Gulf Grand Slam

We who are fortunate enough to call the Sunshine state home live in a tropical wonderland most can only dream of. Our sun bleached white sandy beaches are second to none. Madeira Beach, home of The Florida Fisherman ll, is enjoyed by thousands twelve months out of the year:
In addition to fun on the beach Florida is well known for world class fishing. We are proud of our fishing and love to share with fellow sportsmen/women. Come along as we showcase the very best Central Florida has to offer. Witness, first hand, a 'Gulf Grand Slam' never to be forgotten. Our 'Grand Slam' will feature mountains of shallow water gag grouper and mangrove snapper; followed by pelagics, and seldom seen fish from well over the 100 fathom mark.
Is everyone ready for the adventure of a life time? Let's go:
The mighty gag grouper:
Huge vermillon and American red snapper:
The new day is greeted with more of the same:
The AJ's are big, strong, and ready for a fight:
Look at the teeth on that cuda:
Time to go deep; really deep. Let's troll for pelagics. First up, tuna:
For color nothing matches the rainbow colored mahi:
The bull dolphin...spectacular! (See it in full color at the 10:46 mark into the video at the end of this report)
For a combination of power and breath-taking speed the sleek wahoo offers the challenge of a life time. This speedster hits a big, fast moving, target like a run-away freight train: (Catch the great fight @ the 6:30 mark into the video.)
Ok! Time to get serious about deep-drop bottom fishing. That wreck looks good:
We have the equipment to do the job:
First up the very tasty barrel fish. This you do not see too often:
Mr Janecka, fishing out of Osteen, Florida, shows us how it's done. Bo caught huge snowy grouper from one end of the Florida to the other:
Welcome to deep-drop Florida stile. Welcome to our 'Gulf Grand Slam!' These things are huge:
Dan is so proud of his new deep-drop outfit:
Wow! Dan sure gave that new outfit a 'reel' test...two at a time:
Here is another one you will not see every day. The very colorful deep water long tail bass:
Well! Our 63 hour Central Florida 'Gulf Grand Slam' has been everything we could ever dream of. As the sun dives into the crystal clear, warm, Gulf water,
our dreams turn once again to our beloved 'Jersey Girl' Chef Tammy. Pork chops seasoned to perfection; hickory smoked bacon with fresh green beans, and the finest wild rice. Tammy, you are simply the best:
After a hot shower it's time to hit our cool, comfortable, bunks.
Next stop Madeira Beach, Florida.
Central Florida 'Gulf Grand Slam!' The very best Florida has to offer:
That new outfit really worked out well for Dan. His 'in the money' jack pot winning snowy grouper hit the scales at a whopping 40 pounds. Not to be outdone, Dan's very good friend, Ed, is ever so proud of his 55 pound wahoo:

See all the action in this short action-packed video.
(click on the Youtube link)
2015 offers two more chances for Central Florida Gulf Grand Slams. On 10/22 & 11/19 we will once again challenge the monsters of the deep. And, with eight trips planned for next year, we have a lot to look forward to.
As the weather cools many of us also look forward to hunting season. Want an opportunity like this?
Join me at Two Guys & a hog. My cameras are always ready. Join me, us, in the 'Woods'nWater' of our great state.
Best to one and all!
Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association


  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,097 Moderator
    63 hrs. holy crow, now that's a fishing trip. Impressive catch and array of species.
  • ReefromperReefromper Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Is the FF2 outfitted with plug ins for the electrics or does everyone bring batteries? If everyone brings batteries how many for a trip like this? Nice trip. Would like to make one day just needs to coincide with vacation. Almost a 3 day trip and another 3 days to recover!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    Thanks guys! These 3 day trips are really something. We started fishing at the 250 foot mark. That's deep for mangrove snapper. However, the ones that are there are big. The gag bite was good. We then pushed out to just under 400 feet. The gags were on fire. Next stop a sunken container ship in 860 feet of water. The barrel fish were thick. Moved around & found the snowy grouper. They were big, mean, and hungry. The pelagics were caught trolling in between stops.
    For those who have never fished deep-drop you have absolutely no idea what you are missing.
    The Florida has no twelve vote plugs. Everyone carries a battery. One is sufficient.
    With the very comfortable bunks and two strong air conditioner units three day trips are actually easier than one day trips. My bunk and I are one:
    Join us! The only thing that would make these trips even better would be to have you on them. Best! Bob H.
  • sammy2189sammy2189 Posts: 998 Officer
    one day ill be on that boat!!!!!
    Hobie outback
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 10,871 AG
    Another awesome report Bob.
    Thanks and keep em coming.
  • TennesseeDaveTennesseeDave Posts: 308 Deckhand
    I always bring two batteries. If you don't have a backup you could be doing a lot of reeling. Some people hand crank the entire trip.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    Thanks guys! Dave very good advice from someone who really knows what he is talking about.
  • ericfericf Posts: 458 Deckhand
    Great trip as usual!

    That one Gag with the mottled coloration on its belly looks to be a "copper belly," you don't see too many of those. Cool!

    Tight Lines,
    Eric Fosbender

    Team Googanator

    2006 Bull Dolphin 22 with 250 Etec
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    Guess when you fish waters from 250 to 1,000 feet you see a lot of strange things.
    Hope you liked sharing in our adventure as much as I liked bringing it to you. Leaving again Thursday for another 63 hour deep-drop trip. Then on October 30 it's a 44 hour snapper trip. Hope to have plenty of pictures and an action packed video to share.
  • ~~Mutt~~~~Mutt~~ Posts: 478 Deckhand
    Does one rent electric reels or need to buy and bring there own?
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    Everyone brought their own. Some use conventional reels. It takes a lot of effort to bring a big grouper or barrel fish in from well over 100 fathoms. But it can be done. Electric is the way to go.
  • J BoneJ Bone Posts: 172 Deckhand
    Now that looks like fun! That long tail bass is probably the coolest looking fish, I would definitely have a mount made if I ever caught one.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    They are a beautiful deep water fish. Going again this weekend. Hope to have some more pictures.
  • Mako224Mako224 Posts: 460 Deckhand
    Great report as usual- I was a little disappointing in seeing fish float away early in the video.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,051 Officer
    I must have missed something. I watched the video twice and didn't see any fish floating away.
  • DeltasixDeltasix Posts: 51 Greenhorn
    Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your reports.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,401 Captain
    Thank you so very much. I have been retired for over ten years. I lost my wife of thirty nine years and my youngest daughter to cancer. Sharing with my many friends on F/S helps me to cope. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your world.
    We fish anywhere from 125 to 1,000 feet of water. At those depths barotrauma becomes a real problem. We make sure every fish released is properly vented before returning to the water. Regardless, some will float. We hate to see that as much as anyone. I did not notice any floaters in the video. Hopefully most released fish live to fight again. Many do. Often we catch fish with FWC tags. That means they have been caught, released, and lived.
    Beat to one and all Bob H.
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