Friday, July 07, 2006

June 30, 2006 Jack, 2 coworkers and a Flounder

I was still pretty busy with VBS finishing up last Friday so I was unable to go fishing. Jack had the option of taking friends to split the gas costs, which is very appealing right now. They headed approximately 20 miles due east of Port Canaveral, in 80 ft of water and began dropping lines in. The short story is that the first line went off before Jack could get a 2nd line in the water. It was a nice fight with a barracuda for Jack which was released. He redrops a line back, starts on a 2nd line back and again, something hits one of those lines. I believe it is John's turn to fight the fish and a few minutes later, a mahi mahi is making jumps out of the water. Jack is busy bringing in the other line to keep it from getting tangled with the fish. When the fish is boatside, it merely chose to swim away, leaving the hook behind. Nothing done wrong, just gone. It wasn't a trophy fish but it was a keeper size and would have tasted delicious.

So, lines back in the water again which produced nothing on a slow troll all the way out to 120 ft. The water had a ton of debris and well-formed weedlines to troll around. Jack said he saw many baby triggers swimming around but not a single tripletail or dolphin. Sigh.

Next is Plan B.... they go to the shallow-water snapper hole and see if you can weed through the juvenile red snappers to bring home *something* for dinner. Jack says that they caught a series of small reef fish and black sea bass, which are delicious eating. They chose not to keep any this day.
On one particular drift, Bill G brought up a small but legal Southern Flounder which went on ice. Divers have been reporting that numerous flounder and lobster beginning to gather around wrecks and ledges. Lobster season is around the corner in August. Goodness, it seems like August will be here before we know it yet supposedly so far away!

Other fishermen are reporting that fishing has been slow for them too. Partly this is because the water temps on top of the water are too high for dolphin's likes. Partly, there was a cold updwelling on the bottom of the water making the bite turn off. We decided to take some of this extra free time to work on the trailer and boat. Jack used special cleaners to remove the scum line and black scuff marks from the hull. Then on Wednesday, we had new tires put on the trailer. A friend from the fishing forum gave us his cost, which was a big blessing.

Tomorrow, we are considering buddy-boating with a new coworker friend of Jack's and his fiance. Mike has a smaller boat than ours and so buddy-boating is a good option for all of us. We made a chum block from bait that would have otherwise been thrown away. I cannot tell you how disgusting this practice is. I do not know the price of a chum block in a store but it must be more worth it rather than making some in your kitchen!

Anyhow, all this depends on the weather and sea conditions. NOAA has given a semi-decent forecast but there looks to be some conflicts so it will be an early morning decision. Usually 5-10 knot winds should produce low waves but they are still calling from 2-3ft south of us and 3-4 ft north of us. Plus, t-storms are always a top priority in our decision-making. One can only tell as the morning bouy reports come in.

I have made sandwiches and have a big bag of chips in preparation but I did not load the boat up. (Not too hopeful, I suppose.) If we do decide to anchor in shallower waters in order to head back in early for storms, we won't burn so much fuel nor need as much food.

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