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Junior IGFA record Cubera Snapper?

The Palm Beaches to Key Largo

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Junior IGFA record Cubera Snapper?

Postby The BEAST » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:18 pm

The Cubera Snapper are still here but not quite as concentrated and it was evident to us on a recent trip.

We took a group from Stuart out on a quest for an IGFA Junior record since the wind and seas had laid down. George Sr, George Jr, his daughter Casey, and her friend Dusty joined us for the trip. Casey already holds several IGFA Junior records and has her sights set next year on setting records in the women’s division.

We sidled out of the Marina heading for our lobster grounds and Devon quickly rounded up 10 bugs. We already had other finfish in the second live well so we headed off to do some Yellowtail fishing. The ‘Tails were a bit on the slow side and Dusty, Casey and Gorge Jr picked at them. In the beginning we were catching the 13-14” fish but as time progressed we also got a couple of nice Mango’s, a Strawberry Grouper, a Porgy, a small Kingfish, and a nice Cero Mac. As the sun began to set we started getting some of the nicer Y’tails and 2 that were truly “flags", weighing in at 4 pounds.


As the sun set we stowed all the light tackle, pulled the chum bag, and hit the switch on the windlass. "OK, let's get after those Snappa's!" As the anchor came aboard, Casey began to get nervous and asked me a lot of questions about what she was in for when we located the Cuberas.

I put The BEAST up on plane and we headed for our Cubera spots. As I arrived I slowed down and began looking for the fish. They were still there but it appeared that the storm had an influence on them. They weren’t in big piles like the week before, but rather, were scattered in small groups everywhere. The current was barely moving at ½ knot and this was not going to be as easy as it was last week. Devon and I brainstormed for a minute or two and came up with a plan.


We set up for our first drift and dropped a lobster down on Casey’s line and a finfish down on the other. Casey’s nerves were on edge and she was jittery, to say the least. Rightfully so, since she only stood 5’3” and weighed about 90 pounds soaking wet. 30 seconds into the drift and her eyes grew wide as she realized that a BIG Cubera had just dined on her Lobster. She came tight on the fish and the wrestling began. The tussle lasted for almost 5 minutes. At that point, this old bruiser made another lunge for the bottom and succeeded in finding something to cut her leader. Folks, that was a big fish, that in our estimation, would have topped the 50# mark of our biggest fish this year. Oh well, get the next one Casey! Now, her nerves are in check, she’s readjusted her gear, and settled in for the Round 2. A couple of drifts through these fish and we had another taker. This time she worked the fish flawlessly, taking her first Cubera and possible record. We immediately iced the fish, bagged the terminal tackle, and 50’ of the standing line. In the mean time, Casey took rod measurements and filled out the paperwork. She’s going to let us know if it made the books! Way to “do work“, Miss Casey!


Our next shot took us a little while with some slight adjustments, as we located and fished different pods of fish. They were not on an active feed now and we really had to work them. We missed several suspected bites and Devon decided to try something different. It worked! One of the suspended fish ate the bait and we were on. Dusty grabbed the rod and worked the fish. In minutes the fish gave up and was at the boat. We pulled it aboard, took a few pictures and released the fish.


Once again we had to locate and work various pods of fish to find some that were willing to eat. It was getting harder with each drift. Bingo, the small Accurate Boss reel setup that Dusty brought, lit up. He was into another fish. That small reel did its job easily against this fish. It took him a bit longer this time but the tackle matched the fish well, and the fish came aboard. Again, we took pictures and released the fish.


As we hit the midnight hour we did a couple more drifts then called it a night. Casey was extremely happy and Dusty had tested out his new Accurate reel. We packed it in as the winds laid still and we headed for the home forty! All were satisfied as we loaded their cooler with a couple of Lobster, 2 Mangrove Snapper, 12 Yellowtails, a Cero Mackerel, and oh yes, the potential IGFA Junior record, Cubera Snapper.

Hopefully these fish will remain in the area for another 3-4 weeks. They are truly an impressive catch!


Capt. Jim
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