Luckily in our "recession" it seems plenty of people can still afford to get out for a day of fishing. Maybe things aren't as bad as the reporters tell us they are. Every day I've been out there have been at least 10 boats within sight so that's good for the whole marine industry.
Enough about economics, So on new years day it was a bit windy and we decided the best bet would be to run inside Sanibel and come out of Redfish Pass. That worked well since the seas were strong 4's with a 5 every now and again. Out at the pegasus/boxcars area we set the anchor and got the chum going but it seemed to be too rough for anything to get near the surface. Instantly we were hooking big lanes from 14-16 inches and also getting a few mangs and yellowtail in the mix. Our pinfish had a hard time finding a gag or red grouper but they always seemed to get grabbed by an AJ. One of the clients was using a real "butterfly" jig and that produced AJ's and a few almaco. Added to the days catch were one gag, a pair of keeper scamp and what I would consider to be a slob strawberry at almost 17 inches.
New Years day
Mike doing the make it look bigger pose, his first keeper grouper ever which was caught right after he said " I've never landed a keeper grouper, everyone else on the boat catches them but never me"
Then Jan 2nd we fished the same area the same way and with the same results.
Yesterday we went out to 100' and hit some hard bottom and small ledges to try for a better haul of grouper. Again the anchor and chum went out and this time we had big mangos up in the slick. Only problem is the only thing they really liked was the chum. We tried flat lines with chunks of sardine or live shrimp, the same baits also went to the bottom and we picked off maybe 3-4 fish. Then the jigs came out and were tipped with shrimp and they worked great but every time we hooked up the leader would break. At first I thought I had some bad line but then we pulled in a small king. So I quick rigged a KF rig and pulled up king number two they were both keepers, perfect for fried fish fingers so we iced them. At that same spot live pinfish produced plenty of grouper strikes from fish in the 19-25 inch range.
Later in the day we hit a small hard spot on the way in and pulled a couple more grouper for the table along with plenty of near misses and way shorts. At about 3 pm we were on the way in riding on almost calm seas and just enjoying the fact that we have such a wonderful place to live.
The glory shot