Its prime time for cobia, running along the beaches of NE FL, my home. Each year thousands of cobia migrate up the coast, heading North to spawn. As any angler will tell you, sight fishing for any species is a thrill. You can usually find the cobia hitching a ride on huge manta rays as they glide near the surface. The boat is gassed up and ready, it's definitely time for a little r & d on the new Salt Life jigs. So I grab a few spinners, and call my buddies Austin, Brandon, & Malachy- these three guys live the Salt Life every day... The are always fishing .
As I pull up to the ramp, they are waiting. I load the boys & their gear in the boat and tell them to get ready for launch. I'm pretty sure Austin had never launched a boat of this size off the trailer, now's a good time to learn!
After a smooth launch and a short ride on the St Johns to the Mayport inlet, it's time for all eyes on board to locate the fish.
"quick, a free swimmer at two o'.clock, hurry, hurry, hurry!"
Too late... We just didn't see the fish until the boat was too close.
"9:00, a big manta ray!" Austin yells.
But no cobia.
And so the morning went.
We spotted ray after ray, but no fish.
One more time, "a big ray at 1:00!"
The boys grab their rods and begin to cast.
I had brought one small rod with a Fin Noir spinner, loaded with 12lb Ande line, just in case we saw a triple tail... The next thing I know, I see Malachy slinging a Salt Life jig towards the ray, on the same small outfit. BAM!
He's on. The fish hit like a freight train, screaming drag...
The smallest angler on the boat with the smallest rod on the boat- battling the fish of the day...
Austin & Brandon cleared the deck.
After an epic 20 minute battle, Malachy pulls the fish boat side for me to stick him with the gaff.
Whooooooo hooooooo that's what I'm talking about!
Excitement and Slimy 5's filled the deck.
Talk about a proud angler, and what a team effort.
With no more rays on the horizon, we resort to blind casting into the pogey pods, which produced a dozen blue fish or so, Austin even landed two at once, throwing a C & H Alien jig.
Time to head to the house, another good trip in the books. A day, I guarantee you these three guys, nor myself, will soon forget. As we end the day, I say "you guys we me a trip."
Austin says, "you can count on it Capt Don." with a firm handshake.
Another day, livin the Salt Life.