Originally posted March 13, 2015
Time I spent in Florida three years ago provided me with the confidence to fish BKD's anywhere for any species of fish.
I was fishing with a long time angling partner Terry Yoder. We have fished the trout streams of Western Pennsylvania since my early teens. More recently we fish the waters of the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina annually. We have also fished together in Alaska.
Terry had pulled his Carolina Skiff from Pennysylvania to Little Torch Key in Florida. He had arrived there two weeks before me and had the chance to scout the beautiful waters of the Keys. When I arrived, we fished with Bill Welder, a local fishing guide originally from the Chesapeake region. After a great day of fishing with Bill and receiving some tips, we set out to fish on our own the following morning. Terry had found an area on his chart plotter that looked like a place to catch fish. He located water that went from 3' to 16 to 18' right now! It was in the middle of no where, 50 to 100 yards wide and close to a mile long end to end. Like a canal in the middle of the water.
I finally threw Terry a BKD. He looked at it and said he was already using a bait that look about the same. After a few more casts with me landing more fish, he threaded the BKD on to his 3/8 oz. jighead. On his second cast it was fish on! He later told me he missed one on his first cast.
We continued to catch snappers, and grouper for quite some time. A cut bait fishermen came in and anchored a few hundred yards below us. Suddenly I'm on a fish that I couldn't move. Straight down about 17'. It finally decided to run away from us. At this point were thinking a big grouper. As it was peeling my drag away on my 2500 series reel with 15 lb braid on it I realized I may get spooled. I jumped on to the front deck of the skiff, Terry started his engine and began to chase this monster . As we were approaching the upper end on the channel in about 7' of water this 5' to 6' tarpon cleared the water. It abruptly turned back into the channel for deeper water. We turned as quickly as we could but the fish headed up the side of the channel into very shallow water. My line scrapped against the coral and soon all that was left was a memory.
The next day we headed back to the same area where I had hooked up on the tarpon. We were soon catching fish again and then bam! I'm on another big fish. This time I'm using my bait-caster. For about 3 seconds I thought I was bringing this fish to the surface. It decided to run up the channel and with even less line on this reel than my spinning reel, we had no choice except to follow. High tide was coming in and the shallow water on the edges of the channel soon became deeper. As it went up on top the ledge, we could see another large tarpon with a BKD hanging from its mouth. I made up line and was starting to feel like I could land this fish with my bait-casting rod, it turned quickly, came right past the boat and again my line shredded when it touched the coral. I had hooked (and lost) the two biggest fish in my life about 70 minutes apart using BKD's.
I have caught white perch, grunts, bluefish, catfish, sea trout, several types of mackerel, many types of grouper, and snapper on BKDs, just to name a few.
I have had a passion for fishing for as long as I can remember. My Dad was my first and best fishing buddy and I was his. I never had to ask my Dad to take me fishing. As a kid, he never went without me. ...going fishing with Dad shaped my life. Not because of what I caught, but because he took me fishing. This is a space where I will share my passion for fishing, tips, techniques, and favorite finds. Over time I might tell stories of my fondest memories.... In the mean time...take someone fishing!