Friday, June 20, 2008

An Exchange of Fisheries and New Friendships....

I shall be fishing with Captain Gary McLaughlin of Mad Max Charters
( ) in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras next month
where we hope to do a story based on catching a bonefish and a blackfin tuna within an hour.

It was my good fortune that Gary was visting Miami with his friend Pasquale Paonessa for the last 2 weeks. Pasquale also lives on beautiful Roatan and is the owner of Las Rocas Resort ( So, as soon as I returned from Campeche and had an open day, I invited them to fish with me on Biscayne Bay. Since neither of them had caught a sizeable tarpon before, they made the silver king tops on their Gold Coast fishing wish list.

What a tough prospect that turned out to be for Friday, June 20 ! North Bay- because of its' enclosed nature- is very susceptible to rain events compared to the more open-ocean South Bay. Since the last few days featured torrential rain over Miami, the waters from downtown north to Haulover Inlet were cooler, fresher, and dirtier as a result of the downpours. My search for the silver king was disappointing, but their "absence" was not surprising.

I had to rethink what we might catch in the time we had left. I had a hunch the grassflats and mangrove shorelines would be the ticket in the cooler waters and post-full moon rising tide. Gary wound up releasing 2 barracudas, a whopper 4-pound trout, 3 snappers, and he lost a big snook as well as a big jack. Yours truly wound up with 4 trout, 4 snapper, and lost 2 snook on the strike. Pasquale, who is a neophyte angler, had similar results as Gary and me and had a blast.

I was grateful I had a backup fishery to bend some rods with my new friends in the face of a tarpon scarcity.

Gary's wife, Mirta, told me they had a good time, which made the days' outing good enough for me! I look forward to seeing them soon.

Jan Maizler

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