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Homosassa Offshore 2/17

Dusty, Corey, and I didn't really start the day with a solid plan. We came equipped for just about anything and decided to play it by ear depending on the conditions. Our first stops were at several shallow rock piles to see if any convicts were at home. That was a bust, so we decided to run offshore and, if nothing else, spend the day scouting for new grouper bottom. We headed SW to an area I had never visited in the 30-35 ft depths. We found some awesome looking bottom right away and decided to troll through the area to see if the gags agreed with our assessment. The big lipped plugs started getting smashed as soon as they were deployed, so we knew we were on to something. After marking a bunch more good looking structure we decided to head out to a wreck and see if any AJs were home. The sonar lit up with big inverted V's as we made our first pass over the wreck, so I figured we might be in for some fun. I rigged up a rod with a vertical jig and pretty soon the first fish was on. The fish weren't big by AJ standards, but they were plenty fun to catch on light tackle. Most were around 26", but we finally caught one legal fish of 32" that went in the box. After 8 fish we decided to head closer to home and look for some more new bottom. We found some more promising looking structure and started trolling again. Once again, the gags were thick. We ended the day with at least 10 gags caught and released, most of which were in the 25"+ range. Think we'll ever get back to no closed season on gags? It's painful to release all that tasty fish flesh. Water temps were around 58 degrees and seas were calm. It felt great to be back out on the water. Can't wait for the spring migrations to get started!


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