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Fort Myers offshore 2/17/09

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The day started out with me "thinking" I don't know if I can trust the forecast but I'll have to depend on my ability. "Thinking" I figured the 10-15 kt winds and seas of 3 ft had to be a lie since there was a small craft caution the day before and plans for warnings the next day. Luckily the winds were forecast for east to north east and because I was "thinking" I knew it meant the afternoon sea breeze would calm things down even if it was rough. Then "thinking about my course I figured to run north up the intracoastal and enter the Gulf from Redfish Pass. This would put the wind at my back or quartering from the starboard stern.


The conditions were exactly what I expected 3-5 with a few bigger than that and whitecaps all over the joint. We made our way out at 20-25 mph with me steering around the back sides of the bigger waves. I decided on a few spots about 35 miles out knowing as the day went on we would be able to get out further.


Our first stop was in 85 feet on an old tug boat wreck. We got some pinfish in the water and within minutes we were battling some 20-25 pound amberjack. The bottom rigs with shrimp were getting hits but the fish were either small or smart because nobody could hook one.


After about an hour and a half the seas had calmed enough to try spot number 2 which was just a mile away. For some reason this was a dead zone even though the sonar was reading plenty of fish. So with half an hour put in and not one bite we went to our final stop in 100 feet.


At the last stop I was hoping for the ledge to produce some mangrove snapper and maybe if we were lucky a scamp or two. The mangroves were easy to come by but the scamp couldn't be found. We did catch and release quite a few nice gags which I plan to see again in April.


Luckily my "thinking" payed dividends during the day and made the trip out worth the ride. Then just as I hoped the sea breeze kicked in and the seas calmed to 2 ft or less for the ride home. I'm pretty sure everyone aboard was thankful for the easy ride home.


Back at the docks the crew was met with a heroes welcome as the catch was offloaded. The fillet table was nearly full and everyone was answering questions about where we went and what we caught.


That's probably the best part of the day for me and just one of the many reasons I love fishing.


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