Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2012
Fishing. The sport that lures men as well as fish. In Naples, Florida there is plenty of room for fisherman. I don’t think you could fish all the nooks and crannies of the thousand islands in a single lifetime, and don’t forget about the Gulf of Mexico.
So today I am writing about day two of the Reef Cup – A 25 year+ sporting tradition out of the Ocean Reef club in Key Largo with about a three hour drive from the center of Naples. Sportfish Boats. Big Ones. Sixty of them. All off in search of the elusive Atlantic Sailfish. The main thing is seeing friends here you may not have seen for a while. Like my good friend from Detroit I like to fish with or my friend from Naples who is here or my business partner and friend who was good enough to invite me here. Friends I think are what fishing is all about. Move to Florida and need some more friends? Take up fishing.
Day One greeted us with three foot seas (that is considered calm down here) and that beautiful Florida sunshine. We threw off our dock lines at 6Am and headed out into the dark to catch our bait. A short run at sunrise and we were at the reef catching live bally hoo – a favorite of the atlantic sailfish. After thirty minutes or so it was off to fish. The morning found us with several sailfish showing up in our four line spread bumping along with our bally hoo volunteer – but no takers.
The afternoon was different. After changing spots the fish were more aggressive and our first fish of the day took the bait and dove in the 300 foot ocean water. Forty minutes of fighting man to fish. The rules are the fisherman cannot hand his rod off to someone else, cannot set the rod down or in a holder – he must fight the fish fair and square until one wins. 20 pound test, light tackle, light drags – stand up fishing on big fish at its best. The angler in this case was a twelve year veteran of baseball’s major leagues, young, in good shape, and totally spent after bringing fish number one to the boat – great stuff.
Fish are not killed in this tournament. They may be a little sore but they are released and never touched by human hands. Once the leader is hand the fish is considered caught, the line is cut and the fish swims off. What about the hook you may ask? Circle hooks only which do not go further than the lips and corrode out over time. These techniques and gear have done wonders to protect our sailfish populations. Do you want to be a conservationist? Shake hands with a fisherman.
I was fortunate enough to catch the second fish and my friend caught a black fin tuna for sushi shortly thereafter. Our two sailfish count put us in the middle of pack for the tournament and we hope to hang in there with some of the best anglers we know in the days ahead.
Why not give me a call or comment and tell me a great fishing story? I love to hear them.
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Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
Mark Goebel, PA
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