[singlepic id=37 w=320 h=240 float=left]I got out before sunrise due to the early high tide. Anticipation was building and I couldn’t sleep, so I loaded up the equipment, hooked up the boat and met up with Vince to do some early artificial red fishing. Our top choice of lures was top water and gulp shrimp on Mishin Fishin jig heads. The Bay was quiet, no boat traffic, just the sound of the birds and mullet hitting the mirror like water.
Vince made the perfect cast toward the mangrove that hung just below the water and quickly started retrieving his lure. It wasn’t long before a nice snook could no longer ignore the high pitched sound and replicated wounded action of the lure. The strike was violent and came with a magnificent aerial display shortly after. After a short battle he brings her to the boat and quickly releases the fish. We had a few fish make passive attempts to engulf the lures but nothing worth staying.
We decided to head to our next spot near Cockroach to see if there was anyone home. At this point the sun was a little higher, so I decided to start tossing the Gulp around. It wasn’t long and I hooked up with a nice little 21 incher. I tossed the lure next to a known area that typically holds dozens of redfish on flood tides and seconds after hitting the water I felt the distinct thump. I quickly set the hook and applied heavy side pressure. She was adamant about staying in the mangroves but after a few minute struggle, I finally landed her. She was a healthy 24 inch redfish. We caught many more redfish and snook but we had to be off the water by 10am, so we could clean the boat and head out with Randy on the Bay boat for a little “grouper digging”.
I put baby Hewe (the boat) to rest and we were quickly off for our second fishing trip of the day. The wind picked up and made for a challenging troll but we headed off to a secret spot that has been fruitful time and time again. We rigged up our number 2 planers and our pink and white grubs. Once we found the rocks, we threw out our marker and started trolling at 1100 RPM’s. We were now at the bottom of the tide and we knew the fishing should be good. Despite the rough seas, our first hit landed a nice 27 inch grouper in the fish well. The nice 4 mph troll helped alleviate the heat; we trolled for another 30 minutes without even a single lick.
We decided to try another area, we did several pass bys and the fish were really feeding. The planer suddenly trips and Vince rushes to grab the rod, he finally gets it to the boat, it was a nice 23 inch grouper. We give the 27 incher that was caught earlier a little company. Once again the planers are sent back down and it was 5 minutes later we get hammered, I grabbed the rod and the battle was on, even with the drag almost locked down the fish still pulled line on the old trusty Penn 4/0, I pump the rod and eventually get him to the boat. We were enlightened by the presence of a FAT 28 inch grouper.
Overall it was a hell of a day and we all had fun. We left the fish biting to be caught another day. I enjoyed my 27th birthday, with great people doing what I truly love. You can’t ask for more than that.