Coming off a high from winning the Ladies Fishoff we were quite confident in maintaining our hot streak. Typically, Tournament fishing can be streaky and we were hoping for the best against the very best. I stayed in touch with a very well known fisherman in Dade County throughout the week to keep up a daily log of the depth, location, current, water quality and species biting. I was very confident and made me decision Thursday evening on where we were going to fish. Same spot as the Ladies Fishoff was won the prior week. Tournament morning fast approaches with Baits secured, rods rigged, helium balloons strung up on kites ready for flight and beers on ice. One of the first boats to check out I take a quick turn right and attempt to jump on plane and head south to the Pompano Pier “ Southern Bimini Start Boundary.” Well, that attempt is a wash because my center motor alarm is sounding with a struggle to maintain plane. We quickly turnaround and head for the inlet to troubleshoot the problem. Our plans to head way south are about to be smashed until numerous fellow Tournament fisherman offer help. I can’t say thank you enough to Darrel Clark and Chris Green. So again, thank you guys. You gotta love when your competition is there for you. The fishing community is very tight nit with a great bunch of people. That being said, our ignition coil on the lower cylinder has now been swapped out and we are back in business for the Bimini start. Our run South is very lonely as I see one other boat beside us. Our approach to the fishing area around 8:00 is very unwelcoming. To the tone of dark green water and south tide I say to myself $&@# with a triple exclamation point! Instead of trying one drift I punch it North of Fowey to a powdery blue/green and slight north tide drift. It’s go time! One drift, two drifts and not a whole lot going on. I’m stumped and about to run to Boynton until I call one of my buddies fishing a Miami Construction Tournament. He tells me he’s in the Meat with a five banger of Tunas on the first drift and Kings up to 35Lbs. Unbelievable, I say because it’s the exact area I told him to fish where I originally stopped. Now I’m kicking myself, but not getting to down because we still have plenty of time to play catch up. We make our way South and stop just shy of the area after a quick conversation with Ray Rosher telling us there’s a nice King bite with Mahis and Tunas mixed in. So, we proceed to make a drift and two nice Kings decide to ice up in a nice resting place. Another drift produces two more weighers and a small Tuna. Battling through Sailfish, small Kings and Mahis for the next couple hours we decide to head further South to finish off the day. We are now greeted with dirty green water and south tide in the area I was originally planning on fishing. Maybe I should’ve stuck with those plans as my instincts were a bit off today. The first drift yielded one small Tuna and a few King bites. The end of the day is fast approaching when I get a nice explosion on my long kite bait. It’s him.. Tuna time. After a very cool, calm and collective argument on sticking my fish, lol. We finally have number 3 in the box and it’s a bit beefier than the previous. We have time for one more drift. Oh my, four feet airborne and the left long is sizzling. Anxiety level is through the roof now and we gotta get this fish in the boat. Whack, whack, whack I hear with the tail banging against the gunnel of the boat. Yes! Tuna number 4 is now in the boat. Let’s go!!! It’s now 3:15 and we’re 50 miles South of home. We clean up, store the rods, give high fives and butt Slaps for a job well done. I know we don’t have the win by the size of our fish, but you never know. We have a very presentable catch and finish this tournament with a very respectable Fourth Place Overall finish with 129lbs of four Kingfish and four Tunas. Till next time, we come to defend our Showdown Title. Thank you to our sponsors, Mercury Marine, Preferred Marine, Bionic Bait, Hooker Electric, DFS Art, IGX, o-sea-d Titanium and Papas Raw Bar.
Capt. Matt White