So, Saturday I headed down to Merry Pier bright and early to meet with Nick and get in a little snapper and grouper fishing. Nick’s a great guy, and he was hauling in keeper mangos in no time. But, I had a little change of plans. Seems Joe, the owner of the Getaway, a Tampa Offshore Fishing Charter Boat, had an open seat. I didn’t hesitate. Soon, Joe, along with Cap’t Joe, Cap’t Dick and I were headed out offshore.
First priority was bait, which proved to be a little scarce. We wrangled in some pinfish, snapper sized sardines, blue runners and assorted others. On one of the cans in the Egmont Shipping Channel, we saw a pair of curious cobia, but they were reluctant to bite. So we headed out to a snapper spot. The first catch was a little…. weird. An octopus!
Â We headed to deeper water, and in about 80″, we came upon a huge weedline. It was loaded with small bait, so we dropped a planer wih a squid spoon. We caught a couple jacks, then struck gold- Mahi Mahi! We set up next to the weedline, and started chumming. Sure enough, a huge school of dolphin (aka dorado, aka mahi-mahi) soon showed up, and the frenzy was on. Using a variety of live and frozen bait, as well as artificials, we were hauling in tasty schoolies one after another. They weren’t real big, but boy were they fun to catch on light tackle- great runs, and spectacular jumps.Â We threw back the smallest, and still managed 28 keepers:
Â The surprise of the trip came after the mahi mahi bite tapered off. We anchored over some bottom, and proceeded to haul up red grouper, gag grouper, scamps and even a nice lane snapper. But Joe had a big hit on a live sardine, and proceeded to pull in a doormat flounder:
Â It wasÂ a great day on the water, with plenty of action, and lots of tasty fillets. If you’re looking for a fantastic fishing adventure, call Joe at the Getaway (727) 367-9693. Tell him you found him through TampaFishing.Net.