Finally they’re back!

After over two years, I finally got my European customers back. The first who came back here is actually a customer who has become a really good friend over the years. At 6-foot 6-inches and weighing in at 230 pounds, this German loves to fly fish for big fish.

Unfortunately, when he came back the third week in January, we faced some pretty cold temperatures. After a day or two playing with some snook he was ready for some more action, he told me.

The cold weather and the time of the year didn’t give us too many options but there was one I really wanted him to experience. Blacktip and or spinner shark, one of my favorite B-Plans which will wear out even the most badass fisherman.

The next day started with a quick run to catch some Spanish mackerel. I take a lot of pride in fishing a clean fly without cheating however, some days it’s necessary to chum to get these sharks fired up. It didn’t take very long, and we were loaded with some Spanish for bait and a few minutes later we arrived after a short boat ride at the shark spot.

Chum out and a quick explanation what will happen for my German friend and then waiting. I want to see these sharks coming in hot before casting the fly to them. It did take way longer than expected that day but finally one shark showed up. Eckhardt put the fly right in front of him but nothing. Suddenly and out of nowhere a second shark showed up and took that fly so fast and hard that Eckhardt nearly lost his balance and went overboard while setting the hook.

This shark went mental, jumping all over the place and ripping line off the reel like a freight train on steroids and man did I enjoy this! Watching my friend getting torn apart in bits and pieces while trying to survive this fight just made my day, actually my whole cold week.

Long story short, we landed this shark after a 20-minute hard battle. Quick picture and fast and strong release. The last time I saw my friend that exhausted after fighting a fish was close to three years ago fighting three giant jacks back to back. Welcome back my friend!

The Fly Fishing Column is written by Capt. Michael Mauri,,, (772) 485-3321.

It is great to see our European friends and guests returning to the States for some great fly fishing action! Photo credit: Capt. Michael Mauri.