell be they have been experiencing winter type weather, well I'm in shorts & a tee-shirt its' 85 degrees and I'm think'in winter? ***?. Well I quickly learned that winter is warm & windy, spring should be warm to hot and still. Well, it wasn't the wind blew every day we were there.

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I'm not going to bore you folks with the all the stuff we did, but I will give ya the high lights.


Theater of the Seas is cool.

The Dolphin Research Center very cool.

Key West is like going to Sea Side, after seeing the rest of the keys as I did on this trip, you gotta be in the right frame of mind for it, I wasn't. We checked out the Mel Fisher Museum, ate a sloppy Joe @ ....... Where else, sloppy Joe's wink.gif and headed back to Marathon.


Feeding the tarpon at Robbie's is well worth the drive IMO, seeing 100's of big fish just waiting for you to toss them a morsel is a sight to be seen. But this is not the only place we saw them. The keys fishery, a top notch eatery had them swimming by as you ate your meal. There is something very neat about taking the tail from a shrimp you just ate, tossing it in the water and seeing a 20 -40 or 60+ fish slurp it like a 12" trout eating a dry fly smile.gif . There were several places that we ate that we saw this. Some had lots , if not 50 to 100 tarpon, some just a handful. There we giant schools of "I dunno's" around too. Caught a bunch of them at the dock where we stayed too, just no tarpon at out place frown.gif .


The trip as a family trip? A+, fishing C- I'd say. I caught close to 200 fish I'd say, but I had 1 that would weigh in at a total weight of all the other combined and then a whole bunch more.


I'm happy to say I didn't get skunked, and actually one of the tarpon I dropped was to date the most exciting thing I've seen a fish do icon14.gif . Picture this (and I'll post some photos in a bit wink.gif )


4 AM the wind is blowing 20, we're drifting a point, I'm tossing ................... what else, a black bomber. Slow retrieve, I get a hit, miss it though. Next cast I get a hit and stick him. I reel down a few times and tell Jeff it's something small, a little jack, mangrove snapper, it's coming right in like a wet towel. Then... ut-oh it starts screaming drag Jeff get the spot light on him just in time to see him jump. I'm guessing I had less than 20' of line out, this fish goes strait for the sky. All I can say is see'in a fish that is 6 or 7' long go vertical with all of is body, the length of it's body out of the water is truly awesome. It's face had to be close to if not more than 15' in the air. But he spit the plug and left me there laughing smile.gif .


Jeff Laded one about 80 on a bomber a little bit later and we stopped getting bites. I through out a pin fish and with in 5 minutes I had one on, a 70 was the estimate. Landed him, but the leader broke before hero photo's could be taken. Finished up that morning doing a local AM radio fishing show that Jeff does color commentary on once a week. I think I may have found my new calling wink.gif .


Was supposed to do another trip but it got blown out, oh well, I'll make up for it next time.


I did get to do quite a bit of boat time with Jeff, I'm not much of a laying around the pool kinda guy, so while the wife and kid did that, I'd meet Jeff at the boat and go net mullet with him. And 1 day we took the whole clan pin fishing, the kid didn't like the "fasty fast" boat ride out but she got to man the cliker and keep count of the bait we caught. I learned some cool stuff while out bait fishing, hound fish rock, and blue fish will find me even that far south redface.gif .

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Nice report. Tarpon are FUN, even if you don't catch them, just seeing them swimming around is worth the price of admission.


You're supposed to lie and say teh Bluefish you caught were Kingfish.

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Porkies, eats at capt. pips.



That is the guy who is on Jackass, Manny the shark guys boat / house.



Feeding the "fish"







A bait moocher......


[ 05-13-2004, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: Ed J ]

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Thanks for the report - I'm heading down to Key West in 2 weeks, I'm praying that the winds die guide tells me the fish are there but the winds are bad.


Nice story about the tarpon jumping - almost like my first tarpon - hooked him 15 ft from the boat and he jumped right away, 6 feet of fish eye to eye with me...I literally froze and she broke the tippet. Still remember that first one like it was yesterday <grin>.

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It was a good trip, the guy at the table is the same guy who is in the pic holding the blow fish with my daughter. That's Jeff, or more correctly put Capt. Jeff Knapp, you can put a dot com after that for more info, or find him at Captain Pips (he fishes outa there). I grew up with Jeff, he re-located (9 months out of the year) down there about 15 years ago.



1 part of the trip I forgot to mention, we had to be out of out place at 10 AM, with a 730 PM flight. I knew we'd find something to do to kill time, but "the" plan really fell together nicely. It just so happens that the IGFA museum is located about 4 miles from the FT. Lauderdale airport biggrin.gif . Another bonus was the Islamorada fish company (restaurant) which was sandwiched between the museum & Bass Pro Shops cwm12.gif .


So we spent a day that usually sucks (a travel day) doing something fun. The IFGA Museum is worth the stop if you have a chance. I even found our humble hosts name in the records they have on file there smile.gif .





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