While venturing to one of the nearshore wrecks to do a little fishing this morning, Capt. Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle & Hardware thought the day was starting out in pretty normal fashion. He spotted some porpoises jumping, lots of seagulls diving, dozens of pelicans resting on the water's surface, and an 8-point buck, swimming more than 1/2-mile offshore, and heading to the Gulf Stream.
Barbour and his fishing partners were a little stunned once it registered in their brains that this mass of antlers atop the water wasn't a pelican, so they circled back around for a second look.
The deer was obviously heading in the wrong direction, and already considerably farther offshore than the anglers were comfortable with, so they tried to come up with a plan to help the deer. They decided the best thing they could do would be to steer the animal back toward shore and hope for the best.
A couple of times, the deer seemed to veer off-course, and began to swim back offshore, but Barbour (910-470-5041) corrected its course, using his boat to steer the deer back toward land. It was clear the buck was not comfortable with the boat getting too close to it, so Barbour kept his distance, and slowly maneuvered his craft back and forth to keep the deer swimming back toward terra-firma.
Many anglers who fish nearshore and offshore are fond of talking about seeing things out there that they don't get a chance to see on land, but despite the uniqueness of seeing big sea turtles, flying fish, and giant sharks, Barbour's latest fishing tale is one that not many anglers will ever experience.