It was a beautiful day – mid-february and we were fishing in short-sleeves! After a brief south blow, the winds died come sunrise and left the ocean with a beautiful glassy swell. Since one of my “make-up” charters couldn’t make it out today, Captain Scott Crocker and myself decided it would be time to go out and do a little mid-winter bottom fishing. We got a very, very late start (try noon) as i had to get gas, add steering fluid, etc.
We ventured out to 70 foot water and motored around some live-bottom areas looking for marks – with the water being only 48 degrees at the first stop, all we found were the ever plentiful horndogs and tiny, tiny seabass. After chasing some scattered albacore around (hey – we had to see what they were!), we motored out a few more miles and found 52 degree water and good marks on the bottom. By this time it was close to 3:30pm and we had barely an hour to fish. The marks ended up being good knots of seabass and other bottom fish – our grouper baits only brought up massive 4-5′ smooth dogfish but the cut bait fared well. In barely 80 minutes, we brought up a good two dozen legal bass (with a few nice 1-2 pounders mixed in), a bunch of big ring-tails (spot-tailed pinfish), some pigfish and a bluefish. Bottom fishing makes for good times (minus the spiny dogfish) and good eats. If we would have had more time and a few more rods in the water – a big haul would have been in place.