First of all – I apologize for the lack of repots. I’ve been booked almost everyday and haven’t had a second to sit down at the computer!!
6/30 – Went fishing with JAmes and Boys in hopes of some Kings and Flounder. After the large rainstorm on Wednesday (had to cancel), the water was still a bit cloudy inshore but the weather was beautiful and allowed us to do just about anything. Our first few stops produced just sharks but fairly soon we were on the king bite – for about two hours we had many good strikes and hooked up lots of nice 5-10lb kings. The only problem was the barracuda – they ate just about every fish we hooked. In the melee we pulled out two nice kings and lots of big sharks – big 20-50lb blacktips, atlantic sharpnose, a few duskies and two big bull sharks. If any of you haven’t caught or seen a big mean bull before, they’re rather impressive – a 3-4′ Bull Shark is 3-4 times as thick as a blacktip or sharpnose 2-3 feet larger.
After the king bite slowed, we decided to switch tactics and go after some flounder. Now, we had a problem when it came to flounder today – more sharks. For several hours we could not keep our flounder baits (mud minnows and tiger minnows) away from the sharks. We’d drop it to the bottom, bounce it once and BANG…30lb shark on 10lb test. Among the sharks we pulled up ZERO seabass or other trashfish (Big surprise) and over a dozen flounder with six nice keepers in the mix. We also kept a good eating sharpnose shark for the grill.
7/1 – BIG Dolphin!
On Friday I met up with Phil and Drew to hopefully get off the beach a ways and go after some nearshore dolphin. Phil wanted one so bad and I wanted to do everything in my power to get him one. During the day we had a good 10-12 knot SW breeze blowing – choppy but that’s why I run a Parker and not a bayboat 😉
As soon as we go 15 or so miles off the beach we were greeted by massive amounts of scattered grass – so much the ocean looked a big field and one giant weedline. While I spent much of my time clearing lines of grass, we lost several kings early and caught a couple small ones when I came across an area of big grass matts that was loosely configured into a line.
After the first pass produced a small king and more fouled lines, I did a slow turn and pulled my ballyhoo and dolphin weenies past the matts. It was then that one of my flat lines doubled over and started screaming. For several minutes Phil fought a fish that stayed stationary and didn’t show itself – it was then, all of a sudden, that the reel started burning drag and about 100 yds from the boat a huge 35lb+ gaffer dolphin shot 6 feet out of the water like an arrow, with my dolphin weenie hanging from it’s mouth. The strength of the run snapped the line and we were left heartbroken. So I did what I do best – keep trying. On the next pass, my long ballyhoo bubbler went off and other gaffer bull dolphin started tailwalking behind the boat. Phil fought this guy (est. 25lbs) all the way to the boat before it threw the hook just feet from the gunnel. While again we were heartbroken – how amazing is it to be able to go out on a 21′ foot center consol boat and hook up with such amazing fish less than 15 miles from the inlet!!!
For the next few hours, things slowed down and all the big weedlines didn’t produce anytrhing but fouled lines. So we decided to switch tactics and go king fishing. It only took seconds – we drifted for about 6 miles with almost constant hookups. You could have caught all you wanted! Among some big blacktips we pulled up over 15 nice kings with most being in the 10lb range.
But the highlight would be the final fish of the day – one of the reels started yelling and out of the water jumped a beautiful cow mahi (12lbs). She gave Phil an awesome acrobatic display and tailwalked all the way to the boat (Even jumped into the hull) before I gaffed her and finally got Phil his Mahi. What a way to end the day!
The nearshore mahi bite should just keep getting better and better with just as many large kings mixed in – I still have the 7th, 9th and 10th open for anyone interested. The weather is finally gorgeous down this way!!