The last 2 of our day trips were right before “Bug” season opened. They were pretty productive and had our guests smiling. John brought his wife Vicki, son Cam, and daughter Katie along for a ¾ day trip. We blasted out at 7 AM and made our way immediately for some bait. We caught plenty of Hardtails but the Ballyhoo were trouble. We stayed a bit longer than usual because there were some really nice Mangrove Snapper in the chum. We did manage to catch 5 of them before we left.
The Dolphin (Mahi) bite was on the slow side from the reports we had heard so the crew decided to pull on some wreck fish instead of wasting the short day hunting Mahi. The current was dead slow, the fish were marking on the sounder but they were slow on the bite. Our first hook up was Katie on a nice Almaco Jack.
The waters were very calm to go along with the dead current. We worked the area for a couple of hours, sparking up some bites. We did have a good time wrestling 3 big Amberjack out of the 5 or 6 bites we had.
I noticed that they were smiling hard through all the sweat and tired muscles. I suggested we go try for some Mutton Snapper to finish the day out. That was not as productive as I had hoped. It was easy to cover the spot on the slow drift and our live ballyhoo were perfect baits. The lack of current, however, had the Mutton‘s on lock down. We did manage to sniggle out 1 small fish of about 18 inches that we tossed into the box with the 5 nice Mangroves.
The day was nice and easy but the smooth water and slow current made it a good day for a boat ride. We did manage to eek out some fish on a slow day. They thoroughly enjoyed their family day on The BEAST.
Another day trip we did was with Manny of MD Turbines. He brought along his friends Alex, Linda, Etta, and Mike, who I knew through the World Cat owner’s forum. Dolphin(fish) were on the menu since we were doing a full day. We left the dock around 7 AM and headed for our bait spot where we caught 3 or 4 Hardtails. I took an easterly heading and blasted off to the deep water to hunt some Mahi. We spotted some weed lines in 550 and 660-foot depths but I continued on. I kept a mental note of them in case we needed to return to them later. I found a beautiful weed line in 1200 feet and it looked good and alive. We put out a spread and started our leisurely troll. Wow! We live bait so much that it felt really good to troll for a change. 15 minutes down the weeds and a reel sounded off, then another, and another. There is something about that sound.
We worked this path of weeds and the bites were there but the size began to diminish after a while. I pulled up and made that run back to the other weed lines on my mental notepad. We hooked up a big “Bonehead” (Bonito) and then I finally said enough is enough when we caught one of the smallest Mahi I’ve ever caught.
We had caught a dozen Dolphin so Manny was happy and we all decided to switch it up and let them pull on some Wreck Donkeys. Mike is from the Left Coast of Florida and we wanted to show him some of our really big, bruiser AJ’s. The best we could pull out for him was a 39#er. We caught a couple of good Almaco Jacks to throw into this mixed bag day.
We made one more stop before the day was over to try and get a Mutton Snap or two. The wind was blowing across the current and anchoring would have been a tedious process so we made a few drifts with the slack current. The drift was wrong also and although we had a few bites all we caught was 1 Sand Tilefish. OK! Stick a fork in us… we’re done! Plenty of fish in a mixed bag, a lot of World Cat talk, and beautiful weather, made for a really nice day!
We have begun our Cubera Snapper season and I will be writing those reports as soon as I get some time. If you want to give it a try we do have some openings around the next full moon.