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What happened? So many fish. So little feeding.

I spent a week on AMI last week up at Holmes Beach. I have never seen that much bait in my life on the beach. Subsequently i have never seen as many snook as I saw. I threw everything I know at them. NOTHING!!! NOT ONE FISH FOR SEVEN DAYS!!!!!

I tried live pin fish. Live finger mullet. Live white bait. Soft plastics. Hard baits. Slow retrieve. Fast retrieve. I even went down to 10lb Fluorocarbon. DID YOU ALL EVEN KNOW THEY MADE 10LB FLOURO????

My lack of fishing ability even followed me offshore as we went to South Jack wreck. Bait everywhere! Marking live bottom on the Humming Bird. Nothing but one short Mutton and one snowy grouper and a TON of bycatch. We tried cut squid. Big pin fish. Little pin fish. Using the smaller bycatch. Lost two presumably goliath grouper.

Guys I don't presume to know it all but I know more than the average bear and I was stumped. Please make me feel better about myself. It's not me it's them right?

Tell me it's them. Tell me I didn't drag a 6k lb boat 1k miles for nothing.




  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 800 Officer
    What time of day were you fishing the beach?

    Are you sure about that snowy?
  • AZappiaAZappia Posts: 90 Deckhand
    It was a red grouper not a snowy. Mistype.

    I tried first light, low tide, high tide, and hour on both sides of each. I tried sunset. I tried middle of the day.

    It was absolutely maddening. Although I didn't see any blow ups on the beach the whole time. No predation.
  • capt.pwatsoncapt.pwatson Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Tell us more about tides.Time of day and tides are really important. The water has to be moving and if not early am or late pm the fish on the beach may be spooked. Did you have swivel from your main to your leader? What was your bycatch on South Jack. South Jack can be a great spot. With all the bait in the column did you flat line or free line baits. Its a little tougher to target grouper on wrecks but there should be mackerel, small jacks, and a ton of snapper on that wreck. Did you chum offshore?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,703 AG
    I ask myself the same question every time i go in the woods after checking game cams and seeing deer literally lying on their bellies in front of my stand. Then I get there, not a **** deer sighted in 3 days....

    Sometimes it just sucks. Maybe try getting chum going and getting them in a frenzy next time somehow. Castnet some bait and stun them and toss em in the water. The presence of stunned baitfish might be too much for even a snook to ignore.
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,013 Officer
    South Jack Wreck = well known = 65' you ain't going to be catching anything really worthwhile in number there or in 65' with the water temps we have.

    Offshore this time of year 100' is the minimum but really 130' is where you should be.

    I've caught plenty of really nice snook in the last week on grunts and pinfish. Probably caught 30-40 the other week in one trip. Basically, you can't expect to come down here for a week and consistently catch fish. Squid sucks. Don't use it. Mangos are the easiest target offshore, light light light LONG leader, light jig heads, chunk bait and do not stop chunking. Dedicate one person to consistent chunking. Grunts are good eating don't overlook them. If you're catching grunts you are in a decent spot.

    Also, whatever you were doing just wasn't working. Seven days is a decent amount of time to figure some things out. Fishing is work hard work to consistently produce fish. I also think you need to lower your expectations and you'll probably catch more fish :)
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