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Gulf of Mexico, FL reef fishing.

Posted on January 16th, 2014
Barbara holds up a couple of nice-size sheepshead she caught using medium action spinning gear.  These fish are excellent sport and will taste great cooked on the barbacue.
Barbara holds up a couple of nice-size sheepshead she caught using medium action spinning gear. These fish are excellent sport and will taste great cooked on the barbacue.

After working the Toronto Boat Show this past weekend, it was nice to be back in Florida and to get out on the water the first time this year with my wife Barbara and our pup Mulligan.  Air temperatures were in the 70’s, winds were light, & even though they were calling for rain we  headed out about 5-miles into the Gulf of Mexico to try and catch some tasty fish for dinner.

Grunts are a common fish feeding on the open-water reefs.  When they approach 1 1/2 lb., they are scrappy and also make for excellent eating.
Grunts are a common fish feeding on the open-water reefs. When they approach 1 1/2 lb., they are scrappy and also make for excellent eating.

Both Barb & I hooked lot’s of fish including snapper, small grouper and a variety of chunky grunts & sheepshead which are both excellent eating.  Barbara even hooked a nice trigger fish!

This trigger fish also called an Ocean Tali was a pleasant surprise when it took Barb's shrimp in 40' of water.  They fight hard, taste great, but beware of the "trigger" on the back that locks in place and can do some damage.
This trigger fish also called an Ocean Tali was a pleasant surprise when it took Barb’s shrimp in 40′ of water. They fight hard, taste great, but beware of the “trigger” on the back that locks in place and can do some damage.

We caught all of our fish using the Rapala freshwater rods equipped with Rapala freshwater reels, Sufix 832 braid/Sufix Fluorocarbon leaders and Gamakatsu Circle Hooks fishing in 40′ of water and using live shrimp.

We used the Humminbird 800 series sonar with hydrographic charts to locate the reef, and because we had calm seas, we also used the Minn Kota Rip Tide 80 thrusts AP electric to stay on the reef and to move around so we covered more water!

Temperatures are dropping again today and they are calling for lows in the 30-40F range over the next couple of nights.  We think we will wait for it to warm up before we head out again.

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