Full moon mania on the Florida Middle Grounds:
Mangrove snapper have a tendency to go 'crazy' during periods of the full moon. A couple of days before the moon is at its brightest is by many considered to be the best of the best time to pursue this very hard to fool little bait thief. Night time fishing can be spectacular. However, many feel that fishing slacks off the day of the full moon and picks up again a couple of days after. The full moon for the month of May is Saturday, 5/25 12:27 A.M.
Three P.M. Friday afternoon, forty excited anglers and a crew of five board the Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard's Marina, in search of, 'Full moon mania on the Florida Middle Grounds.' Captains Brion and John gently guide the Florida under John's Pass bridge and immediately set sail for the very heart of the Grounds. This is going to be a serious trip. Just one little problem, we will start fishing Saturday morning, you guessed it, 12:30 A.M. Will the mangos be stuffed from feasting or ready to stuff themselves all over again. Only one way to find out. Joe, what do you think?
Joe tells us we had better be in top condition for a long hard fight. OK! Sounds like Tammy Philly cheese steak for starters and then let's hit the bunks. Now that was one short night, but we are ready. Oh no! Looks like the same old problem, we just can't get away from the American red snapper:
Mister Tim Fischer, Nineveh, Indiana, has traveled 1,000 miles to fish the Florida Middle Grounds on the Florida Fisherman. Can this man from the 'land of the Indians' really catch the very elusive mangrove snapper? Tim, that's a very good start. What a smile. Tim is one happy camper:
Melissa, girl you are showing us how to do it:
Will the mangos be chewing on the very day of the full moon? Well! The sun has not appeared and the Florida's number one huge fish box is almost full. So much for 'slacking off' the day of the full moon:
Ever see a rabbit puffer fish? Now that's a big one. Captain Brion is amazed:
Sun-up over the Florida Middle Grounds: Breathtaking!
Joe makes sure our fish are always in top condition:
Jeff, now that's a nice AJ. What a fight:
The American reds just will not leave us alone:
Lunch time, Jersey Girl Tammy time. Tammy does things with that grill that defies the imagination. That's not just beer batter dipped fish, that's the Tammy special:
Tim, you are showing us 'Crackers' how to do it. Now this is one 'Hoosier' that can really fish:
Donna, come back next week when it's pay back time:
Woman, you are some 'fisher-girl!'
Captain Brion is so proud of our tuna:
Look at the tags in those red grouper. These fish have been caught, tagged by the FWC, and lived to fight again. Always report a tagged fish. Actual on the water data is so important in the management of our fishery. The number to call is on the tag.
Way to go Melissa & Ron. Way to go!
Carl, way to go! This man from Sun City is putting on a real show for us today:
OK! Mom...we are hungry! What's for dinner?
Wow! Tammy has gone Italian. That's not just lasagna, that's Jersey girl lasagna:
Sun down over the Florida Middle Grounds...Priceless!
The day time fishing has been really slow. Hopefully we will have a decent evening bite:
It's looking good, really good!
The evening bite is really strong. Once again the mangos are going 'crazy!' Tim Fischer, our new friend form the great state of Indiana, ends up with a limit catch of 20 mangrove snapper, and much, much more. Tim, what do you think of our Florida fishing?. Bob, seven little words says it all, "I will be back, and back soon!" I love to catch gag grouper. Ron you are indeed 'hooked!' Bob, in my wildest dreams I never imagined 'Full moon mania on the Florida Middle Grounds' would be like this.
Well! it's almost over. In between pictures, I actually caught a dozen really nice mangos myself. Oh well! Think I will have a snack before hitting my bunk:
As I enjoy my treat I still see mangrove snapper coming over the rails from bow to stern. Our total is now pushing four hundred. Ok! That's it for now. We will be back! Bunks here we come:
Not bad, not bad at all!
Jeff, you are going to need a bigger cart:
Not sure who won the various jack pots, but here are some of the contenders:
With warmer weather the mango fishing will get even better. And just think, next Saturday is American red pay back time, and then comes gag grouper. This is going to be good!
Check out the short video of our trip. (Click on the link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Xq59TS25E
Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association