Short story - 3 man limit of big snapper to 18lbs and about a 30lb cobia (weights are based off old unreliable scale - will weigh with a new one tomorrow after we return from day 2 offshore). Will update with pics sometime Saturday afternoon or Sunday. More to come...
Thursday - 7/12/12
With snapper season coming to an end in the near future Line Dancer wanted to make two final trips offshore. The first was going to be a test run with the World Cat with just LD, myself, and his father-in-law on 7/12 with us swapping out the father-in-law for his wife and sister-in-law on Friday (the 13th - more to come on that )
So we left the canal about 6:30is, maybe a few minutes before, and were greeted with calm seas. We could see some offshore showers but had hopes that they would dissipate before we got there, which they did end up doing. However, the closer that we got to the storms the more wind they were pushing and had the seas coming out of the east - a really weird direction for over there since it's mostly S and SW - and kicking up from 3" to 2-3' by the time we passed the end of the cape. The up-side, LD never pulled back on the throttles the entire way out! So far - 3" or 3' and it will still run the same cruise speed (24mph w/ twin 140 Suzukis). Hit hit the first spot and there was a leather-back sea turtle at the surface (couldn't get to the camera before he went down) and the fish were stacked up!
Tossed the buoy and LD spun the boat around. My first drop - really nice snapper and in the box. Rebait and my second drop - BAM! BIG FISH ON! I'd pull and gain line, he'd pull back and take just as much. After 4 or 5 times of this I finally started making headway and getting the fish coming up. LD's father-in-law boated one 10+lbs on the other side and said something about the money fish for the day. At this point I still had not seen color but told him that I'm not so sure of his being the fish of the day. As I finally started seeing color all I could see was a big red snapper - a broad fish. When it hit the surface I was shocked - my biggest snapper to date (by about 5lbs!).
19.2lbs on the scale back when we finally cleaned them the next afternoon!
After that I told LD to get in on the action and I'd run the boat. This, I think, was his first drop.
Shortly after I was going to his father-in-laws side when I saw a shark...NO COBIA!...coming to the boat. Of course we had a rod for him but nothing rigged on it
The start hanging their bottom rods off the side of the boat and he takes the squid off Mish's hook. LD gives him a few pieces of LY while I'm still trying to get rigged and he finally takes one and I abandon the albright I'm in the middle of and LD hands the rod to me since I have yet to boat a legal cobia...until Thursday. He takes a little drag and ends up back at the boat. We both agree that I needed to back the drag off a little and let him wear down some more. After another short fight I manage a slightly less green cobia to the other side of the boat, closer to the fish box, and LD sinks the gaff and drops him in the box! First cobia blood on the new boat as well!
It didn't take us long and we were done with our snapper - a very impressive box of 6 snapper at that! We spent a little time looking for some other red - grouper - before calling it a day around noon with the nice box of fish we had and heading in. As we got closer this kept looking worse and worse although most of it was on the hill by the time we arrived. We only got drizzled on briefly.
Back at the dock, and the next afternoon, we weighed the fish
9.5lbs, 10.25lbs, 11lbs, 12.9lbs, 13.5lbs, 19.2lbs and the cobia went 28.4lbs - An impressive handful of fish!
Our 7 fish in a 162qt cooler
The big boy
First cobia and biggest snapper to date
To put the snapper's size in perpective - here he is along side my 14 month old son that weighs about 21lbs
Friday - 7/13/12
Let's just say that it was a Friday the 13th kind of day. When we left there was a storm sitting down around Indian Pass and slightly east of where we were going. Anticipating similar actions from the day before - it would likely rain itself out just before we get there... That would not be the case today. We were buddy boating with the Palmetto Custom we went out on last Sunday. The further we got offshore - the rougher it got. Ended up being a solid 2-4' day with a whole lot of 3s and 4s. The good news - the boat ran great and, once again, the throttles stayed at the same cruise speed as the day before regardless of it being even rougher.
The bad news is that the fish just were not biting. We hit several spots that normally produce and ended up with nothing. We stopped at one last hail mary spot before heading on in to avoid the rain that was quickly approaching and I lost a good snapper on a live bait that I had half way up and the girls each managed a beeliner. Kind of a puny day considering what we did the day before. There are no pictures of anything today because the rain that we ended up in would have ruined my camera - or any camera, for that matter.
Was one of those days we should have just stayed on the hill...
This is the storm that we had to run back through. This was a photo that St. Joe Marina took of some boat coming back in with the storm in the background. Ironically, I think it looks like another cat (Glacier Bay, best I can tell)