We headed out Sunday early. The tide was high at 7:20 am. It was only a two-tide day, but whenever I get a decent high tide at sunrise, I always try and make the trip. Today was strictly an artificial day. The bait of choice included the Mirrordine 17mmr, gulp, and the Zara Spook. We started working the mangrove shoreline, hoping to find a little action; it was a little slow to start but quickly picked up as the sun started to rise over the horizon. A few cast in, and I get hammered by a nice little red, then a trout, and sure enough, a small snook.
I saw a ton of commotion out of the corner of my eye; I could see the mackerel jumping from the water in pursuit of small whitebait. With them was a mix of jacks, ladyfish, and trout. We decided to troll on over and toss bait in the mix; shortly after, we hook up with a couple of nice mackerel, a few jacks, and ladyfish. After the frenzy passed, we turned our focus back to the shoreline as the tide was turning to go back out. I tossed the bait right up against the shoreline and could see where the tide was funneling the water right next to the perfect ambush spot. Anticipation was building, but sure enough, right when the lure found its way to the spot, it was smashed. After a short battle, up came a feisty 24-inch redfish. My very next cast yielded another nice 21-inch snook. After releasing the snook, I look up to the largest trout I have seen in the bay to date. Vince had her hooked up, and she came up and shook her massive head. After a few minutes, she comes boat side, just barely hooked.
This fish was 30 plus inches and at least 6 pounds. As we go to grab the fish, the lure breaks loose, and she swims off. We would have loved a picture, but at least we got to see the monster up close. We fished for a couple more hours catching dozens of fish. The wind was subtle, and the air was cool; we decided to try our luck trolling for grouper near the channel. We prepared the planners and lures, and off we went. It was almost instantly, and we hook up with a 21.5" gag. We figured this to be a sign to come; we reset the planner, and bam!!! Up comes a 30-inch Spanish mackerel. Unfortunately, that is where it stopped, at least for grouper. We trolled for 1.5 hours with no other takers. We headed back near shore to catch a few more trout and then called it a day. I made it home just in time to see the Buc's lousy offense lose us the game.
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