On the Water with Captain John King

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I like fishing with women in the charter group. Their presence changes a charter and often improves the outing. If they are actively fishing, all the better. On my charters, the women will generally out-fish the men.

 

 

I like fishing with women in the charter group. Their presence changes a charter and often improves the outing. If they are actively fishing, all the better. On my charters, the women will generally out-fish the men.

Fishing has been considered a “man’s sport” for decades. There was a time when you could pick up a Field and Stream magazine and scan through stories about men, and only men, doing manly things like fishing and hunting. That has changed.

More and more women are going on charters and many are now doing “women only” charters, leaving the men at the condo to have a spa day or do some shopping. Times they are a changin’.

Afishinados Charters gets a lot of repeat business, customers that have been coming to the Island for years, some going back to 2003, our first year in the charter business. 

Less common are the customers that charter us for multiple days each year during their vacation stay.

This year the Duranso boys booked Afishinados for four days of fishing. They booked Afishinado for two days, Mojo for a day and Diversity for a day. 

On the last day of their vacation I decided to thank them with a free upgrade to Catallac.

Afishinado is a beast of a boat, she is a fishing machine. Catallac, on the other hand, is a party platform. She is set up for larger groups to enjoy the isle in style. On this day, four anglers stepped aboard this 50-foot power cat for a little fishing.

The old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover” is appropriate in Catallac’s case. She may look pretty, but she has a lot of heart. 

I drove her 4,500 ocean miles from St. Croix through the Panama Canal and north through the prevailing weather to get to Catalina Island. She can handle a lot of ocean.

On this day, the weather was flat calm. There was hardly a whisper of wind. This is not necessarily the best fishing condition. Sometimes these are the days when the ocean has taken a day of for some “R and R.” Still, the Duranso boys brought a girlfriend, so I was optimistic. Women catch fish.

We caught some nice Spanish Macs and headed to the camps where the yellows had been biting. 

Our first bait in the water got picked up and was hooked solid. One of the boys grabbed the rod. 

“Nice start,” I thought to myself. It was obviously a big fish and pulling hard.

The angler made ground on the fish, but lost just as much. A sea lion flashed under the boat. 

We all knew what that meant. Get that fish moving toward the boat or lose it to the sea lion. 

Maybe it was too much pressure, maybe the sea lion nicked the line, who knows, but suddenly the fish was off. Losing the first fish of the day can cast a dark cloud over a charter. 

Luckily, the gal on board was plucky and she immediately got on the bandwagon. “Dude you lost that fish!” she ribbed the angler. We immediately re-baited and set out the lines.

It was not long before we got another bite, again a big one and this time the fish got deep and wrapped around some structure to gain its freedom. Two lost fish, yikes! Back to work. We trolled live bait, had a good number of baits taken by sea lions. Time dragged on without a lot of action.

Finally, about 30 minutes before lines out we got another bite. The anglers did the double take, “Who wants this one?” Kiersten, our lady angler, did not hesitate, “I want it!” she sang out as she grabbed the rod. I came down off the bridge to coach her. She proved an excellent student and soon, the fish came circling near the boat. “Nice one!” the boys yelled.

Charlie stuck the gaff and the fish made it to the deck. I breathed a sigh of relief and took a high five from Kiersten that left me stinging. Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman, I thought.

 

Capt. John King runs Afishinado Charters and Catallac Tours. Call 888-613-7770.

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