Jr. Angler: Sept. 2020

My Fishing Adventures

By Christopher Sprague, Jr. Angler-Team Tuppens, Contributing Writer

Hello Anglers,

I hope everyone is staying safe and catching some monster fish during this crazy time. Mini season started, unfortunately my dad and I were unable to go diving. However, we did participate in the Pompano Showdown hosted by Bluewater Movements. This is a huge tournament with large prize pots; the KDW was $60,000 and the pic 3 (kingfish, wahoo, and tuna; picked out of a hat the morning of the tournament) was $90,000. We were happy about that since there were quite a few tuna and kingfish around, the wahoo was the hardest part. We started out of the Pompano Beach Inlet, our plan was to go to the wrecks right outside of the inlet and try to get a wahoo. We heard 3, 2, 1, GO, and all the boats around us took off. However, we and a few other boats stayed and trolled for wahoo. We put some skirts out rigged with a piece of bonita strip on it. 15 minutes later, we saw the rod go up and down a few times, which is a good sign of a wahoo because of the head shaking. Jason was on the rod and my dad would handline the mono in.  I captained the boat and made sure the line didn’t get in the props. We started reeling it up and saw the stripes. Jason set the rod down and gaffed it, first try. We were super happy and wasted no time getting to our kingfish spot, off Mar-A-Lago. We set a few runners and goggle eyes out on the flat line and downriggers. We finally got a few kings; most were 15 to 25 pounds. We headed offshore to look for birds in search of either tuna or dolphin. Hours pass and we found a huge school of birds off Boca Hump, in 850’ of water. We set out some ballyhoo and squid, and a minute later boom, double header. One was a little blackfin and the other was an oceanic, both under 10 lbs., so we tried getting another but were running out of time. We kept trying and got a big one on the line. My dad was reeling it in it for about 10 minutes and right when it was close to the surface, he felt it get lighter. We thought it got sharked but when we reeled it up, there were no tooth marks, just a few cuts on it. A big swordfish probably had it in its mouth and when it got close to the surface, let go.

We were in a Key West Billistic and it was about 4-5-foot swells offshore. We were FLYING at about 55 mph and when we got inshore, we hit 61. We got to the weigh in 1 minute before it closed. Our wahoo was 15 lbs. and our biggest king was 25 lbs. We didn’t get the big money this time, but next is the Shootout and we are more ready than ever!