Florida Triangle 12/10-12/13

My cousins flew from south Dakota for a week of florida fishing. Now these guys are used to ice fishing with 12 inch rods, or fishing corks for walleye and crappie, so I was excited to put them on some real fish. This was planned a couple months in advance, and as anyone knows, the weather changes and that dictates what we can fish for. And of course the week that they come it's our worst weather in the month of December. So we decide we have to trailer wherever the weather allows us to get offshore. Day one we hit fort pierce (a few lane snapper, 3 yellowtail snapper, 1 trigger) while rolling around in 6 ft seas. Day 2 we trailer over to Steinhatchee and one of my bearings goes out on the trailer and we lose 4 hours. End up only fishing for a couple hours (7 flounder, 1 seabass). Day 3 in steinhatchee was beautiful flat seas, so we run out 38 miles to get to 60 ft of water and get 3 keeper bags and release about 9 23 inch bags and 2 red grouper. Also get a bunch of key west grunts and black seabass. Then day 4 we get to fish my homeport MAYPORT! IM really excited to put them on some fish. The weather report is a little off and it's pretty sporty, wind gusts up to 30 and some big rollers, but we never take any over the bow. Limit out on some 17-19 inch vermillion and throw in a few trigger. Let them wrestle some monster red snapper for catch-pic-release. And with 30 minutes left I tell my brother to send a live grunt down on the grouper rod. Not even 5 minutes later he is hooked up and silently struggling with something big. No red snapper head shake, just a strong pull straight down. I get the gaff ready, and I'm pumped when I can see its brown. Cobia?.....nope HUGE gag! He comes to the surface and goes belly up and I stick her with the gaff and grab her under the gills just to make sure i dont lose this fish of a lifetime. High fives all around, a couple pics and an anchor pull and were headed back to mayport in occasional 8 footers and rain needles to the face. Good times. 

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