ISLAMORADA, Fla. – Well, it’s our last day of fishing in the Florida Keys, and a fine adventure it’s been.
A thunderstorm yesterday morning was the only break from the clear skies we’d seen all week. The clouds lingered until early afternoon, and the break from the relentless sun was a welcome change of pace.
Last night at dinner, we were trying to figure out how many different species of fish we’ve caught this week, and it’s been impressive. Still missing are the yellowtail snapper and tarpon for which the area is known. For a bunch of North Country walleye fishermen, though, there’s some comfort in knowing no one else has been tearing ‘em up on the tarpon and yellowtail, either.
My oddest fish, to date, was the ray I hooked two nights ago. It peeled line off the reel at will, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the odd-looking fish at the side of the boat. It didn’t appear happy to see us so we unhooked the fish at boatside.
Yesterday, one of the guys in the crew caught a fish none of us could identify, even with the marine fishes book we keep onboard. I posted it on Facebook, where a friend with more saltwater experience than I have said it was a trigger fish. It had the shape of an angelfish, with two creepily human-like front teeth. The teeth, I’m told, are for digging into the coral reefs for food.
We’ll be back on the water shortly, and it appears the seas will be choppy if we decide to venture out on the ocean side of the keys. Two days from now, we’ll be back home without the need for a book to identify our catch of the day. One thing’s for sure: I know a walleye when I see it.