pipeline Saturday 12/29

We had planned for some time to take my niece and wife's daughter out for an offshore trip.  Neither of them fish so I figured I'd just be captain for a day.

It was dead calm, but pea soup foggy.  We putted through the bay to the skyway.  Visibility almost nonexistent.  No bait at the skyway so we kept putting.  Some bait at the bay pier but it was sparse.  Nothing at the gulf pier, but I had frozen so we were fine.  Continued putting out to the last green marker and picked up some cigar minnows.  Some guys were tied up there and one was ralphing the whole time.  It wasn't rough at all, but I guess some people just are prone to seasickness.

I took my chances and got the boat on a plane and hoped for the best.  We went straight to my favorite number and anchored, only to notice another boat about 30 yards away.  Dang, it was foggy.  Hooked up immediately on a gag that was oh so close to legal.  Then it was one ARS after another.  Once we weeded those out, we caught a mess of smallish mangos and the biggest lanes I've ever caught.  The lanes were all bigger than the mangos.  While one of the girls was reeling one up, a group of cobias showed up.  One was an absolute monster.  Had to be close to 5'.  It dwarfed the ones with it.  Just enormous.  We scrambled around trying to get something to toss at them.  I completely forgot about the free line with the live cigar minnow but we did get a live greenback out and the smallest one nailed it immediately. We lost it and they disappeared.  Lesson learned (maybe?).  The bite never dried up and we stayed there the rest of the day.  Caught a variety - porgies, scamps, gags, triggerfish, lots of snapper.  

Headed back in the still thick fog.  It never lifted the entire day.  It finally cleared up around 10 miles from shore.  Seas were fairly calm so it was a nice ride back.  

All in all a fantastic day.  The girls had a great time and were completely worn out by the time we got back.  Wife cooked up the snapper and we had a great feast, then all passed out.

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