When Zimmer got what he needed, he told Murphy and Mahaffey to go ahead and release the fish. They clowned around, and Murphy got his friend to taste the scented lure. Then they went back to work.
Murphy got out a fly rod, hoping to demonstrate a multi-disciplined approach to catching reds in the bay, but that didn’t work so he went back to the Trigger X and caught and released two more at midday.
“Normally we’d be done by now,” Haddad said. “If we could get three more, we could really get a good show.”
The entire crew paused to gulp fried chicken and sip water before resuming the hunt in normally redfish-rich Snake Bight. The flats held a few, but it was a slow pick. Nevertheless, Murphy scored a fourth one on the Trigger X.
After about a half-hour with no more reds in sight, the party shifted to Murray Key where Murphy released his fifth red on the falling tide using the gold spoon.
“The key to these spoons is, you have to get down and reel it so it stays below the surface,” Murphy told the cameras.
The two boats moved to Palm Key Lake, hoping for the sixth and final fish to wrap up the day. Instead, Murphy hooked a lemon shark that could easily have been mistaken from a distance for a large red. He did not have any wire leader.
“Stop him!” Mahaffey said.
Calmly letting the shark charge around, Murphy told the camera, “This is not even like going to a gunfight with a knife. It’s like going to a gunfight with nothing.”
After a few minutes, the shark broke the line.
By now, it was late afternoon and the tide was nearly dead low. Zimmer decided they would adjourn for the day and try for one more fish sequence the next morning.
“We probably have enough for a show, but we’re going to come back tomorrow and see what else we can get,” he said.
He hopped on Juliano’s boat with Haddad and me so Haddad could get “running shots” of Murphy and Mahaffey in the john boat.
Catching fish on TV is not nearly as easy as it looks.