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Florida Offshore Heats Up In July

Florida Offshore Heats Up In July
With our heat index often well over 100, July in Florida is really hot, and so is the fishing. The grouper fishing remains outstanding, and, don't forget, we can keep gags for the remainder of the year. In addition, the kings and tuna are hungry, and 'Mango Mania' is 'HOT!' The two day federal waters possession limit of mangrove snapper is 20; with NO closed season.
Welcome aboard the Florida Fisherman ll as together we find out exactly how 'Florida Offshore Heats Up In July.'
Captain Garett Hubbard is ready and so are we. Let's go!
Will has been first mate on the Florida for years. When he talks, we listen:
After a great 'Jersey Girl' meal let's troll for kings. Mr. Andrew Roberts, Wesley Chapel, Florida, shows us how it's done:
This is one to be remembered:
'SUNDOWN' Let's hit the cool AC bunks for a few hours before the fights begin:
Captain Garett calls for 'Battle Stations!'
Tammy's hot off the grill pressed ham & cheese on Tampa Bay's own Cuban bread makes it easy to get up:
And so does this:
We catch large numbers of fish, however, the most interesting thing about these extended trips is the different peoples we get to interact with. Representing the great states of Colorado & New Mexico are the 'Fish Slayers,' James Bland, Antonio Cabrera, Cassidy Jones, Corrie Jones, Brad Jones, Cooper Jones, and Galey Bland. These dedicated anglers traveled a great distance to fish our Florida waters. It's a real honor to welcome them to the Sunshine State:
As usual, 'Woman Power' is the name of the game:
The mango bite is still strong:
Look at the size of that mango Brendon Baldwin caught:
Looks like most deep water ledges are loaded with small American reds. We are catching, venting, and releasing huge numbers on virtually every overnight trip. Hopefully, some day soon, we will all have real red snapper seasons:22_zps7ef53st6.jpg
It's grouper time. As usual, the Florida's resident fishing advisor, Mr. John Martin, leads by example:
It's a great year for gags:
Captain Garett is really proud of that scamp:
It's 'Red Grouper Time!'
Tuna love cooler weather, but they are still around. They are so much fun to catch. They always give 100%:
Mr. Dan Jackman's 'GREAT FIGHT' with a 'Huge Shark' circled the boat twice and lasted for over 45 minutes:
Late Saturday evening. We are 'fished-out' tired, still deep into the heart of our Gulf of Mexico, and ever so hungry.
Ever so hungry as in Chef Tammy time.
Brandon, that pot roast looks & smells great:
After a good night's sleep...Welcome to John's Pass Bridge:
And Madeira Beach Florida:
The Sunshine state offers great fishing 24/7 even during the hottest months of the year. Like it HOT? 'Florida Offshore Heats Up In July!'
These smiles are real and ever so contagious:
Thanks 'Fish Slayers!' Colorado and New Mexico can be very proud of you. I know we are!

Be sure to 'CATCH' all the action in this shore video:


Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor writers Association


  • 2WayCenter2WayCenter Posts: 225 Officer
    I thought Hubbards was not supporting sector separation. Nice to see someone gets to catch them:huh
  • bigfishrossbigfishross Posts: 122 Deckhand
    nice report bob
  • amighoamigho Posts: 776 Officer
  • 2WayCenter2WayCenter Posts: 225 Officer
    amigho wrote: »
    snapper closed on the 11th...,this trip was from 7-8 through 7-10

    Must have missed that memo here in St Pete. Closed for me on June 11th in federal water. For hire vessels on July 16.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,934 Captain
    Thanks guys!
    Sector Separation: Hubbard's had NO choice!
    Captain Mark Hubbard has always been, and remains, strongly opposed to Catch Shares / Sector Separation. He, as well as I, believe sustainable stocks of ALL fish, including American red snapper, should be equally enjoyed by all. Remember the 'Head Boat Collaborative Program?' That program allowed a small number of head boats in all five gulf states to catch & keep both red snapper & gag grouper when no other head boats could. All Mark had to do to be one of the select few was sigh the paperwork. Good for business; bad for fishing! He refused to join the Program.
    Our Gulf Council, despite extremely heavy public opposition, approved Amendment 40...Sector Separation.
    Even Pam Dana, recreational representative on the Gulf Council, voted in favor of Amendment 40:
    Pam owns Sure Lure Charters. Looks like she wanted a bigger piece of the pie:
    In passing Amendment 40 'our' Gulf Council forced all Gulf of Mexico federally permitted for hire boats to accept Sector Separation. Competition among for hire boats is overwhelming. Join the program or close the doors. Hubbard's had NO choice!
  • 2WayCenter2WayCenter Posts: 225 Officer
    Bob, I understand that. And I enjoy your reports. Unbelievable that Pam Dana was put on the council to represent the recreational interest. What she does instead, is carve a new 3rd interest that leaves the true recreational fisherman without a voice on the council. It the worst of American politics. Shameless really.
  • AquaRoosterAquaRooster Posts: 605 Officer
    Yeah the hubbards are the good guys, which there are very very few of any more. Pam Dana being the worst of the worst. Elected to represent us only to knife us in the back first opportunity. Not surprised though, i knew there was something wrong there the first time I met her
  • 2WayCenter2WayCenter Posts: 225 Officer
    Yeah the hubbards are the good guys, which there are very very few of any more. Pam Dana being the worst of the worst. Elected to represent us only to knife us in the back first opportunity. Not surprised though, i knew there was something wrong there the first time I met her

    Appointed, not elected.
  • AquaRoosterAquaRooster Posts: 605 Officer
    Harbison, I'm gonna do my first middle grounds trip with you guys later this summer. Any thoughts on the full moon vs the normal 36 hour? I love mangos (especially the 20-2 day limit), but does the moon slow down the day bite out there? What does grouper fishing look like on the full moon trip vs 36 hour?

  • FishInFLFishInFL Posts: 2,222 Captain
    2WayCenter wrote: »
    Appointed, not elected.

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,934 Captain
    :fishing According to my understanding the Governors recommends members for the council. The Department of Commerce selects from the recommendations. Roy Crabtree plays a major role in the selection process. When Pam was first appointed she was not the top candidate of Governor Scott. Crabtree wanted someone he could control...enter Pam Dana.
    The fact that Dana voted YES on Amendment 40, Sector Separation, speaks volumes as to where she stands, and who she actually represents. We, the people, have absolutely NO say so as to whom we would like to represent us. SHAMEFUL!
    If we actually had a VOTE things would be a lot different. The first to go would be King, close them down, Crabtree, himself.
    In no way do I pretend to understand politics. If anyone can add to the above...please do!
    Middle Grounds: We fish the Middle Grounds & vicinity. Either Captain Bryon or Captain Garett will run the trips. Both have been working the Central Florida areas for decades. They will decide where we go. Often they will not make a final decision until they see what the weather and current is like. Often we go to the Elbow. The fish on the Elbow tend to be huge, but the current can be a problem.
    39 vs 44 hour trips. You never know which will be better. Given the choice I would go on the 44 hour trip. Only two 44 hour trips left this year, 7/22 & 8/19. That additional 5 hours of night fishing usually makes a huge difference. Day mango fishing tends to be slower during the full moon periods. I have seen very good mango catches during all moon phases. You just never know.
    As for grouper personally I do not think the moon phase makes too much of a difference. Regardless, grouper bite better during the day.
    The Florida goes on dry dock in September. She will be out of commission for a couple of months.
    Any thoughts on any of the above? Please share your thoughts with us. They are many very knowledgeable people on this forum. It's a tremendous learning tool.
  • rickh1353rickh1353 Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Miss the good ole middle grounds days before politics took over fisheries and you did not need a lawyer to fish!!!
    Early to mid 90's fishing was awesome and 5 Grouper per day 10 mango's and 3 Amberjack year round... Red snapper??? We rarely caught them in the Grounds.
    But even with these liberal limits fishing was on fire because the recreational sector only has a tiny impact of the total catch!!!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,934 Captain
    Know what you mean. I have been fishing the Grounds ever since the late seventies. I too "Miss the good ole days."
  • 2WayCenter2WayCenter Posts: 225 Officer
    Yes, Crabtree = control. It's why he wants to allocated to the sectors he feels are more accountable and verifiable. It's why rec guys that fish out of private boats need to oppose him. Even if you don't care about ARS, there is more of Crabtree's control orientated vision on the way to a species near you.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,934 Captain
    :mad In 2009 Obama appointed Dr. Jane Lubchenco as the Under Secretary of Commerce. As such she was in charge of our fishery regulations. Before being appointed Lubchenco was an executive with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The EDF 'environmentalist' have been, and still are, one of the biggest threats to our fishery. Shares/Separation is their BIG boy. After being appointed Lubchenco brought her top EDF people with her. She went so far as to say that without Shards/Separation in a few short years our waters would contain nothing but jelly fish:
    Dr. Crabtree was not appointed by Lubchenco. However, he quickly became her right hand man.
    Together they pulled every trick in the book to promote Shares/Separation. In 2013 Lubchenco 'resigned' for so called personal reasons. Today, Crabtree carries on her tradition of 'Shut them down-follow the money train!'
    Crabtree remains a voting member on both the Gulf Council & the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. All who fish salt water, commercial & recreational, should oppose Dr. Roy Crabtree. With him in place, we will NEVER have an open fishery for everyone. :nono

    Just received this from Mr. Butch Ayala, Biologist, FWC:
    Concerning ARS
    "Hi bob we also have been seeing lots of those little ones all over the place offshore. At first glance it would appear that particular year class was quite healthy."

    Wish we could get that across to Crabtree. Don't bother trying to contact him; he is way to busy trying to shut our fishery down to talk to us.
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,327 Moderator
    All regs and politics aside, wow, what a great trip. Talk about a mixed bag, the Gulf's finest coming over the rails.
    Great report, Bob. Nice job on the captions, too. And, as always, love the sunset pic.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,934 Captain
    :dance Thank you so much. Coming directly from the moderator of the best forum on the Internet that means a great deal to me.
    As far a 'regs and politics' go, I absolutely hate to even talk about either. However, if we do not get involved, we will have NO future.
    Guys, I have been fishing & hunting in our state long before most of us were even born. I remember when politics were concerned with what was better for fish & fisherman alike. In today's world BIG $$$ runs everything we do; including our fishery.
    Think Shares/Separation is bad? Just wait until we are forced to go to Walmart and PURCHASE a 'Share' to catch & keep what was once our fish.
    OK! That's enough of that. Had another fabulous trip to the Florida Middle Grounds last weekend. Be sure to catch my report...'The Fabulous Florida Middle Grounds,' and action packed video. It takes many hours to bring you these first hand, detailed, reports. Hope to have the July 15/16 report completed by Monday evening.
    Here is a preview:
    Guys, sharing has been a part of my life for over 1/2 a century. I hope you enjoy my reports as much as I enjoy bringing them to you.
    Best to one & all! Bob H.
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