Friday, November 16, 2012

Popper Evening

On our last evening, we left the harbor late in the afternoon and were soon headed into a setting winter sun. We had heard that the tarpon would take poppers at dusk no questions asked.  As the sun dropped beneath the horizon and as Venus appeared in the moonless sky, we cast our poppers into the still strong remnants of today’s energetic breeze. 

On the first cast and on the ten casts that followed, we jumped 5 to 12 lb. tarpon that savagely attacked our surface flies.  Sometimes we got three or four strikes on each retrieve. It was that absurd giggly kind of fishing that makes you feel like an ace. We each landed six or seven fat boys and by the time it was totally dark, it was over.  We reeled in frayed leaders as Pedro began to pole us out of the bay. He quietly swung his gnarled pole through the waters of a quickly falling tide. As he dug into the bottom, we could see thousands of phosphorescent shrimp eyes. Their pale pink eyes mirrored the many stars on this black and moonless night.  As Pedro felt his way to deeper water, fireflies added their own eerie glow to these other pinpoints of light. 

“Es una hermosa noche”, Pedro whispered to us as he fired up the outboard. 
"Si" we muttered between nods. 
Suspended between the Milky Way and the windswept chop of the ocean, we clipped off flies and inhaled the rich aroma of the sea at night. We accelerated towards the navigational beacons blinking just over the horizon in the village of San Felipe. Tough day, stupid good evening and now suddenly, our trip was over. 

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