June 17, 2007- I ventured offshore yesterday aboard the Getaway with friends Matt, his father Tom (Happy Fathers Day!) and Cap’t Dick. We departed the Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille at 7:30, and headed west.
Conditions were ideal- a light breeze and scattered cloud cover, just enough to keep it from getting too hot. The first stop for bait at the PassAGrille marker proved futile, so we headed out the Egmont Channel, stopping at the Whistler Bouy. Got a few baits with the sabiki rigs, when the Mate hollers- something big and fast had grabbed his blue runner boatside. Switching gears, the sabiki rigs were hauled in, and the heavy tackle was hauled out. A live pinfish was irresistable to the big cobia that had been lurking in the shadows of the bouy. The fight was on!
After 15 minutes of head shakes, bulldog runs, and deep soundings, the cobia was gaffed and in the cooler. A nice healthy 30 pounder. Not bad for a bait stop. Another stop at the end of the ditch produced good bait, and a cuda hookup.
We made a run out to a ‘secret spot’ about thirty miles out. Well, the secret was out, as four other boats worked the wreck. They were pulling up schoolie amberjacks in the 5-10 pound range. Captain James on the GetAway had other ideas, and we drifted away from the pack, fishing deep to hook up the larger fish. We caught and released 3 nice fish, but Matt landed the fish of the day- a 40 pound amberjack, a real brute.
We made a run to a snapper spot in 105 feet, and the fish finder gave a great show, but nothing was biting. After 15 minutes of soaking baits, I had a massive hit on my pinfish. I was thinking ‘big grouper!’, but it was soon apparent that I’d hooked another amberjack. This one went around 30, and joined Matt’s fish in the box.
The final stop was in 150′, about 43 miles offshore. We fired down some baits, and Dick’s rod immediately doubled over. After the ensuing battle, a beautiful 15 pound red grouper found her way into the cooler. She was soon joined by 3 others, so we limited out on reds. Matt brought up a small American Red Snapper, and Dick released a small shark, just to add some variety.
It was an altogether excellent day on the water- beautiful weather, good friend, a professional Captain and Mate, and lots of big fish. I’ll get some photos uploaded in the next day or so. I’m looking forward to getting out on the GetAway again soon.