Raygin & Steve Near Shore Trip
Raygin & Steve have fished with me for years. They have been traveling to Florida yearly for vacation. All those great times, and fun in the sun convinced them to buy a house right here in town. We took them out to celebrate becoming Florida residents and to explore the gulf of Mexico! Our local weather has been iffy. Day to day you never know what the gulf is going to look like. When we saw 2 feet or less on the NOAA forecast we set out towards the west. We couldn't of had a better day! We started off snapper fishing. These fish we fired up, we got them to raise off the reef using "Snapper UP" This is a wet/ dry chum mixture that these fish LOVE. It makes catching them easier, less line breakage when they are eating away from the wreck.
They quickly caught a limit of BIG mangrove snapper. One of the best eating fish in the Gulf. These guys were excited to try a fresh catch on their plate. I saw some cuda around, these are fun to catch but not to eat. Shark fishermen love them as bait. Steve quickly got the barracuda all wound up. Hooking a few and landing a nice one. Raygin had her turn at one as well.
At this location they also caught some undersized fish we tagged & released for Gray Fishtag Research. A red grouper, blacknose shark and amber jack. If you spot these fish on the end of your line make sure to report the tagged catch. They even send a recapture certificate as a thank you for participating! Raygin also upgarded her goliath grouper from earlier in the week, pulling up this beast from the bottom.
Later in the afternoon we headed further west, as we were setting up position I spotted two cobia swimming around the boat. Steve and I threw free lined pin fish at them and got one of them to bite! Another nice catch to put in the cooler. As we were putting this fish in the ice box we noticed another hook in its pectoral fin and a broken line. He had been caught previously, today it was Steve's lucky day!