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!