5/27: Sarasota Offshore Fun

Well, it's been quite a long time since I posted anything. Nice to be back. 2 weeks ago my family and I stayed at a house down on Cudjoe Key and went snorkeling at Looe Key Reef, then fishing the day after. After seeing the 15lb mutton snapper and catching some nice cero mackerel, my fishing spirit was rekindled, bringing us to today's events.

Me, my dad, and Sculler (aka the snazzily dressed Indian fella), headed out of Big Pass at about 7:15 AM, with a command to be back in by 1:30. The bait shops had no shrimp due to the full moon, and our shop had a customer who took all but 3 of the pinfish there before we came, so we mostly stuck to frozen bait. After getting nothing but a nice Atlantic sharpnose shark over a small ledge in 65 feet, we headed in to a favorite wreck of mine in 62 feet. After getting some very promising markings from the bottom machine, we anchored up and began chumming. It didn't take long for the grunts to start coming in, and we kept a few small ones for live bait. My dad and I each hooked into some just-legal scamp, which I'm going to go grill up right after posting this :thumbsup. (Apparently my file is too large, so here's the link to my photobucket page)
After getting those nice eats, my dad decided to try putting a live grunt down to mid-depth with a bit of wire, since we had been cut off by some toothy things there and broken off by others. After catching some more grunts, that sucker doubled over in the rod holder right next to Jeevesh (Sculler, henceforth referred to as Jeeves). While we were sure he had a shark, it was still a dang good fight. But when that beast came to the surface, this fella showed his face:
This was Jeeves' 2nd time offshore, and his first ever AJ. Suffice to say, he was very happy with it. We got more small groupers, and some very nice gags, before calling it a day and heading in. All in all, A pretty good half day of fishing.
All AJs and sharks were caught on live tomtate grunts with 6/0 Mustad circle hooks and 60lb fluoro, all grouper were caught on 40lb mono with 50lb fluoro, with 5/0 Gamatsaku circles and frozen sardines with a chunk of squid.
Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.


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