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wjc 01-11-2013 10:38 PM

Good start for 2013
Had a cardiac angiogram yesterday after flunking a nuclear stress test, and it showed I didn't need another stent, just more exercise to develop some collateral small vessels in my heart. So that is good news.

My buddies Wayne and Paul picked me up last night in Miami and drove me back home. Today Wayne stopped by on his bike to say there were thousands of pilchards at the dock and Paul wanted some, so I grabbed my cast net and walked down there while Wayne went home to get a 55 gal plastic barrel. I haven't seen that many pilchards here in at least 10 years. One side of the dock was solid pilchards the other side had glass minnows on top and pilchards beneath them. Two throws with the cast net got about 100 per throw, then I went back to pack up some real good customer orders and Wayne said he'd be back in an hour to carry them down the stairs for me and would ride down to the post office to carry them in.

I'm not supposed to be lifting anything heavy until the hole made by the hose into the femoral artery heals up.

Then Wayne said he's swing by after dinner figuring the baby tarpon would be in tonight. I was on the phone with a buddy from Edgewater over near Gasparilla Island and 5 minutes later Wayne was back at the house for some leader and a hook having broken off a baby tarpon.

So I snipped a sailfish fly off the rod in the corner and put on a little white popper and went down there with him.

The wind was howling and only one kid was there catching snapper. I got one quick bite, then 15 minutes later a solid hookup on a 40 pounder which made about 4 good jumps off the end of the dock in the dock lights, then headed in, around a finger pier piling then under the finger pier and under two others along with three boats by the time was able the reach around the piling then continue the fight with the rod under water.

Amazingly, the fish didn't go around any of the other numerous pilings and I was able to stop him with the big rod and he obligingly came back out the same way he went under. I really expected the hook to straighten as it was a 1/0 mustad and I was poking the wood to him, but it held until I grabbed his jaw then conveniently fell out by itself, about half straightened. A perfect ending.

Fortunately, the hole in my groin from the hose didn't start leaking. In retrospect, it was not very smart to go down there with a rod. I've never been very good at following doctor's orders, but I think I lucked out. The only downside was that we missed the first half hour of "Fringe" - the only TV show that I like to watch. but I mixed a couple drinks during the commercial and we caught the second half.

Now, if the wind dies tonight, Paul will get out with some live pilchards and should certainly catch some nice mutton snapper tomorrow, as they are inside of the reef around the coral heads now. Since I can see the fillet station from here - you can bet I'll be down there begging for a fillet when he comes in. :D :D Mutton snapper is one of the few things I like better than vanilla Hagen Daz topped with home make chocolate sauce.

Ah!!! Life is good.

theboz 01-11-2013 11:53 PM

Re: Good start for 2013
Glad to hear your heart is cool! Been there done that! Nothing better than tons of bait to get it started up right ! Sounds like the start of some serious Hookups!

ditz 01-12-2013 12:01 PM

Re: Good start for 2013
A good report from the Dr.. ....Now that is something to be happy about. Happy New Year

mcnerney 01-12-2013 01:24 PM

Re: Good start for 2013
Jim: Good to hear you're doing fine and the cardiac angiogram looked good!
Amazing story about landing that tarpon from the pier with all the pilings, congrats!


wjc 01-13-2013 08:33 AM

Re: Good start for 2013
Thanks, Larry, Boz and Ditz, but it was purely a matter of luck, Larry, and that the rod was way bigger than normal for a small fish. I'd never fished for the baby tarpon off the dock before because there is no way to keep them out from under it. I just checked my fly line and it's fine, although the leader is abraided pretty bad from the fly to about 7 feet up. That reel had straight 60lb fluoro leader on it.

But I wanted to try that little popper that I tied at a tying course given by a guy up at Harry Goode's fly shop up in Melbourne last summer which has been sitting in a coffee holder in the van ever since. From watching baby tarpon feeding over the years, I've noticed that when there are glass minnows up on the surface, there are usually a few that will chug along, seeming to gulp air on the surface every 3 or 4 inches or so. And it is those ones doing that which the little tarpon come up for. They come up and turn sideways just before eating them, then go back down. So I was just stripping in 3-4" jerks - like with a gurgler - but this popper looks a lot more like a glass minnow than whatever gurglers are supposed to look like.

Another good thing happened yesterday. Wayne came over and said his wife had just called to tell him there was a brand new Great White (Saltwater) transom mount, 12 volt motor guide at a yard sale with a $100 sticker on it. The Feds have shut down the boat ramp on a great bass canal 30 miles north of us, but that electric motor will push my little 12' tin boat just fine. The outboard is too heavy to drag over the fence but the electric will work fine.

So we headed down there and it was the owner of the former Islamorada Outfitters store. He took an $80 offer - transom mounts are not in much demand here. Linda's weekend yard sale hobby has been really good for Wayne and me both. I'm typing on a $10 table she found for me. He's made a lot of money buying old bass plugs through her weekend jaunts.

Hopefully, the remainder of the year will continue to be a good one.

mcnerney 01-13-2013 09:01 AM

Re: Good start for 2013
Jim: I can only imagine what that leader looks like after been dragged across those pilings........pretty amazing that you were able to land that fish.

That was a pretty interesting story about your observations with the glass minnows and how that popper works to mimitate the glass minnows as they move along on the surface.

I've never had much interest in garage sales, but know folks that make it a ritual to hit as many as they can every weekend during the spring and summer months, they come away with some real treasures at times. Pretty cool to have a friend like Linda that keeps an eye out for things that you might enjoy having.


Bonefishdick 04-25-2013 06:42 AM

Re: Good start for 2013

Just saw this post and glad to see that things are off to a good start for you. A flunked stress test is "Stressful" in of itself. The Angiogram tells the Doctor and you what you need to do. I'm sure the motivation to follow the recommendations of your Doctor will not be hard to come by.

I celebrated my 66th birthday on the 25th of March with an MI at 7 am and ended up going to the hospital and by 9:30 am left the O. R. with 3 new stents that were placed together like 3 piece fly rod. I was in on Monday and home Wednesday afternoon. Doing fine and fishing has been just starting around here and should bust wide open soon and I am ready to go.

This time around since it is my 3 rd time to the dance I intend to be a lot more diligent about my excercise and most especially my diet.

Good fishing to you.

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