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Cedar key June 22-27

NobelNobel ALTAMONTE SPRINGSPosts: 53 Deckhand
Day 1:* After a month and a half of watching fishing shows while sitting on my couch and day dreaming about getting back to the gulf, my 2 boys, dad, and I headed over to the CK condos last Thursday for a nice long weekend of fishing and scalloping.* My mom joined us Friday afternoon.* Wife and baby girl decided to stay home and go visit her mom and dad.* We arrived in CK around 3:30 p.m. last Thursday.* After a quick trip to the store to stock up on a few 6 packs of craft beers, older son and I headed out for an evening inshore trip.* The tide was super low exposing most of the grass flats a little south of deadman key, which concentrated the trout along the first drop where it went from about 0 foot to 5.* We fished 4 inch gulps, mostly new penny, on 1/8 ounce jig heads and had steady action for our two hour outing, which included 4 keepers.* Two were just shy of 20 inches.* Good start to our trip!

Day 2:* We loaded up the snorkeling gear and headed north to Steinhatchee.* My buddy was up the weekend before and found them pretty good away from the crowds.* Of course he forgot to write down his coordinates and his boat was up in CK while he was back in South Florida.** He tried to explain over the phone where his secret spot was at, which always seems to never work.* Well our first hour or two was spent trying to locate his secret spot, with no luck.* We finally gave up, joined the crowd, and put about 5 gallons in the boat between myself and the boys with minimal help from Grandpa.* Back to ramp by 5.* Cleaning scallops in CK by 6:30.* First time we tried the shop vac cleaning method.* What a difference!* Won't ever do it any other way again.* Cooked up some of the scallops for dinner and threw them in a salmon pasta dish mom baked.* Yummy!!

Day 3:* Family fishing day.* Ran out to seahorse reef first thing to see what was biting.* Expected to find a big school of Spanish Macs, but there wasn't many around or at least we didn't find them.* We did end up getting one big one though drifting a live herring behind the boat.* We also caught several small sea trout, a keeper sand trout, a fine tooth shark that my young one got a co-catch on, and a bunch of ladies.* It began to get hot and a little slow, which caused my younger son to start complaining about going in.* That's when I decided to change locations and ran over to a rock pile in 25ft. by the king fish hole.* We also put the top up to cool things off a bit and put out a bag of chum.* Right off the bat the flat line with a live herring gets hit by a cobia.* After a good battle, I finally landed me my first cobia, but it was unfortunately an inch short of making it into the cooler.* It did however get my crew going again.* From there on out we had steady fish catching action, mostly grunts, but I also put a 24 1/2 inch gag in the cooler that hit a live herring on the flat line.* We also had a couple of grouper rock us and either a small king or good size Spanish come off on the flat line.* Overall a nice mixed bag day.* Back to the dock by 4:30.* Fish cleaned and relaxing in the pool with beer in hand by 5:30.* Fish fry and remainder of scallops for dinner.*

Day 4:* Serious fisherman day.* With federal red snapper season open and flat calm seas, my dad, older son, and I decided to take skiff offshore looking for some reds, while mom and younger son went see Wonder Woman, which I was advised was "not a girl's movie".* Problem with our fishing game plan was that we didn't know a good red snapper spot so I looked at a FS fishing map and found a "ledge" off of CK that was about 24 miles out in 55 ft.* We decided to head to that waypoint in hopes we would find something on the way out to it like bait, a turtle, or a few boats that might clue us in to some bottom structure where some reds were holding.* Well we wound up not finding any good bottom on the way out and our ledge was pretty much non-existent.* We idled around the waypoint for a while and didn't mark anything worth dropping a line on.* Bummed at our lack of discovery and being impatient at not catching anything, we decided to ditch our red snapper plan and run to our old faithful rocks piles in 30 foot.* Our first anchor spot produced several good size grunts and sea bass for my boy and dad, while I played with Spanish mackerel that kept breaking me off on the flat line with live bait until I got smart and put on some 30 lb. wire.* We also got one short red grouper.* Our second anchoring spot had a much better grouper population.* We ended up catching several short red and gag groupers on live pinfish, with one gag being just short of 24 inches and one being over at 26.* After about 30 minutes of grouper flurry, our action slowed.* Even the grunts and sea bass action slowed.* We tried dropping back a little ways, but didn't have much luck so we ran to our kingfish hole rock piles, but didn't have luck there either. We decided to call it the day around 5 p.m. and headed in.* Since its "illegal to feed the birds" in CK, I usual put all the fish carcasses in a bucket and dump them away from the stupid pelicans in the water at the end of our condo beach area when finished.* Well on the way back from dumping, I slipped on an exposed pipe, fell down, and cut my hand all up on the oysters. Felt like a big dummy, but there were plenty of cold beers in the fridge, which helped numb things for me.* Kind of reminded me of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, except I cut my hand and had beer instead.***

Day 5:* Back up to Steinhatchee to get some more scallops, but this time mom got to go.* Went straight to the popular area and ended up with about 8 gallons by day's end.* Probably could have limited out but the older crew members (grandma and grandpa) weren't very motivated.* Back in CK by 6:30 p.m., made quick stop to pickup one more 6 pack, then older son and I cleaned scallops until about 9 p.m.* A few slices of pizza put the finishing touch on the day.*

Day 6:* Where the hell did my vacation go???* Loaded up the truck and headed back home to Central Florida.* Great few days on the water in the gulf.* Can't wait to get back on a couple of weeks and do it all over again.*

Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,659 AG
    Nice trip! That's how vacations go. You spend all your time running around having fun and before you know it it's time to leave.
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • Ruff OneRuff One HomosassaPosts: 2,080 Captain
    Nice vacation! I would have had to take notes to remember all of that.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • barhopper51barhopper51 Posts: 561 Officer
    That's just a bunch of good eating
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Good thorough report, thanks for posting it. Seems like you got a pretty good taste of what Cedar Key is all about.
  • m9000m9000 Posts: 2,125 Captain
    Nice trip but I don't think you are allowed to possess scallops south of the Suwannee River until 7/1/17.

    http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops/
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 1,998 Captain
    Believe that is HARVEST. All good
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • m9000m9000 Posts: 2,125 Captain
    4WARD wrote: »
    Believe that is HARVEST. All good

    from the FWC

    It is illegal to possess bay scallops on waters outside open harvest areas or during the closed season. It is also illegal to land scallops outside open harvest areas. For example, it would be legal to take scallops from waters off the Hernando County coast, but it would be illegal to dock your boat in Pasco County with the scallop catch onboard. It would also be illegal to transport scallops harvested in zone 2 across zone 3 waters prior to the July 1 zone 3 season opening.
  • NobelNobel ALTAMONTE SPRINGSPosts: 53 Deckhand
    m9000 wrote: »
    from the FWC

    It is illegal to possess bay scallops on waters outside open harvest areas or during the closed season. It is also illegal to land scallops outside open harvest areas. For example, it would be legal to take scallops from waters off the Hernando County coast, but it would be illegal to dock your boat in Pasco County with the scallop catch onboard. It would also be illegal to transport scallops harvested in zone 2 across zone 3 waters prior to the July 1 zone 3 season opening.


    I believe the key word in the statue is "waters". Meaning if you are still in your boat in the water, you cannot poseess scallops in waters outside of the zoned scalloping area. We trailered the boat to Steinhatchee and then loaded it it in Steinhatchee and trailered it back to cedar key. I work in a law profession and know that it is still up to the law enforcement agency to prove guilt. If my son and I are cleaning scallops at a condo in cedar key with our boat on a trailer in the parking lot, it would be nearly impossible in a court of law to prove those scallops were harvested outside the zone where the season was open.
  • m9000m9000 Posts: 2,125 Captain
    I missed the part about you trailering to Steinhatchee and thought you made the trip by water.

    Looks like a great catching trip and quality family time.
  • Let's Go AmigoLet's Go Amigo Posts: 2,416 Captain
  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Beautiful HomosassaPosts: 1,783 Captain
    Excellent family trip! :thumbsup btw that is an Atlantic sharp nosed shark, fun to catch and good on the grill.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NobelNobel ALTAMONTE SPRINGSPosts: 53 Deckhand
    Excellent family trip! :thumbsup btw that is an Atlantic sharp nosed shark, fun to catch and good on the grill.

    Thanks for clarifying shark type. When we first started catching them, we weren't sure what they were. I looked in web and fine tooth was our best guess. We've eaten a few and you're right, they are good grilled marinated in teriyaki sauce with a little everglades seasoning.
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,193 AG
    Nobel wrote: »
    Thanks for clarifying shark type. When we first started catching them, we weren't sure what they were. I looked in web and fine tooth was our best guess. We've eaten a few and you're right, they are good grilled marinated in teriyaki sauce with a little everglades seasoning.

    Try dipping them in some sundried style tomato sauce. Really goes will with shark.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
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