A Family Fishing Team- Last Mango Charters
April 9th, 2008
After pinpointing a likely ‘weather window’ in an otherwise uncooperative and windy week, the Bardi family arrived at the Ft. Pierce City Marina at 7:00 am and, having fished with us before, knew right where to go to find the Last Mango on center dock. We were waiting with ballohoo rigged and a positive outlook on the upcoming day of offshore fishing.
First to board of course was Andrew, the Bardi’s 5 yr old son.
Shy but enthusiastic, Andrew is an avid angler and lost no time
in wandering around the boat checking to see that our preperations
were acceptable! Older sisters Lily and Briana stepped on board
followed by their parents Alex and Susan. The topic of conversation
immediately focused on the incredible thunderstorm we had witnessed
the night before. With a great view of the sky, beach and sea out the
windows of Vero’s Ocean Grille, we had all wondered if there was any
chance that we would find acceptable conditions for our fishing trip the next day.
Determination and good vibes prevailed, and with all hands accounted for, we headed offshore in hopes of finding a likely ‘condition’ outside of the bar. When we came across a good temperature break just inshore of one of the local wrecks, it was time to slow ‘er down and put out the spread. Seas were calm and skies a bit overcast; all in all, more than we could have hoped for after the last week of windy weather. A few bonita bites later, we were still looking for something a bit more exciting when the water errupted behind the left rigger and a gorgeous ’summer sail’ proceeded to do his thing.
First angler up was 5yr old Andrew who surprised us all with both technique and tenacity. An airial acrobat of sensational proportion, his sail was in the air as often as he was in the water and could not have been a more exciting start to our day. Andrew handed off to 8yr old sister Lilly after 15 mins and the Bardi family’s fishing acumen continued to prevail. Minutes later we had an official release and smiles all around.
An interesting rip had begun to form just offshore of us and moving a little deeper, we trolled along scattered weed and other floating debris. We wondered what had happened to our ‘April dolphin run’, but… oh well, it was a great day on the ocean and we were still optimistic! The unseasonably cool northwest breeze continued to pick up in velocity and the ‘edge’ we were following continued to become more pronounced and full of life. Four or five dolphin later we were feeling good about our day and thinking of a great ‘mahi dinner’ that night. But not one to rest on my laurels, I couldn’t get the thought of a sizeable bull dolphin out of my mind. It just seemed like time……………and it was!!!!!!!!!!!
This was what Alex (dad to all these younger anglers) was waiting for! With a deft move toward the covering boards he had a bend in the rod and a large bull hooked up in nanoseconds. A good sized bull dolphin turned sideways on 20lb tackle and still not really aware that he was hooked up was swimming 150′ off the transom and we prepared ourselves for an offshore battle of epic proportion.
Alex reflected on his freshwater striper fishing background and decided right away that fighting this fish was going to be a bit more demanding than any of his previous encounters. With years of experience and marked angling finesse, this fish didn’t stand a chance against Alex, and the Bardi family prevailed again. We all breathed a sigh of relief when mate Taylor Hansen made the ‘perfect gaff shot’ and lifted a 40lb bull dolphin into the cockpit. Oh what a fine day it was.
****Look for good dolphin fishing in these rips, edges, color
changes and weedlines that often form offshore in 80′-320′ of water
throughout the spring months and sometimes into the summer.