This week I continued my search for a permit to deploy a satellite tag with the help of Captain Joe Gonzalez of Miami (http://captainjoegonzalez.com/). On Tuesday morning the conditions in Biscayne Bay looked great and Joe gave me a call to give it a shot. After checking out a few spots, we found a number of permit in a nice hole and Joe told me to cast right into the group. There was a boil, my crab was nailed and the fight was on. Within 15 minutes we had the fish on the boat and at 20 lbs it was a bit shy for tagging. Joe is an active supporter of the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and we put a conventional tag in this fish as part of a five year project to better understand their movements (http://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/permit-research/permit-research.html). Shortly after releasing the fish, an early morning storm chased us back to the dock.
On Wednesday the weather didn’t quite set up right, but on Thursday morning, Joe once again gave me a call to tell me it was on. In less than an half an hour Joe had spotted just the fish we wanted working the flats. With some directions of where to cast and some luck, I put the crab just in front of the fish. I watched in anticipation as it took a couple of short passes and then clobber the bait. The fight on 15 lb gear was tough but at over 30lbs, this was the fish to tag and I needed to get it to the boat. After twenty minutes we had the fish in the net and in short time successfully put in the satellite tag. The tag placement looked and felt great and the fish swam away enthusiastically as the first ever satellite tagged permit. The pop up date for the tag is January 10th 2014. During this time it will be collecting data on depth, temperature and light readings for estimating location. We have our fingers crossed that all goes well and I am excited to see where this fish travels during the next 3 months.