Port Canaveral Offshore 08-16 & 17-13
A couple trips and a quick report. Were still finding varied water conditions offshore with cold bottom actually observable on the bottom machine with a well defined thermo break line. The bottom bit seems a little better in some places, but not completely back. We have found some nice fish, but at times in the middle of a ton of natural bait, and unwilling to take anything we offered.
Friday we managed to find AJ's,though we really had to work hard to get them to bite, and they were holding dep near the bottom, but did get some rod bending action. Lots of sharks yet, but Atlantic Sharpnosed are a great eating fish, and one of the few you can keep one per person on.
Trolling saw little action, with weeds pretty much non existant to 300'. Saturday was a little better. First thing Saturday was a stop by the last buoy out of the port. Water was clear, and thousands of small bait fish were around it. We blind cast a jig, and 2 fat Cobia followed it back but refused to bite. We added live bait and eels to the offerings and still they were curious but refused to eat. They also seemed smarter than norman, keeping just out of gaff range! Finally as they started to awim off and down we made a final pitch to try getting them back to the boat, and something hooked up, but was comming towards the boat. It showed itself in the form of a monster manta with our 2 Cobias in tow. We cut our line off before loosing it all and headed for deeper water.
Nearing 300', we found weeds and a semi clean edge. Before we got line out, we saw a large palm branch floating and investigated. Again, thousands of bait fish were around this. We sent a verticle jig down a hundred foot to see what may be hanging below. It was a 12 oz speed jig, and a fish liked it, but small. It was a 'WeeHoo'! It had big aspirations I guess. We sent him home to grow a little more. A few small Mahi showed up, followed by a few bigger ones. We offered chunk bait, live biat, jigs, topwater plugs, and finally pulled ballyhoo around the area, and they apparently preferred the natural buffet around them. We finally set more lines out to work the weed line a while.
We had a steady but slow line of shortstrikes, some killing our baits, some apparently only grabbing the skirts head, but no hookups. Before running too far North along the line that was working deeper and deeper, we stopped by a few bottom wrecks. We found AJ's there Friday, but was seeing nothing mark Saturday. We made a few blind drops with the high speed jigs, and hooked up. We were 50' above the structure or maybe 100' off the bottom in 280' of water, and we were not hooking AJ's, but Grouper. This healthy Snowy was one of the groupers hooked. We did manage to bring one grouper home also, a Black.
Back to trolling we went. More short strikes and misses. North and in about 400' of water as the weed line started to fade, we hooked a Sailfish. After that fight, and with the weed line falling apart, we headed in for some shallower bottom fishing. More sharks, but more meat in the ice box and all the catching one could ask for. The bottom bite was still off, with even grunts slow to bite.
Fridays trip in was interesting. We were cruising about 40, and about 5 miles from port when we saw a large center consoleheading towards us. It took him a while to run us down. There was no radio call, but once they were close enough for us to see them, and apparently them see us looking, they turned on the blue lights. Border Patrol! 6 Federal armed officers wanted to know who we were. After we showed our credentials and they checked us out we were on our way. Wonder how much that 39' Midnight Express with 4 motors on the back and 6 federal Deputies is costing us each day? And, they did not eve have a single rod holder on that boat!
A couple of interesting days with slow but mixed results. We saw a lot of fish and brought some home for dinner, but is we could have brought back what would not eat, we would have had a couple epic trips. thats Fishing!
Captain Henry www.ACME-Ventures-Fishing.com
321-794-7955 Deep Sea Fishing Port Canaveral