Things always change when fishing. On my last trip there were many schools of Mackerel,Tuna,and some dolphin . So this trip I just wanted to troll around the schools and pick up some of the big fish that I been loosing. Well things were different this trip with only a couple small schools of fish ( blue runners small tuna ) . We trolled but only picked up one very, very small Dolphin. Being out in 90′ of water we started to bottom fish . This is were things changed for the best . As odd as it was we caught very few undersized grouper. All we kept were from 21″ ( two ) to 27 ” with most of them 24″. We release the 20″. We ended up with 14 Grouper just missed limited out. On out fist drop Mike and I boated two 24″ grouper at the same time. We knew than we had a good spot. Mike ended up with the largest 27″ grouper. Gary tried something different this trip. He had a package of chicken Gizzards and Hearts which he got many grouper on. Can’t beat the price and it works. We were using pin fish ( #1), cut bate and gizzards. Drifted and anchored at times. Due to all the 24 ” grouper we named the new spot ” grouper 24 ” Thanks to Gary, Mike and Tom for making it a great trip.
No pictures just some fish stories.
I got the bug to get off shore and do some trolling. At day brake had a good supply of pin fish and headed West stopping at 70ft area and within less than a hour all the pin fish were gone. The grouper just sucked them up and only a couple might of made 20 in. It was still early so out to 90 ft. and started trolling . Picked up three nice size Little Tuneys and released. Also a nice Black fin that was also released but not wanting to at the boat. Why is it that you could fight a fish for long period of time and than he just comes off the hook by the boat . &^&%#@$%^&&. Using a steel leaded and after another long fight of diving,running from and back to the boat it finely cut the leader and I lost my Bomber. I figure it was a large barracuda or a black tip shark. Black tip trolling ???? . Also picked up a very small King . Got the Black fin, small King and Shark ? on a silver green back Bomber. Using my favorite lure made by Boone ,looks like a squid with a lead head got the tuna . This is also great for Dolphin .. I use the green and blue ones. It was a good day for trolling and plenty of schools of fish out there. Didn’t see and Dolphin this trip mostly Tuna and Mackerel. No fish this trip but got some great stories and memories as always..
I had a rare opportunity to be a “Fishing Guest” on a buddy’s boat yesterday with no responsibilities at all except to catch fish and make sure the beer was cold. We started out at 60 ft with light snapper rods and pieces of shrimp over a small ledge. We immediately put a fat yellowtail in the boat with a lot of barely legal ‘tails following. We managed to box a bunch of tasty porgies, several triggerfish and a few decent mangrove snapper.
We decided to move out to 75′ to drift for grouper but with the hot water temps and the lack of wind for a drift we did not do so well. We moved out to 95′ and on the first drop I had a RG on a plastic Storm jig. We weeded through a bunch of shorts and finally put a decent fish in the box. Drift was still very slow even out this far.
All in all, a great day for me to relax and do nothing.
Yep that’s what we did. With the weather in our favor we left at 7pm.With a crew of Harry, Mike and Rich Benn aboard we ventured out in search of some night fishing for mangrove snappers. We set anchor at sunset at a known snapper spot. It was hot without the sun. It felt like being in a sauna with the lights off.We started catching some short red grouper and lane and vermillion snappers. The red grouper stropped and never did catch any others at a spot where we limited out before. We relocated to other spots with the same results .I never fish for red grouper at night , could they not bite at night ? We ended up at D9 with the same results. But mike saved the day while I was untangling a line around one motor he reeled in my rod with a Mango snapper on it. Thanks Mike. We also tried a hot spot that harry had for some large Porgies that never happen. But we tried harry. It was now getting around 5am and it was time for a short nap.I could not sleep and went up to the upper deck ( that’s what I call my bow) and laying against my windshield waiting and watching day brake on the horizon.With first light we pulled up anchor and with the rods all ready in advance started to trolling. We were at 100 ft. of water and trolled NNE on the way home. We did get far when I saw a school of fish surface and sound then resurface. Trolling over we had our first hook up and Harry pulled in his first Dolphin. We circled many time but they were gone . Continue on the next school we saw were Mackerel . Rich had this one but after short fight it was lost . We past many schools of fish with no hookups and suspected they were small Bonito or blue runners. Moving on our next hook up was taken by mike. He picked up the center rod we had out short just pass the prop wash with a 3oz. red and white bullet head jig on. He had a long fight on his hands and ran out a lot of line .Figuring it was a large King Mackerel we started planning who wants it or not and decided to split it up to smoke. Don’t ever eat your fish before you catch it. After a long fight Mike finely got it to the boat and it was brought aboard. Our smoking fish plans were ended when we saw it was a Little Tuna. At first I thought it was a Black Fin because of it’s size. It was the biggest one I ever saw. It was released .As we were getting a little tired at this time we headed East to home and trolled to around eighty feet of water. Passed some more schools of fish but no hook ups than we made a run to home and the though of a cool shower and bed. It was a good experience and the guys held up pretty good. I think that the next trip will not be an all nigher but leave just before day break and shoot out 25 miles or so . There’s plenty of schools of fish out there .We were using Boomers, Jigs and Dolphin rigs . Trolling from 5 to 7 MPH. Depending on what’s being used. Letting out a lot of line 2 to 3 hundred ft. when circling a school of fish. I think we had more hook-up more SW at 90 to 100 ft. of water trolling NNE.Good luck if you go and thanks to the guys that believed in my all-night will produce fish.
If you are going to be out on the water past 11 am bring a lot of water. With the calm seas and almost no wind it is brutal out there. Monday I went out with Garry Meeks and friend out of Venice boat club. Going out only about 12 to 13miles we came back with four good Grouper and bunch of Lane and Vermillion snappers.After taking as much of the heat as we can we started to troll using a Bomber type lure about 8 in. We had a hit and Garry grabbed the rod. We were doing about 5 miles and hour and this fish just went in the opposite direction about 20 MPH. He stripped off all of his line in about 15 seconds ,got to the end and and SNAP ! Goodby fish. It might have been a large Black Fin or a very large King Mackerel. That’s twice we missed a large fish out there this week. Give me time and I will get him. While trilling we did come across a single bird diving for bait fish on the surface. Trolling around this area didn’t produce anything , but we gave it a good try.Until next time
I know this is not a fishing report but I thought that someone might want to know what all those stakes are on the beach.They are turtle nest and they are staring to hatch this week.I walk every Sunday on Nokomis Beach to the Jetty looking for new nest and reporting to Mote Marina. On today’s Turtle walk I was greeted buy a group of other volunteers from Mote Marina . They were on there way to check on a reported nest hatching on my beach .They came to dig out the nest and document how many hatched and did not. There was 121 eggs total with five that did not hatch. Then to our surprise at the bottom on the dig he came up with one little guy that was left behind .The hatch was two days ago and I was told that he would of not made it out .Interesting observation was when he/she was put into the bucket the little guy faced the water.Also when put down on the sand it just turned around and headed right to the water. Instinct, it’s remarkable . After the last pic a small wave came and assisted him into his destination beyond to a very dangerous and big world out there. I hope he makes it .I left the beach today with a remarkable feeling thinking that if we all had that determination and will power as that little turtle we all will survive in this dangerous world of ours.
After a week of rain, we ( club members Rich, Bob, Jim, & I ) were anxious to get offshore. The wind was down, and there were steady rollers left over because of the West wind from the day before. Anyway, headed W to about 70 ft. and did some drifting. The wind was perfect for about an hour and we had a slow drift. Then the wind died altogether, the seas flattened out, and it got really HOT. This was the the first time ever that I did not set anchor at all for the entire trip. Fish wise, we had a decent day and Rich Ben had the hot rod with 4 keeper Red Grouper. Headed in early afternoon just to cool off.
This week was an interesting week so far. Staring with the Snake Island get together which was great, Thanks Keven and all who put it together.
Opening day for Gag was Tuesday and Monday I went out to catch some pin fish . I was using a Ubiki rig and the unexpected happen. First I hooked a small 6 ” shark by it’s tail ,first ever. But the highlight of the day was the Tarpon. Yes I hooked a Tarpon with a Ubiki rig. While bringing in a pin fish a Tarpon came up to the boat and snatched the pin fish. The fight last about 1 second ,but he was hooked so I guess you could say that I cough a Tarpon on a #8 hook.
Tuesday Harry and Friend went out to catch some Gag’s. Went to a spot where I been catching ( and releasing ) Gags. We got grouper but the wrong color. While bottom fishing we were free lining a large blue runner on a float with a double treble hook set up . It was only about 50 – 75 ft. behind the boat. The unexpected came again, a large, fat 30 to 40lb. King fish torpedoed straight out of the water about 5 feet snatching the blue runner. It was awesome to see that large fish so close. The rod went down and he was hooked taken off half of my line in about 10 seconds. A smoker he was. Trying to slow him down a little I started to apply a little drag and I was cut off. It must of been wrapped around the fish when he jumped out of the water. I wouldn’t of keep him if I did get him to the boat but it was fun to have him on the line.
That’s why I love getting out on the water you never know what you will see or catch.