With a NE breeze of 20knots we elected to “hunker down” on the reef edge, being on the anchor made the breezy condition very comfortable. We ended up in 82′ of water and had a slow pick of quality fish for most of the day. We ended up with 3 or 4 Cero’s, a couple of Kings, a 12lb Mutton, 3 20lb Black Grouper, and 4 or 5 large Yellowtail. We knew it was time to go when the Next Grouper got eaten on the way up. The head of this fish which was all we got back indicated that whole, it would have been the largest of the day, but when the sharks move in its time to move on. After we got off the hook we ran out deeper and found a green to cleaner green color change. we hunted along the change and very soon spotted a Cobia from the Tuna Tower. We caught the Cobia which weighed 41 lbs, nice way to finish the day.
Monthly Archives: February 2008
The weather was glassy calm so we decided to run into the Gulf and fish the “grouper bar” for Kings. When we arrived there was no current so we elected to slow troll rather than anchor down. We picked at the kings, fish from 10-20 lbs. We saw 3 cobias on top and hooked one but pulled him off. After we had a limit of Kings we ran off to some shrimp boats and caught a Sail we saw on top. Running back in we saw a 100lb Hammerhead shark and caught him on a spinning rod. Further inshore we caught another Sail we saw on top.
We caught live Ballyhoo to go along with large pilchards this morning and then headed west on the reef edge looking for Sailfish sprays. We didn’t see any activity so we slow trolled the gulley area at Western Dry rocks and caught half a dozen kings and several bonitas. We then moved to the outside of the bar at Western and caught 3 Mutton snapper by droping live baits on a 130′ ledge. We finished the day hunting for Sailfish sprays. We saw a total of 4 Sails hooked 2 and caught 1 in the afternoon.
The Sailfish continue to shower schools of Ballyhoo along the reef edge from the Toppino buoy to Sand Key Light. After catching live Ballyhoo at the middle ground, the Southpaw ran west to the CB buoy hoping to find Sails in that area with fewer boats competing for them. Instead we found dirtier water and no sign of topwater action. With a light breeze from the NE and westerly current, plan B was to anchor down and reef fish. The first spot in 90′ of water showed good marks on the depth machine but yielded only a few small Yellowtail. It was beginning to look like running to the west was a big mistake. We moved to a second spot in 135′ and caught a 10lb Mutton on the first drop. We quickly added a 10lb Red Grouper. After releasing several small sharks, angler John Alison caught 2 trophy Mutton’s back to back on 15 pound spin, the first weighed 15 1/2 and the second a whopping 19 1/2. We added another Red Grouper, a smaller Mutton and several Yellowtail to the catch before running back to the east in search of a Sailfish to finish the day. Just below Sand Key Light we began seeing the telltale sprays of Ballyhoo and quickly caught a Sail spotted from the Tuna Tower. We also had a Tuna bite, and saw several other Sails before it was time to head for the dock.