4 a.m. Saturday came mighty early. Harris, Egla, and I were joined by two of Harris’ employees for a day of fishing in
Charlotte Harbor. We left Punta Gorda Isles on the good ship Running With Scissors and headed west. The north wind made for a chilly run as we exited Boca Grande Pass. A quick stop at one of the channel markers left us with a full livewell. The original plan called for a run out to 105′ to the wreck of the Bayronto, but conditions and nature conspired against us, so we stayed inside.
A stop at Caya Costa yielded a 23″ snook- lots more around, but they weren’t inclined to bite. A throw of the cast net brought up a surprise – an old, barnacle encrusted reel. We threw it on the floor of the boat, and low and behold- a tiny baby octopus came crawling out! Pretty cool. He was returned safely to the sea.
Next stop was the old Phosphate Docks, always a reliable spot. We caught lots of gag grouper, up to 17″, along with tasty Key West Grunts and magrove snapper. We were chumming with glass minnows, and a big curious cobia came up the chumline. He hit a cigar minnow that we had out, but we didn’t hook up. Tarpon were rolling, a boat was teasing the Goliath Grouper with a 10 lb. bonita- all in all, a beautiful day, lots of fun.
We spotted some diving birds, and decided to troll for a bit. Using small squid spoons, we picked up a decent Spanish Mackeral, then one of the rods started screaming drag. The fish almost spooled us, till Harris hit reverse and we regained some line. It was a great fight for about 10 minutes, till we pulled up a healthy 15 pound bonita. Next, a 7 pound Mac joined the party- it looked like a small kingfish… but it was, indeed, a Spanish Mackeral. All in all, it was a great day on the water!