...and what do you do when NOAA calls for small craft advisory? Go fishing of course. The date was already set and I had been trying to get these two guys on the boat for a month and we couldn't put together a day until Sunday. Joe and Jason are Kayla's coaches at the Gainesville Rock Gym. Great guys who have shared a bunch of climbing knowledge with me, so I was looking to pay them back with something I know a thing or two about. Hit the water at the crack of dawn to a low high tide and cold wind. The plan was to go offshore in search of grouper and AJ's, but that got quickly scrapped. Moved in close to shore to look for some reds, but the low water and wind just made it near impossible. Moved out a bit to hunt some trout in the deeper holes and cuts, and ran into a pod of dolphins. Chased them around for a bit while the guys took some pics and shot some video. Went back to "fishing" and nearly got grounded in the shallows on an outgoing tide. I had to get out and push a couple of times. About the time my frustration with the weather gods was about to start showing, the wind laid down a bit. 20 knots to 15 or so, but just enough we could ease out and try some offshore tactics. Made it to 40' on the first go. Nothing was biting...couple of seabass. Put out the trolling rods and picked up a short gag pretty quickly, but couldn't manage anything else. Moved to the second spot in 45' and found some gags, reds and grunts. Joe managed to put two 24-25" gags in the boat for a pic and release. Jason managed some short reds and both of them caught more short gags and grunts. Left them biting for a rough 19 mile run back to shore. We only managed a few seabass and grunt for the dinner table but everyone had fun. I'll post up the pics when I get them.
Bait of choice for the grouper was a Mann's stretch 25 in a Tiger Striped orange and yellow as well as sardines and cut grunt.