Four day weekend, one customer and then fishing with family down from Conn.
Thursday, Doctor Steve, brother Scott, Niece Mandy and his Mother Di. Boat was a little crowded but we pulled it off. I was to meet them at 8:30am. I was at my usual bait spot at 6am as the sun was just lightening the sky, it was a little tough to see the baits but in two throws I filled one live well then lightening struck all around the boat as an storm approached. I hightailed it to the ramp and took refuge in the truck until they arrived. I tried the beach first in hopes of some snook action but the southwest onshore breeze made it too rough for Di to handle it. I then elected to go to the mangroves in search of snappers which usually come inshore this time of year. We tried it for a half an hour without much luck and soon we were driven off the spot by the hordes of mosquitoes that attach our legs. It was tough to fish the bushes with that many lines anyway so off to the grass flats were Steve’s mom put on a show for everyone catching the largest trout of 22″ and the most. They boated lots of trout and after a stop at Cabbage key for a drink or two we were at the ramp cleaning fish by 2pm. I cleaned 16 trout and two mangrove snappers and they invited me to the Lazy Flamingo for lunch were Steve had half of the fish blackened and the other half fried. It was a great meal.
Friday, my wife’s cousin and husband were down for a fishing weekend. I didn’t have anymore bookings due to a poor tide for this weekend and boy did it prove to be tough. Val, Tim, Pat and I were at my first bait spot at 6am no luck, and with this southwest wind we have been having it brings with it storms from the gulf. After dodging a storm and 4 different bait spots we managed 50 baits in the well. It was too rough to go outside and I didn’t want the girls to get eaten by bugs so we flats fished. I started south and worked my way north. Demere key point, and then Sangria la. both spots we caught a lot of nice keeper trout, some ladies and jacks. Oh, and Val had a a black tipped shark about 20″ long and some other unknown species almost spool her. it was a fun morning of catching fish. I tried the fish shacks for snapper and boy are they there. hundreds of the things. However they wouldn’t eat, mostly due to lack of tidal flow I am sure. We ended the day with 12 nice keeper trout and 3 snappers. I fried them up with some salads and we pigged out and lounged around the pool.
Sat. same thing , wind SW , Storms, no tide. no bait. I started at 6am and was still trying at 10:00am to get bait. Even went all the way from Jug Creek to McKievers key with out a bait. I did have some real small stuff but elected not to net them as they mess up the net. I should have, because when we did go fishing with the pinfish we had I found a nice hole in the bushes that held big snappers and the few one inch shiners I had were eaten quickly and we short hit a lot of those fish. We still had fun, and caught 4 – 14″ snappers and two sharks. I then brought them out to Captiva pass to try for some groupers. Tim had fun rockin’ and rollin’ in the swells as it reminded him of his home waters of long island sound. we did catch about 10 groupers up to 18″ but no keepers . Last spot was the flat south of mondongo key and Tim nailed a beautiful 26″ trout that must have weighted around 6 pounds. Fat fish. That ended our day and we were off the water at 3pm.
Sun. just Tim and I as the girls were going beaching. So I launched at St James city and went to the causeway to find bait. We were able to load the boat with large threadfins in 15ft of water. I then headed off shore to see if we could find some kings and big mama. Southwest wind had swells up to 6 feet and topped with caps. Tim was used to this stuff so I pressed on. The Pathfinder pounded a few times throwing the door under the console open and hitting me were no man needs to be hit. but other than that it performed great . But wouldn’t ya know it the only boat out there was spear fishing on the wreck I wanted to fish. Tim and I found other structure and made 6 attempts before we were able to get an anchor hold that positioned us over it. We immediately caught Red grouper , snappers, and blue runners from the bottom. The kings were not present. Maybe the water was too warm for them now or it was too rough , who knows. We did have a very large cobia , around 50lbs, come into our slick but he left without looking at our baits. I had hoped the spear fishermen would leave or run out of air but they stayed so I moved us 9 miles south to another wreck were we did not even have a hit. At 1 pm we called it quits as I needed too get the boat cleaned after 4 days of fishing and we were home by 3 pm lounging at the pool.
All and all it was a fun time. Tim is an serious turkey hunter and does a lot of lobstering. He has invited me up to turkey hunt in the spring. I will take him up on that offer as it is something I always wanted to try. Fishing , as always , isn’t as good when the tides are weak. and the disappearance of the large scaled sardines didn’t help matters. The showing of small bait means they have spawned and moved out. So for the next couple of weeks I will focus on Mangrove snappers with small bait and if anyone wants offshore we will need to hit that causeway for the larger bait.