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chico

3/9 Offshore Venice Report

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We finally got the timeframe and weather needed to get a gang out to fish with Capt. Joe Miller on Friday. We first loaded up with live baits right outside the Venice inlet, then we headed out towards D9. After a ride out there we realized that the calm waters would allow a longer run out to the deeper waters. We stopped at a spot in 160' and sent our livies down to find the AJs. The bite was slow but steady, with the aj's mostly in the 32 to 35"range. We were challenged for our Ajs by some 'cudas that managed to chop several up before we could land them. About 45 minutes after we started we saw some "tinfoil" coming up from the deep on several lines, African Pompano!! These two fish were NICE sized, 27# and 32#.

After about 90 minutes or so, we had our limit of Ajs, and we headed inshore a bit to 120' of water and stayed in that general depth for most of the day. The snapper were not on a feeding frenzy, maybe due to the full moon? We worked all day to land 3 dozen mangrove and lane snappers. Most of the snapper were medium sized with several nice ones over 5#, we even had one HUGE lane snapper along with the other average ones. We only had 3 or 4 "short" snapper to release. We also vented and released plenty of red grouper as well as a couple of gags and two small scamps and strawberry groupers.

We saw one fat 6' shark chase a small red grouper up to the boat, Capts. best guess was a bull shark, lucky for us, he did not stick around. Each snapper hole we fished, the fish seemed to have different preferences for baits. We started out with spanish sardines, one spot the bait stealers were so bad, we had to switch over to freshly cut strip baits, next stop, no baitstealers and shrimp was the ticket.

I did not take the time for pictures, but there were plenty taken of the Pomps, I'll post them when I get them.

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Good trip, wind up here has not laid down in past 10 days, few if many venture out even to flats as east wind sucks water out, in channel i picked up an old crab trap around prop (Fun as hell to remove) turned around and back to dock, dont need this few trout being caught in river

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