Celestial Crab Anniversary/birthday trip was successful! Happy Eight years to my rib Celeste!! We had a great diner at my friend Danny’s restaurant Tamara’s in Apalachicola. This our unexpected second June trip this snapper season, things somehow worked out that The Celestial one and my beautiful daughter could join us, the stars aligned, the moon was waxing and the crew restless. Seas were not as predicted, but then when are they, my plans were to fish with some familiar faces, but a son of one and daughter of mine threw us a curve ball, we did best to make contact and keep things in play, but with extra fielders it ended up being a 2 boat trip on Saturday. Celestial Crab being the plow boat we were followed by the Off Campus & Crew of Brad & Lora, Katie and Jake. I told them they could follow us out to the snapper if they were willing to take the beating and much to my surprise they followed through and followed us in that slop and even caught a few fish of the non grunt species. At Least I saw Katie; the new kid on the block, catch a nice snapper! Don’t know about the boys.
Unfortunately, with sporty seas and my crew of SERIOUS fisher people I hardly had time to think, let alone break out a camera to take shots of my more attractive crew members. I also had an extra couple gentlemen aboard to help catch fish. These two are VERY well known trout fisherman from another port of call and those who have been around this forum may have a guess as to who these two mystery guests were aboard the Celestial Crab.
The girls and I stayed at the Lanark Hacienda, but the gentlemen fishing with us had to drive down Saturday morning and even with them leaving Georgia at o dark thirty we didn’t part the wake buoy with full crew until after 9 AM. Luckily Brad and crew were already catching bait and we stopped to bait up for only few minutes then I told Brad let fish and off we went to the depths of 90 plus looking for the endangered ones!
We started pretty quickly after searching for the right fish echoes and the girls got things off with a keeper snapper or two. The other crew members being good fisherman were not to be out done by my ladies and added generously to the box. Captain Joe even fished a rod when Emily tired out and took the wheel for me. I promptly plopped a 27 in red grouper on the deck to show them how to do things. All and all we had a nice time with Brad’s crew drifting gently (rocking and rolling) next to us or nearby usually in shouting distance though we kept track of things on the radio. We move around a bit and then went back to where we started as we were about done with things a Cobra blue and white boat heads in from the south comes off plane right between us. Wipes his face with a towel, reaches up gently pushes his mark button on the GPS and then takes off. Nice feller as we had a nice chat when I passed him loading next to the public ramp, funny same place Knot Guilty puts in at, they must be buddies.
Needles to say their good manners didn’t ruin our day on the water with Brad and his family and me and mine oh those other two guys I had on board had a pretty darn good time too!! I’ll get back to them and the reveal a little later. Ohyea, the man was in the river and promptly stopped that motley Off Campus crew right after I passed him sorry Brad
my other crew members were staying at the Moorings for the night so we just tied up to the free slip and unloaded there since we were heading out Sunday. got home cleaned fish for a long time and then I made dinner for my ladies and promptly passed out.
Sunday we tried to get out early and this time it was just the guys as my girls were pooped out and Celeste had to study for and exam. I get to the pin fish hole and these two make bait like you wouldn’t believe as they are proficient at it where they fish normally the bonus was our pinfish hole turned out to hold some great pigfish too!
My buddies says were going after Gag today right?? season opens today right?? I say sure let me just punch in may magic gag grouper number on the ole GPS! HAHAHA I took them to a snapper hole and hopped for the best I had no clue where any gag were offshore as I really haven’t targeted them much that far out so I was a little skeptical about our chances, but figured I could get in some snapper and red grouper. Again seas and winds were nowhere near the predicted 5-10 knots and 1-2’s so my hopes of running really deep just didn’t pan out. Neither did my second spot since someone was on it, so after picking up one nice snapper of my single snapper special hole. I had to come up with a plan c and I was on the wrong side of my numbers for Gag so I hit and old number from our lost shamrock man Andy Weeks, some years ago we visited it and I remembered It looked like live bottom so off I went.
Well after my buddy puts a 29 in gag in the boat I think I may have just found them, then his son drops in a 27 in gag to the ice and I’m like whoa what have we here. Welllll guess you should know who it was doing all the catching so does anybody recognize this pair! Those who don’t this is the master Peng Chee and his fishing protégé Calvin!
Calvins big fish
Calvins in the Queens seat
The Chee Creel
Calvin holding big fish Peng caught
Well the boys actually played anchor wench for me and I was fortunate enough to add two 24 in fish to their box after I broke off a good one. They did all the work and caught the majority of our GAG limit, 3 red snapper a Lane and a flounder with the grunt, vermillion, sea bass fillers.
Thanks to all involved for a great birthday anniversary weekend and to my bride of 8 years as Danny said at dinner Friday night I AM a lucky man! God bless –Joe
I have to brag on the kids this trip both my daughter Emily and Calvin were super troupers in some pretty rough slop, fished hard and caught LOTs of the limits on both days. didn't complain too much even though I soaked them a couple time with that crazy wind and seas. Also have to thank Peng for raisng such a helpful kid, Calvin was inside helping Celeste vacuum seal all the fish and was always interested in either helping me or her with any of the duties after a trip. Certainly has grown into a great kid.