Three years ago when this crappie fisherman caught her first freshwater bass in New York, I had no idea that a fishing trip could lead to so much more. Since then I've traveled to chase smallmouth but there are still many destinations on my fishing bucket list yet to be experienced. When considering near term adventures, my boyfriend Jerry and I had been discussing taking a saltwater fishing trip. He had been on several and was often sharing how much fun there is to be had on such trips. When the opportunity presented itself in early August- thanks to Jerry's niece getting married in Florida- it was something we couldn’t pass up.
I can't tell you how excited I was! First there was the excitement of meeting Jerry's family at the wedding, but when we added plans to go on what would be my first deep sea adventure, I was like a kid on Christmas morning! There was more to consider in the planning than I anticipated. First, red snapper season didn't start until the following Friday - five days after we would be in Port Orange. Regardless,
Jerry and I were committed to making the best of the all too short time we had. After mulling over many options, we planned on fishing a half-day with Captain Dave of Strippin' Lips Fishing Charters.
Dave is a Florida native living in the Daytona area. He started out fishing local back country creeks in a kayak. He has extensive knowledge of the
waterways from Tomoko State Park to Mosquito Lagoon. Like many guides, as he progressed, first as a mate, he eventually saved enough to purchase a poling skiff. This gave him a greater range and better visibility across the water. From that point on he's been running the backwater creeks to the intracoastal waterway, catching a wide variety of species. Although he truly loves inshore fishing, Captain Dave’s real passion is offshore fishing. His success as an inshore guide led him to branch out to guiding the many offshore wrecks and artificial reefs for snapper and grouper as well as cruising the drop offs along the beaches for tarpon and cobia.
Having the choice, I was sure my first saltwater experience needed to be offshore. We
met Captain Dave at the ramp on the morning of our last full day in Florida. For this kind of trip, Dave uses his Hydra Sport 30 CC with 500 horses to get us around. His full Coast Guard rating includes Garmin GPS, VHF radio and all the fishing finding capability and safety gear you could want. Whether you are going inshore or offshore, Dave has you covered with rods, reels, bait, tackle, water, soda, ice , licenses, sunscreen, bug repellant, and fish cleaning. Dave comes highly recommended!
Jerry's brother Marvin and nephew Marvin joined us for the adventure. If you’re keeping score, that’s one Misty, two Marvins and a Jerry, along with Capt. Dave. Now I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about going on my first offshore trip in the Atlantic. Fortunately, Dave was such a down-to-earth person, he definitely was able to ease my anxiety with plenty of conversation, and I think I remember him promising to steer clear of the Bermuda Triangle!
Some might say it was a bit rough during the 15-mile ride out to the happy hunting grounds. For me, however, it was absolutely awesome! We spent most of the day trolling. Turns out my first saltwater fish was a nice barracuda, and let me tell you, those things have some teeth! The whole time I was fighting the fish I was hearing Ann Wilson of Heart in my ear- If the real thing don't do the trick; You better make up something quick; You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick,
Jerry's nephew Marvin was next to catch a barracuda, after which we finished up with a few grunts (go figure, they really do grunt like little pigs), some yellow tail and
mangrove snapper. It was one of those tough days of fishing we’ve all experienced, but for me it was definitely worth every minute. The ride back was a bit of a challenge- and no, I am not referring to sea sickness. What I mean was it was a challenge in staying awake! I think I felt what a baby must feel when being rocked to sleep, because after a long day of fishing, the smell of the ocean and the rocking rhythm of the waves made it almost impossible for me to keep my eyes open. What a great experience! Like most of my fishing adventures, it definitely left me wanting more. Jerry was certainly right about saltwater fishing, you absolutely must experience it! As a matter of fact, we are already tossing around ideas for heading down to Corpus Christi to hit the salt in the Gulf of Mexico. Can you say red
The upside to having such a love and passion for fishing is that no matter how successful or unsuccessful a day of fishing, it will always leave you ready to go again! In this regard, saltwater fishing was no different, and I can’t wait for the next adventure! A big shout out goes to Captain David Caruthers of Strippin' Lips Fishing Charters for my first saltwater experience, THANK YOU for sharing your passion with us!
iBass360 pro staff Misty Schmidt is from Mabank, Texas where she is the proud mother of four awesome kids. Misty embarked on a new adventure when she started fishing. It inspired a lot of passion in her life and by sharing her experiences- from tournament fishing to fishing destination locations- she hopes to inspire more women to pick up a rod and reel and enjoy the outdoors. Misty is also proud to represent Pink Fishing as a Pro Staff member.