Chris had a bright idea. He really wanted to do some saltwater fishing. So, through text and messaging and email we went to work. We weighed the pros and cons of hiring a charter to take us out or to just get on one of the cattle boats and do elbow to elbow fishing. We decided, for us, to rent our own boat and give it a try. Unfortunately the day we picked was not ideal. The wind was gusting at 25 miles an hour (or more), we were fighting 2 to 3 foot swells and none us had ever navigated a boat out into open water.
Mike at the helm and Chris as navigator we decided to make the best of it. We wouldn't get another chance.
I don't remember much of the trip out of the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. I was bundled up, cold, being whipped around by the wind and assaulted by waves and cold saltwater spray. Steph was busy on the phone getting our fishing licences and Mike and Chris were thoroughly concentrating on the map, green buoys on the right and red buoys on the left, manatee zones and so on. We went slow... we made it.
Here's that look of sheer terror!
We ended up at the tip of Chino Island. We found a nice little cove out of the wind, the sun came out and we didn't waste anytime. Let's get to fishing.
I caught the first fish, a sting ray. Well, it's not really a fish but it counts.
Mike and Chris carefully remove the hook.
I caught the next and biggest fish, too. A bonnet head shark. Now that was fun to reel in. Chris has video of it on his phone.
Oh, wait, I actually caught 2 sharks!
Here's Chris getting this guy off the hook for me.
Here's Mike hamming it up with the shark.
(Now if you look closely at this picture you can see what looks like a tongue hanging out of the sharks mouth. Actually when we landed this shark Mike got a good firm grip on it and it proceeded to spew out all kinds of nastiness. The shark had obviously just eaten something else. I think it was Steve. Steve was delicious!)
Fishing is hard work.
Mike caught the only fish we thought was edible. We're still not sure exactly what it is. Poor Chris was busy on the phone trying to identify it. We decided it was a red drum although it's not actually red. Too small either way, we had to throw him back. Does anyone knows what fish this is?
We caught several puffers, really cool fish.
Look at his teeth!
Now this man looks like a fisherman.
Steph caught this one. It's a Spanish Mackerel. It wasn't within the slot limit either so back he goes. Pretty fish and some seriously sharp teeth, baracuda like.
Everybody pose for the camera!
Now back to what you were doing....
I caught this sheepshead... pretty fish.
Look, he has human teeth!
Time to head back...
A quick stop at the marina to fuel up.
A bit of sightseeing on the way in.
Still terribly windy.
Since we caught no keepers I guess we'll end with...
Fish are Friends, Not Food!