Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Love — Hate Relationship with Dolphins

Today I went on a six hour deep sea fishing trip out of Destin, FL in search of a little fishing action and possibly dinner. We started out at 7 a.m. with the weather forecast calling for a 50% chance of rain. Luckily we had smooth sailing and no rain for the entire cruise. It was an hour and a half to our first fishing location so I settled in to enjoy the fresh salt air and absolutely beautiful day. 

At our first stop we fished for a little while in about a hundred feet of water with about half of our passengers managing to catch something, even me (although they were too small to keep.) It was a week before red snapper season opened so everyone that caught red snappers had to release them. A pity because they were nice sized and abundant. My supervisor from my day job came along with his family and he caught a really nice Trigger Fish. He's lucky — he caught it right before the bane of my existence showed up — dolphins. 

Normally I adore dolphins, especially when they're frolicking around my kayak in Choctawhatchee Bay. When the dolphins turned up I was excited at first, that is until I saw what thieving little opportunistic monsters they are. As soon as someone would hook onto a fish (and we were all instructed to reel hard and fast) the dolphins would dive under the boat and steal the fish right off the line! GRRRRRRR. NOT cool!!

Our captain moved the boat about a mile away and we dropped our lines again. No good. The deckhands reiterated that we needed to reel fast and don't let the dolphins get our fish. Dolphins can swim 35-45 mph. Humans cannot reel that fast. 

Again the captain moved our boat. Things weren't looking good. We probably got about a quarter of what we hooked to the surface. Twice I hooked into a huge fish and reeled like mad, only to have Flipper take off with my monster whatever-it-was. GRRRRRRRR. 

The captain then tried to out-run the dolphins to our next location. I managed to land a nice sized red snapper that I then had to release because it was out of season. Then the dolphins showed up again just in time for the captain to blow the horn and call it a day. 

So despite the slim pickings I enjoyed the adventure. I didn't enjoy having an empty stringer and no dinner. I am most disappointed in my beloved dolphins. I love them when they are visiting me in my kayak or fishing along the sand bars. I definitely despise them in earnest when they are harassing the charter I'm on. Bad dolphins!

1 comment:

  1. They are more intelligent then we give them credit for. I know you were looking forward to some wonderful fresh fish for dinner. Better luck next time.