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A victory for the fish...of sorts; scalloping improves

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By Capt. Brylee
Special to the Beacon

The Gulf waters have settled and are starting to clear. Some areas are still taint and reddish but reports in Steinhatchee, Cedar Key and Homosassa have clearer waters. This will make scalloping much easier.
Anglers fishing the mouth of the Wacasassa have had luck fishing live shrimp and jigs using popping corks on a one to two foot leader depending on the depth. This should prove well for redfish and speckled trout especially if you find points where two creeks come together into the river and around the grassy flats just outside the mouth.
While fishing in the Florida Keys this past week, local anglers John and Jennifer Jeffers had all they could handle pulling in large Mahi Mahi.
 Fishing with Main Attraction II Charters out of Colony Key, the Jeffers sailed around 35 miles out looking for swordfish. The captain spotted some bull dolphin (mahi mahi) and the first mate casted around 30 yards out and hit the spot. The dolphin were hungry!
“We never made it to find any swords because the dolphin just kept hitting,” John said.
They were rigged with heavy weight poles with 50 lb. test monofilament and leaders on 4.0 hooks.
They used baits of Ballyhoo, Goggle Eye and baby Jacks. At 35 miles out, the waters were at 1,500 feet deep, Jeffers said. His largest catch was over 35 pounds and was larger than last year’s tournament winner from the same charter.
This week’s feature catch is a victory for the fish…of sorts. My daughter Erin, also fishing in the Keys with the Jeffers, had an experience that “hooked” her on fishing for life.
On Thursday afternoon she fished the end of the dock where the boat was tied. Fishing with a Penn 750 spinning reel rigged with live shrimp, she fished the bottom and waited.
She and her friend Victoria Piper had eyed and been tracking a barracuda for about three days. Erin saw him coming and began to reel in and jig her shrimp near the fish. It worked!
The barracuda took her bait and gave her quite a wrestle.
After two runs Erin saw her opportunity to set her hook deeper and she straightened her pole and reared up. SNAP! Her line went limp and the smile left her face as she saw her barracuda swim away.
As I said this was a victory for the fish, but Erin came home and apologized for all the times I had asked her to fish and she didn’t go, and that she will be very disappointed if I ever go again without her. I think she will have several under her belt as she now feels the fever every angler gets when they hear their line peel off a spool.