35 nm offshore venice

Well I got a call from a buddy who said he really wanted to do some grouper digging before they closed. I told him the oil pump was still acting up and its a pain in the **** when you have to stop once every 10 miles or so to fill the reservoir tank up. He told me he doesn't care and.... hes paying for the trip. It took me all of 5 seconds to decide this was a great idea. Towed the boat 80 miles down to venice, and on the water by 8. Of course he made a bet with me that he would outfish me and of course I took him up on it. Made the trip to a spot I know with large structure and great live bottom surrounding. He got the jump and dropped down first before I even had us drifting right(go figure). Next thing he knows he gets slammed and reels in a respectable 27" truck. He is boasting "blah blah blah I told you Im gonna win" All I could think about was dang that was the first drop. Todays going to be awesome! Well within a few minutes I get dismembered by a fish that I could have sworn was going to be a huge true red snapper but nope it was a 30" grouper. I quickly proceeded to gloat and throw it in his face while our other buddy rubbed it in his face as well by saying lets take a picture. After that I repositioned us for another drift where I caught a couple more but with light tackle. I really wanted to find this structure that I wanted to drop the gopro. Well after I took a pic of the show and drifted it with some success with the mangos I tried to get anchored up. During which a friend decided to throw a nice mango back because he had seen us throwing ars back and thought it was one. After 3 times of not getting the anchor to bite right I had enough. Of course caught some ars while we were there. My friend has never caught one so it was my pleasure to put him on his first. And yes we did catch the other elusive endangered gag grouper as well. Surprisingly had no floating fish today, which was awesome to see. After that spot we moved to a place where I have caught 50 grouper in 100 yards and immediately everyone is hooked up and I was like thank god here they are. Well then the bite slowed down to about 1 or 2 per drift and then nothing. Was really slow today and we had to work for them but hey that's fishing. Atleast we got close to a three man limit(missing by one) and my friend caught his first red snapper and scamp. Lucky his first scamp was a keeper! Weather was awesome!!! Cool breeze 2 foot on the way out with maybe some 3 1/2 foot swell mixed in, on the way back it was glass and my friend got to meet the bean bag chair. As we were hitting the jetties we got a nice sunset. Time to park the boat for a couple months...... maybe!


  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Nice job out there. Looks like we missed the good weather by just a few days. How deep were you guys?
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    I think the big fish are still out deep like in 110 to 125.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,683 Moderator
    Thanks for the report..We are running out of time,it was a good season..
  • chicochico Punta Gorda and PennsylvaniaPosts: 537 Officer
    NICE!! Thanks for the great pictures too!! That's funny about the released mango!!! I have had people give me grief when they saw my pics with some BIG vermillions, I was scolded for not releasing those "red snapper". The only one I would have trouble with is the cubera snapper, have yet to see one up close.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Chico you better get your big boy pants on and head out to the steps or the elbow if you want to see those cuberas, but that is out of my range for sure..... the middle grounds hold them as well but not in mass numbers to my knowledge. You should have seen the look on my face when he tossed it over. I gave him **** for the rest of the day of course, especially because he only caught one grouper! Big vermillion? I would love to see the pics where they would mistake the two. if you have them will you p.m. them to me I am always game for a big laugh! I hope it was not from your last adventure!
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,356 Admiral
    Nice report.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Another shot at the mango spot I missed!
  • chicochico Punta Gorda and PennsylvaniaPosts: 537 Officer
    I used to spend a month in Key Largo, mostly fishing, the charter capt I hired said all I had to do was ask him and he would hook me up with a cubera, all I had to do was pay the charter, the fuel, and the 20 lobsters he wanted for bait!! When I got the lobsters, they ended up in the steam pot, and we fished for muttons and black grouper instead!! Would hurt to send down those lobsters as bait!!! I will look for the rack shot with the vermillions, they were not huge, but folks on this forum thought I was keeping red snapper and let me know about it :)
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Hopefully they did so in a p.m. I have heard there is no better bait for a cubera than a live lobster. I have also heard they can be quite wormy the larger they get, but I have no knowledge on the subject myself.
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