April 3, 2015

2015 Florida (Day 1)

The story goes that some time in January, my professors decided to cancel classes on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter. There were legitimate reasons for these cancellations, but the most important revelation to me was this unexpected 6-day break that suddenly fell onto my lap. That's when I heard the siren's song.

Florida is an enchanting siren song. It tugs at my heart strings and lures me to do irrational things - I was grasping the very short and fortunate opportunity of an extended Easter break and spent an unreasonable amount of money to obtain a valid passport on the Easter Friday. Like an ancient sailor, I foolishly traveled through some rough seas following that siren call. Luckily, this trip did not lead to a shipwreck. Instead, there was a pot of pirate's loot waiting for me at the end.

I won't go into the details of the passport fiasco. Let's just say I could have planned my passport renewal better knowing that this trip was scheduled. I really should pay attention to the calendar and realize that government offices are closed on Easter Friday!

But in any case, Michael and I took a flight to Fort Lauderdale this time. With limited luggage restriction, we had to pack light (relatively speaking) and forgo some of the big game opportunities. In hindsight, this decision made this trip much more enjoyable. We no longer had to lug heavy shark gear everywhere we went. What a relief!

We touched down in Fort Lauderdale about an hour later than scheduled. The plane had some mechanical dysfunction and the "check engine light" was on before take off. When we arrived, Bass Pro Shops was already closed, but luckily, Mark had already shopped for all our needs when he knew we were delayed.

Mark is a friend of Anthony. Although we had conversed over Facebook for a while, and shared a lot of information over emails, I've yet to meet Mark in person. Mark originally had a work trip to California. I helped him to plan a fishing itinerary for SoCal a few months ago. However, a change in jobs led Mark to cancel his California trip. Instead, we made some last minute arrangements to meet in Florida for a 5-day fishing marathon.

Mark was driving down to Florida so he arrived early and had the car space for a proper pier net and other gear. On the other hand, my dinky compact car rental can barely fit my luggage and a rod tube. Thank god one of us had a proper fishing vehicle! LOL.

After meeting at Bass Pro Shops, we chat about our plan for the next day of fishing. We decided to start early at Anglin's pier to try for Florida Pompano, Atlantic Lookdown and Atlantic Moonfish. Michael then returned with Mark to his hotel while I went to Coral Springs to stay with my uncle and his family. I didn't arrive at my uncle's house until 11pm. Our fishing plan dictated that I would need to wake up at 4:30am the next morning to fish the pre-dawn bite. I thought this was a vacation! For dedicated lifelist anglers, sleep, food and water are often sacrificed for catching fish during prime time.

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