Tough finding fish of size yesterday. No Pompano in my usual place in Placida...guessing water still too warm at 72*. We fished from the Gasparilla Pass to Devilfish Key to Bull Bay and back to the Pass. Caught many trout in the 8-12" variety, biggest being a quarter inch shy of a keeper. Had a couple of strong breakoffs in the Pass at 28'. Landed baby red and gag grouper, grunts, small mangrove snapper.
Funniest moment of the day. In Bull Bay, Mark had what may have been the first keeper trout. Right near the boat, his leader knot failed and the fish took the hook, shrimp, leader and cork. We could see the cork bobbing around and the fish tried to shake it loose. Mark asked me to bring the boat over so he could try to get it back. I'm thinking, what? We're going to chase a hooked fish and float all around Bull Bay? As soon as the boat would get close, the fish would move, but actually not far. We used the trolling motor to chase him around for a few minutes and Mark could see the trout. He took my net out and got a shot at it. He picked up the float and came up with the entire rig, including the intact shrimp. The trout apparently was never hooked, just didn't want to let the bait go until we pushed him to. That's the kind of day it was.
The wind was much stronger than forecast...easily 15 much of the day. Had continuing troubles with my Powerpole. Works great in my driveway and for much of the morning at sea and then decides to stop powering. Frustrating. Feel like it has to be my poor wire crimping job. It's the only thing that makes sense. Nonetheless, we had another nice day on the water. Did 3 webcasts on Periscope, for over an hour of air time during the day and still had battery power left on my iPhone. Our wives enjoyed watching us from home. Never had a good excuse to turn on the Go Pro, although I wish I would have captured the run back from Bull Bay to Placida. We exited out the north end of Bull Bay and ran hard and fast in really skinny water. As we got back to the blue water of Gasparilla Sound, we avoided the swinging bridge by short cutting across the flats to the west end of the trestle. Don't know how we didn't run aground in the few inches of water we flew across but it would have been cool to have on camera.
We finished the last two hours in the Gasparilla Pass and lamented how this could be the first time Mark and I fished together that we didn't bring home at least one keeper. On his last cast of the day, Mark landed his first Spanish Mackeral, a very nice 18"er. Mission accomplished.
Tonight Mark and his family will join my wife and I for the Lighted Boat Parade on the Peace River. Next weekend I take my youngest son (19) to Indy to see his Colts play the Texans. I tried to raise the boy a Cardinals fan but it didn't take. After that it's Christmas at home, then NYE in Key West. Have friends coming from Phoenix for NYE and will likely fish one day here before we take the KW Express out of Fort Myers. 2016 is coming.