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.