Jupiter Revisted

See gallery here! Managed to hit the water on the way down to the Miami Boat Show last week. Along with FFSW publisher Gary Jennings, I joined Kristen Mustad, president of Nautilus Reels (www.nautilusreels.com), aboard Capt. Ron Doerr's (www.captainronbiteme.com) 32-foot Twin Vee off the coast of Jupiter, Florida. I grew up in Jupiter, but it had been probably 5 years since I'd fished there. How I miss it! Despite cold temperatures, rough conditions and heavy winds that made fly-casting difficult, we saw a mess of fish. Typical of this place. We found two groups of cobia on rays while running the beaches. One of the pods was seven-fish deep and included a couple studs in the 60- to 70-pound range. Our best efforts to get those fish to eat came up short, however. They occasionally showed interest, but would nudge away from the fly at the last minute after moving on it. It was frustrating - but that's the way these bruisers play sometimes. We had no problems, however, tempting a few monster jacks into smashing our flies. We found these fish north of the inlet, moving southward and clustering in huge schools. The sheer numbers of fish (the schools contained between 500 to 1,000 fish each) made the blue water appear brown or clouded, with a number of porpoises actually herding those monsters and slamming into their ranks occasionally. I'd heard about this scenario but had never before encountered these fish. It's an incredible fly opportunity. Capt. Ron teased those bruisers up with hookless plugs and we each took turns heaving big streamers into the wind at the oncoming melee. We all hooked fish, but Gary had the hot hand, taking two in the 25- to 30-pound range. Great sport on 10-weights - and Kristen was happy, as we were testing some new finishes on a couple NV 10/11s. They worked like champs. Back at the docks, we bumped into Mark Sosin, who had run south and fished the blacktips and spinners along the beach. He'd caught four, which should make for a nice show. I chatted with Mark later in the week in Miami. We agreed that Jupiter is a very fine place to fish! See gallery here! Enjoy the weekend, Mike Mazur FFSW Editor