So, Saturday started as a typical 5 a.m to 9 a.m. Pass-A-Grille Merry Pier day. Mike and I managed a few foot long snapper, and were about to call it a day when Cap’t. Andy of the Getaway approached. Seems they’d had a last minute cancellation, and they were looking to fill a couple of seats. Mike and I had been talking about getting offshore, so the timing seemed perfect. By 10:30, we were headed west.
The first stop was for bait, and we managed a mixed bag of pinfish, squirrelfish, blue runners and lizardfish. The next stop was at the 100 foot mark, on a nice three foot ledge. I nailed a Gag that measured just over 20 inches, and we also brought in a scamp, a triggerfishÂ and a couple of big Mangos. On to the next spot, some nearby hard bottom. Up came a nice red grouper, caught by Roland, and more Mangrove Snapper. We inadvetantly nailed a couple of remoras that were hanging around the boat. Then, I saw a flash of blue and gold in the water. Mahi Mahi! We threw out some greenbacks as chum, as well as one big one on some light spinning tackle. Wham – the fight was on.
Mahi Mahi, aka dorado, aka dolphin, put up quite a fight. We got several jumps and runs out of this one, till a well placed gaff ended the battle. The mate threw out a Gotcha, and promptly hooked another. This one escaped boatside, though. Despite the fact that the school hung around for a while, we had no more hookups.
We returned our attention to bottom fishing when Mike got slammed. His rod bent double, and he proceeded to battle an unseen monster, 100 feet below. It was like trying to lift an elephant off the botttom. I was thinking Goliath Grouper or big shark. Or maybe…. a huge rusty belly gag. Mike slowly managed to gain the upper hand, gaining line a few inches at a time. Finally, we saw color. ThenÂ a shape… a ROUND shape… and a huge loggerhead turtle surfaced, with Mike’s line wrapped aound his flipper. Major disappointment. It was released unharmed.
We decided to hit one final drop on the way in. It was another ledge, this one in about 80 feet. We got the biggest fish of the day there, a 30″ gag that wieghed in at 12 pounds. Another scamp, another mango, and a few big fish lost. Just like that, we were out of live bait and it was time to head back to port. The ride home was a bit of an adventure, as we came through a very intense storm. Lightning cracked by the boat several times – you know the kind, where the flash and the thunder are simultaneous. But, we arrived safely at 7 p.m., to conclude 14 straight hours of fishing. The final tally was 5 mangrove snapper, 2 scamp, 1 red grouper, 1 gag grouper, and 1 mahi mahi.
So, yesterday we had the gang over for the first Buc’s game of the season. Grilled cajun blast mahi, grouper alacante, and bronzed scamp and mahi were on the menu. The fish was so good, it was almost enough to make you forget about the game.