Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blue Runners

I had my eyes on a promising piece of aquatic real estate for a few weeks now. Spring break has allowed us the time to explore it on the best of tides. It took but a few casts to tie into my first blue runner ever. I was jacked, especially since I've caught nothing but a few pompano and some yellow tail smaller than my hand for the past three months.

They fell for some small olive and white deceivers stripped slowly.

Long pectoral fins make them ultra maneuverable.

Along with three nice blue runners, I pulled in about a dozen small yellow tails. The best thing about catching tiny fish is that at least 25% of them never make it to your hand. Barracudas take them seconds after they're hooked. I lost a few fish to the 'cudas and 6 of my new deceivers to them, as well. The next day, I came back with Stacy, her Nikon D60 and a 6 inch baitfish pattern with a trailing stinger hook, tied to 8 inches of wire leader. I was going for the 'cudas while Stace was rigged up for more blue runners.

On my first cast, a tank nailed the fly. It pulsed and fought like a barracuda, but as it got close, I realized it was a hoss blue runner. It put a nice bend in the 10wt my brother sent to hold me over while mine is repaired. This, and a tiny yellow-tail landed by Stace were the only fish of day 2.

The big boy on the first cast.

The strange colorations on the side of the fish light-up when they become excited or agitated. Light plays off of their sides as it reflects and refracts through the water, mimicking and mingling with these colorations, making them disappear

Landing a hard fighting fish in waist deep water, solo, is tricky.

Huge forked tails give them plenty of speed.

Baby barracuda facilitating the release on her own terms.

Small grey snapper, one of the lucky survivors.

Lizard fish bury themselves in the sand with just their heads sticking out. They ambush anything that happens by. They've also got an impressive set of teeth and I've seen them up to 2ft long.

Stace getting in on the action with a tiny yellow-tail.

This location is prime. This is the smallest spotted eagle ray we've ever seen. Her wingspan was only about 10 inches. We saw one while diving last week with a 6ft wingspan.

On the menu at this location for the future are snook. We spotted three of them today, the first we've ever seen. Stace tied on 5 different flies, all different kinds, to try to entice a bite, but no luck. Back to the tying bench to try to crack the code for another local species.


Tom said...

Those fish look awesome! Looks like a hell of a good time!

Troutdawg said...

Blue runners on a light rod is some serious fun. Can't wait to get on a few again myself

Matt said...

they are a good time. all of them except for the big boy were taken on an 8wt with a small olive deceiver.

tom- i am figuring this place out so when you get here, we'll slay.

Anonymous said...

Hey, nice jacks, but those are bar jacks, not blue runner. I caught one of each this morning and got confused, so I looked it up. Bar jacks have the blue stripes, whereas blue runner are actually mostly green. Go figure.

Mark said...

It is something we picked up on too over the last two years, we just never got around to changing this post.

Thanks for looking out.