The other day a friend of mine had an open spot on a fishing boat charter and asked if I wanted to go. I figured that I should take him up on it as I hadn’t ever done it before. A new experience would be fun and I know virtually nothing about ocean fishing. The boat was a 35 foot 500hp Contender, which also piqued my interest. I told them I’d go and we met up at 6am a few days later.
I brought a few burritos and drank my coffee and we waited for the other guys to show up. They told me that we were going to be using live bait. Meant nothing to me when they said it.
We left the marina and the water was super clear. We ended up going off to catch the live bait. The live bait, or sardines are caught with a drop net off the boat. It is also possible to catch these off the shore and now I know what those guys with nets are doing on the shore. Getting sardines.
Once the bait wells were filled with sardines we set out for a destination several miles off shore called the hump. The hump is the top of an underwater mountain that comes up to about 90 feet under the surface at its height. When we got out there the water was a super dark blue color unlike I’ve seen before.
We sat in the water and cast hooks baited with live sardines. We weren’t getting much, if any action. The boat rocked and I think once we stopped I started to get a little queasy from the waves but kept waiting for a bite. The captain decided that we should move to another spot, so we reeled in and he started the motors. Once the boat started to move my queasiness vanished.
The boat moved pretty fast at ~30 knots across the surface and the view of Puerto Rico from the water was super cool.
We stopped just north of Domes. The boat started to do its rocking thing as we cast our bait out into the water again. Now I have flown in small planes quite a bit and haven’t experienced any kind of motion sickness, but the rocking did eventually get to me and I upchucked over the side of the boat. I figure this was just more chum to attract the fish right? I kept my pole in the water and did get a fish on the line shortly after. I had a good fight but eventually the fish cut the line and I was left with nothing.
Our friend Tommy did manage to catch a good sized black fin. I haven’t ever seen a fish like this before. I was kind of shocked and now understand ocean fishing a lot more. When I first took off I didn’t honestly know what to expect, at all. The whole experience was new to me.
We had a bonfire down at our house later that night and Tommy prepared sashimi that was…absolutely…..delicious. I haven’t ever had fish that fresh. I think I will definitely go fishing again only the next time I think I will have my sea legs as well as a better understanding of how it works and a better chance of reeling in something.
We sat around the fire and sang songs while eating some great food! It turned out to be an amazing day, one that I will remember for a long time.