Friday, March 03, 2006

3/2/06 FISHING REPORT of Port Canaveral
Started out at 10am, hitting ocean about 10:30. Seas 1-2 ft. Mostly sunny, water 67.8-68 deg, somewhat dirty water but clearing up compared to 3/1/06. Cobias have been reported yesterday due east of the port.

Quickly ran several miles SE of the port, to 30-45 ft of water. Saw white plastic debris. 1 large trip under it, then 2 more spotted swimming towards our boat which spooked and went under. After setting up for the big trip, we circle back around to the debris and NOW, there are 4 big trips in the 10-15 lb range hovering together. Our friend, John B has never caught a tripletail before and so we give him first dibs. He threw multiple times but had a sinker on which spooked them. While he was re-rigging his pole, Jack made a circle back and took a throw at one of them. HOOK UP! It was a nice fight with a few runs back down. I netted him and we didn’t even bother measuring him since he was so big.

He’s on ice by 11:25am. All the other three have spooked and left the plastic. We motor a few more minutes and spot another large one between floating sea weed. While John getting read to throw to him, I see another pair swimming past the front of the boat. I whisper to Jack for the pole and I throw and the larger one follows my shrimp. BAM! Game on and it quickly joins Jack’s biggie. Mine is only 15.5 inchs (legal size is 15inches).
On ice at 12:03.

Meanwhile, John is throwing to his back at the patch of weeds and BAM, game on for him! Back to back hook-ups. John has a fun fight and lands his first tripletail ever! His measured about 16’ish inches. 12:08pm

With three in the box and being only 1.5 miles from the snapper hole, we decide to enjoy sandwiches and zoom over. We never spotted a free-swimming cobia or manta either inspite of seeing so many tripletails. We mostly drifted over the wreckage which produced a lot of snapper and break-offs. Wind & current made anchoring unsuccessful. On John’s first drift, he hooks up with a 12 inch Lane Snapper. (8inches legal) Somehow, I missed the picture because Jack too was fighting something and I grabbed the net. Unfortunately, we lost that fish. John had something big on and it broke off after getting it up off the bottom. (BTW, we’re all using big reels with monofilament backing and powerpro up front. Terminal end has anywhere from 30-100 lb line, depending on what we're hunting.)

Matthew reminds me to get the camera for his first reef fish – grunt family at 1:20. Back to the reef. Three minutes later, Michael’s pole goes off and up comes this monster size whiting. At first, down in the water column, I thought it was a red fish missing it’s spot. Don’t let the picture fool you, this fish is about 15 inches long. (1:23pm)

I don’t even get a chance to put the camera down and Matthew has something big on.
1:24pm Mr. John is holding the pole to make sure it and Matthew don’t go overboard. Thank goodness the pole was able to rest of the sides of the boat for leverage. (Dad, that is your Penn reel on there.) THE JOY! His First Keeper American Red Snapper (ARS), measuring 23 inches. Legal is 20 inches.

1:25 pm Look at that smile. Haven’t weighed it yet, but it was several pounds big.

Next, short snapper was Matthew’s I think. 18 inches and had to go back to the water. He couldn’t go down, so we had to recapture him w/ the net and vent the air in his stomach. 1:37pm
Upon repositioning the boat, we see a nice manta ray east of us.
We motored over and didn’t see any cobias riding its back but Jack still threw the yellow jig to it. No fish on top. At one point, this majestic creature with a wingspan of 8 ft stalled out right behind us. It is so very hard to capture a good manta picture with the glare on the water. 1:47pm.

We head back to the snapper hole and on my first drift, I pick up a baby red grouper who’s eyes were bigger than his mouth. We just received our tagging kit from Mote Marine Laboratories and red grouper is on the list of targeted species but I didn’t have the heart to put a needle in him. 1:57pm. He has white snow spots on his back and yellow fins.

You’re probably wondering how the other side of the boat is doing at this time. The men had a lot of big fish break off their lines and were re-rigging the poles. One point, we all snagged the wreck but with reversing, Matthew and I were able to recapture our line & gear.

At 2:45, I had a nice fight going on and got it off the wreck. I knew it was a big snapper but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite big enough. 19.5 inches. I held out my own fish and snapped a picture of him.

No long after that, Jack starts a grunting and fighting a fish. We’re all just yelling “Reel, reel!” Then, “easy, don’t break the line”. 3:03, he brings this bad boy to the ice box. 22.5 inches.

Now, Jack is happy to finally have his legal snapper in the box.
We high 5'd each other.

We headed home right after this. Fourteen miles back in.

I think there were some more throw back reef fish that we did not keep. Overall, we had a day of big fish bites rather than getting bothered with small guys, which is a nice change.

Nobody took a picture of me in my cute braids. I don’t think my guys thought the braids were too cool. I loved not having to deal with hair in my face or on my neck. I got a nice burn on my neck, ears and shoulders. I put on sunblock but it was already too late.

Off to go clean all those fish!


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