Tarponing with Derek and Davin

Two guys I’ve wanted to fish with for a while. Derek Rust, Florida Keys guide, and Davin Ebanks, Cayman Islands guide (and author or Flatswalker.com).

This was our shot.

The day got off to what would become a bit of a signature start. I got us a little bit lost. I drove past our meet-up location and left Derek waiting for us for a half-hour while I took Davin on an unintentional tour of the middle Keys.

When we finally got there Derek was itching to get going. He had another trip later that afternoon. This was Derek taking us around and showing us the sights before he’d get out on the water to guide later… so… huge props to Derek for that.

Once we were on our way it really didn’t take long to get where we wanted to go. Up first were some shots at Baby Tarpon. I had a bunch, BUNCH, of shots at baby tarpon and just wasn’t getting anything to stick. I gave up the casting platform to Davin who, just about immediately, stuck and landed a nice little poon. I got back up and, learning from Davin’s fine example, I managed to hang on to my one baby tarpon of the trip.



Ah… that was nice.

Love the smile here. This stuff is fun.

Love the smile here. This stuff is fun.

We spent some time looking for a school of reds that were supposed to be nearby but Davin only saw one and it was 5 feet away. He actually poked it with the tip of his rod.

That was our cue to go look for the adults. It wasn’t far.

By this time the light was hit or miss. It wasn’t easy but we were starting to see a few fish. I got a few casts in and only one meltdown.

I was short on the cast and needed to recast quickly. When you feel like you need to speed up, that is when you need to slow down. In this case, I was feeling rushed and I didn’t take the time to strip in the line I needed to make the cast. I tried to pick all the line up at once. That doesn’t work. The physics of it are all working against you. I knew it, deep down, but I still found myself trying to correct things mid-cast. It was a failure… with an audience… with people who are better at this than me.

Davin has in on video. He says it isn’t too bad, but… I don’t want to see it. It wasn’t my finest moment.

I didn’t feed a fish and so I didn’t get an eat, a jump or a fish to the boat. I did get some shots, but the fish didn’t seem to be interested. In fact, they seemed to be actively uninterested.

Davin got some bow time, but it was getting tough and we didn’t see many more fish and just like our opportunities, the time we had available was gone.

Time goes by too fast out here.

Time goes by too fast out here.

It was hard not to feel a bit defeated, but it was also great to have a chance to learn and have a day on the water with people I have really wanted to fish with. I hope to do it again. There were good stories told and laughter and we even went in for lunch. It was, as corny as it sounds, a good day on the water.

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  1. Add Ed to the list of folks you should fish with. He’s Davin’s assistant and is a great dude who can put ya on some serious fish!

  2. It is a really, really long list.

  3. It takes a real man to admit his failures. Suggest to Davin that he post THE video of what not to do. It may help other people fish better and provide for more laughs among your virtual fishing buddies!

  4. I’d love to post that vid, if my laptop (and only real computer) hadn’t just taken a giant crap. It did. I’m sad… but reading this memoir has brightened my day immensely. Bjorn is one of those folks I know I can fish with anytime, tomorrow if needed. That’s not something you can say about just anybody, but Bjorn has that passion for simply being on the water and never seems to get tired of it. There’s a lot to say for that.

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