Had a pretty regular crew on Saturday. The plan was to hit some red grouper and do a little bit of scouting in 110 to 120 and then push off to 150 plus to do some scouting for next weekends Grouper Grab tournament. Last weekend we fished the same area for RGs and the bite was on fire and we expected similar results this trip. Cleared the pass around 630 and after dodging some thunderstorms and filling the well we were off to a first spot in 105. Bounced around in this depth and found a slow pick of nice RG. We were releasing all fish under 25 inches because we expected to find the fish biting like we did last weekend which turned out to be a bad move because we ended up a couple fillets short of our six person limit. After putting about 10 fish in the cooler we chose to run another 20 miles or so and search for some rocks holding a couple big gags or blacks. We looked around for about 30 minutes in 150 and found a small break with a decent show. After a failed attempt at anchoring and the crew wining like 13 year old girls - "What are we doing out here if we cant even keep red snapper, lets go back to 120 and finish our red grouper limit" Kyle and I very reluctantly decide to start heading back East. What a waste of gas and time to get out that deep and not even put in enough time to properly fish a spot. As we were cruising back to the red grouper grounds we found a 55 gallon drum that looked like it had been adrift for some time. It was covered in triple tail and was holding a decent size school of dolphin with a few fish that appeared to be pushing ten lbs (Nice size dolphin for our area). The only problem was the huge school of ferocious little jacks. I wish I would have take a picture of these fish as I am not sure what species they were. They looked like bar jacks or almacos but were very dark, almost brown, and about 1 to 3 lbs. These little guys made it impossible to get a bait to either the triple tale or the dolphin and made things very frustrating. Every cast there would be 20 of these little things chasing the shadow of your bait until it hit the water and then immediately engulfing whatever was on our hooks. I even tried cutting one up and using a strip of it only to find out these jacks were also cannibals. We wasted almost an hour here and ended up with only one dolphin which might have been the smallest fish in the school. We finally made it back to 120 and quickly put more RGs in the box with some really nice fish making it to the boat. We had 3 fish over 32 inches and one 35 incher, which is a real stud RG, that was pushing 25 lbs. It was getting late and Kyles wife (Courtney) told us it was time to go - and no one argued with the boss. We cruised through Gordons pass as the light was fading and finished cleaning the boat and cutting fish this morning. I wish we would have spent more time out deep but we ended up with a nice box and close to a 100 lbs of fillets. Kyle will be posting pics sometime tonight. Pinfish and cut bait caught fish all day and as usual big buck-tail jigs caught its fair share of the big fish.
-We have been planning on fishing the Grouper Grab Tournament next weekend but haven't officially registered yet. We are watching the weather for next weekend and are probably going to make a call on Tuesday. We are pretty dialed in on the fire truck reds but we know we will need a big dark grouper or two to have a chance at winning. Anyone have any suggestions on the depth we need to make it out to in order to have a real chance at finding a couple big gags or blacks? Im thinking 170 as we caught quite a few out there during ARS season?
Sorry about the extra long report - hope yall enjoy. Tight Lines