Friday, 4 May 2012

Poooonz Baby.......

Been home a few days now and finally getting used to being back in this charming country!! Im still buzzing from my fishing trip to Long Key, florida!!! light tackle fishing doesnt get any better than this....... i headed out in april for just over two weeks of fishing madness. Me and Jim Odonnell headed out from Heathrow over to Miami, after a short drive in the keys shuttle we grabbed a beer and chilled in his garden in paradise!!
Literally within 10mins of being there i could already see numerous species of fish! all of which had my name all over them, from Mangrove Jacks to Poopy fish all of which i was told by Jim love to scrap like a bitch and will all happily nail all sorts of baits from jigs to live shrimp. after we sorted a few jobs the next day we could hopefully get some fishing in around lunch time by this point i was gagging to hit the water now! Jim took me to "tiki island" a breakwater in front of our docks with a little palmtree hut on with two lights either end for navigation. and at night these lights draw all sorts in including the Poons i had been waiting for!! we walked down to the most amazing noise of Tarpon busting left right and centre! i tied on my trusty Megabass Giant dog-x as the Poons happily chomped on shrimp off the surface! it was crazy, any warm blooded angler couldnt resist casting out to what was going on in front of my eyes!

I cast out over the lights my Dog-x with a nice slow retrieve and in the distance you could see these small Poons turning with interest and my heart started thumping..... and right under my feet i could see a fish swimming under the lights, i reeled in and cast a few feet in front of it and instantly the small poon turns and charges at my lure and whollop its on! by this point im buzzing and scrambled down the rocks to chin my first ever Tarpon out! it was big but i was soooooooooo chuffed, the thing tail walked all the way in from start to finish and completely nailed my Dog-x i unhooked it and returned it safe and sound to fight another day. i slept that evening one happy chappy indeed! The next day we had a small tackle shop trip planned and a quick breaky trip into Robbies to see the monster Poons somewhere iv always wanted to see!!

Nothing could prepare me for what i would do the next day!! after a quick stop in BassPro we headed off to Robbies where the water was full to the brim of monster Poonz..... there was a handful of fish around the 180lb mark all the fish there seemed to be 80-100lb pluss with only a few smaller fish, under the Poonz there was hundreds of chunky monster Jacks these fish are sooooo impressive and just scream tackle busters!! it was truly a awesome morning and ill never forget those huge Poonz jumping to grab the threadfins from our hands!

 When we finished here i was ready for action and set up the lure rods for some multi species fishing in the docks behind our base, loaded with live shrimp and cut baits we chummed the water to get the local fish to start chomping anything sinking through the water in there zone! fishing couldnt get any simpler...... braided mainline, tied to 15-20lb fluro and size 2-4 Gama circle hooks thats it! freelining the live shrimps really ticked all my boxes you could see the shrimps going mental when the Mangrove Snappers bolted out of the deep to smash the shrimp to pieces! talk about heart stopping fishing knowing you cant strike and to just hold on and wait for the fish to sppok and go mental and hang them selfs on the circles!

This fishing just brings a smile to my face!! simple yet a great giggle, if only UK fishing was like this ayy and not only was it super simple all the above fish fight like demons and rip drag off the reel and run into cover and snags! they all fight like fish 4-5 times bigger than what you land its mind blowing and infectious  fishing where you just want more more more!! i had a handful of times where my shrimp got smashed and the fish ran off so quickly and strong that i couldnt stop them! I was on a roll now and after talking with Jim i decided i would head back to Tiki island in the evening with my lure gear in search of some larger Poons which we could see shoaled up in the marina. I had a feeling things would start hotting up and braced myself for a action packed night!
first proper shore Poon in the low 20's

First decent Poon nailed from the shore, took over 15mins to land and was beasted in on a 30g travel rod and Shimano Stradic Ci4 4000. Hardest fight from the shore iv ever been in truly heart pounding fishing!!

mug shot........ check out the ruined Melty Nymph

IMA Melty Nymph on a 8g jig head was the that got the Poonz juices flowing!! i knew the fish were eating shrimp off the surface so i went through my box and found the Melty nymphs which just screamed shrimp! it wasnt long before i had Poons in the 20-30lb mark hammering up behind the lure and showing proper interest! i walked to the right hand light wacked out my lure clicked the bail over and cranked it in on a steady straight retrieve and smash!! im in...... after a explosive first run of 40odd yards the Poon jumped and landed i struck three times to make sure the hook is set and all hell broke out! 60yard run so quick i couldnt figure out where and when to move i clambered down the steps where after a arm aching fight i chinned the fish out and lay it on a soft sun lounger for photos. at just over 20lb i was shaking like a leaf and chuffed to bits! and on the very next cast i managed another fish of around the same size in the low 20's i was i nervous wreck by this point! both fish returned safely to swim another day!
we woke the very next morning raring for action and with the weather playing ball in our favour we decided the boat was going to get a outing Jim had some trout jigging and some bone fish lined up on the flats so we loaded up the rods for a action packed day! can fishing get any better than this...... tune in tomorrow for part.2 of my florida trip with Jim Odonnell on Longkey,



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