Crystal River Reef 12/9
Me and my fishin buddy jake have been wanting to try to artificial reef lately to see if there's anything schooled up yet. He brings his dad along for the second time in 10 years. Water was flat couldn't ask for a better day to try to head out in our deck boat. After getting rid of our not very big offshore boat we used to have, we don't really venture out more than 9 miles usually, so this was a good day. We get there pretty quickly cruised around 36mph the whole way smooth ride achor on one of the 10 foot high concrete pieces and its one grunt after another some over 14in big grunt for us. We weren't grouper fishing we were looking for hogfish or snapper or even sheephead with shrimp. While Jake is making fun of his dad for lack of techique bringing in grunt his next drop he's getting excited his pole bent pretty good and only using 15lb test Jake is sayin it's just a grunt but I was sayin Jake I think he might have somethin. Turns out to be a 22" gag on shrimp, a little surprise a grouper of that size would hit a dead shrimp but we've caught many smaller ones so why not. We couldn't make fun of how funny he looked bringing in fish the rest of the day because of the one grouper he caught, but that was about all he caught the rest of the day, kinda funny. We got into schools of smaller snapper on the 5 foot pieces not sure if it was the same concrete it looked more like live bottom on our depth finder which isnt very impressive so I don't know for sure but all 20 snapper were only 11" keeper inshore but I think they have to be 12" outside of 9miles? Dropped down a dead pinfish a couple times, got stolen a couple times and got one 11" seabass at the reef, I think my first one out there. There were a few times I wish I was using heavier line when our poles bent right over and there was no stopping it when I had 4 poles right next to me rigged for grouper but I didn't want to catch smaller fish on a big pole so oh well. We brought back the 50 biggest grunt couple huge porgies and the seabass to hit some rocks on the way in. Shortly after being at the rock we love to stop at we bring in 5 fairly big seabass. 2 at 11" one over 13"! Probably the biggest I've caught in crystal river, fought like a grouper maybe even better we caught about 5 short grouper right before that seabass and they didnt even fight that hard. Couple mackeral I believe taken off with our lines and breaking them and a mix of seabass and big grunt we headed back. A boat in the river lost sterring to the engine and we gave them a tow to their house while me an jake bass fish, I normally out fish him everytime but today theres a crowd he caught 3 bass all about 14" and a small snook and all I got were huge attacks on my lure with nothing in the boat:banghead. Good day in Crystal River.