Gag on the line
The trip started with Red Tide still being bad at John’s Pass so no live bait was being sold. (At this writing the RT seems to be dissipating) At the time of departure the conditions were decent but the forecast was for the winds to pick up. Trolling on the way out was decent with a few Kings and Spanish Mackerel coming over the rail.
We started around Midnight with the winds blowing 10-15 and seas around 2’. The bite was decent throughout the night with Mangrove Snapper coming up all over the boat. I wouldn’t say they were ever on fire but it was steady. The best news was the size was above average. I caught several over four LBS. and two over 6. I was hoping for some night Gag action, and although I wasn’t so fortunate there were a few caught.
Day break brought the promised increase in the winds. They kicked up to 20-25 peaking around 2:00. This didn’t stop the Goozer bite as they continued to bite most of the day. On the second stop after Sun rise, I dropped down and before I could tighten my line BANG! Fish ON! I knew right away it was a Gag. After a few tense moments I reeled up a nice one in 12 LB range.
Next stop I dropped down my biggest Live bait and once again got slammed! This time my drag was singing. I figured it was an Amber Jack but you always want to see it. I managed to weave in and out of several lines on my way to the stern (I never would have gotten him up if AJ’s were still in season) Sure enough it turned out to be a Jack at least 70 LBS. Sorry no pictures as Will the first mate was able to de-hook him in the water and he swam off. Perhaps we will meet again.
After about an hour run to a new area, I managed to do something I haven’t done in a while. I caught back to back keeper Red Grouper. One was barely legal and the other a couple inches past. My buddy Danny caught one over 15 LBS that ended up being the Jack Pot winner!
Next stop Captain Bryon said it was a place he’d caught some nice Gags in the past. Turned out he was right as BANG! BANG! I landed two Gags in a row one of which was over 20 LBS. All in all, it was a great trip and just before we left the weather improved and we had a nice ride home. Time to rest up and get ready for the next one.
See you out there!
P.S. The Legend of “Jig Head Ed” struck again as the anchor was being pulled for the last time. He hooked up while reeling in. It was my privilege to gaff a “Smoker King” that had to be 30 LBS!
In addition, both are real gentlemen who are more than willing to share their vast knowledge.
John always fishes the bow; Ed the stern. When you are this good you can catch fish front, back, or in between.
What an honor watching the best at work!