Fish On! Page 2
Part 2: The first day provided a glass-like Gulf, and our captain was confident we’d catch more fish than our angling arms could handle.
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — March 2005
Piku thought he was onto something and began experimenting, fishing for other species including the tasty grouper. After some comparative fishing with the technique (he would use a fly rod while his friends would use heavy standup gear), the captain realized that there was an increased hook-up ratio using the fly rod. Piku explains why: “It’s the movement of the rod when the lure is presented to the fish. You feed out line to the bottom, use the length of the rod [about seven feet] and your arm to make the presentation. You pass [the lure] in front, and then it disappears from the fish, and when he sees it the second time, he doesn’t want to let it go away again.”
This all sounded promising, and I don’t need much of an excuse to wet a line, so I figured I’d give it a shot myself and was soon on a plane with my brother Chip to see if this was angling hype or angling truth.
The first day provided a glass-like Gulf, and our captain was confident we’d catch more fish than our angling arms could handle. Pretty big talk, I thought. But I like confident people, and as Piku also had a video crew onboard, I figured we’d better do well. I chowed down on a Cuban sandwich as Piku expertly directed Golden Streak across the shallows at breakneck speed (40-plus-mph thanks to two new 300-hp Yamahas). Our 70-year-old captain was talking about the technique with the enthusiasm of a child who’s just discovered how to tie his shoes solo.
We arrived at a spot where the 40-foot depths were lit up with structure and the fishfinder displayed an aquarium under the boat’s hull. Piku broke out three fly rods: two nine-ten weight Cortland fly rods and reels, and an 11-12 weight Shakespeare fly rod and reel. All the fly rods sported a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader. Now, these are not your A River Runs Through It trout rods. These are stout-feeling rods with some weight and heft, but still much lighter than the traditional and thick 5'6" standup rod and 40-pound-class reel one might normally use for this type of fishing. The heavier standup gear has been the tackle of choice among bottom fishing enthusiasts here because you have to get these fish out of the rocks and wrecks. To do so, you need to put some heat on them. Piku was confident the more flexible fly rods and his hooking technique would ensure we’d catch more than we’d lose.
Next page > Part 3: By the end of day two our arms were weary thanks to boating more than 200 fish over two days. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.