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Horseshoe Beach 7/25-7/26 Lack of Grouper Report

I took Friday off and took a couple of my guys and one of our customers fishing out of Horseshoe. The plan was to put her on her first grouper and amberjack. The day started off pretty well. We landed five gags in pretty short order in the 49' range. Then it shut down. We bounced around, trolled, drifted. Couldn't find any more. Ran out to the White City Bridge to put her on an AJ and saw signs of dead fish, not many, a few small ones and some long snake looking things. The AJ's didn't seem to be home. Something was showing up on the depth finder, but not like the normal explosion that you normally see. Nothing would bite. Live baits, jigs, squid on the bottom. Nothing. Frustrated, we ran 14 miles to another AJ spot further West of there. Same thing. Saw the same small fish and snake things all the way. Not in any quantity. One here, one there. Finally in 52' we landed a red grouper. Made several drifts and anchored but couldn't produce any more. Six total fish and two shorts. Tons of grunts.

Saturday, I took my dad, uncle and a friend of ours out. The results were worse. One short grouper all day. The grunt bite had even slowed down. Hit WCB again just for good measure and the same pitiful results. I dropped my GoPro over board and got some vids of some big fish in the distance. I couldn't tell what they were, but they were swimming slow. I think goliaths.





We pulled five gags off of this spot then the bite stopped. I dropped the GoPro over for a couple of pics.

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Sight Fishing AJ's, Say What


  • PONCEPONCE Posts: 5,946 Admiral
    Love the under water shots KP!!
  • Gator4LifeGator4Life Gainesville,FlPosts: 576 Officer
    Nice grouper. Cool underwater pics.
  • keypondkeypond Posts: 2,017 Captain
    I forgot to mention...underwater video to come. It's going to require some editing. Thanks.

    Reel Time w/Florida Sportsman Guest Host
    Sight Fishing AJ's, Say What
  • jperduejperdue Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Great report. Sorry for the bad days of fishing but you help us out with being honest. I went to crystal river last weekend with the same results and dead fish

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
  • BillyBilly ChassahowitzkaPosts: 2,741 Captain
    PONCE wrote: »
    Love the under water shots KP!!

    Me too KP...looking forward to the video.

    "And the ocean is howling for the things that might have been..."
  • CampCamp Posts: 81 Deckhand
    I noticed in the FWC red tide report there was a bad patch west of Horseshoe in the Gulf - see second paragraph. Could this be part of the problem offshore?

    Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, was detected in background to high concentrations in several water samples analyzed this week from offshore of Hernando County and in background concentrations in two samples collected from inshore waters of Charlotte and Lee counties.

    Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida show a bloom 80 miles long and 50 miles wide approximately 40 to 90 miles offshore between Dixie and Pasco counties. Karenia brevis was found not only on the surface, but also at depths up to 20 meters. This bloom has caused an ongoing fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received reports of thousands of dead and moribund benthic reef fish including various snapper and grouper species, hogfish, grunts, crabs, sea turtles, flounder, bull sharks, lionfish, baitfish, eel, sea snakes, tomtates, lizardfish, filefish, octopus, and triggerfish. Reports of water discoloration have been received, but no respiratory irritation has been observed or reported. Short term forecasts of bloom movement by the Center of Prediction of Red Tides do not predict considerable movement of the bloom patch in upcoming days.
  • keypondkeypond Posts: 2,017 Captain
    Camp, we saw signs of it out there. There was plenty of grunts to be had almost everywhere we stopped, but the grouper just wouldn't eat past a certain point in the morning. Hopefully it has nothing to do with the red tide. Not sure about the AJ's though. They have me a bit worried.

    Here's the video I promised.

    Reel Time w/Florida Sportsman Guest Host
    Sight Fishing AJ's, Say What
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,648 Captain
    The solunars are extreme during the new moon period. The peak feeding periods are very short and the fishing shuts down between the peaks. Gags also become crepuscular feeders during mid summer. So they only feed actively during short periods around dawn and dusk. Since there is so much bait available by late summer, the gag fishing doesn't typically pick up until fall.

    They bite better during the day in deeper water. But the red tide has pretty much ruled that out this year.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,291 Moderator
    Cool bottom pics. Great looking spot.
    Surprised to see the urchin. Looks like the long spine variety. Lower keys used to be infested with them.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,612 Captain
    red tide is killing the fish and the fishing.
    I hit several spots out of Homosassa lat week that are usually hot and I could drop a sardine without it even getting touched.
    Zero bites on spots that usually produce and dead fish on the surface.
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    That bottom looks awesome, just missing some quality fish.....
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
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