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Dry Tortugas Feb 12th thru the 15th

Set out on my first trip aboard the Lauren Jeanne with Capt. Chris. But let me start with the true beginning when i answered a post from our charter master Frank who was looking to fill his trip. I did not know any of the guys going, had not been on the boat before and it has been a few years since i last fished the Tortugas. Trepidation was at a high level. Got a lot of really helpful advice from Gary M who took a lot of time to go over do's and dont's for this boat. His help cannot be overstated. Thanks again Gary. Over the weeks prior we got logistics worked out and before i knew it we were at Stock Island.

We left at 2 on Monday and started fishing about 4 hours later. The first night was a bit slow but we did get some good quality fish. Dennis got a great mutton and Zan landed a real nice flag yellowtail. Abu hooked and landed,or at least got it next to the boat, a monster bull shark. We also got some Mangroves and small grouper. Next day continued a slow but steady pick of fish including Zan's nice Mutton. Got a few porgy as well including Frank's monster Porgzilla, biggest i have ever seen!

Then about 4:00 or so all Heck broke loose! Zan dropped a jig down and connected with a real good red grouper.Then did it again and again.... I tied on a jig and got a couple as well. the next few hours were just bedlam with grouper after grouper coming over the rails and quickly going back :neutral:
Day 3 was more of the same with lots and lots of red grouper. Paul also managed to sneak in a very nice Gag.

That evening we got back into the nice yellow tail that helped us make our limits. The next day the "Red Plague" continued until it was time to head back to the dock.
The fishing was great as was the weather. The crew was great. All got along well and everyone had a good time and got some great fish. Capt. Chris did us right and no one does better fried fish! Got some wonderful meals for sure. I don't think anyone on the boat could have fished any harder than Dennis, he was just a machine. Unfortunately for Frank he battled food poisoning and really struggled to get much fishing in.I think Abu could have sunk the boat if we were allowed to keep all the grouper. Paul just quietly and steadily brought in fish after fish. And Zan converted me into a jig fisherman. Anytime it would seem to slow he managed to stir something up with the jig. Would fish with this group anytime. Thanks to all who helped make this possible.


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