I have been waiting patiently the last three weeks for the wind and rain to take a break so I could take my kayak out and capitalize on the spring tuna bite. Tuesday afternoon I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and drove up to Pompano to get in on the action. I delayed launching for a while hoping the large storm looming to the west would move away but finally decided to head out and hope it stayed put.
I launched solo at 4:30pm after checking in with a friend and giving him my float plan (always imperative to make sure someone knows your whereabouts and your expected time back). I don’t normally fish more than two lines at once from the kayak but I wanted to make the most of my opportunity. So when I reached 160ft I deployed a live bait and a jig with ballyhoo, while I waited for the jig to find bottom I dropped down a vertical jig on a third line.
On the second pump up of the vertical jig, I get slammed. After about 10 minutes of battling this unknown fish, I see it’s a solid blackfin tuna that I snagged towards the tail and it managed to tangle in my two other lines. I finally get him into gaffing range and get him on board, mission accomplished! Then I work on trying to untangle the mess of lines. As soon as I get my jig and ballyhoo line cleared the rod doubles over and the line starts screaming from the reel. I put pressure on the fish to slow him down while holding down the flopping tuna with my leg.
Finally get the fish turned and within minutes I see a beautiful black grouper coming to the surface. Once the adrenaline levels off and I get the fish put away I see that I have drifted about two miles north to Hillsboro light and the weather is starting to deteriorate. So I start heading back. Made it about halfway when the first band of rain got me. I was prepared and turned on my lights and held up my high beam flashing light to be more visible to boaters. About 10 minutes from shore the lightning started crashing down all around. I have never been so scared on the water before, I was singing Amazing Grace all the way to shore hoping I didn’t get fried.
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