Well its been a very interesting and fun month back in the good ol’ US of A. I was able to come back for about 5 weeks on summer break from med school. This is a report of the majority of my fishing/spearing trips during these few weeks:
I came home to Clearwater FL about a week after Tropical Storm Debby churned up all the water and made the viz as clear as a glass of chocolate milk. I was eager to get into the water, but due to the bad viz had to resort to fishing for a few weeks while we waited for the water to clear up.
My first trip out was with Tony Sellers, Don Ross, and Frank Carr to the Middle Grounds for the last day of ARS season. We met at the ramp at midnight and started out long trek to the West end of the Grounds (90mi). Tony drove the boat out while we all slept comfortably on the beanbags. We got to the grounds and Tony went up to the bow to catch a few hours of sleep before the sun came up. Lucky for us, we were ready to go because of all the rest we had gotten on the way out. Pretty soon we had Red Grouper, beeliners, and gags coming over the rail. As the sun came up, the ARS bite cranked up and we had all we could handle with triple and quad hookups. We quickly filled the box with our limit of 15-20lb ARS.
Don had the biggest ARS with this big boy.
As we were getting to the end of our limits, Don got hit by this AJ and it blew up his reel (literally broke the reverse on it) and I had the fun task of hand lining in this 60lb AJ from 140ft.
We finished up the day at some ledges in 110’where Frank got this big hog and a few other fish.
Final tally for the day.
I was also fortunate to get out with Brian Hasson and crew for a nearshore hook and line trip. We ended up with a pretty good box of fish for the day.
I also did a couple trips up to Homosassa with my buddy Capt. Steve Betz to get some scallops. Both trips were very successful with us getting our limit within an hour or two.
Later on, I was finally able to get out with Nolan Sadorf and Don Ross for some nearshore spearing where we got run off one of the artificial reefs by a 9ft tiger shark after Nolan popped a couple gags in the sand. We then ran into about 40’ and got some hogs and more gags.
Don got his first hogfish, and was damn proud of it! I think we started him off a little spoiled!
Final tally for the day with a monster mango from Nolan
Tony Sellers , Frank Carr, and I were able to get out for another AJ trip to the Springs. Some big boy AJ’s come up with these guys doing work on them without powerheads. We were blessed with amazingly flat seas and amazing viz.
I also managed to get this guy freediving. He tombstoned my float line and put up a great fight! Somehow, I can’t seem to stone these guys lol.
I was able to get out a couple times in my last week in The States freediving with Don Ross and we managed a decent bag of gags, hog, and snapper
One last trip freediving with Will Bridges. It was his first time diving the Gulf since he moved to the area from the Keys. I’d say he did pretty well!
Thanks to everyone who took me out on their boat and let me shoot their fish! It was a great month back! Good times and great people. I’m now back in Grenada for another term of med school and will go back to lurking on the boards. See you guys in December!