Early February Make A Wish Southern Florida contacted us, and asked if the Foundation would like to grant their 9000th wish. Make A Wish was impressed with what the Foundation has done so far for their wish recipients, and they thought the Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation would be a perfect fit. Before we knew it Michael’s wish would be granted in Islamorada, and fishing on the Bad Habit with Captain Scott Keller.
Board member Ken Davis, and myself met the family at their new home for the next week. Kayaks, a private beach, one of the biggest pools in the keys, volleyball, you name it this house had it. For all of our wishes Shimano, Costa Sunglasses, Under Armour, Yeti, and some independent companies pitched in gear for all the whole family. Once they got settled in they went to Worldwide Sportsmen for a VIP shopping spree. After shopping they walked over to Islamorada Fish Company for a delicious dinner. Now all they had to do was call City Hall deli for their lunch orders, and rest up for the next day of fishing. They were going to need it, because forecast was going to make for a windy day of fishing.
The Make A Wish PR crew, Michael’s family, Bad Habit crew, and myself met at Postcard Inn marina. With a cold front rolling through the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up. An additional camera boat was also provided to capture the action of the day, but Mother Nature had other plans in mind. 25-30 knots of wind made for a rough ride. Unfortunately we called it an early day, because almost everyone was soaked, and seasick. The weather for the next few days were going to be just as rough, so I advised the family for the next few days to take some anti seasick pills before they went to bed, and when they woke up. With that in mind they filled their bellies with dinner provided by Morada Bay, and headed home.
Snorkeling was the plan for the next day, but since the first day was a wash, and the temperature was in the 60s, we figured another day of fishing was the best plan. With bait on board we set out for the open water. Conditions for sought game fish were not ideal, so we went to a perfect shark and amber jack spot. For those that are not familiar with “fishing slang” amber jacks are also appropriately called reef donkeys. All muscle, and all fight, Michael hooked up, but the task of getting them to the boat before a sharks bit them off is a difficult task for even an experienced fisherman. Michael hooked up three times giving it all he had, but the sharks got them first. That’s the food chain for you, but they did get three blackfin tunas, so Lazy Days cooked their catch, and the family went home to prepare last day of fishing.
With another windy day we turned to some reef fishing. Yellow tail and mangrove snapper, blue runners, and a nice gag grouper. When fishing was slow Michael and his cousin kept busy with playing with the bait. Plenty of goggle eyes, and pilchards to keep them entertained. Everyone loves bait, and this holds true with Michael. Wrapping the final day we said our good byes, and the family enjoyed another amazing dinner, at one of Islamorada’s best restaurants.
As Jose would say “As soon as the cameras show up the weather turns”, and this was the case for Michael’s wish. However Jose would always emphasize to look at the positives. The entire Islamorada community came together, and pitched in to support the Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation. Michael and his family called me before they left, and thanked us for their trip of a lifetime.