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9/22 Gags

Saturday night I cancelled plans to go offshore Sunday due to winds and predicted morning t-storms. 7:30AM, woke up to light winds (As it appeared) and clear skies. Woke up my buddy and told him to git his butt over here……we’re fishing! Took a cple of grouper rods and inshore rods and decided to do a little shallow water prospecting. Headed out of Gasparilla and ran into a steady SSW wind. Solid 2-3’s footers just a few miles offshore (Mostly 3’s with an occasional 4 as the morning progressed). Anchored on our bait spot and sabiki’d 3-4 dozen big pins then headed to a rock pile in about thirty something foot of water to see if there were any gags around. We nearly emptied the well on the first rock pile. Caught gag after gag, but all were 19-21”. This told me what I needed to know and we did not bother with any of our other near shore rock piles and little breaks. Headed back in, tried a cple deep docks to see if they were holding big gags…nothing with the exception of a 15lb Goliath.

Messed with some fall red fish (27-32”) in the skinny water for a ½ hour then ran the outside of the bars looking to skip some pomps I keep hearing about, but miles of running and I did not skip a single one. Called it a quick day and headed back in.

Judging by the number & size of gags on my spot, we’re not too far away. Once the water turns more green, a few more dips in water temperature and the influx of the bait schools; the fall near shore gag fishery will start to light up. This rock pile and many others were nonexistent of gags just three weeks ago. Year after year, spots like this have produced easy limits of Gags up to 20lbs, often culling 24” fish for 28 – 32 inch fish. If we have the bait, we’ll even drop down 18” live ladyfish & 12” live mullet to avoid the smaller gags.

Hope to head out deeper once this front passes. Bright side is, were one front less away from what is probably the best inshore and offshore transitionairy period in our area.

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