Fishing education in the Florida keys

Day One — Tarpon 101…

Dean Lora Trinchero sets the tone for the class:

“That is the channel 5 bridge. Highway A1A is the only road to Key West. A1A goes over that bridge. Located on the south of Lower Matecumbe, which is where I live — 70 miles north of Key West.

“That big tarpon was caught on a live mullet. Foxsport rod and reel. Twenty-pound test backing. Fifty yards of 50-pound test braid. Twenty yards of 50-pound test mono. Kamikaze 4/0 hook. The mullet was probably 25 yards from the boat. The tarpon would take a look, then I would reel in and let out 10 yards at a time to tease it.

“Then wham, fish on. I had to keep the drag loose because the fish took a beeline over the flat on a falling tide. We had to pull anchor, drive around the flat and chase her. By now I had a couple hundred yards of line out. When we rounded the flat I was reeling in slack like a wild woman. Then the fight was on. That tarpon tried to pull us under the bridge.

“I pulled that tarpon to the left and made her turn back towards the gulf. That’s when she jumped the first time. I turned her back and forth a few more times so she would jump. We really were blessed with her repeated powerful jumps. I kicked her butt! Time to go catch more tarpon. So got her to the boat and released her. She was huge, around 150 pounds.

“Let me know if that is all you need, my friend — Lora.”

You have just read “Short Course: Tarpon 101” from L.T.’s “College of Angling Knowledge.”

It’s easy to see why I like to fish with her. She combines technical savvy with great intuition while angling.

Note above — “I pulled the tarpon to the left and made her turn back towards the gulf.”

Very few fisher-persons I know would instantly understand the need for this kind of intervention and be able to execute it while fighting a 150-pound silver bullet.

Let Guides Fish?

Do I want my guide fishing on my dime? Well, yes — and no:

• Yes — when demonstrating a cast and/or line control while fly fishing.

• Yes — when the lake bite is tough and we need to have a variety of lures in the water.

• Yes — sometimes when we are drifting a river. The guide can feel the bottom and help us adjust to it if he wets a line from time to time.

• No — when I need him to help me by managing the boat, pointing out likely hidey-holes, changing my lure/bait and netting my trophy catch.

I suspect that every angler out there has his/her own firm opinions on this.

Send them to me at acorn_3@comcast.net so we can broaden the discussion for more readers in my September column.

Thanks.

Best Film Ever!

“Lawrence of Arabia” is the best film ever made.

It’s worth repeating: “LOA” is the best film ever made.

I have seen it 10 times and plan another 10.

Peter O’Toole was marvelous as T.E. Lawrence — whatever he was paid for the job wasn’t enough by half.

After all of his death-defying adventures, Lawrence died in a motorcycle crash coming back from his home town post office in Dorsetshire in 1935.

Good Read

Put “From Bubbles to Boardroom” by Napa author Michaela Rodeno on your night stand (Liza at Main Street Books, 963-1338, will order it for you).

It’s the chronicle of Michaela’s wine industry career from the beginning of the Domaine Chandon era to her next executive step at St. Supery — all right in Napa Valley.

Slip this very readable book into the back packs of everyone you know who is off to college soon. I call it an MBA in a book — and it’s a bargain at around $12 smackers.

Look At This Marvelous Turn of Phrase:

“Anna used to wear enough jewelry to interfere with radio transmissions …”

From Nelson DeMille’s New York Times bestseller, “The Gate House.”

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