Battling the Monsters of the Elbow
The Florida Fisherman's regular Friday overnight trip began on a very somber note. It is with deep regret that I report the passing of our beloved mate Mister Vince Taaffe. Vince passed away as a result of a traffic accident early Friday morning. Rest in peace, dear friend, rest in eternal peace.
We are ready to go. The excitement level is already off the chart, and why not?
Last week the Florida Fisherman returned to Hubbard's Marina with over three thousand pounds of fish, many were real monsters. We left the Elbow while the outcome of the great battle was very much in doubt. Way to often the brutes of this 160 foot deep natural aquarium out-battled the best the over-powered fishermen had to offer. We are ready for a fight!
Will, our first mate, goes over safety precautions:
As John's Pass bridge opens for us we see an ominous sight, clouds, heavy dark clouds, are everywhere. Could this be a real wash-out. This is serious, we have a battle to win.
Well! All is not lost. The clouds subside, the sea is calm, and the Tammy burgers are beyond reproach.
Time to hit the sack. We want to be good and ready for the great fights sure to come. Twelve thirty A.M., Captain Hubbard sounds the alarm...Battle stations!
Immediately mangrove snapper begin to hit the deck of the Florida Fisherman. Isn't that a pretty yellow tail? Mister Carl Kisner, Sun-City, Florida:
Mister Brad Aucke'r, Williston, Fl. lands a rare dog snapper:
Even Tammy is happy with the way the battle is going:
Joe, our professional mate, is proud of our success:
The fights have made us hungry. Chef Tammy time. Think I will have french toast, bacon, and sausage:
Grouper are ready to wage all out war. We are ready!
Way to go coach:
Coach scores a double:
Mister Willis wins this fight:
Joe thinks we are winning:
Hunger strikes again. Tammy's secret batter dipped fish is heaven on earth:
Sure is cloudy. Hope the fish do not get too wet:
The grouper know they have been in a battle:
Will is about to declare us the big winners:
And, speaking of big. Ever see a 50 + pound black grouper? That Penn 9/0 with 125 pound test line was needed. Will was instrumental in helping us overcome the monster:
Time to ice down & count the fish. We are very serious about taking proper care of our catch. In addition, every fish is counted. We will not go over our limit.
AJ's do not escape our wrath. Tammy helps out in battle:
Coach will never let us down:
Mister Carl Kisner does his part:
Dinner time. Tammy goes Mexican. Give me plenty of sour cream and cheese:
Evening on the Elbow. Simply stunning!
The mighty AJ's refuse to give up. Mister Terry ODell lands a beauty on squid:
Mister Eddie Sumrall, W. Palm Beach, used 80 pound test line to best this beast. Looks like a jack pot winner!
Well, it's getting late, time to go home. But hold on, the AJ's are still waging all out war. Captain Hubbard and Captain John are ready for the long trip home. Madeira Beach is many long hours away, we simply must go. Hold on! Big fish hooked. Gosh! looks like give up is not in the vocabulary of the monsters of the Elbow. One last time:
Will's better half can't believe her eyes:
Now that's a grouper. Elbow size!
Eddie's monster took the jack pot @ 81.5 pounds.
Mister Mark Tonde takes home grouper & snapper money. Look at the mutton:
A very proud Eddie, Captain Mark Hubbard, and Mark T. Talk about coughing up money:
Well, another great adventure is now history, but not for long. The great battle has not been won. Even, although facing superior strength and numbers, we will never give up. Next weekend we will once again be 'Battling the Monsters of the Elbow. But we need help. As of now 36 determined anglers have signed up for the great war. If you think you are man/woman enough, join us! Bring mangrove snapper tackle as well as the heaviest outfit you have. You will need it.
Look at what you will be battling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kei8irXVz7I
Bob Harbison Native Florida fisherman & hunter
Florida Outdoor Writers Association
Knowing that my detailed reports with picture stories & videos means so much to so many is what keeps me going. It takes many hours on the boat & at home to put out reports of this nature. Knowing people enjoy what I am doing makes every minute well worth while.
On a sadder note, the gentleman on the far R is a very recent picture of Vince, our late mate. Vince loved fishing & being around fishermen so much. Rest in peace! Bob