After working all week long, I needed to get some fishing done. This week I had to work or DJ every single day. A last minute cancellation for my gig on Saturday, gave me a window. Friday night while Djing in South Beach, I was contemplating on wether to hit the park or not! I was very tired at the time and no one was available to join me on the trip. I usually don’t like going solo. Even though I go solo from time to time, I rather go out with a couple of friends. So it was about 3:30 am and I was playing my last song, I walked outside the club and see a huge storm coming from the East. I quickly got into my car and at this moment I’m like screw this, I’m just gonna stay home and rest. As soon as I got home, I stepped inside my room and all I see is my Fly rods in the corner looking at me all sad and stuff. Im sure they were saying ” Come on Dan!! Man up!!! ” I couldn’t say no. Especially since they haven’t moved from that corner in over a week. I quickly got everything ready. I made some sandwiches and filled up the thermos with water. 30 minutes later I was in the front door step of Dion’s. Since I was solo and tired I picked up a case of Monster Energy drinks for the drive. I drank 2 cans on the way to the park. Boy was I wired. I drank so much Monster, the mosquitos didn’t even want to deal with me. I guess I had so much energy, the paddle against the tide felt like a breeze in the morning. Once at the fishing grounds, I got into some tarpon belly crawling on the flats got a 40-50 pounder coming straight at me. I put the fly perfectly in its path, he rapidly saw the fly and ate it without hesitation. I came tight and swam towards me and the hook came off immediately after I hooked him. I was disappointed!! Oh well, on to the next one. I saw something weird tailing nothing like I have ever seen before I made a cast and nothing happened as I got closer to see it was a tailing Jewfish in the flat. I got so close before he spooked out. I knew that this opportunity would haunt for a very long time as I have never had the opportunity to cast at a Jewfish. I saw some juveniles rolling I poled up to one of them and hooked him good, at least I thought. After fighting him for about 40 seconds he spit the hook during one of his crazy jumps. As soon as that was over I was making my way where I had seen more rollers and I saw a red coming straight at me. I put the tarpon fly right in his face and he chased the fly all the way to the paddle board before eating it. He put a nice little fight even though it was on the 10wt. The sun was high in the sky at this time, I decided to put on my glasses and started to find some more reds. The wind started to blow really bad due to the fact that there were some storms around. I decided to anchor up the kayak and have a snack. I just sat there for a while and ate a sandwich and drank my 3rd can of Monster. The winds settle down a tiny bit so I kept on searching the flats. I caught some tailing reds here and there but I was more concerned on looking for Black Drums and Sheepshead. I am so infatuated with these 2 backcountry species because they never want to do anything with your flies. After running into bunch of Black Drums and figured they weren’t gonna eat, I proceeded on to catching more tailing reds.
Afternoon was upon us and hunger stroked immediately. Since I was busy catching fish I didn’t realize how hungry I was. I kept on getting cramps on my legs and my hands. I knew I needed some water. As I pick up my thermos, I quickly notice how light it was. As I was about to take a sip, nothing came out of the thermos. I freaked out immediately!!! All the ice and water that I had put earlier that morning somehow leaked out of the thermos. Oh great, thats exactly what I needed. I didn’t eat any of the remaining sandwiches because I figured it would make me even more thirsty. With the tide still coming in and the cramps getting worse and worse, I decided to stay out there at least until the tide changed. Since it was the beginning of Shark Week the next day I decided to get some sweet footage of some big sharks that were roaming the flats all day long. Decided to drift with the tide for the next hour, that way I wouldn’t get even more cramps. There was bunch more clouds that had rolled in, I anchored up the Diablo and passed out for about 2 hours that way the tide changes and I get some energy to get back to the boat ramp.The Sound of thunder woke me up. There was a nasty looking storm brewing up just north of Flamingo. Luckily the tide had changed and it was time to make my way back. On the way back I had seen a good amount of reds tailing there asses off.
Even though I was dead tired and my body was aching really bad, I couldn’t resist the urge to cast at these Redfish. From this moment on I lay the smack down catching reds. I missed a couple of reds because I had a broken hooked that I didn’t know about until I decided to actually look at the fly. I felt so stupid!!! I changed the fly and got back to catching some more reds. Since there was still a lot of water on the flat I decided to look for some tarpon and actually land one. I was able to find them in really shallow water had some juveniles roll but wouldn’t take the fly because the water was kind of murky. I moved to an area where I had seen some bigger tarpon in cleaner water. As soon as I got there I saw one that was about 70-80 pounds with his back completely out of the water. I made a perfect cast he came up to hit the fly and missed it I kept on stripping and he got to close to the paddle board and spooked. I decided to catch more reds since the area was flooded with them.
At this time my body was still full of cramps there was times where I couldn’t even cast the rod because my fingers were completely locked down. I know it was stupid to still be out there fishing with no water but the wind had completely lie down and the flats were filled with life. As I was casting at a tailing red, I saw another big poon pushing water in the skinny with his back out of the water. I picked up the 10wt as fast as I could. I poled my way over the tarpon and made a perfect shot and he no intensions of eating what so ever. I stalked this fish for about 20 minutes putting shots after shots and he wouldn’t eat. I should have taken out the camera and gotten a picture but I was in the moment where I needed to catch a tarpon. That didn’t happen, he spooked and hauled ass out of the area. It felt like a Ping Pong game going back and forth with the Tarpon and Redfish.
Once again my body was almost about to give up so I started to make my way back to the marina. At this point I had caught 16 reds and was ready to call it a day. But then I thought I still haven’t landed a tarpon, and I really want to land one. I saw 2 roll in a nearby area and high hopes were kicking in. I immediately made my way over there and hooked one and spits the hook right away. I was so pissed at the moment. I was about to say F@$K this and head home which was the right move since I didn’t have any water and it was pretty much night time. I could hear the swarm of mosquitos making their way over to me, see some crocs making their way out to the flats, and catching a tiny glimpse of the sun going down. I was not going to give up. I really wanted a decent tarpon before night fall. As I was getting my ass kicked by mosquitos, I prayed to god to give me one more chance. No more than 20 seconds later a 50 pounder rolls no more than 5 feet behind paddle board. I made a 10 foot cast and hooked up!!! I couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately this tarpon spit the hook as well. I was devastated, I had put all my energy into staying this late. As soon as the Tarpon spit the hook I put my head up to the sky with the rod by my side and thanked God for the opportunities he had given me. Even though my I did not land any of the Tarpon I sure had a of fun trying. I got back to the marina exactly at 9 pm on the dot. I had a nice warm can of Monster energy drink that had been cooking inside my truck the entire day. I can’t even lie, it tasted great especially after been dehydrated the whole day!!!!! I can’t wait to wet the lines again.
Until next time….-DAN DECIBEL