Since I worked the weekend, I took Monday off to go fishing with my friends Ed and Don. We were to meet at the dock by 6:45am. I didn’t get to the dock until 6:30am, which is a bit later than I wanted to. I like getting to the dock early; however, it was my job to bring the bait and ice and live shrimp was scarce on Monday.
The weather forecast was calling for 3-4ft seas at 9 second with 10-15kt winds, which is a bit more than I prefer when going offshore. I am not as young as I used to be; however,Ed said his app called for only 2-3ft seas at 9 seconds. Don is easy going and didn’t have any input on whether to go offshore or not, so we decided to head out the inlet and see how rough it was.
We made it out the inlet about 7:00am and it was completely flat. With a NW wind I was expecting it to be somewhat smooth but not flat. We decided to head to the boils. We arrived about 7:15am and we were not the first boat. With a commercial fisherman there, we were hopeful we picked a good day to go to the boils.
The water quality was odd, as it was clear around the boils, but the main outlet was really dirty. There was a very distinct line between the dirty and clear water. I caught the first catch of the day, a crab! Good thing I didn’t catch the first fish as we all know that is bad luck for the boat.
We ended up drifting the boils for about an hour, and in that time, we caught three catfish, one crab and one decent Jack Crevalle, which I invited home for supper.
At this time Ed and I discussed our options, and I was leaning towards one of the shallow offshore reefs. Both Ed and I agreed, while Don said he was just along for the ride. About halfway to the reef the wind picked up and it started to get a bit sloppy.
Even though it was sloppy, we all agreed, since we were already at the reef, we might as well try bottom fishing. We pulled up to the reef from the south just as another boat was coming from the north. The other boat was a bunch of spear fishermen, so we kept our distance from them, and they seemed to respect us by not coming right on us like I have seen in the past.
We drifted along the reefs for several hours. The bite was not hot, but it was steady. By the end of the day, we caught countless Blue Runners, probably 20 Lane Snapper, a few Mangrove Snapper, four or five Black Margate, two sheepshead, a large Pork Fish, and a Remora. Don kept hooking up into larger fish, but they kept breaking him off. We are guessing they were Goliath Grouper, but honestly we don’t know.
We came home with a pretty good mixed bag. I was excited to have two Sheepshead as I have been wanting to make Sheepshead chowder for a bit now. I used the Jack Crevalle, Remora, and the Black Margates to make fish dip today and I plan on making fish tacos for lunch tomorrow.
The forecast for the rest of the week is starting to look bleak, with high winds and rough seas. I pray all who venture out have a safe and blessed trip with tight lines.
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