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CaptJoeVerdino

Fort Myers 02-12-09

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I had the pleasure of hosting some of the members of the "Brooks Fishing Club". The forecast was for east winds of 10-15 kt with seas of 2ft or less. I figured it would be a bit more choppy with the higher winds but I was way wrong. The reason I was so wrong was as usual NOAA got the forecast wrong. It turned out to be a dead calm with no wind or waves at all.

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With the completely flat conditions I knew this was going to be a long day. Any time the water is slick it's hard to get a bite going. So at the first stop in 120 feet the results were pretty much as expected. We caught a few small bait fish in the hour we spent there. Spot number 2 was about 10 miles away and off we went with the thought that it couldn't get worse.

Luckily this spot showed us some better results with a few amberjack hitting pinfish. We kept a few for the table and then played catch and release while waiting for one big one to show up. The big guy never arrived and even with heavy chumming we couldn't get a snapper bite. So off we raced to spot number three.

This time we threw everything we had and prayed for better results. On this day it just wasn't going to happen. Snapper were just not feeding and the one big hit we got on bottom turned out to be like a 60 pound goliath. Thenjust before we were ready to pull anchor another big hit, This was no goliath, it moved way too fast for that. The fish was on the bottom and wasn't going to come up without a fight. Luckily for everyone on the boat the youngest guy was doing all the hard work. We watched as he strained and struggled, whimpered and groaned, and slowly gained a turn or two on the reel.

At this point I think everyone stopped to watch as Chris put everything he had into fighting this fish. After a while we were starting to think the fish may have gained the upper hand but we knew Chris would never admit it. Then with some more pulling, a lot of groaning, and just a little luck the fish was at the surface.

This was a real beast of an amberjack the biggest we've landed so far in 2009. We got the fish aboard and quickly realised it was too big for the fish bow. So we emptied our biggest cooler dropped the fish in and loaded ice on top. The end of the tail was still sticking out because the body took up every inch of space we had.

After that we tried one last stop for a red grouper or two but we just couldn't get it to happen. The 4 th spot was reading plenty of bottom action but still produced the same results. At the end of the day the tally wasn't much in quantity but the size of the fish we did get made up for the low numbers.

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86 pounds of pure pain

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