After a VERY long winter, I finally ventured offshore last weekend. Conditions were perfect as we set out from Punta Gorda at 6 a.m. aboard Running With Scissors. Cap’t. Bowers was at the helm, along with two of his coworkers. I was joined by Cap’t Dick and his son David.
We hit a couple bait spots and loaded up on blue runners, pinfish and big greenbacks. Next stop – the Bayronto, a 400′ wreck off Venice in 100′ of water. David dropped a big runner on a heavy rod. By the count of ten, we were hooked up. We proceeded to land big amberjack one after another, and had our limit by noon. Cap’t Dick landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice 60 pound brute:
The problem with the Bayronto is that is is just LOADED with Goliath grouper. Every time we hooked a snapper (or even an amberjack under 20 pounds), we’d get nailed. Sometimes immediately; sometimes up top near the boat. These 400 pound fish really make it tough. Even the barracuda (which were thick) didn’t stand a chance.
I had a big greenback out on a light spinning rod, hoping for a kingfish or even a blackfin tuna. Pretty soon, the drag started screaming out. It was a good fish, and I only had a 30 lb. leader on, so I couldn’t pressure the fish too much. After an hour long battle, I discovered that it was…. another amberjack! Fun fight, anyway:
Here are a few more pix: