The longer I’ve kept up this blog, the better I’ve gotten at taking pictures while out on the boat or in the field. However, every once in a while, I fail miserably at taking pictures. My Flamingo trip happened to be one of those instances.
The strange part was that we actually caught fish. The fishing was great to be honest. Once again, the wind wasn’t cooperating, so the first thing my dad and I did after launching was motor over to a key that was out of the wind. While using the trolling motor to ease around the mangroves, I noticed the obscene amount of mullet schooled up along the edge of the trees. There were literally thousands. Had I brought the cast net with us, I doubt I would have been strong enough to pull up the net once thrown.
The best part was that there were big schools of Reds mixed in with these mullet, and it wasn’t long before both my dad and I had a double hook up.
Unfortunately (and I still don’t know what happened), these are the only two pictures I took that day. We caught more Reds, and even a few Snook. But for some reason, I just forgot. In hind sight, I’m kind of glad I didn’t take more pictures.
often always difficult for me to just -stop- fishing and take out the camera for snap shots. I get into that “zone” where taking pictures, or even thinking about anything but my next cast would just throw me off. I was having a blast, and catching fish. So in all reality, my lack of pictures is a good sign. Sometimes I just like to keep the memories upstairs rather than have a picture. It makes the experience that much sweeter.
Later in the day, the mullet started to move farther from the mangroves and out onto the flats. I kept hearing something big splashing, but could never lay eyes on it. We finally rounded the corner on a key and I saw what was making all the splashing: Dolphin. But they weren’t just frolicking. They were feeding. But feeding doesn’t quite give what they were doing justice. It was a total National Geographic moment.
I sat in awe for a moment as I watched this. I’m usually
violently angry mildly perturbed when dolphin show up. But this was just amazing. It was something I wanted to get a picture of, so I turned around in the boat to get my camera…
To see a 70lb Tarpon right off the bow.
It’s amazing how quickly priorities can change while out fishing. One second, my mind is completely focused on the dolphin show, National Geographic, and taking pictures. The next, I’m double hauling my 8wt. for all it’s worth at this Tarpon. Dolphin? What dolphin?
Amazingly, I managed to put the fly right where it belonged. However, with the way the fish was angled, my fly line landed right across his back, and he quickly disappeared into the milky green water.
And that was the end of my excitement for the day. The tide rips out of Flamingo and if you aren’t careful, you’ll end up with a boat stuck in 6 inches of water for half the day. We called it quits once the tide really started to dip low, and headed back to the launch. Much like the backcountry, the area around Flamingo is huge. It would take forever to figure it all out. What makes one flat, or cut, or key better than another is anybody’s guess as far as I’m concerned. We were lucky enough to find fish, and have an awesome time doing it. So really, you can’t ask for much more. I’ll work on my picture taking, but if I fail again, I don’t think it’ll bother me -too- much. It just means I was catching fish.