Made it out on Sunday 2/11/18...Little rough, but doable. Just an OK Day
We had a good plan. Figured with the water warming up, it should be nuts so we got a good crew together and planned on going on Sunday. Weather forecast was good until Saturday morning when it went from 10 out of the southeast to 10-15 out of the southeast with 2-3's. But it was supposed to lay down in the afternoon so we gave it a shot. Pretty much any day but Sunday was the better weather day to go but that was the day I could go...
Got bait at the fort desoto gulf pier. Some really nice size white baits. Tide was cranking pretty hard but we managed to get enough to go. Also had some frozen white bait we saved from earlier this winter.
Forecast was right on. Wind was probably 15 out of the southeast. There were some decent waves but they were pretty much rollers without a lot of slop and the angle was good so we cruised around 27 mph and it wasn't bad.
Got to our destination and that was when the wind and waves made it interesting. Tough getting a good anchor bearing when we are swinging 20-40 degrees.... First spot we had done well with some big fire trucks and had some good shows but nothing was chewing. Grunts and other fish we didn't want was all we were getting.
2nd spot we anchored up on and great shows again. Think we got a few throwback ARS but nothing for the box. 3rd spot, again, great shows.... started chumming. More ARS but we finally got some food. 4 or 5 nice mangos in the box. Got another mutton at this spot, that is three trips in a row, but it was a smaller one. Keeper but smaller than I wanted to keep so threw it back.
Seemed like they wanted the live bait, or you just couldn't feel them on the dead bait because of the waves but ones we did bring to the surface were clearly eating our chum because they were expelling it so it was working.
Go to the last spot and again the anchoring was difficult. I somehow bent my anchor pulling it from the previous spot but it did stick. Got a few more nice mangos.
I think we ended up with 8 nice mangos and a big lane.
I got railed a couple times by gags on light tackle.
Great shows but I am guessing the cold water was still making it tough in addition to the waves and the tide not always cooperating.
Laid down pretty good for the ride in. Cruised in at 30+ mph.
Water temp was 63 on the surface where we were. We were roughly 30 miles out in 95-100' of water. Tide was running south at first which made it tough with a south wind, then settled for a bit and was going north but it didn't seem for long, then it was back to the south. Great shows but couldn't get them to chew like we are used to. Still got a few dinners but hopefully this warm weather will get them going for next time.
Tight Lines. sorry, didn't take any pictures. Mangos were 16-20", lane was probably 16".