Saturday, July 7, 2012


Home in Port Charlotte
High of 92, light winds on the water

I arrived at the boat ramp just after 7AM for a day of fishing alone.  I launched the boat without incident, taking the second to last parking spot in the park.  I pulled away from the ramp area and then pinned the boat down in 2' of water so that I could rig up my lines.  While parked there my GPS kept shutting off on it's own.  After 30 minutes of this nonsense I tried to use my handheld back up GPS but couldn't find it.

I'd apparently left it at home.  There are a few things you can do without on your boat in these waters but not having electronic navigation to keep you off the sandbars is not a good idea.  Besides, I wanted to head off-shore and not having GPS would be like being blind out there.

I decided to return to the ramp, tied up the boat, disconnected my trailer to save my parking spot and I headed for home.  I was home in 20 minutes, found the handheld Garmin and was back on the boat after a 45 minute false start.

I launched out of Gasparilla boat ramp at 9AM and headed west, into the Gulf.  At about the 50' mark I began trolling a rigged ballyhoo at 7 knots.  In 70' of water there were targets all over the bottom.  At 72' the trolling line went off.  Love that clicker sound, don't you?  I was hoping against all odds to find a lost dolphin fish but this ended up being my first ever Bonito/False Albacore/Little Tunny.  He had some some size and when he got close to the boat he spooked and went on another long run.  I finally landed him and dropped him in the live well.  After he stopped jumping around I measured him at 24".  I hooked into another one, almost immediately upon getting back to 7 knots.  This one jumped off the hook and lived to see another day.

I anchored down in 80' and used both Gulp shrimp and cut Bonito.  I caught a white Grunt on the Gulp and used it as bottom bait.   The fish finder showed a lot of fish on the rocky bottom.  The Grunt was swallowed by something that put up the biggest fight I've ever had.  I don't know what it was, how big it was or what it was hiding under but I tried to work him up for 45 minutes without success.  Every time I suspected I could have my lead weight snagged on a rock, the big fish would tug, tug, tug...reaffirming I was hooked up.  Being alone on the boat made it tough because I seriously needed a drink of water.  After well over an hour I decided I'd had enough.  I was thinking that perhaps he'd stuck my lead in a rock and was using it to his advantage.  I had 40 pound braided power pro with an 80 pound floro leader and I couldn't break it off easily.

Remora were feasting on my chum bag throughout the day.  I snapped a couple of photos of them.

I stuck my rod in a holder and grabbed a couple of Gatorades out of the cooler.  I pulled up anchor and then used the power of the boat to break the braided line free.  I re-rigged a ballyhoo on my trolling rod and slowly headed back to civilization.  I had another quick blast to my trolled line but it was gone just like that.

The weather and the wind were cooperative all day.  When I returned through Gasparilla Pass the wave action had picked up from all the boats on the intercoastal.  I got the boat on the trailer by 430 and was home by 5.

Not a great day fishing but it was a very enjoyable day on the water.  Photos are below.  Click on pics for full size image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a sweet day regardless....cabot