Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Red Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, and Kings, a Days fishing with a New Friend

The forecast was for a choppy sea with waves of one to three feet, so we took off feeling pretty good. However as we traveled further and further the waves grew and by the time we reached the rock pile we were being bounced around, like steel marbles in a pinball machine. The waves were now from three to five feet high.
After positioning ourselves Mike dropped and set the anchor and Jenny quickly dropped her shrimp to the bottom. Before I could even bait my hook she was fighting a red grouper. The federal season was closed for red grouper and so we released the beautiful spotted fish and as soon a she dropped her rig again she had another fish.
It took a while before I finally connected and then I made a mistake while netting a shrimp. I hit the drain plug with the net and before Mike noticed it most of the bait was swimming away. Checking my rig I discovered my own bait was missing and baiting with one of the few remaining shrimp I immediately hooked a nice red grouper, (about twenty five inches). Still feeling really stupid from the bait well fiasco. I admitted my mistake and then cut a piece of blue runner, baiting it on my circle hook.
I set my pole in the holder and helped Jenny to unhook her large red grouper. About that time both Mike and Jenny yelled at me that I had a big fish on! Grabbing my pole I watched as the fish made a long run. It wasn’t a grouper and after several more runs it came to the surface, a legal king mackerel. Jenny keep saying that we now had dinner and I kept reminding her that the fish was not yet in the boat.
I finally landed it and then dinner was assured. We fished a little longer but the waves were growing in size and so we decided to head back to shore. Of course the seas diminished as we headed in and that was okay as we were all feeling a little under the weather.
Mike mentioned that we could go out later in the day and fish close to shore for Spanish mackerel. Cleaning the fish and the boat we took a lunch break, and a nap, before meeting Mike for a return to John’s pass. Only running a mile out, Mike and Jen spotted diving terns. Mike had us put on silver spoons and heading towards the birds, my pole doubled over! I fought the fish in and it didn’t behave like a Spanish mackerel as it again fought hard with long runs. It was a bigger king and now I had caught my limit.
Jenny’s pole went off next and she soon had our first Spanish mackerel! I was really excited as I had heard that Spanish mackerel were good eating and I really wanted to try one on the grill. Another pass through more bait fish and we hooked a double, both nice Spanish macs.
Bait fish were everywhere and after throwing back out we caught another before  a large fish broke my forty pound leader/ Two more Spanish fell to our rigs and I had another fish that broke another leader. The sun was nearing the horizon and so we talked it over before heading in.
It had been a great day with lots of fish, lots of learning about new fishing techniques, and most important a day on the water with Jenny, Renita, and Mike, (we all felt bad for Eric who had to work and so missed the great day of groupers, Spanish, and kings.Thank you Captain Mike for the great day! Clear skies

ps I grilled the Spanish mackerel and it was great!

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