Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 65 of 83

66 | DAY 4 - APRIL 11 Sean and I were up for breakfast at 5 a.m. amidst the hustle and bustle at Bud n' Mary's, then out on the boat with Captain Charlie Scoble, Mate Max Gaspeny and Stanczyk, where we promptly sabiki-rigged pilchards, then set up on the Eagle wreck with kite baits in hopes of a sailfish. Meantime, Sean and I dropped down with heavy duty ugly sticks and bottom fishing rods with a live pilchard. Sean reeled up the first 8-lb. mutton snapper and a huge, 4-lb. yellowtail. In two more drops, I repeated the same feat. Sailfish were ghosts this day, so we picked up and went to troll around iconic Alligator Light, picking up a huge, 12-lb. barracuda (which Richard predicted would be there), then set up on a rock ledge for more bottom fish. Sean proceeded to reel in a sweet black grouper, and by this time I was getting jealous of Sean jumping the rods before I could put my camera down. The next two freeline pilchard rods were mine. As the reels screamed out, I reeled in two, 10-lb. king mackerels, then gave up the last rod for Sean to beat a solid false albacore. Sunset was creeping in, and Sean and I both wanted to enjoy our bountiful catches. We got back to Cheeca Lodge then hopped the gratuitous shuttle to Lorelei Bar to celebrate the day with Gaspeny and Lisa Thornhill, manager of Cheeca Lodge. I asked Lisa how the community has rebounded and she posited, "We are a strong community. We have plenty of ups and downs, but the driving force to keep moving is why we rebuilt stronger than ever." After a rumrunner or two and not satisfied just yet with fishing, Lisa, Sean and I headed back at midnight to Cheeca and set up on the newly rebuilt pier to toss mullet chunks off the dock. After reeling in a 60-lb. southern stingray that put the pier tourists in a frenzy, Sean had a moment of exhaustion and put his chunk rod down to take a breather. Moments later, his rod launched off the dock into the water, bobbed around and headed out to sea. I looked incredulously at Sean who, without hesitation, said, "I'm goin' in!" He jumped in to grab the floating rod and landed in five feet of water off the pier's end. Soaked like a wet bird dog in chest-deep water, he began to reel but the line was snapped, nothing was thereā€”no doubt a monster shark cut through the braid. Sean couldn't believe his situation as he was near drowning in the water. Sean semi-swam in a dog paddle to a moored boat on the pier to pull himself up and get back on the dock. As the pier was literally days old, the escape ladder had yet to be installed on the dock. Above: Max Gaspeny and Sean Reilly show off a beauty black grouper caught on a live pilchard. Left: Jack crevalles punish light tackle just outside the hustle and bustle of Key West's Mallory Square. Below: Marine life such as loggerhead turtles flourish in electric blue waters of the Keys. Photos courtesy of Nick Honachefsky.

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