Venice Nearshore - End of Year
Found beautiful conditions on 12/26. Pulled them back in ~40' to explore a few ledges I've marked in teh past but never fished. Didn't want to meander too far from home till I knew how my crew was with seasickness (my mother is quite prone). Squid and cigar minnows on the bottom produced an endless supply of grunts and a few triggers - but no bigger bites. The crew was doing well, so we eased out a little farther and drifted in 65'. The family had tons of fun with the endless grunt fishery. Also brought aboard about 15 short red grouper. Not a single gag.
Pretty conditions on 12/27 again and tried something a little different in 45'. Anchored on a nice piece of bottom and tossed out the chum block. Caught dozens of grunts and a handfull of triggers on the bottom. Drifted live shrimp on light jigheads out the back and managed a few dozen mangrove snappers. Around 10 were keeper size, but we released all. Had a few break us off in the reef, which I think were larger mangroves, but could have been that gag I was looking for. The crew was excited to see a few sea turtles, some dolphins an a pretty sunset.
Saw lots of birds in 35-45' picking silversides. I figured there would be spanish mixed in with them, but no dice. Hung out with a massive pod of porpoise in 45' for a while on day 1. They put on quite a show with some acrobatics mixed in. No sportfish mixed in with them (at least no hungry ones). Turtles on the reefs in 45' too.
All-in-all, was great fun with the family. Never did catch a gag, I guess I was just on the wrong piece of bottom. Everyone enjoyed themselves though, and mom never turned green - so it was a success