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Venice Offshore 03/23

Took two of my Snowbird neighbors out today. Started in 35 feet working a couple of ledges. The Key West Grunt bite was wide open. They were decent size fish and preferred lolligo squid. We tried some shrimp for mangrove snapper with no takers. I chummed this spot hard and just maybe that is what had the grunts fired up. I was somewhat apprehensive about the bottom bite today given last night's full moon. The Current was on a flood and going straight up into the wind. Water temp was 69.8 degrees F. We fished these first two spots for about an hour before several stray boats started showing up which began to try to blind anchor around me. I bailed out and went four more miles west into about 43 ft. of water. We fished hard bottom at the new spot and put some real nice lane snappers in the basket. Pretty soon the pigfish, tomtate grunts, and pinfish showed up in droves, turning off the snapper bite. We pulled anchor and ran a few more miles west to a ledge in 53 ft. of water. First bait down got crushed by what I would guess to be a grouper. The fish came unbuttoned on the way up so I can't really say what it was. We fished the ledge for about an hour releasing a half dozen short red grouper and boating one keeper red grouper. During the course of the day we also caught Spanish mackerel on fly lined pilchards that were leftover frozen from last fall. All in all, it was a productive day with plenty of constant action. I was pleasantly surprised with the fish box at the end of the day given the full moon conditions. Maximum distance offshore was about 8 miles. Word on the street around here is that there are some nice mangos on ledges a little farther offshore.

Capt. Gabe Kovacs 1600/3000 ton Master (Oceans)
K2 Sport fishing and Diving

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