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Stuart Offshore Solo Run 6-27-14 Cobia, Dolphin, Boneheads, missed Sail

Ran out on a solo mission this morning to see what the day would bring.

Not sure how to describe my live bait fishing experience this morning, but let's agree to call it "comical" and say I just couldn't get it together. My 3 hour bait exploit this morning consisted of three separate trips to Bullshark, a trip to the Sandpile, a visit to the House of Refuge, and also a trip south to the Hobe Sound wreck, then out to Shrimpers. I was hooking a good amount of sardines, but big blue runners and the macks were chopping them off like it was going out of style. So after 3 hours I had amassed a whopping 14 sardines (4 of which were dead on the bottom of the livewell) and two big blue runners. Things were not looking so grand and I didn't point the bow east until 10:45 am. Not the start we all hope for.

Shot out to 300' and then spun back around and came back into around 135' where the water looked best. Put the dredge and a few precious sardines out and the bomber bonito's didn't take long to make their presence known. I caught three of those pretty quickly and thankfully they left me alone for a while. A short time later I had a sail come up on my long bait and I ended up pulling the sardine right out of his mouth before he had it good, so I screwed the pooch on that opportunity.

I took a cell call and not 30 seconds into it a double of easily legal schooly dolphin jumped the baits. I put one of those two on ice and at least dinner was secured. Not long after a small kingfish sky'd on the rigger baits and chopped both baits in half.

The day was wearing on and I started seeing free jumping sails inside, to the north, and then just offshore of where I was all within about 20 minutes of each other in 110', so I was hoping to get another shot at them. A turtle popped up in the distance and the area was really looking alive. With my weak bait supply, at this point I had the last 3 baits out - two BIG blue runners out on the riggers and my last cigar minnow out behind the dredge. I put 5 more minutes on the clock and luck was on my side when a look back and see the left rigger blue runner ripping across the surface with something behind it pushing a small bow wave. A lot of white water was flying, and after a drop back the circle hook found home and I was tight to something with some weight behind it. No jumps, but after a solid fight I planted a gaff in the head of a nice 30 lb cobia. The day was SAVED in sudden death, and mama was pleased when she saw the text of what landed on the deck.

Twelve baits that made it offshore alive resulted in bringing five fish to the boat, and missing a sail, a king, and a 2nd schoolie dolphin. Given the circumstances and 3 hours wasted in the morning and being solo, I was pretty pleased with the results of the day.


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