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Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Sep. 15 2005,11:15
Got a call from Chef Mike who FINALLY got a break from his demanding job, so off we went to one of our favorite spots - John Pennekamp - and Largo Sound, home to all three of our Yak-Ins.
Mike in his new 120 and I followed in my trusty yeller Pro.
Always a favorite due to it's beautiful paddle through the channels and winding trails, the large open Sound, and hundreds of mangrove humps, flats and backcountry. We almost always score some decent cuda and occasionally a big 'un.
Had a north/northeast wind which drove a lot of debris to the east side of the Sound and made the water cloudier than we could remember. And yes we scored a few cudas, but not all that many. Ended up working our way to the north end of the Sound (wind protected) and adjacent to the northern boat channel. It was here we had our first surprise.
Mike had a great follow from a large snook, possibly 10 pounds, nice fish. It was not long after that my Zara Spook exploded in a heavy blast of water and I knew I had a good one. Good 10 or 15 minute fight as this large fish dragged me in circles, ran under Mike's yak, and so on. But finally brought him in.
Good 10 or 11 lb jack.
Strong and neckhooked as he missed the topwater. This hook led to a long fight and made it hard to control this magnificent fish. BTW the Chef had his cam and a pic will be posted shortly. Then we decided to work the corner into the boat channel and our next surprise....
Mike jumped a 20 or 25 lb. tarpon.
One magnificent jump, at least 4 feet up, huge splash and of course, gone. But what a moment. We'd been our for quite a few hours and Mike was bushed so we began the long trek back. Some of you know the large double mangrove islands near the mid eastern sound, which is adjacent to some great cuda flats, and now the location of our next surprise...
Two large cruising bones in the 10 lb class! Awesome.
Mike had been paddling slowly - the bones simply approached his yak and slowly turned around, swimming away slowly, not spooked at all. Mike quickly pulled out his flyrod with a crab pattern, while I rigged a shrimp flats/bone jig. The bones were clearly in the area and we got a couple casts each.
Nada. But a nice try.
So now it was back to the launch. Mike headed straight in and experienced the wonderful closing experience of passing through a pod of 4 or 5 porpoises chasing bait. I detoured a tad to fish the southern bay, usually a productive area. As Mike sped out of sight and I approached the bay, one more surprise was in store.
Bout a hundred yards away...
A massive bust up. Massive! At least a hundred feet of absolute viscious commotion churning the water into a froth. Too big for a jack bust. I paddled like a madman. Fifty yards away...
Another large bust, moving away from me. I paddled harder Twenty yards away, and another last bust. I then saw bait being driven into the air as a bunch of 20 to 40 lb tarpon erupted from the depths and chased them into the air. What an amazing sight. Got in two or three casts but the bust and feed was over. Darn. I knew I could have waited for 20 or 30 minutes and felt sure the action was just beginning, but didn't want to keep poor Mike waiting.
So I reluctantly returned and, like Mike, was treated to a pass by the now cruising aand blowing porpoises.
Bottom line: the bait is clearly in and so are the predators. I've seen the same kind of action at the Pompano inlet and would expect Dumfoundling would be the same. Right now is an excellent opportunity for some serious yakfishing especially for jacks, tarpon and snook...
Edited by Capn Jimbo on Sep. 15 2005,11:17
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