36 Hours of FL Fishing - Offshore 3-30, Inshore & Inlet 3-31
My half bro Alex and his buddy Jeff flew in from Minnesota late Thursday night for a Florida fishing adventure. Plan was to fish for dolphin on Friday on my 24' Pathfinder, go inshore Saturday, and fish Sebastian inlet Saturday night. Wind forecast for Friday had me and my ruptured C5-C6 disc worried, so my brother John and our buddy Gray stepped it up and set up a charter on the Incentive with Bruce Alcott. I've bottomed fished with Bruce before and he is the man!
3-30 We requested trolling for dolphin and Bruce had been catching fish all week. Found a beautiful weedline as the sun was coming up and trolled it for hours with nothing but bonito and a missed sail to show for it. Everyone on the radio trolling for dolphin sounded dismal. Bruce was glad to switch gears and put us on some reef donkeys. This was Jeff's 1st saltwter fishing experience. He described pulling up an AJ from 200' as the male equivalent of child birth. After Bruce quickly put us on our limit of 40-60lb AJ's, we wanted to pull on something less taxing and started crossing species off Jeff's list. Red snapper, vermillon snapper, trigger fish, a big lane snapper, 8lb mangrove snapper, and sea bass. Docked at Hiram's with a box full of fish and downed some rum runners
3-31 Inshore on my boat, we did a short morning trip and crossed speckled seatrout off Jeff's list with the best two fish at 26" and 28". All trout were released in healthy and strong condition. Had to keep this one in the well for 20 minutes, so flipper wouldn't eat her. She swam off no worse for the wear.
Also enjoyed watching the Canadian Olympic team train.
Got home relaxed, grilled up some AJ and snapper (topped with pineapple/mango salsa), watched some of the final four and then headed to the inlet. Go ahead and add snook (31 1/2") and big ladyfish to Jeff's list.
I wasn't able to put them on the big tarpon and monster reds I had hoped for, but all in all it was a fun 36 hours.