We hooked back up with my bro’ at our original spot and learned that Pete had taken off to catch the shuttle to South Beach. As we talked we fished the channel with occasional hook ups. About one mile off shore we noticed a massive flock of birds working a blitz. We watched in amazement as the flock moved closer to our position. At one point a boat loaded with fishing rods actually drove through the blitz with no intention of stopping. We were dumbfounded to say the least. Anyway, Roop got into position across the bar behind me. Mike told me to strip my line in and follow him over towards Roop. As I did I was greeted with that familiar thump, slack line sped through my fingers until Mr. Striper was on the reel. I finally landed that deceivingly strong fish, just short of legal I would guess, and headed for the blitz that by now had fully engulfed Roop and Mike. They were giggling like little kids and tossing around exclamations like, “This is incredible!” and the ever popular, “HOLY @#%$!!!” by the time I reached the action.
Again the water was boiling, the difference being the conspicuous lack of precipitation! There were fish slamming into our legs, crashing bait within arms length and all the while birds were raining from the sky. I am happy to report that these were not schoolies either. This was a full on cattle drive of cows, and, come to find out, there were some huge blues in there as well. The situation was so intoxicating; it made it impossible to think straight. You had three grown men desperately flailing in an attempt to get our flies anywhere in the water. I immediately hooked a large fish; the tension built, and then as fast as it was on I was stripping in the line that had shot back into my chest. Drat! Blues! I had no wire, I knew there were large stripers in there; I tied on another fly and hoped for the best. Stiff wind in my face, back cast time, roll cast, front, back, fro………….what the……I hooked a gull in mid-air! Of all times to be playing tug of war with a young gull. After nipping me as I attempted to free it the bird threw my fly and I was back in business. My next cast was another donation to the blues. I have no way of reporting how many blues were hooked during the blitz, or how many flies were lost. As selfish as it sounds, I had enough trouble keeping track of myself in the mayhem without worrying about Mike and Roop.
At the tail end of the blitz Roop had a fish on and I could tell that it was big. How, you ask? Roop is a person who catches a lot of fish and is always nonchalant about it. Well, this particular time he slowly turns to me and says in a low, very calm voice, “If I land this, I’m going to want a picture of it.” Camera at the ready I watched Roop ease the fish towards him. It was a large blue. Just before he could get it in it broke off and slowly swam away. After that we all headed back to our original spot to bask in the glory of our morning. As we talked we would occasionally throw a line into the water to no avail. Just as we were going to pack it in my line tightened one last time and the line peeled off my reel.
CONTINUED YET AGAIN