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GAGS!! Port Richey repot 12-14

Headed out Thursday out of Port Richey to try and get some more Gags before the Govt closes the season on us again. Plan was to head out at day break and sabiki up live pins and squirrels a couple miles offshore. problem was, the water was super chalky, not to mention pretty snotty too with consistent 3-4' sea's once we got past the island. With the chalky water equaled no bait. Nothing, zilch. Spots I usually catch hundreds of pinfish and sandperch/squirrelfish, not even a bite on the squid tipped sabiki's. One of my partners caught about 15 big pins and pigfish the night before on his dock so that helped, and on our first spot we caught a handful of spot tail pins and blue runners. We tried trolling on a spot I have in 22' that I usually do really well after the first real cold front but the crab traps are sooo thick now a days, I can't even troll there anymore. tried for 20-30 mins and just was futile. So we gave that up, and headed to a big ledge system I have in 35' and we caught a lot of shorts, and only one 26" keeper. Ended up making the decision to make a 10.5mile run in that snotty weather to hit some of my other spots that I wanted to try out. Sucked, got beat up and had to take it slow, but made it there and the fishing was pretty consistent. Caught tons of 22-23" fish which is a great sign! We moved around that area in about 50' and plugged away and got our limit of 8. While we were pulling the fish out to re-ice for the ride in, we even caught a 9th that fell into the deck shot but I assure you, she was release alive and well. We also caught some very big ARS in the 10-15lb range and also a bonus hogfish on a sardine tail. Almost all the keeper fish were caught on the limited live bait we had. One 8" pigfish caught 2 keepers and a 23" on three consecutive drops. Frozen dines accounted for the about three of the keepers. Our biggest fish was 33" and very wide 18lbs, and smallest keeper was 26". Hopefully I can get out a couple more times before they close up gags on us. Was not easy but we plugged away through some nasty weather and got our limit. Until next time, tight lines! Lil guy on the left wanted in on the deck shot lol

Replies

  • scootybscootyb Posts: 120 Deckhand
    Awesome trip congratulations
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,261 Moderator
    Now that's a Gag Run, crappy seas, but a great reward. And the bonus HnL Hog. Sweet trip.
  • DigitalchaosDigitalchaos Posts: 79 Deckhand
    Great job nice gags
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    Reel-Lucky wrote: »
    Now that's a Gag Run, crappy seas, but a great reward. And the bonus HnL Hog. Sweet trip.

    Yea, got beat up a lil and the live bait situation sucked but we worked through it. Thanks for the sticker btw...got it in the mail yesterday.
  • RJMurphy4142RJMurphy4142 Posts: 149 Deckhand
    Very nice. Was planning on heading to 50-60’ today to do the same but the guy at the tackle shop talked me into trolling the skyway rubble piles. Managed three short gags on stretch 20’s. Thinking I should have stuck with original plan.
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 788 Officer
    way to make it happen!!
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  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    We are heading out off Bayport on Tuesday. Should be a good day we've been killing it lately.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    We are heading out off Bayport on Tuesday. Should be a good day we've been killing it lately.

    Yea man, they are pretty hot right now in this whole area. We had a lot of stuff working against us and still did pretty well. Been hard for me to find decent sized pinfish lately for some reason which hasn't been a problem in a while. The live baits are killing them right now as long as you have good sized ones.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    Yea man, they are pretty hot right now in this whole area. We had a lot of stuff working against us and still did pretty well. Been hard for me to find decent sized pinfish lately for some reason which hasn't been a problem in a while. The live baits are killing them right now as long as you have good sized ones.

    I REALLY wish I could find a consistent spot to catch those lil grass grunts/pigfish. They have been the best bait by far.
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,538 Captain
    Great report as usual.
    Finally got to fish this week after having back surgery this summer and being banned from offshore by my surgeon for 6 months.
    Found slow fishing in 45-50` off Hudson. Lots of short gags. Found a 3 man limit of nice fish on rock piles in 30 feet when the tide slowed.
    Sorry no pics. Caught just as many on sardines as grunts. They really seemed to be aggressively chewing, I guess they know winter is coming, although you can`t prove it by the weather........
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    Yea man, they are pretty hot right now in this whole area. We had a lot of stuff working against us and still did pretty well. Been hard for me to find decent sized pinfish lately for some reason which hasn't been a problem in a while. The live baits are killing them right now as long as you have good sized ones.

    We've been doing well on grass grunts, pins and big dead spanish sardines. I'm really a stickler for fishing sardines for 30 minutes to get the stink going before dropping down live baits.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    I REALLY wish I could find a consistent spot to catch those lil grass grunts/pigfish. They have been the best bait by far.

    Where do you launch from? I do very well on grass grunts / pigfish. We use them all the time for Tarpon fishing. A big pretty white grass grunt is a 10 minute bait offshore for gags. However, when it finally gets eaten it will be a big one!
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    We've been doing well on grass grunts, pins and big dead spanish sardines. I'm really a stickler for fishing sardines for 30 minutes to get the stink going before dropping down live baits.
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Where do you launch from? I do very well on grass grunts / pigfish. We use them all the time for Tarpon fishing. A big pretty white grass grunt is a 10 minute bait offshore for gags. However, when it finally gets eaten it will be a big one!

    Yea, it's a rule on my trips too. I tell everyone to use the dines first before any livies, especially my last two trips where my good sized livies have been limited. For grouper I usually launch out of Nick's park/Cotee river. There have been pins by the stilt house flats but the size has been crap, unless I am snapper fishing. But yea, those pigfish have been getting hammered. Last trip, all 6 pigfish got hammered withing 5 seconds of dropping. Everything else would take a couple mins.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    drgibby wrote: »
    Great report as usual.
    Finally got to fish this week after having back surgery this summer and being banned from offshore by my surgeon for 6 months.
    Found slow fishing in 45-50` off Hudson. Lots of short gags. Found a 3 man limit of nice fish on rock piles in 30 feet when the tide slowed.
    Sorry no pics. Caught just as many on sardines as grunts. They really seemed to be aggressively chewing, I guess they know winter is coming, although you can`t prove it by the weather........

    The little rock piles it what I concentrate on...the bigger stuff gets hit and don't quite produce like the smaller rock piles. I just bounced around from rock pile to rock pile and the gags were there and hungry.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    Yea, it's a rule on my trips too. I tell everyone to use the dines first before any livies, especially my last two trips where my good sized livies have been limited. For grouper I usually launch out of Nick's park/Cotee river. There have been pins by the stilt house flats but the size has been crap, unless I am snapper fishing. But yea, those pigfish have been getting hammered. Last trip, all 6 pigfish got hammered withing 5 seconds of dropping. Everything else would take a couple mins.

    Gotcha - we are launching further south out of Clearwater. I do best with squid for the grunts and right on edge of grass flats especially close to a channel.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Gotcha - we are launching further south out of Clearwater. I do best with squid for the grunts and right on edge of grass flats especially close to a channel.

    I might try that by the marker buoys and channel edges out there.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,559 Captain
    Great report made even better with outstanding pictures.
  • SalmonHawkSalmonHawk Posts: 88 Greenhorn
    Great report, nicely done!
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    Killed it yesterday got some really big fish! Gag bite is really hot.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Killed it yesterday got some really big fish! Gag bite is really hot.

    Great to hear! I am heading out tomorrow to see if we can grab a couple more. Maybe try to work similar style rock piles i worked last week, but a mile to the north.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    Great to hear! I am heading out tomorrow to see if we can grab a couple more. Maybe try to work similar style rock piles i worked last week, but a mile to the north.

    Started with sardines and got lots of fish but the big fish of the day all came on large white / light colored grass grunts. We had our limit in less than 1.5 hours.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Started with sardines and got lots of fish but the big fish of the day all came on large white / light colored grass grunts. We had our limit in less than 1.5 hours.
    '

    Yep. that's what I've been running into as well. Hopefully we can get some nicer baits this time so we can make quicker work of them and jump on some mango's.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    '

    Yep. that's what I've been running into as well. Hopefully we can get some nicer baits this time so we can make quicker work of them and jump on some mango's.

    Mangos were slow for us but we did get some decent hogs. We kept catching more and more keeper gags it was ridiculous even when we were snapper fishing. Also, put some flat lines out we had a good dozen kingfish.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Mangos were slow for us but we did get some decent hogs. We kept catching more and more keeper gags it was ridiculous even when we were snapper fishing. Also, put some flat lines out we had a good dozen kingfish.

    We're bringing some shrimp to try and get some hogs too. I have a few good mango numbers if we can keep the ars off of us.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    We're bringing some shrimp to try and get some hogs too. I have a few good mango numbers if we can keep the ars off of us.

    We didn't go beyond 55' all day so good luck.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    We didn't go beyond 55' all day so good luck.

    The gags were on fire again today. We could've had our limit within the first hour but decided to let go of a coupe 25"ers since it happened so fast. Made a good choice because we moved to another rockpile and got the onto an even hotter bite. This has been a banner year for gags for sure. Limits have been easy to come by, even without choice baits in my case.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,022 Officer
    clarosa wrote: »
    The gags were on fire again today. We could've had our limit within the first hour but decided to let go of a coupe 25"ers since it happened so fast. Made a good choice because we moved to another rockpile and got the onto an even hotter bite. This has been a banner year for gags for sure. Limits have been easy to come by, even without choice baits in my case.

    Yes buddy was out yesterday and it was very hot in 40'. We went out today and got worked by some big fish. Mango's were chewing pretty good too.
  • RJMurphy4142RJMurphy4142 Posts: 149 Deckhand
    clarosa wrote: »
    The gags were on fire again today. We could've had our limit within the first hour but decided to let go of a coupe 25"ers since it happened so fast. Made a good choice because we moved to another rockpile and got the onto an even hotter bite. This has been a banner year for gags for sure. Limits have been easy to come by, even without choice baits in my case.


    Thanks and Great report. Out of curiosity how do you know they are rock piles you're fishing? I would like to be able to discern rocks from other structure? Do you have structure scan?
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 710 Officer
    Thanks and Great report. Out of curiosity how do you know they are rock piles you're fishing? I would like to be able to discern rocks from other structure? Do you have structure scan?

    I've done a lot of diving/spearfishing on most of my spots. Plus I can tell by the way it looks on the sonar. Just have to learn your sonar and then figure out your drift to anchor correctly and the rest is easy.
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