I am a new off-shore guy. Normally spend my time with a fly rod in the backcountry but I heard the near shore mangrove snapper bite was going off and wanted to try it. Hooked up with Larrywit and took off with the only "intel" we had which was 50 feet off of Sanibel. Hit a spot and chummed with some home-made nuclear chum but not much action. Pulled anchor and ran 3 miles to a bit deeper second spot and started chumming again. After 10-20 minutes of chumming the bite starts and we catch some grunts, a couple of yellow tail, a couple of trigger fish and a pair of blue runners....mixed bag of small fish. Only one grunt was of keeper size and everything else was sent back to grow a little...except the blue runner who volunteered to take a ride on the stinger rig under a balloon.
We got the BIG bite and all I can say is it was a hugh blast and things got way too busy to take pictures till the catch was on board.
Wow, 481/2 inches and a scale bottomed out at 20#. I am just guessing 25 - 30#??? After figuring out a new configuration for the ice and fish box it was time for the balloon to go back in the water. An hour passed and the bite started to wane. We had pulled anchor and decided to chase the top water bite to catch a few spanish mac's on the ride back in. The last rod to come back in was the flat line and we drifter along with it for awhile as we had seen some topwater activity very close by. We were reluctant to pull the rod and just as we started to call it a day the rod goes off and Larry hangs on for a long run.
Then settles in for a big fight. This fish is a bit smaller but super tough. Never took a long second run and just came in green and ran us around the boat.
Finally a second king boated this one 17 pounds on the scale and smiles all around.
Time to head for home with two kings that salvaged a busted day of mangrove snapper fishing. Now time to clean a boat and steak out some fish.
By the way, anyone know of any mangrove snapper bite going on????