Saturday, February 14, 2009

SIx Species in A Day!

The fish was on for George, and there was nothing he could do. The drag screamed as line flew off! He couldn't put any more pressure on it, as then something would give and the fish would go free. It was obvious that it was bigger than the thirty five inch red he had caught before the day before, way bigger.
Earlier that morning, George, Gary, and I headed out to the jetty to fish for big reds. The bite was on and we felt pretty good as we had caught on previous days, a 37, two 35's and several smaller but big redfish, all released.
On my second cast the float stopped as a red picked up my shrimp. I felt the two ticks before it took off on its first run. I felt good as I had thirty pound test line and leaders. The big question seemed to be could I keep the fish out of the rocks?
Another run and more line gone but the fish stopped and turned back into the pass. I started to gain a little line before it exploded on another run. Good grief, this fish was way bigger than anything I had ever had on. Just as I hoped that I had a chance the line went slack, I was cut off.
Retying, I cast out another large shrimp and had a repeat performance as another bull red had its way with me before pulling into a snag and breaking off. I wound in and George soon had one on, the one described above. The line parted as the fish swam into the barnacle covered rocks.
I watched, taking a break, as George cast again and lost another. The score was 0-4,
a disgusting start to the day. Was it because it was Friday the thirteenth? Maybe it just wasn't possible to land a big fish from the place we were at?
A white skeeter boat anchored farther out and soon caught a big red. I went to the other side and threw out my bobber and shrimp. It sat there for a few minutes before it disappeared and I set the hook, landing a 25 inch red! Thoughts of red fish on the halfshell,(grilled redfish), almost caused my mouth to water as I decided to keep the legal redfish.
A shout from George, for the net! I ran across the jetty and carefully got down near the waters edge. He easily handled the fish and I netted a nice thirty three inch redfish, which George returned.
Gary patiently went on fishing, being rewarded with a nice red grouper, followed by a large mangrove snapper, and a nice sheephead. I cast out on the other side and my bobber disappeared again, this time a large pompano! Oh my, my favorite grilled fish!
Placing it on the stringer, I caught a keeper sheephead and now had three fish, enough for a couple meals. Gary and George added to their stringer catching more snappers and a black drum.
The time passed in a flash and we finally ran out of bait. We had caught and released many undersized fish, besides the ones on the stringers. No Friday the thirteenth curse here. It was a good but tiring walk back to the truck,carrying several meals worth of fish, but more importantly it was a good days fishing with new friends. Clear skies.

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