Thursday, May 14, 2015

OFFSHORE - GROUPER SEASON - 5/12/15

by Robin

My husband took a day off from work and my son was out of school and had a day off from his job, so.... they went fishing.  They also took a long-time friend, Mike, who had seen some grouper pre-opening season (May 1st) and had to let them go.

Today, was revenge.  Time to scoop them back up and put 'em in the cooler.

I was busy with last day of school things with my youngest so this was the guys' account of things that day.....

Cleared the Port by 8 am and it was a sloppy ride out to the first drop site.  Jack didn't like a couple of the places he was given coordinates to go.  No fish showed on the fish finder.  So, they motored over to our favorite dinner-reef fish area.  First drop, Son hooks up with something huge.  Fights it a few minutes and then loses it.  While getting a new bait to put on the hook, they realize his first hook had no barbs!!  So, they change that out.

Second drop with a live pin fish, he hooks up again.  He's fighting and fighting.  And up comes this gorgeous gag grouper!!  Awesome because you can keep one of those in your grouper aggregate of 3 fish.

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It was by-far over the 24" size limit.   In fact, we measured it at home and it went 35"!!!!

Third drop, Mike gets his bait chewed on but no hook-up.  Seconds later, Son hooks up AGAIN!!  He fights and fights his fish and this is what pops up.  Another quality fish but Red Snapper are out of season and so they vented it quickly and it dropped down.  Oh my goodness, the heart-break of not getting to keep such a beautiful and tasty fish.

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But, time to fish again.  New pin fish.  Drop.  Son hooks up with another fish.  They fight a bit and a small Amberjack comes to the surface.  They release it too.  Not as heart-broken over that and they didn't even bother taking a photo.

By this time, Son is absolutely feeling jello arms and the seas are giving him some nausea.  He's out! Mike drops a few more times and it produces nothing.


So, because they had at least 1 quality fish and 1 sick kid, they decided that was enough and called it at a half-day.

Here are the last shots before they filleted it up amongst the families. Mike's wife knows how to make fish head soup and use every bit of the fish.  We took a nice side, including the ribs to fry up.

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Next week, Jack has some vacation time and we're going to head out and try for more grouper. Praying God blesses us!

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Grouper teeth!!!  That would hurt if you got bit.


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Happy Fishing,

Robin

Saturday, May 02, 2015

OFFSHORE - 4/18/15

by Robin


Ok, I could have kicked myself for forgetting the camera on such a beautiful day out on the ocean.  You'll have to settle for a cooler shot.

Missed a nice 12-18 lb mahi that hit the first line in the first 5 minutes of setting it out.   Ballyhoo with some type of skirt in about 130 ft of water.  I remember we were just inside the weather bouy.

We trolled another couple hours without another knock-down.  About the time I asked Jack if he had a Plan B, he said we were .3 miles from our favorite bottom area.


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Knowing we needed to be back in by 3:30 to beat the evening storms (that never came!), we did what we could in about 2-3 hours and headed in.

I would say we were very blessed that the bottom fish were biting!!  Also, much thanks to Jack and his new electronics he put in this winter.  He sure did nail the spot every drift.  We could just about count down to when the nibbles would come.  :)

And for the record, there should have been another vermillion in the box.  Jack accidentally let one get away unhooking him.  LOL

No cobias seen.

Tight Lines,
Robin

RED FISHING!! - 4/4/15

by Robin

Jack had to work earlier in the day but was later called by a friend of his for a little evening bite on the red fish.

Well, wow!  They sure did nail the slot reds in record time.

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I cannot give away their secret location, but it was the Indian River.  LOL.

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Thanks to a good friend with a flats boat. :)  Sure was nice to change-up from offshore to inshore fishing.

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A good after church meal was shared by all!!

Happy Fishing!
Robin

BOAT COVERAGE

by Robin

No... not insurance, but tarping!

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Since 2011, we've had a wonderful tarp that lives over the boat until we can build a boat barn.  However, sometimes not everybody is available to help heave it over the boat frame.  The tarp is heavy and the PVC pipes are warping with the Florida heat.

(Below was original design, then redone to make that back line straight and additional support behind the black bimini.  Wish we had stuck with that original design of angling down towards the engine.)
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Since we needed to replace the old gray tarp (20x40)with a new one (blue & lighter 20x 30), it was time to rethink the frame.  They have now included thicker PVC and different supports.  No more blue rope to tie and "hope" the joints stay together.

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What does a mechanic and an engineer student do when the wind blows?  (These two love to work together. )

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Of course, build it better!!


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I'm so glad son took the weekend off from his job to study for finals.... build a boat-tarp frame.   I can't wait to see how much better it works.   This should make it a LOT easier for us short folks to pull that tarp up to the front of the boat.

Btw, we are repurposing the old tarp to cover the garden in the winter freezes.  Yeah!!

Also, I'll go back during the week and see about where I left off with fishing trips.  I'm sure I must have missed a trip.

Robin

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DOCK REPORT - 4/11/15

by Robin

I'm going to preface this by saying that we did not have anything to brag on, as we took an easy day going up and down the beach and looked for manta rays & cobia.  Didn't find either.

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So basically, I have some really nice pictures of fish around the dock.

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Jack was rigging poles up while I just hung out with the camera.  It was a lot of fun.

Not sure what this was that went by.  Definitely not one of the little guys.

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Baby fry.  Super cute.

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Very relaxing day with my hubby, watching fry to by.

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Last one... I promise.
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Later that evening, we hung out at the docks again and I caught some magnificent Frigate bird pictures.
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I'll spare you all fifty of my pictures (jk) but here are my 3 best.  This is a female.  They say you will see these when mahi are around.  Very true on Saturday.

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 photo DSC_0104-1cleanLogo.jpg And then, we had this cool dog which had no interest in us, as humans, but only when we brought up bait fish from the bottom.

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Intense but cute.
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Then, we saw that boat after boat were all flying the mahi flags or were putting mahi into other's coolers for heading to the cleaning tables.  Probably should have gone out for mahi.

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I was taking cool pictures of the cruise ships heading out for the week.

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Disney heading out....
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And then, while my camera was still in my hand, we saw these guys who came in and had no idea how to drive a boat. They hit the dock about 3 times before they gunned it under the walkway.

I snapped this and then a few of us ran over to help grab lines and tie them off in a proper area.  I didn't think at first about how somebody could have really gotten hurt.  I was mostly worried about them hitting us.

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Yes, they drove it right up under the walkway ramp.  Anyhow, it ended well for the humans, but not very good for the boat.

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Busted their bow rail, bimini top, and one side of their windshield.  I'm pretty certain their friend will never get back in a boat with them again.

Back to our business, Jack was playing with the pin fish and watching the fish go for his squid.  We were just killing time, watching the front approaching and watching the follies at the dock.  It was such a beautiful day together.

I think maybe this was a mangrove snapper but he was too smart to let us catch him eating any bait.

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So, that's our dock report.  In a 2nd report, I'll show you the Cape pictures I took.

Happy Fishing!  Go get yourself a mahi!
Robin

Thursday, March 26, 2015

FLORIDA AQUARIUM - Deep water fish & Bait Balls

by Robin

I think this may be a squirrel fish but not 100% certain.

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Pompano.... which is not a deep water fish but in that tank.  Oh well.

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I am look-down obsessed.  They are fast-swimming and I took dozens of photos just to get a couple clear ones.

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I think red snapper, but the color is absent under the blue water.
I dunno.... the eyes don't look right.  Maybe it is something else.
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Alamo or lesser amberjacks.  Maybe some Crevelle Jacks thrown in (bottom) too.
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My buddy!!

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Nurse shark.

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Black grouper!!

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Sea Turtle - star of the show!

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Sand Tiger shark pictures!

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Why hello babe!

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Who needs a dentist??  Not you!

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When you see bae with someone else..........       (you may have a loose tooth!)

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I just loved these bait ball pictures.

The first two are taken from the top of the tank during our behind-the-scenes tour.
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This is from down below.

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And here are pictures of the boys together.

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I had a little free time with my eldest while the class was doing a squid dissection.  Seems like I just dissected a LOT of squid on Saturday while offshore fishing, so I opted out of that.  Hope you think these are as funny as we think they are.

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We ended up at the show, watching the divers and answering questions about sea life.  I didn't downsize any of those pictures.  Maybe next free day.

This is the walkway out of the tank area.  It is actually smoke falling down and then a projector runs a movie onto the smoke.  Then, they walked through it.  Cool, almost-stain glass, effect!!

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Happy Spring Break everyone!

Robin