Running West

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recent offshore fishing reports from the West Central region.

 

 


 

 

Running West

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

 

 

 

 

Out we went to 110 feet and loaded up on red snapper, gags, vermillion and almaco jacks for a few hours. We ended up keeping three vermillions, everything else was released to fight another day.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Wrestling with Aj’s

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: ericf

 

 

 

 

A 6/0 Mustad Big Gun assist hook, crimped on with 125 pound mono on the spot got straightened out like a pencil. These dang fish have some brutal strength, it would be a struggle to bend that hook with two pairs of vice grips that way.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Grouper Hunting

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Mako224

 

 

 

 

We cleared the Pass at 7AM and tried to locate bait. Nothing around the pass so off we went to 30 feet and caught pins, grunts and sardines. Then off we went to 100 plus feet.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mangrove Mission

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

 

 

 

 

We got the chum flowing and mangroves stated hitting the deck. Nothing crazy but steady, most in the 14 to 18 inch range, with a few around 21 inches. We worked and worked and got near our four man limit of forty with a lot of keeper throwback gags and even a 24 inch red grouper and 16 inch hogfish.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Middle Grounds Action

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

On the way out we troll for kings and bonito. Bonito are excellent bait. After a Chef Tammy meat balls and pasta dinner it’s bunk time. We want to be ready for the many fights sure to come. First up, the hard to fool mangrove snapper.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: therobertbrooks

 

 

 

 

Ran about three miles to a wreck in 58 feet, although it’s only about 45 feet on top of the wreck. Noticed some suspended fish showing, so when letting my pinfish down I stopped it midway, and within about three seconds my rod doubles over.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Anclote Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: BryanC

 

 

 

 

Went looking for gags with my buddies Chad and Conrad yesterday and we found them in 60 foot. We got our limit at the first stop, with one at 26 inches and the rest from 29.5 to 33. I even caught a 29 incher on an inshore rod later on while targeting mangos, but we already our six in the box so back it went.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mangroves and More

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

 

 

 

 

Slowly but surely the mango’s started coming over the rail. Got a few in the 6 to 7 pound range but the bite was kinda slow. Every once in awhile the flatline I leave out for tuna would get nailed and ended up being AJ’s just about every time, got a couple in the 25 to 30 pound range.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Middle Grounds Mayhem

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Last week’s full moon Florida Fisherman’s over night trip deep into the heart of our Gulf of Mexico returned Sunday morning with the entire boat completely limited out, two day limit 20 each, of Middle Ground’s sized mangrove snapper.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Deep Dwellers

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

We fought stronger than predicted winds and monster currents. Regardless, this, like all deep-drop trips, resulted in huge trophy fish never to be forgotten.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Catching in the Gulf

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

That new outfit really worked out well for Dan. His ‘in the money’ jackpot winning snowy grouper hit the scales at a whopping 40 pounds. Not to be outdone, Dan’s very good friend, Ed, is ever so proud of his 55 pound wahoo.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Awesome Day Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

 

 

 

 

We got to our spot around 8:45 in 85 feet of water. Started to chum and then sent down a few big baits and immediately hooked up with a 30 inch gag. Not a minute later my buddy starts hollering and it’s fighting a little different, it starts running out instead of down and we get it closer and it’s a nice 45 pound cobia.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Grouper Success

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Thumper363

 

 

 

 

I got my dad, buddy, and my oldest little boy out for a late day start. One of those days where you get started way later than expected and don’t really have a plan. I decided to sip on some cold beer and spend time with the family and hit a couple gag spots, it paid off.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fishing the Deep Water

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Forum member harbison shared a recent trip aboard the Florida Fisherman II, as they headed out to the deep water to chase big fish.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Catching off of Clearwater

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Matt822

 

 

 

 

We headed west and watched the sun start to peek over the horizon as the anchor hit the bottom in 120 feet. The first stop produced a few mangos in the four pound range, three yellow tail and four gags in the 10 to 15 pound range. then the Aj’s came to play after catching more then enough of them we boxed three for some smoked fish dip.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mangrove Madness

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Mako224

 

 

 

 

At 1:30 I chose to run out to 95 feet on some natural ledges. Once we dropped the hook and I allowed the Snapper Up chum to work the bite was on for the next three hours. We put 30 fish in the box with about 15 more thrown back, ranging from 2 two to eight pounds.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fishing the Deep

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Today’s gags are darker in color; they have not migrate to much deeper water. They stay very close to their rocky homes. They are not too happy with the idea of joining us for dinner.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Pulley Ridge Trip

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: _norm

 

 

 

 

As dawn began to break, the captain signaled for us to bring our lines up so we could make the 3-hour trek to the deeper water in the 550 foot depth. Everyone prepped their electric gear and returned to the bunks for some more rest.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Mixed Bag

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Forum member harbison and the whole crew aboard the Florida Fisherman II got into a mess of fish recently. Including big groupers, snappers, and more!

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Grouper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Double Action

 

 

 

 

We went 40 miles out and my first drop with 50 pound tackle was a break off. Stepped up to the 80 pound setup and got a 25 inch gag. Threw back a couple 22 inchers and then got a personal best red grouper at 29 inches.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Back on the Water

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

 

 

 

 

I haven’t been fishing in several months and was itching to go. The reports have said mangrove snapper fishing has been good so the plan was to try for those. Jim, and Scott and I left my house around 6:30 and made a quick stop at the bait boat for a big scoop of whitebait.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Snapper on the Brain

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

One very good thing about Florida fishing is that there is always plenty of fish to fish for. When one season closes, another opens. Gags & amberjack are now closed; so what? We will be, ‘Targeting snapper.’ Red snapper, for head boats, is open until July 14.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

 

 

 

 

I made a quick statement, after the bite slowed down “if we get a nice tuna now, we can just go in and forget the last two snapper”. Not 5 mins later, the big freelined pinfish rod’s baitrunner went zinging! After a 30 minute battle, a big blackfin is circling the boat ready for the gaff!

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Targeting the Big Boys

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

After a great Chef Tammy dinner, it’s bunk time. After all, we will be challenging the big boys for three days. OK! We are well rested and ready to go. So are the fish

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Tuna, Snapper and More

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, let’s do it all over again. We are ready, I mean good and ready. The excitement level is off the chart. Our home for the next 39 hours, the Florida Fisherman ll, is loaded with enough food and drinks to supply a small army.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Running the Bay Boat Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

 

 

 

 

After about 2 hours of snapper fishing the flat lines start getting cut off. We didn’t have any wire or long shank hooks, we all rigged our big setups and the king bite was on for the next hour.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Full Moon Snapper and More

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Most consider mangrove snapper fishing to be at its very best during the full moon periods of the month. Last month the Florida Fisherman ll, out of Hubbard’s Marina, fished three days after the full moon. We limited out on AJ’s (two day limit) and the mangos were on fire.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Mixed Bag

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

 

 

 

 

We moved out to 115 feet and this is where we did the best. We weren’t too far from a wreck so we decided to try for yellowtails. We saw someone was on it so we changed plans and ran 13 miles back in to try for hogfish on a ledge in just under 60 feet.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hog Huntin’

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: slper

 

 

 

 

This was our second trip targeting hogfish and we found them. The great day started out a little cold and seas were 2 to 3, but it warmed up and calmed down. My wife, buddy Jimmie and I got our limit in under 4 hours.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fish for All

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Better hit the sack; after all, we will be challenging the monsters of the deep for twenty five hours of actual fishing time. Captain Garett has advised us to get plenty of rest; we are going to need it. After mango time we are going to this wreck known to be the home of Mr. Amber jack and family.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

 

 

 

 

We caught a couple fish but it was pretty slow. We moved on and both the breeze and the bite picked up a little. We were able to anchor and started catching a mix of red grouper and snapper. Troy had the fish of the day with a 24 inch, 7 pound mangrove snapper.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Red Grouper Rampage

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Looks like all good things must come to an end. With well over 200 gray snapper and 30 large red grouper this will be a trip to be remembered. Let’s go ‘In search of red grouper’ again ASAP.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Catch and Release Gags

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: OU-Pilot

 

 

 

 

Went out Sunday off Port Richey to some reef lines in 30 feet. The water was pretty nice all day. Temperature was 62 on the surface. We trolled some Rapala Mag 30′s and a stretch 25′s. Trolled about 2 hours from 3pm to 5pm on either side of high tide. Managed 5 gags with 2 double headers!

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Finding the Honey Hole

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

 

 

 

 

In 120 feet of water, these huge, alien fish, would slam your stoutest meat stick against the gunwale again and again using squid, sardines, live bait – it didn’t matter. This would continue until your back gave out, fighting belt or not. Mixed in with these beasts were some amberjacks that you could not lift off the bottom and other fish, that, if you tried to, would break your terminal tackle somewhere in between hook and main line.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Starting the Year Right

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

The Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard’s Marina, is ready to challenge 2015 with the first ever 44 hour trip one hundred miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida. We will be fishing a couple of days before the full moon; it just does not get any better than that.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Bottom Fishing

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

 

 

 

 

We went out friday and saturday afternoon to 70 feet of water. It was non stop gag action with some amberjacks, scamp, and mangroves mixed in. All were caught on live bait. Spotted most of the bait in 50 to 60 feet.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Full Moon Mangrove Bite

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

 

 

 

 

For the Florida Fisherman that means it’s mangrove snapper time. The mangrove snapper is one of the best eating, most abundant, fish Florida has to offer. They can be found from very shallow bays to way off shore. We will be fishing 100 miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Trolling for Grouper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

 

 

 

 

Despite high wind and big seas we were able to get out to the trolling grounds for one last meat trip before the upcoming closure. As usual, gag grouper trolling ace, Justin Spigener, put us on the fish even in relatively rough conditions.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Grouper Grand Slam

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

That’s it! The boat has completely limited out on grouper; and that’s a two day limit of 8 each. We are still a very long ways from Madeira Beach, Florida. Let’s feast on that Chef Tammy steak dinner, with all the trimmings, and hit our bunks. We are tired, I mean really tired; grouper wore out tired.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Clearwater Offshore Bite

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

 

 

 

 

It was take the neighborhood kids fishing day! Headed out at 8:30 and tried to get bait. It was tough but managed to get a couple dozen runners, grunts and a few squirrel fish. We went out to 55 feet of water and set up. The AJ and gag action was non stop from 10:30 to 12:30, all caught on live bait.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Veterans Day Fun

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: OneLandOneSea

 

 

 

 

Headed out to 65 feet of water for some kings and grouper. Bite was slow but caught two nice 32 inch gags and broke off a bunch more. We lucked out with a nice 20 pound cobia on the bottom too.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Trolling for Grouper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

 

 

 

 

I hopped aboard the gag grouper catching machine, the Grumpy Grouper, and trolled up some of the fattest fish I have put on the deck this season. We caught fish from 27 to 35 inches and no shorts. Limited out and back to the dock by noon.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fishing with an Old Friend

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

 

 

 

 

We left my dock around 7:30 and headed to 40 feet which is about 7 miles out. It started out slow but after some hopping around we found some fish willing to eat. We ended up with 4 gags and 5 red grouper which was a little surprising.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Fun for All

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

 

 

 

 

Monday evening we went out 12 miles and anchored up. On the way there saw schools of cigars minnows and spanish sardines and loaded up 5 at a time. We were in 50 feet and the area was covered in small baits. We caught gags, cobia, barracuda, spinner sharks and Ajs.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Offshore Bite

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Whenever cold fronts move into the gulf the pressures starts to plummet, this causes the fish to go into a feeding frenzy because they know the coming storm will stir the water and prevent them from feeding easily. So the days leading up to a front are great fishing, but then the day the weather blows up the fishing stops.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Catching a Mountain of Fish

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Three P.M. friday afternoon, Madeira Beach is under a severe storm warning. As we board the Florida Fisherman ll at Hubbard’s Marina, we can not help but wonder will this overnight trip produce, ‘A Mountain of Fish,’ or be a complete wash-out?

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Bottom Fishing

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

 

 

 

 

We ran south and hit some hard bottom spots that were very productive. The current was strong and the bite was on at most spots we hit. starting out with dead bait, then switching to live once the fish got chewing. We started out with a couple smallish red grouper and some medium sized scamps, then the bigger fish started to show.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Shallow Sailfish off St. Pete

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Jcclark

 

 

 

 

About 15 seconds later our flat line starts singing and as soon as my friend grabs the rod the sail starts dancing on top of the water for about 15 yards. I broke off on my fish and jumped up and pulled the anchor. We chased it down and after a great fight we were able to boat the fish for a few pictures and get it back in the water to revive it.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

West Central Offshore Variety

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Once again time for a 39 hour adventure that defies the imagination. Our weekend home away from home is Hubbard Marina’s Florida Fisherman ll. We love to catch fish, however, what makes these extended trips really special is the chance to get to really know real sportsmen/women from all over the country.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hook and Line Hogfish

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: spanishsardine

 

 

 

 

I got the chance to venture to my new fishing spot. I call it The Spanish Sardine Fishing hole. We managed to catch 3 hogfish in 2 hours. We also caught triggerfish, grunts, porgy’s, gag grouper, red grouper, and mangrove snapper.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Making the Run for Red Snapper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: anglingarchitect

 

 

 

 

Forum member anglingarchitect got out during this short red snapper season. Making a long run, but producing some really nice fish!

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Monster from the Depths

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

The trophy fish takes Matt from the starboard bow to the stern, and across the stern to the port side. Finally, forty five minutes later, we see color, the color of a huge amber jack. Quick Will, the gaff. Kyle, get the other gaff; it’s going to take both of us to bring this trophy of all trophies over the bow.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mangrove Madness

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

The Middle Grounds, located roughly 100 miles north west of Madeira Beach, Florida, is a prehistoric coral-reef complex covering 461 square miles, and is home to 170 species of fish, including the hard to fool, hard to catch, mangrove snapper. Mango snapper are notorious bait thieves.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Middle Ground Mayhem in the Rain

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

 

 

 

 

Ms. Lisa Shouron, Tampa, refuses to let a little moisture rain on her day. Lisa, fishing out of spot number 10, shows that nice cobia who the boss really is, after all, Lisa is all woman!

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Sharks and Snapper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

 

 

 

 

The bite was on right away for mangos with a few other tasty fish coming over the rail.Best mang bite this year for me but most were around 15 inches,but quantity made up for quality.The two biggest snapper of the day got eaten bye sharks just under the boat.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Grouper on the Rocks

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

 

 

 

 

We did well for a few hours then the bite shut down, we tried moving around but was limited because we only had about 125 feet of anchor line. Towards the end of the day we drifted over the best shows and put a few more mangos in the box.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Taking Out The Kids

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

 

 

 

 

We caught lots of short reds, a few keeper scamp and five good gags. the kids were reeling in a fish and about half way up it got blasted so I put out a mackerel we had sabiki’d up. Soon we had a shark on, a tiger shark. About 30 minute later another Tiger ate a red grouper right next to the boat.

 

 

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Grouper Limit Out Of Longboat Key

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: ericf

 

 

 

 

We came in closer to public numbers in 30 feet, and experienced the hottest grouper bite I have ever seen. Nonstop gags! Live blue runners, frozen sardines, regurgitated whatever from caught fish picked off the deck of the boat, nothing lasted more than 20 to 30 seconds. We limited out in about half an hour, and released a few fish after that. It was mayhem, totally crazy.

 

 

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First Foreign Kingfish

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: guifri

 
 

 
 

We are on vacation from Germany. Trolled around the crab buoys 1.5 Miles from the shore to catch some Macks. After a while put a white/red yozuri on the Second rod. It only lasted minutes until the drag was singing!

 

 

 

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100 Miles Off Madeira Beach

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

 

 

 

 

Captain Mark Hubbard fires up the Florida’s two huge Caterpillar diesels and punches in the numbers for ‘One hundred miles off Madeira Beach.’ We are on a mission, a mission to catch fish. Will the mangrove snapper be hungry? Join the party as we find out together.

 

 

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a Long Trip Equals a lot of Fish

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: TennesseeDave

 

 

 

 

I got one red snapper and one large amberjack, some mangos, beeliners, and such. Some people did well and some people didn’t. The weather held out pretty good. At 1 a.m. on the way out it got bumpy for a little while but then softened back down so we could get some rest […]

 

 

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Gags, Red Grouper & Rough Seas

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: flatsrunna

 

 

 

 

Pulled double duty today, had two 4 hr trips and again huge seas, but not as bad as the day before. We managed 6 reds and a batch of nice grunts before the current decided it wanted to move as fast as the breeze we were in. We got nice fish in 40 feet today. I love it when they are super close! We were in by 12 fish cleaned and headed to go get our next group.

 

 

2nd trip we got a good number of fish as the seas totally laid down in only an hr, loved it ! 28 knot cruise out and back and nice fish to boot !

 

 

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St. Pete Red Grouper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: GASeminole

 

 

 

 

With the 10 knot West wind, the trip out was into 2 foot or less chop. Water was clean and flying fish started showing up around 50 feet. Schools of bonito were boiling every so often, saw a couple of king mackerel “sky” as well.

 

 

Stopped about 20 NM out, about 3/4 mile from a public number (found this spot while re-rigging/drifting one windy day and saw it on the sonar.) Anchored up and my wife and I caught 21 reds. Pulled anchor and drifted over area and caught 3 more. Released all but 7, the one pictured below was the biggest, and was my personal best grouper. All caught on live pins.

 

 

While we were out the winds died down and it was hard not to head farther west, but we had more than enough fish in the box and were happy to head home.

 

 

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Fort Drum Gag Grouper

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: glihon

 

 

 

 

Went out for some grouper Sunday from Ft D (finally my first trip since the season opened). No tidal movement and other issues in the morning made bait catching difficult at the small bridge. Wasted enough time so just headed out. Ran through a solid rain on the way but made it to the area we wanted to fish and the day turned beautiful. Weed pushed in from the west wind made the trolling difficult but we did get a nice 29-inch gag to the boat as well as 24-inch spanish. Started bottom dropping with the bait we did have and only found short rg. Tried ledges in 45 feet, 55 feet and a wreck in 40 feet.

 

 

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Shallow Water Grouper off Anclote

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Juicebucket

 

 

 

 

Got the boat wet around 6:30 and headed out to the island for bait.

 

 

Whitebait was super thick and super tiny. After getting about 450 net wreckers and a couple dozen pins we headed back into the river to fuel up and ride. We hit the GPS and made the long 5 mile run to his first spot. When I think grouper fishing I think straight drops on 4/0 reels and falling to my knees to yank them off the bottom. This was a whole different ball game. The water was so shallow we had to anchor way off and cast to them just like if we were mangrove or dock fishing. Basically once you hook up you have to drag them across 50 feet of bottom that they can wedge themselves into rather than yank them vertically 10 feet until you’re safe. I’ve never had a 24 inch gag fight harder then the ones we caught on this trip. Shallow water fish have a different gear, I swore everyone was 30 pounds during the fights and the bruises on my arms and hips are testament.

 

 

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Mixed Bag out of Bean Point

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: JEIBE

 

 

 

 

After casting off out of my place at 530am in palma sola we were met with beautifully calm seas out of bean point. We stopped at the 3 mile north and quickly filled up on cigars and pins. From there it was a nice 43 mile run out. We got 31kph at 2.1 mpg on the freshly re worked 250. We got to our spot in 147 feet and immediately were greeted with a Christmas tree on the foruno. It felt like 20 minutes and we had our boat limit of keeper snapper. they were loving the threads more than anything. We then moved to a barge in 80 feet and of course had the water walking with bonita, sharks and cudas. A captain in a contender came up and asked to share the wreck. He then unloaded hundreds of white bait in to the water and it was game on with monster cudas, mango snapper, sharks, golaiths, bonitas and some baby amberjacks.

 

 

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Rough Conditions and Worthy Catches

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Jayzilla

 

 

 

 

After another 2 hours of getting the crap beat out of us we finally made it out deeper to the first spot. We made a couple of drifts and it produced a mixed bag of jacks, gags, and mangos. Anyone who has ever fished with me knows that I hate to anchor but with the stiff winds, big swells, and ripping current it was a must. We dropped the hook and it was perfect, 7 feet directly in front of the spot. The next two hours we proceed to fill a 150 quart cooler with big mangos. It would have been more snappers but we kept getting the occasional by catch or break off from big jacks or gags. Just before I decided to leave that spot I managed to catch a nice rusty belly on 30 pound snapper tackle. I actually broke the fish off earlier because when I got him up I saw two circle hooks buried in the corner of his mouth. Greedy grouper couldn’t stop eating those 3 inch pinfish.

 

 

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Sarasota Mixed Bag

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: srqmynatt

 

 

 

 

We ran out to a spot in 135 feet between New Pass and Longboat pass, I had found these numbers back in April and new right away it was covered in snapper. I fished it once or twice in May just seeing what was there and found out the Mangos and ARS were stacked up 20 feet off the bottom. I brought the numbers with me and sure enough we marked a nice pile of fish so we set the anchor. We started with smaller gear and worked our way up to the red grouper. Had a nice mixed bag[…]

 

 

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Way Offshore – Grouper & Amberjack

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

 

 

 

 

We decided to hit some numbers past the 400 foot contour line. Definitely worth the run time, although next time need to budget for more line in the water time for further exploration. Spent most of the day running, but the fish were there. While we did come up empty trolling, deep dropping was interesting. Neil F. bagged a nice Yellow-Edge Grouper around 25 pounds and I managed a 50 plus pound AJ that hit on the bottom at 430 feet (not fun, especially when you are expecting another big deep-water Grouper). Looking forward to more time fishing this depth to better learn how to approach it.

 

 

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Longboat Pass Gags, Kings and More

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: rreed

 

 

 

 

We headed out of Longboat Pass at first light, with a few dozen shrimp and lots of old bait to cut up. The pinfish catching was slow, due to large blue runners tangling and breaking off sabikis. Wind and tide opposition made for slow going without getting soaked in small boat.

 

 

As we got out deeper the sun broke through the clouds and seas laid down for a nice day. We drifted for Red Grouper first, quickly putting keepers in the box around 90 feet. We saw some structure during drift and threw out marker. On second try we were on the spot. Given the last few trips RG success came quickly, we brought different setups and shrimp to try to diversify the catch. I brought a 4000 reel with 20 pound mono/ 20 foot 20 pound fluro sliding 3 ounce to 3/O hook, this caught all the mangos.

 

 

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St.Pete Offshore

 

 

Florida Sportsman member: 06powerstroke

 

 

 

 

Launched the boat out of Fort Desoto around 5:30 PM and cruised over to the Skyway to put a few live baits in the livewell, bait wasn’t hard to find at all. Cruised out to the pipeline at sunset, tried a few different spots and picked up a few Mangos hear and there. On our way to the next spot watching the bottom machine found a sweet spot! It was loaded with Mangos! M

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