Saturday, December 30, 2023

Jacob's Birthday

 Day 1: December 29th, 2023

Dod Shlome came to Miami to visit while I was back from college, so naturally he, Jakes, and I planned to go fishing. It was a relatively gloomy Friday, but it was a time that worked, so we packed up the car and headed to Arky’s Bait And Tackle to pick up live shrimp on the way south to Key Biscayne. Upon arriving, however, we were in for an unpleasant surprise; for some reason, every dock was blocked off. Not to be deterred, we hopped a fence and got onto a dock. It had some cracks in the flooring in it, so it was apparent that maintenance was needed. That being said, it was still fishable for a bit. We dropped our baits when we got set up and waited. The water was murky, and the lack of direct sunlight didn’t do us any favors when it came to visibility of the water. Regardless, not after long, I had hooked up. I reeled it in and found a Mutton Snapper on the end of my line! As always, it was a beautiful fish and I was glad to catch it. The Mutton Snapper is one of the species that I hadn’t caught for a while and sort of sought whenever I came to Key Biscayne in the past, although without any luck. I’ve now caught it on boats and keys bridges, but it was nice to finally be able to catch one at Key Biscayne. After a prompt release, we continued to fish with no luck. After a bit, a state park policeman drove up and told us that we couldn’t fish on the dock; the policeman was chill and we were lucky to be let off easy for what was a small issue. We fished at a few other places that we could find, but with such low tide, it was pointless. We made our way back to the house to fish across the street.

We found more success when we began to fish across the street. Overall, the fish were willing to bite and we got a variety. There were schools of fish biting on our bait, but we were hoping for bigger or more interesting species to take the biggest bite. I caught a Pinfish first, but then a surprising Jack that put up a good fight. I was certainly satisfied for the day after the Jack. In the meantime, Jakes doubled up with me and caught a colorful White Grunt. Dod Shlome also caught a Pinfish and a Pufferfish, and Jakes caught a Bluestriped Grunt to top off the day.


 Day 2: December 30th, 2023

The weather was still not clear, but it was Jakes’ birthday and he wanted to spend the day fishing. Not one to get in the way of fishing plans, I hopped in the car and drove back to Arky’s to pick up some more shrimp. Once we got back to0 the dock, we started going right back to fishing. I started off catching a Pinfish and a Puffer, and on the whole I caught about 4 fish today in total. Jakes naturally spent most of the day fishing while I was tying his hooks on. At first, he hooked into one of the elusive Barracudas in the canal. However, when he started to reel in, the reel locked up once again and it bit off the hook with its sharp teeth. While it was extremely painful (Jakes seemed on the verge of tears), it was another reminder that we need to get more gear. That rod and reel has served us well over the years but it's no longer sufficient. Jakes and Dod Shlome spent the rest of the day catching more Snappers and Puffers. At one point I doubled up with Dod Shlome, and while the two of us were chilling, Jakes would keep catching puffers and snappers again and an again. He caught at least 10 on the day. While we've caught these fish many times before,  it is always fun to reel them in. After all, that's what we're looking for when we're fishing. It was a fun two days out on the water at some usual spots, especially with good company.