For years I’ve been a dedicated sailfish angler, that is, until a close
friend took me down to Islamorada to wade the bay side flats for
tarpon. As soon as I released my first ‘poon, I was hooked on silver
kings. Watching those prehistoric monsters leisurely roll has become an
addiction. My newly set goal was to catch & release a triple digit
fish, as my largest tarpon to date was an estimated 50 pounds.
Trust me when I tell you, I know what lives in the dark, stained water
behind my house. Aside from the usual schools of fleeing mullet,
there’s an endless variety of marine critters that routinely visit my
dock. I’ve spotted snook, a variety of jacks, sea trout, catfish and
even porpoises. These creatures I don’t mind, but there are other
denizens that I am a bit more, let’s say, concerned with. Stingrays
that are pretty freakin’ big are frequent visitors, trailing stingers
large enough to drive a good size hole through any aggressor.
Thank God. It’s finally that time of year and the big game tournament
trail is in full swing. I have been fishing marlin tournaments since I
was only 10 months old and still enjoy it to this day. They tell me my
first event though, was not a very pleasant one. The seas averaged 10'
to 12'. I’m sure I got tossed around the cockpit during that rough
ride. I have spent many hours waiting for that one big blue marlin
bite. I remember plenty of times sitting around watching the lures in
the water and never even seeing a fish, but when one of those beautiful
marlin did pop up in the spread, it sure got my heart pumping!
I have a problem…I am an addict! What is my addiction, the thing I
need to function, the fix that returns me to my sanity? I’ll tell
you—fishing. The one thing in my life that I cannot live without is
fishing. I don’t know how or when I got my first tastes of this
seductive sport, and it doesn’t matter. I was hooked. It doesn’t make
a difference whether I’m out fishing on the ocean, in a stream, or on a
lake the solitary high is mine. Some experts say that most addicts
crave this solitary high and don’t care what is happening around them.
They are only content when they are involved with their sickness. I
agree because I am the happiest person in the world when I am fishing.
It all started on a typical day just a few years back. That’s when I
came face to face with El Diablo, the meanest, most determined fish
I’ve ever seen.
Friends were visiting from out of town so my brother Greg and I decided
to take them offshore for a fun filled day of fishing and diving. My
daughter Brandy also graced us with her presence. After packing the
boat with a truck load of gear and a shopping cart full of food, we
made our way to a lively reef line we often visit.
One of the most persistent superstitions among fishermen, and
professional anglers in particular, is the belief that having bananas
aboard a boat is extremely unlucky. Bananas have been blamed for
boating accidents, breakdowns, illness, poor catches, and more.