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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By DAVE ZALEWSKI
Published July 10, 2007
Denise and Rod Margarson from Cleethorpes, England, watched on the sideline while guests Jeff and his son Philip Tuffnel fought barracuda weighing 28 and 30 pounds, respectively, on 20-pound test spinning tackle. Each battle lasted for more than 30 minutes and resulted in a round of high-fives as the fish were carefully released after photographs. Five miles to the west, after leaving the wreck where the barracuda were caught, we came upon water being frothed by schools of ravenous bonita feeding on schools of glass minnows which they had balled up in dark patches. Bonita create great catch-and-release fishing but can be difficult to catch. When they are feeding on Spanish sardines and threadfins, almost any small spoon will produce strikes. When they are feeding on glass minnows, even a 00 spoon may be too large.
Tip: Rigging a King Buster skirt with a 3/0 hook and a No. 10 swivel on 6 to 8 inches of light wire, then trolling it far behind the boat so it can be positioned through the school of feeding fish will result in drag-screaming hookups. Not only bonita but kingfish and Spanish mackerel, which are often mixed in with the bonita, will fall victim to this small bait. Sarah Tuffnel landed a large bonita using this method.
Bottom fishing in 90 feet of water on flat Swiss- cheese bottom produced the one-per-person limit of red grouper, with Rod also catching a bonus 25-inch hog snapper on a piece of squid.