Fish On! Page 3
Part 3: By the end of day two our arms were weary thanks to boating more than 200 fish over two days.
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — March 2005
When you’re right, you’re right. From the first drop we were into fish. We caught black grouper, red grouper, mutton snapper, red snapper, yellowtail, triggerfish, and more. Chip even managed to bag an elusive hogfish (they are usually spearfished) while I even caught a remora (you know, that suction-cup-headed badboy you see under sharks and whales). All totaled, we caught more than 100 fish and 13 distinct species on day one. The fly rod outfished the standup tackle at a ratio of four to one. I thought Piku was telling me the truth. While I found the slow rise of the rod and gentle drop to be a variation on jigging, there was no denying the results were there.
Then came day two. The morning breeze provided a quick chop across the Gulf, and Golden Streak made mincemeat of it. We were soon drift-fishing with everyone using fly rods. We started catching fish here and there, albeit sporadically. I thought Piku might have been holding an ace up his sleeve because we discussed the criticism he may get about his bait-and-drop system from traditional fly-fishing enthusiasts. Many consider a graceful backcast and ability to effectively use a fly rod as an art form as well as an angling practice. To answer his critics, Piku looked at me and broke out some homemade flies. He had a self-tied yellow fly, ballyhoo fly, and more. Piku said, “Let’s see what happens.” He stripped line off the reel, and using the same long drop and slow lift as the baited rig, his line got nailed…Bam! He started laughing with each strike. Piku caught yellowtail, grouper, snapper, and more on the fly. “You can’t fish like this.” I said. “I guess you can,” he replied, chuckling as his lure received another hit.
By the end of day two our arms were weary thanks to boating more than 200 fish over two days. We also had several meals sitting in the cooler, learned an impressive angling technique, and viewed a perfect Key West sunset on the way back to the barn. What more could an angler ask for?
As it turns out, I just checked that latest Post-It. It says, “Call Capt. Piku to setup return trip.”
Capt. Frank Piku and Golden Streak are available for charter out of Garrison Bight Marina in Key West, Florida. To book a trip, call (305) 509-1547 or visit www.captainfranksfishingcharters.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.