Headed out on a full day trip with Tom, a business guy the Midwest. Down here on both business and vacation this past Sunday (7/25), he wanted to give a bit of everything a try—kings, dolphin, flounder, Spanish – so he booked me for 3 days solid. He couldn’t have picked a better weekend – the ocean was about as beautiful as I could remember. Flat and glassy, we could cruise anywhere in minutes.

The first thing we did was play with some blues in the inlet and behind shack – the snappers were out in force and for a time it seemed that you could walk across the schools of blues. After tiring of the small blues, we played with the Spanish in the inlet – we managed a few hookups and takers on both spin and fly – but with the water as clear as it was you could see the Spanish charge the baits and almost “sniff” them and turn away. After landing and releasing a couple, we went over to a couple of the ARs and tore up the flounder – i.e., the bite is still hot and heavy. In 2 hours, Tom caught and released 14 keeper-sized fish. It was so calm I never even had to anchor.

After tiring of that, we decided to go out to NW Places and see if we could pull up a dolphin or king and try our hand at bottom fishing. I also have to add that I love NW Places in the afternoon – we were the only boat in site. We trolled for a little while, managed a couple of short strikes and counted the turtles – we saw thirteen loggerheads including a baby the size of a softball. After that, Tom wanted to give bottom-fishing a try – his quarry was the triggerfish. Using small hooks and squid, Tom caught big spot-tail pins and some porgies that I couldn’t identify and about 30 mins later, he found the trigger bite. In his last 2 hours of fishing, he pulled up 13 trigs – keeping the first seven. They weren’t huge, but were all between 1 and 3lbs with two larger 5lb fish. Most people don’t realize how hard those guys can pull! We didn’t even give the groupers a try – but the ledge I found looked quite promising.

On the way in, we enjoyed an amazing sunset. Good weather, good company – good fishing. What a great day.

Coming soon – the remainder of the ultimate 3-day fishing excursion.