Fishing the Gulf Stream Aboard the Reel Bandit

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Our group cruised out of the Hillsboro Inlet in Northern Broward County on a hot July day for an afternoon of ocean fishing aboard the charter sports fisherman Reef Bandit.

Captained by Scott Young, the 46’ Hatteras is an experienced fishing boat having plied the waves between Boston and Port Canaveral under the name The Jester. Rechristened two years ago when Captain Scott took ownership, Reel Bandit is available for charter fishing trips out of Pompano Beach.

We settled in for our ocean entrance and trip to the Gulf Stream hoping for wahoo, mahi mahi and blackfin tuna. On board were John Knox Village residents Joe Reid, Frank Perkins, David Thompson and John Mandt. All have enjoyed fishing adventures over the years. In fact, Joe Reid spent a life in the maritime business.

Four New Friends Enjoy a Shared Passion

Reid is a native of Scotland, where he joined the British Merchant Marine and trained as a Marine Carpenter. From the UK, he made his way to the U.S. and worked in Stanford, Connecticut working on 12-meter “America’s Cup” styled wooden sailing boats.

From the northeast down to Fort Lauderdale in 1990, he worked for Broward Marine building 80- to 90-foot yachts. He then worked for Bradford Marine as the shop supervisor, where he renovated many 120’ to 140’ luxury cruisers.

Reid enjoyed cruising the Atlantic and Intracoastal aboard his 28’ Chris Craft. He was a regular weekly fisherman – targeting dolphin (mahi mahi) on the waters off Fort Lauderdale.

Frank Perkins also was a boat owner before moving to John Knox Village. A native of Virginia, Frank remember spending many days in his youth around the water.

“My parents and I were members of a freshwater fishing club,” Frank said. “We thoroughly enjoyed weekends at the clubhouse – fishing in Petersburg, Virginia.”

After relocating to South Florida, Frank owned a boat for family enjoyment for about 10 years. “We had an 18’ boat and did a little bit of fishing, and water skiing, but mostly site-seeing – going place to place. We went fishing once or twice each season, mostly for mahi mahi. The biggest fish I caught was a 40 lb. wahoo.”

The third member of our group was John Mandt, a native of West Virginia and a one-year resident of John Knox Village. Growing up John spent his summers in Huntington, WV working in the family owned “Stewart’s Original Hot Dogs.” His winters were spent in the Miami area, where he went to school and spent many days fishing the piers and trips to Islamorada fishing with his father.

David Thompson rounded out the quartet. David has been a long-time resident of South Florida having moved to the area from New Jersey in 1960. He recalls fishing since he was 14 or so. “When we moved to Davie (Florida), we also had lot had a place in Key Largo and I had a 24’ fishing boat for almost 20 years,” he said.

Captain Scott guided the Reef Bandit out of the Hillsboro Inlet. Trolling the Atlantic in 100-200 feet of water, it was not long before David got the first “hit” and landed the first dolphin.

To The Gulf Stream

The Reel Bandit made its way to the Gulf Stream, where Captain Scott found a weed line and a big floating log about 8 miles offshore in 800 feet of water. At that point the Captain stopped trolling, so the fisherman could start casting. More dolphin were hooked and a variety of other fish gave the new fishing buddies a chance at landing their catch

At the end of our four-hour adventure, we turned and headed back to the Hillsboro Inlet after an afternoon of recreation, adventure and forming new friendships.

John said the afternoon was outstanding. “The captain was excellent, and we had an excellent mate. We enjoyed a lot of camaraderie and a lot of action. It was a great time.”

For David, the fishing trip was a celebration of his 79th birthday. “This was one of the best birthdays ever,” David said. “The boat, the crew and the fishing were great. I had a wonderful birthday, and I am already looking forward to my next fishing trip.”

— Marty Lee, Word of Mouth Advertising