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Drifting for Grouper

Along with an old friend, Peter, we decided to head offshore of New Pass and set up some drifts to for red grouper in 80 ft. over hard bottom. Besides the grouper rigs, I had one rod rigged with a bucktail jig and a live pinfish suspended at about 30 ft.

During the first drift, the flat line goes off. Peter grabs the rod, sets the hook, and the fight is on. A few minutes into the battle, I see a large cobia run down the starboard side of the boat before sounding. Soon after, the cobia came unglued by throwing the hook. Sometimes a fish escape is hard to understand. I had a double hook set- up on the jig, and you just gotta shake your head and wonder how it is possible this cobia managed to get free.

On the next drift, we had a double hook-up, both red grouper, and both at about 18”. During the day, we caught a number of grouper, all in the cookie cutter size of 18” to 19”. Additionally, Peter caught a gag that went close to 30”. We finally did manage to put two reds on ice before heading in.

Squid and live pinfish were used as bait. The fish had a distinct preference for the live bait, which were pinned to 2 oz. red circle hook jig heads.
The seas on the way out were a very manageable 1 ft. During the day, the seas slowly built, and were running about 3 ft. with an occasional 4 footer thrown in when we called it a day. On the run in, the seas were off the port quarter, so it was a comfortable and dry run back to port.

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