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March 25, 2020 Captain Goes Solo

Great Foodchain story for today. Trying to stay isolated I went on a solo fishing excursion this morning. I began fishing at the reef where I pulled a shrimp out of the livewell, pinched the head off and peeled off the skin. Cut it into small pieces with my rigging shears and put it on a #9 hair hook. Snatched half a dozen “hoos” into the boat and let them swim around in the livewell.

Mid afternoon I decided to head out to deeper water 230 feet and drop a few lines for Mutton Snapper, I also put one ballyhoo, hooked through the eyes with a 5/0 circle hook out the back and on the surface. There was nothing biting on the spot where I had anchored so I let the boat drift with the slow currents. I saw a large splash about ½ a mile away and figured it was a Sail Fish, I figured one might come by, I checked my bait, cleaned off some weeds and set the rod back in the holder with the bail open. The next thing I knew the ballyhoo was swimming with all his might, out about 40 feet from the beam of the boat like it was racing it when the water exploded! First a big swirl then I saw the fish come out of the air and the bait went flying 10 feet above it. I grabbed the rod and began picking up the slack as the ballyhoo had been about 100 feet behind the boat to begin with. The line began to tighten then the drag on the Penn 6500 spinning reel began to sing. I quickly fired up the port engine and followed the fish to keep from running out of line. The fight ensued and in true Sailfish fashion he gave me several great series of leaps as he struggled to escape near the end of the battle. Lucky for him the hook had wrapped around his bill and never pierced his flesh so he was tired but no worse for wear as he swam away.

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