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Seahorse Reef - 10/7

smhsmh Senior MemberCentral FLPosts: 339 Deckhand
With several days of calm winds in the forecast, I ran out to Seahorse Reef with my brother last Friday in my 16 ft aluminum boat.  I hadn't heard much about the mackerel run so far this fall, but I figured it was time.  On the run out and several miles outside the last island, my brother suddenly yells, makes a commotion and points to the front of the boat.  There on the floor is a yellow rat snake slithering around, heading for a thin gap near the front deck.  He had hitchhiked from my house and was probably wondering what the heck was going on.   Unfortunately, I couldn't stop the boat in time to grab him and throw him out, and he disappeared into the guts of the boat where we couldn't reach him.  We spent the rest of the day fishing with an uneasiness that he was somewhere, just hanging out with us on the water.  After that bit of excitement, we arrived at the reef and started trolling homemade krystal flash jigs.  The water clarity wasn't great, and we didn't see large pods of bait at the surface getting worked by birds and fish, so I was a little nervous at first.  It didn't take long to find mackerel, and we proceeded to catch a double limit pretty quickly, both trolling and drifting/casting.  According to my crappy handheld thermometer, the surface temp at the reef was about 69...not sure how accurate that is.  We did see several large wads of bait on the run back in.  Once inside, we fished around several islands, but it was pretty slow going.  We managed two short reds, one on a gold spoon, and one on cut bait.  My brother did catch several flounder, with one being a 14" keeper.  There were mullet everywhere around the islands.  All in all, it was a fun day with great weather and company.  I don't really have fish pics from the day, so I'll leave you with one of the aftermath...smoked mackerel.  We never did find that snake, and I hope he makes his home elsewhere!

Replies

  • Ruff OneRuff One Senior Member HomosassaPosts: 2,280 Captain
    Those are nice fillets! Smoked mackerel makes the best fish dip. Fresh mackerel for us makes excellent cerviche. Nice day.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,613 Captain
    Thans for the report, hopefully they're still hanging out this weekend.

    And yes I know of the CK festival, good thing my buddy keeps his boat at the CK marina so they drop us and pick us up. No parking, no problem! 

    Kind if annoying though, how their spring and fall festivals seem to always coincide with the heart of the mack run. 
  • capt louiecapt louie Moderator citrus countyPosts: 10,881 Moderator
    That mackerel looks awesome !  Thanks for the report. Water read about 73 Saturday when I rode past the reef. 
    "You'll get your weather"
  • ElapidElapid Junior Member Posts: 145 Deckhand
    nice day on the water! you should thank that yellow rat snake for keeping away the mice you otherwise may have been fishing with on that trip ;)
    but then again, the mice might be good bait...
  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Senior Member Posts: 3,017 Captain
    Those are some thick fillets! Starving now, thanks. 

    We used to catch cobia on eels in VA. I wonder what a fresh rat snake would do…..
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • Ruff OneRuff One Senior Member HomosassaPosts: 2,280 Captain
    I will be out collecting rat snakes soon!! Lol. Not really, they keep my mice in check and my wife screaming.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • smhsmh Senior Member Central FLPosts: 339 Deckhand
    We love eating macks in ceviche too!  As much as I don't want that snake in the boat with me, he probably is keeping the mice from nesting in the boat and chewing up my wiring.  I bet something out in the Gulf would have smashed him had I pinned him on a hook and cast him out. I'm going to start keeping a 12" Culprit worm on a stout jig head at the ready for a cobia pitch lure.
  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,613 Captain
    Well..not so good for us. Wind was howling from the northeast, we finally got out there around 11, and we could only troll directly with or against the wind, taking that closely spaced sea on the beam would have been very unpleasant and borderline dangerous. Headed upwind we stuffed the bow too many times to count, it was a rough and crappy as I've ever seen it out there.

    It became obvious in the first 20 minutes that the main body of fish was gone, strikes were few and far between. We did eventually manage about 7 or 8 smaller fish, the biggest were only 18" or so. It really wasn't worth it. 

    At least the wind did lay down about 2:30 so the ride in wasn't terrible.

    We'll have to get 'em when they come back in spring, because the weather coming this week will definitely send them packing for good. Oh well, can't win them all. 

  • smhsmh Senior Member Central FLPosts: 339 Deckhand
    Sorry to hear that, tankered.  I have a small boat, so my windows for making it out to the Reef are usually narrow.  I have been out there in some crappy conditions, and it's no fun at all!  I think you are right about the weather.  This cold front ought to send them south.
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