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Humbled by the Big Pond......PC report 6/6/15

LilOrangeLilOrange Senior MemberSmyrna, TNPosts: 1,210 Officer
Well......... got a rough start to our day this past Saturday despite getting to the marina earlier than usual with dreams of early morning snapper & grouper battles dancing in our heads. But, while getting the boat loaded, we had my little nephew catching pinfish at the docks (and he caught some nice sized ones I might add) only to discover that our bait well pump was out. Worked fine two weeks ago......not so much on this day. :banghead
Considering how vital that was, we had a spare in the tackle bag but it took about an hour or so to get it all changed out. So, we were now much later than we wanted to be getting out and still had to get live bait. But, once underway we pointed it SW for about an hour’s ride. Stopped a couple of times to check out a few small patches of grass, but no takers. Did see a few chicken dolphin; got them to chase but wouldn’t bite. Finally got out to about the 25-nm mark to a spot that had been real good to us (with red grouper and big red snapper) several times in the last year or so. Not so this time. It was like a desert. I think I got one real solid grouper bite & hook-up only to come unbuttoned. Other than that, not even a nibble. We tried a few more spots in that general area, all to no avail. Except for me catching a big shark........which was a fun battle that about wore me out. I can’t imagine you shark fishing guys catching those real big ones. So, we completely left that whole area.

Couple of shark photos:

And, short cell phone video of it that my nephew took. Hate that I didn’t have the GoPro ready to go....that would have been cool underwater footage.


Anyway, by then, time was our enemy. We decided to head closer in to try to salvage our day at the spot we had decent success at two weeks ago in state waters. We immediately started marking good bottom & good fish moving up off the bottom. We picked up 4 quick red snapper (one about 15-lbs or so & the rest decent average size) and several small undersized ones. All on live cigars fished way up off the bottom. No red grouper takers using grunts on the bottom (like we caught several two weeks ago) and no takers on the knife jig. And then the bite changed after about 45-minutes. It got real, real subtle & at the slightest nibble our bait was gone. The bottom machine was still marking real good, however. After a lot of frustration & lost bait, my buddy dropped down a smaller rig with a smaller hook & small piece of squid and immediately hooked a big trigger. We had been invaded by a ton of trigger. My nephew caught several real nice ones on a bass rod/reel which was a blast for him. Hated that they had to go back. The snapper bite never came was done. And we never did find a red grouper bite.

We hit a couple more spots on our way in & played with some more chicken dolphin on another grass patch before calling it a day. Kinda got humbled a little bit Saturday. But, still learned a lot. Finally tally:
4 red snapper
1 lane snapper
1 scamp (first one I’ve ever caught, even if it was on the small side; so, that was cool)
2 porgy

My nephew holding the biggest snapper of the day that my buddy caught.

Have bean bag.......will nap!

Good thing we do this for the love of fishing........I’d hate to try to figure out our price per pound of fillets. HaHa!!! But, regardless, we plan on being back down there in a few more weeks for a week long family vacation over the 4th of July. We’ll be back out there trying again.........maybe the gags will be kinder to us. :)

Livin' the Dream !


  • upinthewaterupinthewater Senior Member Panama City, FlPosts: 202 Officer
    Great report and that "size" scamp is exactly the size you want. Nice SOW :)
  • KlingerKlinger Senior Member Eufaula, AlabamaPosts: 2,234 Captain
    Not really a stellar day for us on Sunday either. All the snapper we caught were good snapper, & we didn't have to throw any back, but as you said, a very suttle bite. Bottom machine was lit up, but the bite was off. We were about 45 miles in 165' and we also caught no grouper of any description.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    Nothing wrong with that trip. Way to get out there. When the weather is like that fish are just a bonus.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Red FishRed Fish Senior Member Panama City BeachPosts: 1,163 Officer
    Glad the weather cooperated for yall.
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • stingwraystingwray Senior Member Posts: 852 Officer
    Nice trip and report. Well i feel your pain being a couple hundred miles from the big pond can be a tuff (boat, trailer, parts, places to stay,clean fish, weather etc.) at times. Most times when things go wrong just can't run to house and get what you need. The odds are against you, but when plan comes together its very rewarding.
    Sting aka Capt. Ron
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Senior Member Panama CPosts: 6,193 Admiral
    Nicely done! We had made it out the same day and the bite was hot at first and then it shut down. So did the breeze and got hot as heck. We bounced around for a few hrs with no luck other than I suspected the triggers were taking our cut baits. Then stopped on our way in and found our fish with our last few live cigs. Nothing on cut or frozen s.

    Glad you had great weather and a good trip.
  • BeckBeck Senior Member Central Georgia/Santa Rosa BeachPosts: 2,332 Captain
    Nice day to me, that's a nice size trigger too. Just another fish on the now endangered list.
  • Fl-boyFl-boy Member Posts: 71 Deckhand
    Bite was slow on Sunday too
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