Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break

Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break
Friday means deep water time for the Florida Fisherman, Hubbard's Marina. The moon phase is perfect for an all out assault on the 'Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break.' Thirty dedicated anglers wait to board the Florida Fisherman ll. This is going to be all out war.
Our first mate, Will, goes over Coast Guard mandated safety regulations, we are ready.
Joe, our trusted mate, shares his vast knowledge. For the battles sure to come we must be at our best. Thanks Joe!
Look at those clouds. This could be a wet one.
We are hungry. Tammy to the rescue with Philly cheese stake sandwiches.
What a way to start our adventure:
Let's go to bed early. Fighting those monsters for over twenty hours is going to take every bit of energy we can come up with. This is going to be a real test;
Twelve midnight, Captain Hubbard eases back on those two huge 1,150 HP Cats. Let the battles begin. Immediately Mister Randy Moore, Chicago, shows a nice American red who the boss really is:
Look at the size of those Elbow mangrove snapper:
Even the porgies are monsters:
The Florida Fisherman ll provides a family atmosphere. Ms. Lisa Garrett & son Cody Kowalski are welcomed aboard with open arms. They can really fish:
Mister Craig Hammock is in for a real fight. Believe me, Craig has seen nothing yet!
Oh No! The amber jacks are getting even bigger & much stronger. The battle is in doubt.
These guys are playing no games, neither are we!
Richie, a Florida Fisherman regular, fought this monster to a stand still. Persistence won the great battle. Way to go Richie, what a fighter.
Mister Randy Moore takes the great fight directly to the enemy:
Mister Andre Spradley, Clermont, Florida, takes no hostages. Really glad to have this fighter with us:
Now this is a new one on me. We are doing very well on AJ's long before the sun makes it's appearance. Mangrove snapper have been slow.
Finally, a glow in the East. Wonder what the day will bring?
Ever see a Queen trigger fish:
The mangrove snapper are making an appearance. Did not see too many last night:
Even Tammy can't believe her eyes:
Tony, Mister Tony Baker, what a nice mangrove snapper:
Andre has mastered the tricky, hard to fool, mangrove snapper:
Man! Elbow mangrove snapper are huge:
Matt knows the secret. No more free meals:
Lisa is some fisher girl. We are so proud of her:
Like mother like son. Mister Cody Kowalski:
OK! Let's push out to the Forty Fathom Break, what a ledge:
Craig, congratulations on a fine scamp grouper. Way to go!
Ken, what a fine gag;
Gag grouper at 240':
Mister Tony Baker, that sure is a beautiful red grouper:
Sure is nice to have Jon & Natt, FWC, with us. They studied, took samples, and tagged fish all day long. We, all of us, need this on the water data:
It is really getting hot. That roof over our head while we are fishing, and the very cool air conditioned cabin are life savers:
Well! this deep water has produced some very nice fish, but not the numbers we were looking for. 240' is way too deep for mangrove snapper. Let's go back to the Elbow for the evening mango bite.
How about some dinner Chef Tammy style. Wonder what she has for us this evening? Gosh! That smells good. No wonder! Chicken pasta with a very special home brewed sauce: Fresh from Janye's garden, Tammy's good friend, Peppers, Garlic, and fresh basil. Who could ask for anything more? Great weather, fine food, good friends, and plenty of fish. This could become habit forming:
Now there is something different, a trumpet fish:
Way to go Tony. What a nice mutton
Well the evening bite is a lot slower than we expected. But we are still catching fish. Not good enough for Mister Craig Hammock. Craig is a sixth generation Indian Rocks native Floridian. He wants to end the trip in stile, with a big, really big, boy. Craig is using an old solid glass rod, and a Penn International two speed reel. Craig is going tough with 80 pound test Manoi-dramon mono line, & 100 pound test fluorocarbon leader. That 8/0 hook should hold anything. Craig selects the largest pin fish he can find. This could be dangerous, but Craig is a real man. No fish is going to intimidate him. Oh No! The battle of all battles is on. This is a fight to the finish. Who's finish remains to be seen. Craig really puts on the heat. Thank heaven for those low range gears on that Penn International. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes, the great battle goes on and on. This fish, this monster, forces Craig from one end of the Florida to the other. Will, or first mate, is constantly by Craig's side. Will is a life savor. Move that rod out of the way, tell those people to reel in. Finally we see color, the color of a real monster. Quick Joe bring two gaffs, we are going to need them. Our two mates sink the gaffs deep into the huge amber jack. With a might heave, the monster hits the deck of the Florida Fisherman ll. Craig, a completely give out Craig, graciously accepts a well earned round of applause. Job well done, well done by one and all. The beast has been ****, beaten in his own back yard. This was a total team effort. We are so proud of Craig; he fought so long and hard.
Gosh! it's been a long, exciting, day. We are really tired. A nice hot shower, a final snack, and it's bunk time.
Now that was a short night. Captain Hubbard are you sure it's time to get up? Ok! Let's go get our fish, our rewards for a tough fought battle:
Joe, Will, can you hole that monster up?
He even looks bigger than 110 pounds:
Now those are fine looking mutton snapper:
Mister Michael Dickinson, Tampa, won both the snapper & grouper jack pots. Craig ran away with the amber jack money:
Next weekend we will be welcoming a new moon. Not a good time to chase the Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break, too strong of a current. No problem on the Middle Grounds. Deep water, we will be back.
Bob Harbison Native Florida Sportsman...
Member Florida Outdoor Writers Association
Watch the short action filled video of the great battles:


  • jewfish7jewfish7 Posts: 517 Officer
    Nice report,those are some monsters!!!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Thanks! They looked even bigger in person. Bob
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 10,365 AG
    Another stellar report Bob.:beer
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Really glad you like my reports. I will do my best to keep them interesting & informative. Bob
  • XafXaf Posts: 924 Officer
    Looks like you had a good trip. Wish I could have been there.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Xaf, Bob # 1, missed you sir. Hope to see you soon. Bob # 2
  • TennesseeDaveTennesseeDave Posts: 298 Deckhand
    Bob, were you on the Elbow when the giant AJ was caught? Or were you guys back in the grounds? Do you know if it was the place where Will caught the 108lber? I am still looking to wrestle with one that big! It might be the death of me but that would be a great way to go out!
  • Navy_FishingNavy_Fishing Posts: 811 Officer
    Nice, how were the AJs? Looks like some size to them. I didn't know the trip was heading south this time.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Dave, we never went to the Grounds. We started out at 160' on the Elbow. From there we pushed out to the 40 fathom ledge, 240,' way to deep for mangrove snapper. Saturday evening we came back to the Elbow. That monster AJ was caught on a large pin fish late Saturday evening. We were fishing within 100 yards of where the 108 ponder was caught. We were being overpowered all day long.

    Will, those AJ's were huge. Many more were lost than actually caught. They were overpowering even the youngest, strongest, among us. The Elbow is West of John's Pass. Mark decided to go there because the moon phase was perfect. We had very little current. Next weekend is a new moon. Bet here is that we will be headed to the Middle Grounds. Have not been to the Southern Grounds in over a month. Hope we go there.
    Will, missed you & Dave last trip. We only had 30 people, had a blast. Bob
  • skyway andeskyway ande Posts: 2,676 Captain
    Nice... Trumpet fish... That is very cool!... Great journalism!
    God, save the South!
  • GofishGofish Posts: 136 Officer
    Great report!!! Nice Fish... How far out is the elbow 160' thats about what 50 60 miles?
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    So glad you like my reports, that means a great deal to me. That trumpet fish was indeed different. The coloration was spectacular.
    We were fishing around 80 miles West of John's Pass. The forty fathom break was somewhat further out. Bob
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 2,859 Moderator
    Great stuff Bob, those AJs are surreal. Awesome Queen Trigger, and the Trumpet brought your report to another note. Always interested in the "specalite de la maison(bateau)", looks like Tammy didn't disappoint with chicken pasta complete with fresh ingredients from her friend's garden, that's some good eats while catchin' good eats. Thanks for posting.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Thanks guys! Unless the weather gets too ridiculous we always have a good time. Fishing is usually very good, however it's the people that make the trip. The food and naps help also.
    Guess I am a burger fan. Those 1/3 pound Tammy cheese burgers are heaven on earth.
    The bunk & galley areas are kept very cool 24/7. Sleeping takes on an art form:
  • dredale7dredale7 Posts: 30 Deckhand
    Great report Bob! It was a pleasure to meet you - this is Andre spot #24. I'm looking forward to my next trip.
  • InappropriateInappropriate Posts: 33 Deckhand
    Where does the Florida Fisherman II hail from? Can anyone provide contact information? I woul dlike to try that.
  • XafXaf Posts: 924 Officer
    Florida Fisherman II is out of Hubbard's Marina, John's Pass. Their website is:

    There is a lot of info on their website but if you still have questions post up here and I'm sure someone will answer or you can PM me.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Andre, sir it was an honor to have you on the Florida Fisherman. Hope U are able to fish with us again very soon. Isn't that spot # 24 great? Best! Bob
  • Region RatRegion Rat Posts: 66 Deckhand
    Great Job. I miss going out on the overnighter.

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 2,345 Captain
    Well! Join us. We would be proud to have you! Bob
  • IshIsh Posts: 797 Officer
    Nice report Bob , thanks as always on a great report , fine looking fish !!!
  • jburkejburke Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    harbison wrote: »
    Thanks! They looked even bigger in person. Bob

    Hey Bob will you be going out on the 39 hour trip on Feb 8th?

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