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6/14/17 Beat the Rain ( and Heat)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:00 pm
by Capt Dan Medina
With our ever changing weather here in SWFL, the weather predictions and forecasts are not always right. Being on the water as often as I am, I see this repeatedly first hand. Usually, its not for the better, and the seas can be much larger than predicted.

Today was the not the case, at least early on. Preliminary reports a couple day out had the day looking like it was supposed to rain like crazy, and average seas at 2.6 ft. This usually means 3-4 ft with a rogue 5 or more. Winds were predicted to be at 16-17 mph. I followed the report daily, multiple times a day. Late in the afternoon, the forecast changed and I began to smile as the seas looked to be cooperating for our trip.

Waking up at 330AM today, the forecast had shifted yet again, and it was now looking like 1.6 ft average seas. Isolated Thunderstorms. Perfect.

And that it was. My crew of Mike and Cliff met me at Punta Rassa boat ramp just before 6 AM. We pushed off and made the run slightly north and west out from the lighthouse. A beautiful sunrise chased us as we sped out towards the fishing grounds.

Seas were out of the east/SE and we ran thru a small chop with ease. As we eased away from land, the chop picked up a little, but the Cat made quick and easy work of the 40+ mile run.

As I neared our first destination, the screen lit up like a christmas tree and I knew the fish were there. We dropped down cut squid and squirrel fish on their heads and the didnt disappoint. At first, it was 14-15" lanes and vermilion coming up and over on the regular, with a handful of bigger, 16-18 inch fish joining in. Then whap! Grouper on. Dig Dig Dig... Grouper in hole. Grouper Lost.

It took a fish or three before my boys got the feel for reeling down and getting away from their northern walleye tactics, but they did great and got some nice fish. While using circle hooks, best to just reel down on the fish and beat him in the 10 ft tug of war.

Mike scored his 1st and second red grouper before Cliff, but Cliff continued bailing nice snapper one after another. Not to be outdone, Cliff hooks into a bucket mouth and another 25ish hits the deck.

Now the best part of the day was the approaching storms. or rather our ability to skirt them. They were making a bee line for us, with some nasty lightening and some rolling thunder. The crispness in the air could be felt, and we were one grouper short. We weeded thru a couple 19 inchers before Cliff put another 25 inch grouper in the box. With each man with their respective limits, we made comfortable and quick work of the impending building seas.

Couldnt have asked for a better day fishing or a more cordial crew. Look forward to fishing with you guys again in the future. Now I am keeping my eyes on the forecast hoping Friday and Saturday hold as pretty as they are currently predicting. Till then, Tight Lines!