Saturday, April 6, 2013


Home in Port Charlotte
Low 58, high 80

Today's off shore report - took the worst wave of my boating life passing thru Gasparilla Pass at 8AM today.
Boat bow got almost vertical and for a brief second I fear we would go backwards and capsize. Instead we came down into the base of a six footer right behind the rogue wave and we got drenched.

That was it....we were out. That inlet was an absolute washing machine but once we cleared it, it was 3-4 footers that we were thankful for. I knew the ride out would be rough but was confident (and correct) that things would lay down about ten AM.

We fished live shrimp with 3 oz sinkers and needed them bad. Every 30 seconds we had to open the bails just to keep the bait on the bottom. We caught keeper Red Grouper, Lane Snapper and Porgy in 80 feet of water. We released short grouper, short flounder, lots of 12" and under porgy and a variety of lizards and squirrels.

Ride back was better with following seas but the Gasparilla Pass was still worthy of a short (and answered prayer). We hit the ramp just after 5 AM. This was my first trip with a new 70 year old neighbor. He was a good sport about the waves. I'm really grateful I didn't put him in the drink.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fillet of Pompano

Small craft advisory? What small craft advisory?

After a 19 hour day of work and travel that had me wake up at 3:50AM in Chicago, fly to work in Detroit, connect through and lay over in Baltimore and get home at 11PM...I was thrilled when my work schedule was cancelled today due to rain. The rain wasn't bad but there was a small craft advisory out.

We launched at 840 AM and worked the Myakka River. There was a strong incoming tide and very light winds ahead of the approaching front. Typically, right before a weather disturbance arrives, the bite gets hot.

At 1010 AM the river started boiling with white bait being chased by Pompano, big Ladyfish and Spanish Macs. What fun we had for the next 2 hours! We limited out on Pompano and filled the well with ladys to use as cut bait this Saturday when we head off shore for the first weekend of the new Red Grouper season.

Those Ladyfish were flying out of the river like crazy. They got into such a frenzy they started hitting our bare hooks. One flew out of the water and landed right into our open live well. We laughed so hard...

By the time the frenzy finished we had bloody decks, shirts and legs.

We finished the day with a 22" speckled trout and a 33" snook....released, of course. By 1 PM the squall arrived and we beat feet for the boat ramp. I had fresh Pomano for dinner tonight. What great meat that is! Here's a shot of the spec and the approaching storm. Saturday is Grouper Day.