First time I’ve gone fishing in three weeks so I was “sittin on ready” to say the least. Started out the trip catching bait on the Skyway. The bite was slower than usual. Not sure why but I’ve heard the water quality in the Bay has been poor. My friend Omar and I eventually caught 80 and headed to the boat.
We left under great conditions even as our thoughts were on our fellow citizens on the other side of the Gulf. At this writing, the flood waters are cresting in Texas and Louisiana is under fire. Sending prayers that way.
Trolling on the way out was a bit slow but a few Spanish and one King Mackerel came over the rail. Trolling between spots was better as several nice Kings and two Blackfin Tuna put blood on the deck. The highlight for me was one of the anglers I set up caught his first King and his first Tuna.
We started around 1:00 with the hope of a dark of the Moon Mangrove Snapper bite. Caught a few on the first stop but moved fairly quickly as Captain Bryon now had a solid anchor heading. Next stop the Mangos chewed from the beginning. We made a couple of moves before day break and the bite was steady on every stop.
Sunrise means it’s time to switch up and target some Grouper. I fired down the biggest Pin fish I had and soon as it hit bottom BANG! Big Fish ON! After turning the fish, my hopes were dashed a bit as I was certain my Grouper had turned into an Amber Jack. Sure enough after a great fight I reeled up a Reef Donkey in the 50 LB. class. Good news he was successfully released so perhaps we will meet again. Undaunted I fired down another with the same result. As Snapper were still coming in I decided to switch back to Threadfin. As soon as I got the slack out of my line I got slammed. This time it turned out to be a Gag around 10 LBS.
As the Sun climbed the bite plummeted. Good thing the night bite was hot with many limiting out on nice Goozers including one in the 10 LB. range caught on of all things a “Chicken Rig”. Tip: When you go on one of these trips make sure you get plenty of rest on the way out so you can fish all night. Remember “If you want to catch the fish of your dreams you must fish while others are dreaming”
The rest of the trip saw a mix of scattered Grouper (mostly Red) and Mangrove Snapper. In fairness, we did catch quite a few Red Snapper and large AJ’s. All in all, it was a solid trip with great weather. Looking forward to this weekend.
See you out there!
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