I took advantage of the calm seas today and rising tide after 12 noon and headed out to one of the farther reefs in the Gulf of Mexico to see if I could catch a variety of bottom fish. The last couple of weeks have been windy with cold fronts moving through and few people ventured out more than 3-miles in the Gulf to fish. Today I traveled about 6-miles out.
I was using a drop-shot rig with a 1 oz. bell sinker, Gamakatsu Octypus hook, Rapala rods and Rapalareels, Sufix 832 braid and Sufix Fluorocarbon leaders. I fished in about 40′ of water using live shrimp. The fishing was steady with the main fish being caught good size Grunts. I saw a boat next to me land a couple of Pompano which are one of the nicest eating fish you can catch in the Gulf just fishing reefs.
I had some excitement when I hooked a significantly larger fish which turned out to be about a 7-8 lb. Snook. The fight got interesting as I was fighting it due to a 200-300 lb. Goliath Grouper inhaling it head-first. If you take a close look at the fish in the image you can see where all the scales were roughed-up on both sides of it’s body near the tail. I was not going to let the Goliath Grouper eat the Snook, after all, the Snook season is closed. After a lengthy fight, the Grouper let it go, I landed the Snook, took a quick picture, and revived it until it swam away.
As you can see, we will be having a fresh fish dinner….again! Look like another cold front is moving through and the temperatures are predicted to dip in the 40F range be Tues., which is cold for south-west Florida. I think golfing sounds good for the next few days until the weather settles down again!