It’s Not Just About the Right Bait, It’s About Getting Them Onboard

It's Not Just About the Right Bait, It's About Getting Them Onboard

After a vacation bust last year due to COVID, I had the pleasure of a “redo” this year and spent some time in the Florida Keys.

There is so much to do in the Keys, especially if you love being on the water like I do. Growing up, my Dad and I would go fishing and he taught me to bait a hook, cast a line, and the art of reeling them in. It was sometimes hit or miss, but we always had fun.

Back home in Maryland, it’s not that often that I get to go fishing anymore, so when in Florida I take full advantage of any opportunity I can get — off of our rental home dock or on a charter boat. It was on such an adventure with Two Conchs Sportfishing that I was reminded of the need for patience and knowing how to get your hard-fought catch onboard.

One morning, we loaded up on sunscreen and ventured out under the iconic 7-Mile Bridge in search of Tarpon.

I’ve seen them, but never caught any and thought it would be fun to reel in a big one. After a couple of hours, they just weren’t hungry, apparently, so we switched up our bait and our strategy. For those who don’t know, Tarpon are attracted to live crabs, and to catch a “silver king”, you open your bail and let the current take your line out, helping it along, and watch a bobber to see if he’s taken the bait. After about 50 yards if you can still see your bobber, reel it back in and try it again. When fishing for other species, using shrimp and the opposite approach — casting your line out, closing the bail, and then slowly reel it in…two slow turns and then lift your rod — works best.

After switching things up and moving our boat away from the bridge, we landed some fun ones — a hogfish, a few snappers, and some really colorful fish that looked like they belonged in an aquarium, not the Atlantic. We also got a nice-sized Yellow Jack. It later paired well with some yellow rice, black beans, plantains, shrimp, and a Corona Light!

yellow jack
fresh catch dinner

Before our 4-hour chartered trip was up, we went over to the flats and tried our hand at catching the elusive Bonefish.

The water was beautiful and we could see the bottom very clearly along with a stingray and a couple of lemon sharks. But the Bonefish can hide right under your nose, blending in with the environment.

After a few nibbles and some bait steelers, we were going to have to pack it in. The captain said, “I’ve got one more shrimp, let’s see what you can do.” Determined to catch something with this final attempt, I gave a mighty cast but this time, very slowwwwwwly I reeled in my line…two turns and a lift, two turns and a lift, two turns and zing, zing, zing, zing! There went my line and I had something! Man did he put up a fight! My rod bent and he was going all over the place. I knew that if I tried to reel too fast or let him get under the boat I’d lose him. So I jumped up toward the bow of the boat for some leverage and more room to maneuver. From there I could see that I had caught a good lookin’ Bonefish but there was a lemon shark hot on his tail! I was all over the place trying to get my fish in the boat before the shark got his lunch. Around and around we went for what felt like 10 minutes but was probably only a few and just in the nick of time, I got him to the side of the boat where the captain grabbed the net and scooped in my catch, fully intact. Whew!

After a few quick photos with our prize catch, we kept him in water until we could release him a few yards away, increasing his odds of surviving the local shark and living to fight me another day.

On the boat ride back to the marina, grinning from ear to ear, I was thinking about the day and it inspired this article.

There are a lot of similarities between fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and fishing for new business in your own backyard.

You need to have the right bait (the right products, services, positioning, and messaging to attract prospects), the right strategy for hooking them (knowing your audience, having patience, and knowing when and how to take action), as well as the ability to get them on board (responsiveness, willingness to adjust, and teamwork).

If you need someone to captain your marketing efforts, I’ll be back on land soon and am happy to help. Email me directly at [email protected] or give me a call: 410-366-9479. Until then, happy fishing!

About Incite Creative, Inc.: Incite Creative is a marketing advisory firm that works in an outsourced capacity. In short, we become your company’s chief marketing officer (CMO) and do so virtually and efficiently — saving you time and money. Since 1999 we’ve had the pleasure of building and boosting brands for a core set of industries. Our thoughtful process, experienced team, and vested interest in our client’s success have positioned us as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most sought-after marketing partners for those looking to grow their brand awareness and bottom line. Stop paying for digital and traditional services you may not need. Our retainer, no mark-up model means our recommendations don’t come with any catch or commission. The advice we provide aligns with what you need and what fits within your budget. For more information, contact us at 410-366-9479 or [email protected].