Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The "booty"

Sharks, Beer and Friends, continued...

Buss and Jeff set the hook (anchor for you landlubbers) and the bow of the boat swung into the wind. A boat with a bow anchor will (unless there is little wind or an outrageous current) cause the boat to face into the wind, which is a good thing. The bow is designed to deflect the waves to both sides and provide the most safety and stability. With the bow facing into the wind, the cockpit was shielded completely and was relatively warm. We put out the ourtriggers and set out about six to eight rods at one time. We had come "loaded for bear"- a weighted chum bag filled with the stinkiest, oiliest menhaden available was dropped behind the boat to attract our prey. We had two buckets of eels in various stages of friskiness, more dead menhaden and some squid. Cobia fishing requires nothing more than getting the lines weighted, baited and in the water. Set the clicker to signal a strike, put the rod in the holder and drink beer until the clicker buzzes and the rod bends. Then grab the rod, set the drag and give it a yank. A cobia will just take the bait and go-there is no nibbling or pecking at it, just brute speed and force. A cobia looks like a huge catfish and although it's not the easiest thing to clean and filet, the meat is white, flaky and mild-tastes like chicken as they say.
Nothing bit all day except the small sharks-two to five pounders, either spinner sharks or blacktips. Not bad for the occasional pull, but not what we wanted. After a few dozen, they were deemed pests and their re-entry into the water no longer was a casual toss but became more violent and original. Jeff mastered the "shark slam," bouncing them off the transom. He considered the catching of a shark to be a personal affront to his fishing ability. Jason heaved them skyward with an occasional incredible "hang-time." Scott was more of a thrower like Jason. Kevin and me just watched as the sharks were dog-cussed and sent flying back into the water. We probably caught thirty of bastards-all day and up until midnight.


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