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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I've never fished in the ocean until today, and it turned out to be one great experience as Rob and I went on a 4-hour drift fishing excursion via Flamingo Fishing out of Ft. Lauderdale.  On a whim I bought vouchers on Living Social, and it was a good bet!

Before we even boarded the Flamingo the trip was worthwhile.  A visitor--a young manatee had sidled in to get herself a long drink of water from a dangling hose.  She was fascinating to watch, and wow, she really was a drinker!



As we boarded the Flamingo, we were assigned spots. Each spot had a rod and rod holder. It took about 50 minutes to reach the fishing ground during which time we were given instructions on how to use the reel and to make note of the length of line let out.  The Captain would give us a number, and we would let out our measured lengths—by the arm length—to allow our lines to sink to the level the fish inhabited. 

The ride, by the way, was smooth.  I was Dramamine fortified just in case.  On the way out to the fishing grounds along the Intercoastal Waterway, we passed gorgeous boats and yachts and the incredible homes of the R&F. 

Intercoastal Waterway

Intercoastal Waterway

What better place to dock your yacht than outside the local Hilton!


When we arrived at the fishing grounds and the Captain told us “60,” we yanked that fishing line out as fast as we could—itching to bring in “the BIG one.”  There was a pool: biggest fish wins all. We were in….

The Captain must have been right!  Within seconds, a man caught a Tile fish.

Two more minutes went by and I caught a mackerel.  What a difference from trout and bass.  This guy was a fighter, and I was surprised by how difficult it was to bring him in and how hard I had to work to do it.  BUT with the size of my catch, I beat that tile fish loser by a mile!!!!!!! 

Things slowed down considerably at that point, but soon Rob caught a remora which is a useless suckerfish.  The crew member demonstrated how a remora can create enough suction to hang onto the boat. 

Rob's suckerfish

Then he tossed him away—ha ha, Rob—close but no cigar. 

Within five minutes Rob hauled in another fish.  This time it was a yellowtail snapper.  But, oh.  It was under 12” and the crew member tossed it back.  Poor Rob.  Meanwhile NO ONE else caught a fish and time’s a-moving along. 

Then Rob hooked another fish--another yellowtail snapper, and it was big enough to keep—not as big as mine, mind you. 

Rob's snapper

But it goes into the cooler, and the crew member marks it with MY mark, 2 slits on the throat.  The woman next to Rob warned him that if he caught another, he’d end up overboard.  The mob was getting ugly!

Someone hooked another remora, but the crew member insisted it was the same remora because of some markings he noticed.  Overboard.

Then a guy hooked what seemed like a big one from the bend of his rod—his own rod.  He was standing in the bow of the boat, but in working the fish as he reeled it in, the fish moved all down the port side to the stern, the guy following and each of us moving back as dramatically he moved under each of our lines.  Closer and closer the fish came.  When it was finally brought in, it was a mackerel—bigger than mine.  Pooh.  But it was a beauty. 

The big mackerel was the last fish caught.  That was a bit surprising because I thought people caught tons of fish on these jaunts.  Not so, I guess.  Rob and I caught ours, however, and so I was smiling.  And Rob wasn't thrown overboard.

Wendy's mackerel

It gets better.  The crew member fileted our two fishes and we took the filets to a nearby restaurant, Bahia Cabana where the chef made the most delicious fish dishes for us.  He broiled the snapper and blackened the mackerel, and they were served with huge wedges of lemon, vegetables, and onion rings.  He did that for $8.50 for each platter.  There was mackerel remaining, so we had the chef prepare two more platters to take back to our Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort rooms.

Bahia Cabana
Just look who was waiting for us!

Just look at these platters.  What a wonderful experience.

My blackened mackerel

Rob's Snapper

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