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Crystal River offshore Sunday 7/28

Caught pinfish and ran offshore in 2' choppy seas.  Fished 60-75' west and a little north.  Caught and released red snapper, lots of undersized red grouper (looks like they are coming back strong should be good in a year or 2) gags up to 22".  Seabass and grunts in the box but nothing else made the ride home.  Good day but disappointing to not find any larger grouper.  Maybe out deeper?  Only saw 4 boats all day.  



Replies

  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Beautiful HomosassaPosts: 1,782 Captain
    Sea bass and grunts are great eating but understand your disappointment. Doesn't seem that long ago that a 22 inch gag was a keeper. Hope you'll get them next time. 👍
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 329 Deckhand
    throwback said:
    Caught pinfish and ran offshore in 2' choppy seas.  Fished 60-75' west and a little north.  Caught and released red snapper, lots of undersized red grouper (looks like they are coming back strong should be good in a year or 2) gags up to 22".  Seabass and grunts in the box but nothing else made the ride home.  Good day but disappointing to not find any larger grouper.  Maybe out deeper?  Only saw 4 boats all day.  



    We went out Saturday and stayed within 20 miles, don't want to venture too far out in a 2104 Frontier. Only caught grouper up to 19" on pinfish and the weather was perfect. 
    2019 Frontier 2014 
  • mattb78mattb78 Posts: 226 Deckhand
    I don't know what to say throwback. Historically that is a good area  this time of year. Even in the heat of summer that should have been far enough out for sure.  Should of came home limited out.

    Chalk it up to a bad day.  I would try it again and if similar results probably time to find some better numbers.

    Should have caught some nice ones that far out.

    How many spots did you hit out there?


  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    throwback said:
    lots of undersized red grouper (looks like they are coming back strong should be good in a year or 2).  



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  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,648 Captain
    edited July 2019 #6
    They have been growing up since the year following the red tide (2014).  There are a bunch of them between 16" and 18", which all seem to be from a single strong year class.  They can grow at a rate of 4" per year, so by the end of next summer, many will be big enough to keep.  There are a few big ones showing up that must be moving in from further south.  We got 3 over 25" in 70 ft my last trip out. 
  • mr.bubbamr.bubba Posts: 72 Deckhand
    Those seabass eat really good. We to fry them or bake them.
  • THINKICANTHINKICAN Homosassa, FLPosts: 572 Officer
    Blackies and grits.  Can't beat that.
    SO WHEN IS THIS "OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER" SUPPOSED TO KICK IN?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,646 AG
    surfman said:
    throwback said:
    lots of undersized red grouper (looks like they are coming back strong should be good in a year or 2).  



    I wish I had a dollar for ever time I have heard that, I'd be a millionaire.
    It's been a year or two for going on 5 years 
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,648 Captain
    They don't "come back" after an extensive red tide. They are mostly dead!  Never saw any zombie grouper. It takes a couple of years of good recruitment and waiting for the juveniles to grow up before a fishery recovers. 

    See this article for growth rates:

    https://myfwc.com/media/19247/red-grouper-18.pdf

    It takes 5-7 years for them to reach harvestable size.  People saying that there would be keepers showing up in good numbers before 2020 were either uninformed or just thinking wishfully. 
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,291 Moderator
    Did you see many bait pods ? That seems to be part of the issue IMO. Hasn't been decent bait around for years.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,207 Officer
    Did you see many bait pods ? That seems to be part of the issue IMO. Hasn't been decent bait around for years.
    Went out yesterday and didn't see a single bait pod. Did mark one about 15 - 20 feet down in 40'. It's been like that all year. Possibly the last fall migration south ran into the Red Tide down there.

    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

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  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,966 Captain
    I’ve quit going out there. 😭 probably never see it as good as it was. 
  • ruttedupbuckruttedupbuck Alachua FLPosts: 54 Deckhand
    They don't "come back" after an extensive red tide. They are mostly dead!  Never saw any zombie grouper. It takes a couple of years of good recruitment and waiting for the juveniles to grow up before a fishery recovers. 

    See this article for growth rates:

    https://myfwc.com/media/19247/red-grouper-18.pdf

    It takes 5-7 years for them to reach harvestable size.  People saying that there would be keepers showing up in good numbers before 2020 were either uninformed or just thinking wishfully. 
    The big bend took a terrible hit on the red grouper from the red tides, I don’t think a lot of folks understand just how many fish died in the area within such a short period of time. With that being said, the red grouper population as well as size of fish are back to normal for the most part in 120’+. I personally believe a lot of times people are fishing on the wrong type of bottom for red grouper without knowing it. From my experience diving and fishing the red grouper prefer a much more expansive “reef” system with sea fans, coral, and some scattered rocks, whereas gag grouper are satasfied living in solely rock bottom and finding him/herself (sex depending on the size of the gag) a nice spot to hide under a ledge/rock. The last year or so if you have spots in 120’+ that have produced big red grouper in the past, your more than likely to find them there again. I personally would rather bring back gags/scamps for my grouper limit in terms of table fare, but the big firetrucks are out there again.
  • Cracker23Cracker23 MelrosePosts: 311 Deckhand
    I don't think red tide affects are felt in water over 100 ft deep. That's probably why you are seeing large red grouper in 120 ft.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,648 Captain
    Just about everything was killed out to the east side of the Middle Grounds.  Butchbal has been taking pictures of the bottom every year since the red tide and it is still in the early stages of recovery.  Out past 40 ft, there is relatively little invertebrate life on the rocks.  The growth is starting to look lush in many places, but it is mostly plant life.  The sea whips, sponges and soft corals are tiny.  More importantly, the deeper reefs no longer "sizzle", which means that the crustaceans (snapping shrimp and crabs) are not back to normal.   

    Butch has been diving the open bottom scattered rocks areas out to 80 ft a lot this year.  This is the environment shared by red grouper and hogfish.  Both are there in good numbers, but they are mostly small.  There seems to be at least 2 year classes of red grouper with the oldest averaging about 18".   Some firetrucks are starting to show up from deeper water.  Since the deep water areas are closest to spots that were unaffected by the red tide, that's where the migrants show up first.  The big ones are mostly males that were alive during the red tide either west of Middle Grounds or south of Clearwater.  There were also patchy spots on the east side of Middle Grounds in 100 ft+ where the bottom was not killed. 
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