Kids and Cubera!
<p>Last night we took Mike, and his crew of little guys out for some Cubera fishing. The boys, Matt (13), Mason (10) and Kyle (8), were very anxious to do this. They are very interested in fishing which was evident by the hundreds of questions that Devon and I answered throughout the night. We didn't mind the constant barrage of questions, because this is the future of sport fishing.
Devon and I were ready and waiting when they arrived. We loaded everyone on board and headed out to gather bait. We made a few stops for alternative baits and continued out to round out the bait wells. We found an area that looked good and Devon slid over the side to hunt some crickets. The boys got excited watching him dive down and come up with a bait. We used this time to also teach them the about the legalities, how to measure for shorts, and what an egg bearing female looks like. I continued the learning process onboard by showing them the differences in male/female crawfish. After we collected enough bugs for the night, we made way to find some Yellowtail.
We weighed anchor and came tight on the rode. Wow! The current was smoking to the north so hard that The BEAST was almost on a plane. We gave it a try but it was barely manageable so I made the call to move. After resetting in a better location we began to catch some fish. The chum was also bringing in a variety of bait fish. The boys got to see a Sailfish feeding on some of the farther bait fish, for a brief minute. We had been watching the electrical show of a couple of onshore storms which were slowly making their way offshore. I did one last radar check and it was clear for over 16 miles. OK, Boys! Time to go to Nastyville!
We arrived on site to find 6 other boats and a stiff current! Within minutes the winds from the SW storm started to blow but it only lasted for about 5 minutes. The storm to our north began putting out some very impressive downdrafts. I'm talking 25-30 knot winds and the seas kicked up quickly. I motored around to get all the information I needed to make a good drift. The winds were making this a bit difficult and uncomfortable. A look around and there were only 4 of us out there now as 3 boats ran for cover which was a smart move if you have a smaller craft.
Our first drift is usually more of the "let's try it" type until we get dialed in. A few adjustments and the second drift was much better but uneventful. I made one more adjustment on the 3rd drift and shortly into the drift, my little man Kyle gets the nod! FISH ON, little buddy! Mason and Matt were so excited that they were right in on the action shoulder to shoulder with Kyle. We had to drop the reel into low gear so Kyle could move his fish up. The next 5 minutes were filled with a lot of grunting, huffing, puffing and exited chatter from the boys. Kyle got his fish to the surface and Devon handed him over the side. Way to go Kyle, you just caught a 28 pound Cubera Snapper! Pretty work, little Dude!
The winds were laying back now and we made a couple more drifts that were unsuccessful so I made some more adjustments. Drift number 6 was going real nice and we made yet another quick adjustment. Seconds later the bait gets thumped and the rod doubles over. Get 'em Mason! As the boys gathered at the rail with excitement, we dropped the reel into low gear so Mason could move the fish. Work'em boy! The fish finally pops up and Devon brings it over the side. That's a nugget! Mason is on the board with a 35 pound fish. Good job, Bud!
Now we need to get Matt a fish, too! Conditions are changing rapidly and the bite is falling off. Devon and I worked hard, changing things up, making different adjustments with almost every drift. We went through quite a few drifts for the next half hour or so. Finally, persistence paid off and the front rod thunks twice. Crap, we missed him. No, wait a minute, he's back. Thunk, thunk, the rod starts to bend over and I give the reel some cranks. FISH ON! Matt is hooked up. This fish isn't a nugget, for sure, this is one is a bruiser. The rod is bent over to within a foot of the water and its throbbing under the weight of this fish. The fish either has Matt in a stalemate or it is taking line from him. I tried to move the fish a little bit with the motors as Devon races forward to give Matt low gear. The rod tip snaps back into place as the line parts. This fish made some bottom structure and won its freedom. Tough break Matt. It wasn't your fault at all. That stuff happens occasionally especially when dealing with larger fish!
We continued to work hard using different types of bait to change things up. All 3 boys are lost to sleep when the bow rod gets hammered. Matt… Matt… MATT!!!! Mason arouses to keep the fish on until Matt, groggy from sleep, gets his bearings to take over. The fish surfaces and it is a 15 pound Horse Eye Jack. Before we could take a picture, Matt was already prone and falling back to sleep, so Devon quickly released the fish. You can't blame them for being that tired. They played football that afternoon, came straight to the boat, had adrenaline pumping through their young bodies, and it is getting late. We made another 4 or 5 drifts but it was more than obvious to Devon and I that the night was over.
We packed it up and stowed the gear. I pointed the bow toward the barn and throttled up the 600 ponies. Other than the motors humming, the ride was quiet. The kids were asleep and there wasn't a single question asked on the whole ride home.
This was an excited crew of kids that, I do believe, thoroughly enjoyed their night. Mike remarked that they will have some good stories to tell when school starts. Our kids should be a constant reminder that spurs us to conserve our resources. Abide by all regulations, take what you can use, and properly release the rest. Let's leave our oceans and it's creatures, better than we found it, for the sake of our future generations.
About The Author: Captain Jim Barlett
Company: Beast Fishing Charters
Area Reporting: Miami & upper Key Largo, , Florida
Bio: Beast Fishing Charters is an offshore, light tackle, live bait, fishing charter. Capt. Jim has been fishing South Florida waters for over 35 years. The BEAST is a 2007 WorldCat 330TE, powered by twin 300 Suzuki's and is a stable, comfortable, center console. Capt. Jim specializes in, but is not limited to, Sailfish, Swordfish, and Dolphin. Wreck fishing and bottom dropping are also on the menu.