Offshore Florida in December
Fishing the world famous Florida Middle Grounds has been nothing short of spectacular this entire year. Can 'Offshore Florida in December' still produce great battles? Let's go see! Joe is not feeling well; Kyle Gallagher will be taking his place today. Kyle is also a very experienced mate. As always, safety must come first. We listen as Will, first mate on the Florida, goes over safety procedures. Kyle and Tammy are ready to go and so are we:
Food is always on our minds. Some of us like to really start our adventure in stile. Tammy is more that willing to prepare special dinners we may bring. Ray, that really looks good:
Let's load up our own private live wells with plenty of pin fish. This is serious stuff for serious fishermen/women:
Captain Bryon fires up the Florida Fisherman's two huge Caterpillar diesels. We are out of here:
Hubbard's Marina, home of the Florida Fisherman, is located on beautiful Madeira Beach. Why do we love Florida so much? This sight in December says it all: Sometimes this sun bleached white sandy beach is hard to leave behind. But we are on a mission, a mission to catch fish.
Chef Tammy knows we are hungry. BBQ pulled pork on the way to the Middle Grounds. What a way to enjoy Friday the thirteenth:
Twelve midnight, we are deep into the very heart of the Florida Middle Grounds. We enjoyed a following sea the entire way out. Little did we know how rough it really is. Here is where big head boats really come into their own. What a great platform to fish from. Windy, threatening rain, and a falling barometer. The odds are certainly stacked against us.
We are fishing three days before the full of the moon. Never-the-less that falling pressure is not good. The mangrove snapper bit is slow, but we are catching some nice ones. Look at that red grouper:
Considering what we up against, the night fishing was good:
As the sun tries to come up, we see rain clouds in every direction. Hold on! Joe has hooked into something much bigger that a snapper. This thing is really powerful, but so is Joe. Watch the great fight twenty four seconds into the video at the end of this report.
So long partner; you have earned your freedom.
Chris, now that's a nice red grouper. Will is so happy for you. We all are:
Roger has hooked a big one. Watch the great fight 51 seconds into the video:
Way to go partner; we are proud to have you on our team:
These things are bringing us to our knees. Have mercy! Many great battles are won; most are lost:
Ray, looks like you are putting that extra protein to good use. Watch Ray at work 1:07 minutes into the video:
Ray caught this beauty on the stern:
Number two came from the bow: (1:55 min. into the video)
Tammy, the great fights have made me terribly hungry. Ray, I will fix you up. Tammy, you are too much!
Joe, what a battle. Watch Joe's great fight 2:15 min into the video:
Talk about a fight: (3:02 min into the video)
Landing fish of this size on a head boat requires a total team effort. See how it's done 3:36 min. into the video. Will hooked this monster on the starboard bow, followed it to the stern, and then to the bow on the port side:
Now that's a nice day time snapper:
Really wish gag season was still open. Notice the rain suit. We will let nothing stop us:
Now that's a king to be proud of:
It's been a long, rough, day. We even saw the sun a couple of times. There is something really special about sun-set over the Florida Middle Grounds. Priceless:
We are so proud to have Ms. Kathy Dickson, Kissimmee, Florida, with us. What a fisher lady. Just look at that late evening American red. Captain Bryon is so proud of Kathy:
We are keeping Kyle & Will busy:
When Chef Tammy goes Italian, we are all winners:
What a way to top off a great meal:
We are wet & tired; let's go home. Those bunks are calling us:
Joe (L) came by this morning to help out. He & Will are proud of that tuna:
Time to collect our fish:
Big money jack pot winner time. We are so proud of Mr. Larry Eaton (R). Larry drove eight hours straight through from Atlanta, Georgia, to fish our Florida Middle Grounds:
Can 'Offshore Florida in December' still produce great battles? Ask Mr. William Trippett:
This will be my last report for this year. My daughter, Dee, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continuing support and to wish one and all a merry Christmas and a most happy New Year. I will try my best to bring you many action packed first hand way offshore reports next year.
Bob, Florida Outdoor Writers Association, and daughter Dee Harbison
Weather aside, nice trip. Limited out on Mangos, with the biggest at 7 lbs even. lost the jackpot to a 7 lb 7 oz goozer. AJ was 64 lbs 4oz and was beat by a 64 lb 7 oz monster. I caught my AJ on a butterfly jig using an Okuma Cedros Spinning reel on a Penn carnage rod. If not for the Porgie poacher on the stern it would have been an awesome trip. Spent tons of time getting untangled from the chicken rigger with way too little weight for his rigs. Hopefully they do something about that guy. He has been a nuisance every time he is out there.
EPIC Marine Manufacturing. Makers of affordable, quality Engine Brackets, Swim Platforms, Fuel tanks and other customized marine products. http://www.epic-marine.com/
The weather sucked and wind and waves were terrible, along with the current, but navy and I both managed to get pretty decent stringers. Capt. Bryon put us on pretty decent fishing even though the conditions didn't really condone it. The "porgy/bee-liner hunter" definitely made things a lot more tedious for the both of us, but we made the best of the situation...with head-boat fishing, you take the good with the bad. Going home with a two-days limit can never be bad. Thanks, as always, for the great report and your good reporting Bob H.
Thank you sir. Guess we did the best we could under the circumstances. When we left the weather was so beautiful. My reports go all over the country. I was all set to really brag on our Florida weather. As it turned out there was little to brag about.
Sounds like you guys had a good catch. That's wonderful!
I know what you mean about the "porgy/bee-liner hunter." Nothing wrong with targeting these smaller fish. However, it should be done so as not to be a bother to others. On a head boat teamwork is, or should be, the name of the game. It's unfortunate that someone who refuses to be a team player can cause so many problems.
Thanks to both Navy & clarosa for adding so much to this report. Your input is greatly appreciated.
Very best to one & all. Bob & Dee
Thanks guys! Many huge AJ's are landed on spinning gear. Than big one Will caught was hooked on the starboard bow, fought to the stern, and was finally landed on the port bow. What a fight. It took total team work.
My adventures are still read all over the country. Best to one & all! Bob & Dee