Don’t Trust the Weatherman

So, Saturday was looking like the perfect day for an offshore grouper/ amberjack/ snapper trip. The forecast was sunny skies, mid- 70’s, and winds 4-8 mph. The crew assembled at Dick’s house at 6:30 a.m., and we started loading the rods onto the boat. But there was one small problem. The winds were howling out of the Southeast at a solid 20-25 knots, with higher gusts. We checked the TV reports, and the weatherman was calling for light winds- the graphic on the screen said 2 mph. Yet a glance out the window showed whitecaps forming in Boca Ciega Bay.

We made the only reasonable call, and after a few hours gave up on our plan to head 40 miles offshore. Good thing, too. The wind never really laid down all day.

Tim and I opted to buy a few dozen fiddler crabs, and we bagged a few sheepshead (including one that was a brute).  Not the same as fighting 50 pound amberjack, though…

On Sunday, we spent a couple hours on Merry Pier… without a bite. Lots of dead floaters from the recent freeze, though, including some huge snook. What a shame. Later, we had a football party highlighted by grouper, sheepshead, NY strips, Portuguese sausage, bar-b-q shrimp, marinated shrimp, sweet & sour meatballs, fresh salad, and a few cocktails…

2 Responses to “Don’t Trust the Weatherman”

  1. hatch270 Says:

    I am looking at taking a fishing trip down to Florida. What is a good time of year to avoid adverse weather? I am interested in fishing amberjack, yellowtail, bonita, or even shark. I have found several charters on and really getting the bug to go.

  2. Steve Says:


    As you’ve seen the weather has been abysmal lately. Yellowtail, bonita and shark tend to show up in this area as the water warms in the late spring, though amberjack are here now if you go deep enough. I’m trying to put together an overnight trip to the Bayronto, a wreck in 100 foot out of Venice, during the full moon in June. Should be tons of big yellowtail and amberjack, and plenty of bonita and sharks, too, though they’ll be considered nuisance fish. Check out my report here from our May trip last year.