Mad Son Fishing, West Palm Beach, Fl
Fishing Report January 21, 2016
The reason for this Thursday trip was 1) I was afraid I might forget how to fish, & 2) This was the best day weather-wise for the week & into the weekend. The other fishermen aboard the Mad Son were Luis, Captain Charlie, his friend from Maryland , Mike, and a fellow on vacation from Long Island , Brian. Captain George took us out to 130 feet or so, stopping once to check the current before finding a likely spot to drift. The sunrise was borderline spectacular.
Luis started things off with an African Pompano that just a half inch shy of the required 24″ minimum fork length. The snapper bite started slow, although Charlie did get a keeper mutton snapper early on. There were a lot of bent rods, but at the beginning, not a lot of groceries. We caught a lot of good sized blue runners. I kept a half dozen for making fish dip. We also caught a lot of remoras. Once Mike got the hang of fishing with a chicken rig, he did alright, catching several decent porgies, including two at a time on one occasion.
I had a bite & cranked fast , hooking up to a decent fish. At first I didn’t realize how decent. After thirty seconds or so, I thought perhaps it had been eaten by a shark, but now I believe the fish just realized late that it was hooked. A couple of trips back, I made the mistake of cranking down the drag during the battle & lost the fish. This time, I still might lose the fish, but not for that reason. The outfit was my new Penn Warfare 30 level wind, loaded with 400 yards of 30# test, with a 40# leader & a 2/0 Owner light wire circle hook. At one point, I asked George if he wanted to chase the fish, but it was about then that I gained some control of it. I fought the beast for what seemed like 20 minutes, but was probably less, then it decided to swim away from the bow of the boat. I passed the rod to Rohman, who fought the good fight from up on the bow until the fish changed tactics & I took back over for a bit before the battle moved back to the bow again. George may have thought it was a shark, at least for part of the fight, and I heard someone accuse it of being a kingfish. I was not sure what I had on, but was pretty sure it was neither of those. When Rohman announced color & called it silver, I had high hopes of it being a large African Pompano, but it turned out to be a 37.5# Amberjack. There were quite a few parasites in the tail portion, but plenty of usable meat in the rest of it. Some will go on the smoker, some in the hot oil. Rohman & I were both impressed by the performance of the Penn reel.
For nearly an hour, a Coast Guard helicopter was hovering about a mile south of us, apparently doing a training exercise, getting their guys practiced in air-sea rescue.
The latter part of the trip turned out to be more productive than the earlier part. We ended the trip with 8 porgies, 7 yellowtail snappers, one mutton snapper, and one grey trigger, as well as the AJ. The flat line accounted for, with Captain Charlie doing the honors, a 24″ mahi. A nice variety of edible fish, and a very enjoyable trip. Thanks to George & Rohman for doing their usual great job of putting us on fish & baited up. I am not certain when the next exciting deep-sea adventure will be, but certainly no later than next Friday morning. ~~Greg~~
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