Caught Aboard the:
A bumpy day offshore with Mahi, Kingfish,
and a heartbreaking Red Snapper released.
Today my fishing buddies were Ray, Bill
, Jay, Jerry, and Don all good buddies and sharing today's charter to
get a little time offshore together and put together a fish fry for
We started our day by getting a well full of pogies in the
port in the cruise ship basin. They were there schooled up heavily and
it only took one toss of the net to get the job done. I was pretty happy
about that in that the seas forecast for today was 3'-5' and pretty
windy with a forecast of east wind between 10 and 15 knots. I really
didn't want to run down to the steeple in those seas to get bait and
finding them in the port was a welcome surprise.
I decided to begin our day back out at the Scallop King wreck
because of my luck two days prior and the fact that it is almost
straight out of the port on a bearing of 93 degrees. As I suspected the
conditions were pretty bumpy and we were able to make only 18 to 20
knots without pounding.
With the windy conditions slow trolling was difficult at best and
darned near impossible into the wind. The fish were pretty cooperative
and although we missed a number of fish to pulled hooks and cut offs we
were able to put six kingfish, one twenty five pound bull dolphin and a
just legal sixteen pound cobia into the fish box for tomorrows Memorial
Day fish dinner.
The real heartbreak of the day came when Jerry caught a
Cadillac Red Snapper on a slow-trolled live pogie on the downrigger set
at 30 feet down as we passed over the "Lead Wreck'. I say heartbreak
because as we all know according to the NMFS the "Red Snapper" is an
"endangered" species. The fishery is closed and this prize of a fish,
the largest that any of my crew members today has ever seen had to be
released. I personally feel as though NMFS really doesn't have a clue as
to the status of the fishery and that their data is totally "BOGUS".
This is not the only instance of snapper being caught incidentally while
fishing for other species, both personally, or in talking with other
fishermen as well. Hopefully common sense will prevail and the unneeded
closure of the fishery will end in June and we can get back to enjoying
a very robust fishery that seems to be getting better as time goes by.
The NMFS openly admits that their data in the Gulf of Mexico fishery was
flawed, but, they are taking credit for a comeback in a fishery that
wasn't even in trouble in the Gulf. Perhaps the truth will come out in
the Atlantic as well and we can get back to enjoying Red Snapper here on
the east coast again.
Even though the conditions were less than ideal today we were
able to get a good mess of fish for the Memorial Day festivities. It
still pains me to have to release that snapper of a lifetime that Jerry
Final tally for day two:
6 Kingfish with two 21 pound bookends
1 25 pound Bull Mahi
1 Cobia just barely legal at 33 1/2"
1 Cadillac Atlantic Red Snapper released for no really good reason other
Check out the lit up pectoral fins on
Don's 25 pound bull Mahi.
Don's Mahi meets the iron.
Mahi for Memorial Day dinner.
Bill gets a 21 pound Kingfish.
Jay gets a keeper Cobia to add to the
Red Snapper gets the net, what's this
doing hitting a slow trolled pogie?
Jerry with a large Red Snapper and
not happy about the release.
Today's crew with tomorrows Memorial
Pictured from left to right: Ray, Jerry, Jay, Bill, and Don