NOAA weather radio gave a rain forecast of 60 percent, which meant our chances of fishing didn't seem so great. But since it was Katura Belle's birthday fishing trip, we didn't want to disappoint her. The object was to get offshore while the winds were calm and before the weather turned bad. Heading out of John's Pass, we went out to 95 feet, about 29 miles offshore. We dropped the anchor, the lines were baited and everyone dropped down. Soon Belle landed a 15-pound red grouper. Others also were rewarded with an assortment of bottom dwellers — lane snapper, mangrove snapper and several more big red grouper. The boat returned safely to the dock just before the storm clouds gathered in earnest.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com.