Not 15 minutes after everyone had vacated the premises, my old buddy Gail came calling. "Quick! change your clothes and come fishing with me. The tide just turned. We have to go now."
the Sound. Besides that, with guests onboard and no grocery store in sight, coming up with a free meal is a bonus at any time. As Nelson, the loyal Havanese and I gathered the gear and headed over to Gales 17 foot skiff, I saw Sam and his buddy just coming in from their fishing expedition. Sans les poisons. Hee hee.
"Good. Luck. Girls," he chuckled ruefully.
Gail's husband, Dennis, was equally as grim on our chances of success. "They won't catch a thing" is what he told the guys on the dock.
Taking it slow and steady in the flat-bottomed skiff, we headed out Joe Cay Cut and thru the rage. The rage is where wind and tide are on opposing missions, one coming in and one going out, confusing the waters and making things turbulent. Out the cut, we headed south towards Staniel Cay, and into deeper water. There are a few things I have learned over the 9 years I have been fishing here:
- troll the boat at as close to 6 knots as is possible (who knew her skiff had such a tempermental throttle?)
- look for structure, drop-offs, the edge of water colours/temperatures/clarity/depths (we guestimated today as we had no depth-finder or chart-plotter)
- tie your rod to the boat...just in case (I have had to replace a costly one lost overboard once--never again!)
- keep your lines from tangling when fishing with a buddy (easier said than done, especially today)
- don't forget the cheap booze (don't waste good rum) to baptize the fish once onboard (today it was Vodka--to pour into the gills and put an abrupt end to the fighting fish syndrome)
- look for and follow birds, pads of floating seaweed, other fisher men catching fish.
Count them: one, two, three!
Fillet and release.
Mahi Mahi, super yummy!
I cleaned the fish, Gail cleaned the boat. Then we had to clean up ourselves and the dog. There was blood and Vodka everywhere. By the time we were done, there was quite an audience on the dock to give us our due. The men were good sports about it, clapping, cheering and taking pictures AND lining up for shares in the abundance. The whole dock will be dining on fresh fish tonight. Oh happy day!