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Moocher madness

Strange blog title but let me explain.  Our Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys have always been about doing what the customer wants not what we want and with guys coming over 10 times it appears to work.  On our last trip we have had regulars Rodney Rigby and his friend George Keywood now on past trips Rodney especially has most of the fish in the Florida Keys so on this trip his plan was to catch as many as he could on his beloved Moocher reel.  The Moocher is near enough a centre pin reel and is made by Shimano but for Key’s fish has a couple of basic problems one just 14 in of line back for on handle turn and just a max drag of 5 lb yes just 5 lb of drag.  So after we had tick their boxes in the bay and offshore with my  ” normal ” the last few days Rodney wanted a permit and tarpon on his Moocher reel and ugly stick rod so off we went.

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First the permit while George was having a blast with Permit on our normal gear spinning rods with 40 lb braid and drags up to 15 lb Rodney was on the long waiting game on the Moocher rod.  Then it happened  ” fish on ” and yes a permit was on the Moocher  oh dear the drag was under pressure from the start not only is it just 5 lb but smooth it is not just on and off.  Then after a long fight it all went a bit strange the fish rushed to the top and we all saw a near 30 lb permit but the reason it came up was a shark and when you have a shark on a permit it only ends one way. So no permit on the Moocher but Rodney showed it could be done and with no shark it I an sure would have come to the boat.  Last morning and George had the first tarpon which took his bait in less than 20 seconds and on our normal gear to the boat in less than 30 now out came the Moocher which I had put 50 yards of 30 lb mono on then the normal gear to give Rodney half a chance.  Soon it was fish on and on the Moocher so started a long fight which took us from the dark through dawn and into the day. Now as regulars know we chase down all tarpon but this was the chase to end all tarpon cases and I have to give full marks to Capt Mike his work when the fish was under the bridge was amazing.  How ever after well over an hour and the leader touched so fish ” caught ” it was not the reel but the rod exploded.  So Rodney proved you can catch fish on none normal gear god knows what my next challenge will be next year yes I worry but it keeps me going.