Great catch: Monday's trip was an outstanding day of fishing. We ventured 40 miles out in search of grouper and snapper. Our mission was to get enough for a big fish fry. We were rewarded with a bounty of tasty fish immediately after setting the anchor. Our first target was the snappers. Frozen sardines descended to the bottom, in 117 feet, and got their attention quickly. In a matter of an hour we had reached our limit. Four gag groupers and seven red groupers were also thrown into the mix by simply employing live pinfish and squirrelfish to our bait list.
Surprise: We were just about to leave, quite satisfied with all the action, when we encountered another great surprise. Swimming at the transom were some hungry dolphins (mahi-mahi). They were a good bit larger than the smaller chicken dolphins that often greet us during the summer. A few chunks of sardines tossed behind the boat kept the pelagic fish within range. Along with the chum, we added a few chunks embedded with hooks. Within seconds we had airborne dolphins trying to throw the small 2/0 hooks, to no avail. Flat, calm seas and hungry fish make for a great day on the water in August. A light breeze of less than 10 knots kept us from overheating during the action. Expect more of the same weather for the rest of the week. The full moon this weekend has produced stronger tides, which was truly the main reason for our success.
Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach and can be reached at email@example.com, jawstoo.com or (727) 595-3276.