Finally after a ridiculous week I got out on the water. Me and a friend headed out of Jupiter,Fl on his newly purchased 31′ Contender to find the Bonita and attack them with super light weight fly rods. He decided to let me take the wheel as I have a bit more experience on the water than he does and although he handles a boat very well, we wanted to find the fish and thats my speciality! We cleared the inlet with plenty of live bait swimming around the well, with all his new electronics lighting up his dashboard I felt like I was driving an airliner rather than a boat. He had 3 full size Northstar screens, 1 fish-finder/depth finder, 1 -72 miles radar with an open array, and 1 GPS plus 2 VHF radio’s (why two I have no idea), a forward looking depth finder and of course a stereo.
Well, the radar marked the birds, the fish-finder told me what was below, the forward sonar told me what was ahead, the GPS told me where I was and the VHF’s just annoyed me so I turned them way down. For 3 hours with all these fancy electronics that likely cost more than my car I found ZERO fish!So I fiddled with the “toys” increasing beam width, decreasing power etc etc. Needless to say I was getting quite annoyed because in South Florida mid summer Bonita are everywhere, yet even with live glass minnows and greenies as chum I could not find one school to cast to! I than did something that drove my buddy crazy. I throttled the engines way down to a slow head speed, turned the radar, the GPS, the VHF, the fish-finder and everything else OFF and just looked at the water. I watched the water, looked at the way it was moving, looked for slicks and studied the birds. Hey, remember birds those wonderful fish-finding machines. You know what? It worked! The birds let me right to the bait and the fish were not far behind. before we know if we were covered in feeding bonita! Heres the moral of the story, use electronics as an AID in navigation and fish hunting, but don’t lose that sixth sense, don’t be afraid to listen to your gut feeling and if the entire fleet of fishing boats are headed north, try going south if YOU think thats where the fish are. Don’t lose your sixth sense.