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Fort Myers 1/28/09 & 1/29/09

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This is turning out to be the start of a good year since I'm scheduling fishing trips and the weather has been good. Most of the time I'm looking at the forecast praying that it will change but so far I'm ok. That's a combo that's a tuff one to come by during the winter months.

Wednesday I started out late around 1pm and we wanted to be back in before dark so 7pm we were back on the dock. The seas were just a light chop which allowed us to run out about 25 miles to some hard bottom patches. We made a couple stops along the way but mostly caught small stuff that would be good for bait the next day.

Once out in 60 ft of water I remembered a tiny spot I had fished years ago and caught some grouper. This was before the hurricanes and I figured that spot to have been washed away. I was wrong and there was still just a small piece of structure showing on the sonar. The thought was since we were there we might as well give it a try.

Much to my surprise the little honey hole was still productive. As the baits hit the bottom it only took a minute before the fist keeper sized red grouper was brought up. Then a couple shorts were released before taking 3 more keepers in a row. Knowing how small the spot was I decided to move on because I didn't want to fish it out.

We made one last stop and found a few other bottom species that were good table fare. Even though the size was smaller the action was very fast. So we added a few more fish to the cooler before making our way home with the sun at our backs.

The fish from the lucky spot


Thursday was one of those days you get talked into. I have a very specific way of running my fishing trips but was convinced to deviate from my comfort zone. It's the only way to learn new things so I figured with my good catches on several trips in a row I could take a break for some education.

Much like most old dogs I didn't take too well to these new tricks. The baitwell was over filled with live bait which made everything either die or half dead (I now have baitwell envy, mine is too small). Then we had a fish come unbuttoned because of a bad knot after hearing how "this knot has neverslipped", well it did today(I think someone should have knot envy). The final hardship was the current which was stronger than I've ever seen it for the depth we were fishing. With the wind blowing 10-15kt the current was pushing the boat back into the wind.

The day wasn't a total loss as we had plenty of bites. First it started with some lesser amberjack and a couple 20 pound amberjack. Then we moved a little deeper to my "grouper hole" which produced nothing but lesser amberjack/rudder fish and one barely keeper sized gag grouper(which was taken on jig in 100ft, VERY NICE<- Insert voice of Borat here).


On the last stop the current was so strong we couldn't get a bottom bite at all. We did finish getting worn out on 30-40 pound amberjack before heading in.

It seems this year the amberjack have come in thick and they are on every structure deeper than 90 feet. Surprisingly there is plenty of variety in size from 20 pounds all the way to over 80 pounds all in the same place.

So even though we faced a few challenges the day wasn't a loss. Everyone was tired from battling big donkeys and there was plenty to take home for dinner. I had mine cooked fresh right at the marina and it was delicious as always. You can't get any more fresh than a fish that was swimming two hours before.


A pic of one of the Amberjack



P.S Thanks to the kid that tried to break me away from my rutt.

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