We hit 'um big!
Friday July 12, 3:00 P.M.: Mister Richard Sipple, long time 'regular,' and Jersey girl Chef Ms. Tammy Koota welcome one and all aboard the Florida Fisherman ll.
On this thirty nine hour trip Captain Bryon has decided to try an area we have not fished for several months. We will be going deep into the very heart of the Florida Middle Grounds. It will take us until 1:30 A.M. Saturday morning to reach this far-away land where the big boys play.
We have not been catching too many mangrove snapper. Let's see if we can change that. Oh No! The full moon is not until 7/22 @ 2:16 P.M. Is it possible to have a good mango catch during the dark of the moon? Will we be able to 'hit 'um big?' Let's go find out together. First things first. As we enjoy our delicious Italian sausage sub, Joe tells us the secrets of catching the little bait thief. Joe, long time mate on the Florida, tells it like it is. You must be ready to strike at the slightest nibble.
Now! hit the bunks; the fights will be long and hard. You will need your rest. Ok! We want to be at our best. 1:30 A.M. Saturday morning, time to hit 'um big; we hope! First a quick stop to find the anchor reading, then the 'real thing.' The mangrove snapper are not playing any games, they are hungry. The girls lead the way. We are so proud to have ladies on the Florida:
The bite is immediate and strong, very strong. Look at the size of those mangrove snapper:
After the first hour the bite is still going strong. The Florida's #1 huge fish box is almost full:
What a first stop. Catching all these fish has given us an appetite of huge proportions. Tammy, give us the big one. You got it ! Bacon & eggs, hash browns, and Country sausage and gravy over biscuits. Now that's our Jersey girl.
The mango bite continues, wonder if there is anything else lurking off the bottom? Mister Ray Hirschman decides to find out. Ray is using a live pin fish. He raises this live pin up ten then twenty feet. About 1/2 up Ray is hit and hit hard. This 'big boy' is so strong, so fast; it's really not acting like an amber jack. Ray follows the run-a-way freight train from the stern to the bow of the Florida. Fellow anglers are shouting encouragements and making sure Ray has plenty of room. This is a team effort. On & on goes the great battle, then we see it, color, the color of one of the largest black fin tuna ever caught on the Florida Fisherman. Quick, Will the gaff. Now that's on heck of a trophy: Craig, get that picture:
This is one day, one trip to the fabulous Florida Middle Grounds, Mister Ray Hirschman will never forget. How could he?
Darn, that snapper does not have a spot on it. Oh Well! see you in the Fall, we hope!
Rich, that's one heck of a king fish:
Talk about big, look at the size of that vermilion snapper:
As the sun comes up we see rain clouds all around:
The vermilion snapper are on fire. They are everywhere and very hungry:
Rich, way to go:
The great mango battle continues:
We have not seen too many grouper, but they are here:
Will & Joe were able to free numerous huge AJ's, 60-70 pound class, without bringing them on board. See you next month. This beauty was vented and immediately dove for home:
The red grouper refuse to be left out:
Mister Tim Fisher, Indiana, has been a regular on the Florida for some time now. Next week he returns to Indiana. Bet he has some stories to tell:
Tim's red grouper was the last fish of the day. We have been headed East all day and are still 95 miles from Madeira Beach. Let's go home.
Tim, let us know what the people back home think:
The FWC was waiting at the dock for us. Talk about hands-on, up-to-date, real data. They are taking samples of our fish for detailed study. The better the data, the better our fishery.
In the money, the really big money:
We 'hit 'um big' even during the dark of the moon. The July full moon should really be something. We will be fishing two days before the full of the moon. It just does not get any better than that. With gag & red grouper season open, and amber jacks soon to follow, is it really any wonder why Florida is known as the 'Fishing Capital of the World?'
Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association
Last edited by harbison; 07-14-13 at 04:32 PM.
The snapper bite has been red hot all over. This is one heck of a trip! Congrats