Wednesday, January 31, 2007

1/30/07 Spring Cobia in January!

We left out of the Port about 9am with our family and Bill (coworker) in tow. We ran first to Snap 85 hole. Jack, Bill, oldest son and myself all started dropping lines. Oh, actually, my son "chummed" first, then was able to start fishing. The seas behind this picture don't do it justice. The wind-wave was low (which is what you see); however, the real wave action was at least 3 ft still. We were never in danger because it was a long period between wave sets, but it sure is hard to work while you're rocking.
This was the typical seen of the day. Double-hook-ups. Many juvenile Am. Red Snapper or black sea bass. All these are released.
When Jack brought up one of his Snapper, it was followed up by what I thought was a smaller cobia. Jack says it could have also been a large remora (sucker fish). I begged to differ since I didn't see the sucker on the head. I was also reeling up a snapper, so the cobia stuck around to take 2nd and 3rd looks at him. Meanwhile, Jack is frantically putting his cobia jig on a spinning reel. By the time he was ready to cast, the cobia had swum back down.

We reset up another drift over the area and Bill gets a big hook-up. He's grunting and making slow progress, but progress none-the-less. All of a sudden, his line is swimming away from the boat. Jack say, "Shark" in disappointment. When I finally put eyes on him, I yell, "Cobia!" Here is Bill's cobia upon swimming to the surface.
Cobia and shark are easily confused but there is no mistaken the cobia's pattern of brown & white.

See the happy faces? That was some big fish. The tail is sticking out of the cooler. I have spared you the bloody cooler shot that I had taken.
Afterwards, we were taking guesses on the weight. I guessed 43 lbs. Jack said 38lbs. I think Bill said less, but I'm not sure he settled on a number. After the fish was finally dead, we weighed it in at 25 lbs.
By the way, this fish actually rocked the cooler from within the closed doors. They are *really* strong fish.

After a couple more unsuccessful drifts over Snap 85, we moved on to Bill's former Grouper spot in 89 ft of water. My son was done with fishing for a while and so he took a nap on the side of the boat. My younger son took a nap on the front seat of the boat. We were actually underway to a new location when this picture was took. It's not like they were up at 5am and tired. I think the motors lull them into naps.

We had no success with keeper fish at the 2nd location. Again, all juvenile Red Snapper and Blk Sea Bass.

Location 3, we headed to Pelican Flats. Just off our mark, Bill locates this wonderful set of weed patches in 78 ft of water. The sun made everything impossible to view & search, but I did catch a glimpse several times of a female mahi mahi (cow). Umm...sweetie, you're lost. I think you're looking for Miami.
Jack spent about 20 minutes casting with his cobia jig to the mahi with no success. Bill cut up some sardines that we had on hand for bottom fishing. She would eat those up like candy, but if they put a piece on a hook, she refused. I guess she was aware of the "ice condo" aboard First Choice.
You may be wondering how I can get this angle with the camera. I love to stand on the cuddy cabin top. It is the best seat in the house for sight-fishing anything a few feet under the water. The black in the picture is the canvas top of our boat. My youngest has started taking a liking to being "up" with momma. He's got very good sea legs for a 7yo.
We fished Pelican Flats with only 1 keeper Lane Snapper and too many released smaller fish. We decided to call it a day. We cleaned off Bill's Cobia and took a moment for this photo opportunity.
Here are the happy guys. Capt Jack and Bill.
Happy Fishing

Saturday, January 27, 2007

1/27/07 Skunked!!!

We saw a decent color-change and weedline about 2 mi off the beach and then again another one about 45 ft of water. (3-4mi?) Lots of debris. Lots of weeds. About a handful of small tripletail that were extra spooked. No cobias. We even tried a couple casts at the jetty rocks with no success and so we came home empty-handed today.

The sky was beautiful about 75% of the time and when the sun was out, it felt hot. The rest of the time, the wind kept us on the chilled side.

Here we thought we had a large tripletail holding under the water. Instead, what we had was some large piece of plastic. There is my little guy checking it out.

We will probably be out for bottom fishing mid-week if the weather holds. Tuesday night, my boys will give their speeches for County Events. My eldest is giving a demo on Lures & Baits.

Happy Fishing,
PS: Edited to add that a few fishing reports are coming over the internet and I am seeing that many boats were skunked. I don't know where the cobia went. They were out the past couple of days and now gone. Oh well, we will try again later.

Friday, January 26, 2007

1/26/07 Woman manhandles cobia during stroll

First, let me say that we're going to attempt to look for some cobia tomorrow morning. Looking forward to fishing again.

Secondly, you won't believe this story, but it is true - printed in the Florida Today newspaper.


Family catch. A jog at Satellite Beach turned into a big catch for Meridith Sykes, who grabbed a 40-pound cobia from shallow water.

Meridith Sykes was pushing her two-month-old son, Jaden, in a jogging stroller along the Satellite Beach surf when something caught her eye.
"It was thrashing around in the water," Sykes said. "It was a big fish of some kind and I thought it was a shark from the way it looked."
Instead, it was a 40-pound cobia that had become stranded in shallow water while feeding on baitfish along the edge of the surf.

Cobia is a valued eating fish usually caught offshore. It resembles a shark.
She called her boyfriend Kris Sanford on her cell phone to ask what she should do. But Sanford didn't answer.

"By then I knew it wasn't a shark so I ran into the water and tried to push him up toward the beach, but he kept thrashing, and he was heavy. Finally, I just grabbed him by the tail and dragged him on the beach," Sykes added.

Several construction workers at a beachside project saw what was happening and they ran down to the surf.

"They told me it was a cobia, a big cobia," Sykes said.
"One guy was trying to pull him farther up on the beach when it twisted and hit him in the head, hurting him. So, I grabbed the tail and pulled him farther up the beach."
Sanford, an avid offshore angler, later estimated its weight at 35 to 40 pounds.

"We hang out with fishermen and I always get mad at them because they hook a fish and then hand me the rod," Sykes said. "I always tell them I want to do it myself.
"So, this time I did it myself. With my own hands," Sykes laughed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

1/21/07 Ocean's Deadliest

Tonight is the tribute to Steve's last mission of showing the Ocean's deadliest animals. Sadly, his mission to expose the deadliest proved to be to his undoing.

It's been a few months since Steve passed but we still miss him. I saw Terri and Bindi do a couple of interviews this week for G'day America. We also watched his show "Tigers of Shark Bay" where he gets in the water with a Tiger Shark. Definitely unfair to the shark to be tailroped for an interview but at least Steve had good intentions of promoting conservation and then kissing the shark good-bye.

As for our family, it looks like Wednesday may be the next available fishing day, if the winds stay low for a few hours. Jack has spent much of this weekend changing out the drain plug and filling all the cracks, dents and holes in the fiberglass. He's doing a great job and then left white primer on the area until we can paint the hull.

Kiss a shark


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

1/16/07 Grooooooooper!

They fished east of Pelican Flat and worked their way eastward towards 21 & 27 F. They pulled up hundreds of short Amer Red Snapper and Blk Sea Bass. My sweetie kept 3 fat sea bass for me. The seas were 3.6 ft but at 10 second periods which made for swells. (29 mph ride out and 33 mph ride in) Inspite of the nice swells, Bill was seasick - violently. So, Jack thought they should pull lines and head back closer to shore & calmer seas. Before he could hit full throttle, he picked up a little ledge on his fish finder. He yells, DROP! Six seconds later, Bill gets taken for a thrill-seeking ride while puking. Poor guy! I think it was worth it. Bill is shown above with his 30.4 lb WARSAW GROUPER!!!!!

Kudos to the Captain for finding the fish and delivering the "goods". More kudos to God for blessing him because we were seriously thinking of selling the boat to doing our fast-track Total Money Make-over (going debt-free). I just don't think this is one thing we can part with.

I took this picture of inside the Grouper's mouth. See the carpet bed of teeth??

You should NEVER put your fingers inside the mouth of an oceanic fish.

They have TEETH!!!

Our favorite family quote while fishing, "You can't catch a grouper sitting on your pooper." Now you can see why!


1/16/07 A Whale-warming story
Jack & his coworkers are heading out the Port Canaveral inlet as I blog. Updates later, I hope!

For now, let me share this beautiful story I received from my sister:

If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her ...

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed gently around-she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
Be kind to a whale!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

1/13/07 Total Money Makeover

What can I say? The seas are high and Tuesday morning is our next window of opportunity. So.... I decided to read a book called Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I really want to be debt-free some day soon.

Secondly, my sweet 7yo handed me this dollar bill as a gift for putting ointment on his bug bites. He loves to gift me with cash. When he's not looking, I put the cash back into his wallet.

Praying for smooth seas!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

1/9/07 Follow-up on last post

I thought I'd post that my croup is lessening, which is great. Jack wrote and has been reading other's reports on his fishing forum. It appears to be the majority opinion that NOAA weather forecast was very wrong and that many boats encountered high seas and had passengers green with nausea.

What boats that are getting offshore seem to be picking up "Cadillac" snapper and Monster groupers. I'm looking forward to the day I can get offshore again.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

1/7/07 Happy New Year!!!

To the left is my baby on NYE, sleeping under the tree. He made a palet on the floor to watch all the ball fall in Time's Square. It wasn't long and he was dreaming of something else.

Well, we've gone from stomach virus to gall bladder attack to the croup & fever in less than a month. The small consolation is that the winds have kept the Atlantic ocean stirred up for nearly all that time.

The kids and I are more than likely still contagious so we stayed home from services today . Jack, however, saw it as an opportunity to call a coworker and go fishing. The best he could hope for were 2-3 ft seas. It was close. The windwave was high and sometimes it went over 4 ft. He took several crashes over the bow but it wasn't anything they couldn't chug out to the Snapper grounds through.

Once they arrived, they were surrounded by countless boats who had navigated through the same chop. In short, they caught multiple black seabass and sent them all back to their homes. Jack caught & released a nice shark. John B brought in a 19" (short) Red Snapper which was released. Then, Jack was honored with the only 1 keeper Red Snapper before they gave up and came home. (Fresh snapper filet, seasoned in a fry pan sprayed with Organic Olive Oil.)

Both Jack and John were green with nausea. Jack doesn't normally get seasick but he said a lot of his was from breathing the carbon monoxide fumes from the engine staying in reverse, trying to hold position. I can tell you, it will make you sick to your stomach.
(The first side is cooked to pefection. Slight flakiness. Nice crust.)

Capt Jack fileted the snapper immediately and cooked up a large filet for his late lunch. The kids and I will be eating ours for dinner.
Here was his lunch - Fish, salad, green peas.

Tight lines and following seas!