OPIN­ION

Marlin - - CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS -

CAPT. BRADSIM O ND S FI­NAL FAN­TASY KEY WEST, FLORIDA

One day im­me­di­ately comes to mind. We were down in St. Thomas, and there was a trop­i­cal wave ap­proach­ing. We thought we could get the day in be­fore the weather got ugly, but we made it only half­way through and fi­nally sur­ren­dered. I’d make a down-sea tack and there were waves break­ing into the cock­pit. We ended up catch­ing two blues that day, but I re­mem­ber try­ing to avoid back­ing down at all costs.

CAPT. WINK DOERZBACHER MASQUE JUPITER, FLORIDA

Fish­ing the Pel­i­can tour­na­ment in

Fort Pierce, Florida, a few years back, the fore­cast was that it was sup­posed to be ugly but clear­ing up, and it did ex­actly the op­po­site. The weather sat on top of us all day and got worse as the day went on. My an­glers were com­plain­ing that the rain was sting­ing their faces — think about me on the bridge! That’s the most mis­er­able day of fish­ing that I can re­mem­ber. But we ended up win­ning the daily with six sails, and win­ning the tour­na­ment. Some days, you’re just wait­ing for it to be over.

CA PT. GARY ST UV E GOLDEN BEAR SINGER IS­LAND, FLORIDA

If you know any­thing about bluefin tuna fish­ing off Cat Cay, it can’t blow hard enough — un­til it does. Flat calm is your worst en­emy.

It’s dicey han­dling big fish when it gets that rough. I re­mem­ber it was break­ing on the bar out in front of Cat Cay; our is­sue was how the hell we were go­ing to get out. Then we made it out, and we were like, “Now what?” The bluefin were scream­ing down-sea, and we just said, “OK, let’s try to catch one of th­ese things with­out get­ting hurt.” Un­der­stand that you’re in the tower for all of this. When it comes to bad weather, be care­ful what you wish for.

CAPT. JOE CRAW­FORD RUM RUN­NER NICARAGUA/COSTA RICA

A day off Cabo San Lu­cas was def­i­nitely mem­o­rable. It was blow­ing 25 knots and the seas were 8 to 10 feet, with some big­ger sets. We were dead-bait trolling by bump­ing the boat in and out of gear and crab­bing our way around. I couldn’t go down-sea be­cause we buried the bow into ev­ery wave. We started see­ing tail­ers and got bites from some big striped mar­lin. A few dou­bles later and we started to get cocky, un­til a slow re­cov­ery from a big set con­vinced me to pull the teasers in and get out of there. We ended up go­ing 7-for-9 in that mess.

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