Pushing out to the 250 foot mark:
Tuesday, June 12, The Florida Fisherman, Hubbard's Marina, 'Pushes out to the 250 foot mark' in search of big American red snapper, red grouper, and scamp. Two hundred fifty feet, where the big boys play.
It is going to be hot, very hot. Chef Tammy loads enough water and cold drinks for a small army. After all, hopefully, we will be fighting monsters, monsters out past the Middle Grounds. We must be well prepared for the battles to come. Twenty one ecstatic anglers and a crew of five are more than ready. One last thing, our dedicated crew loads hundreds of pounds of ice. Our catch will be iced to perfection. We are ready, more than ready, let's go!
John's Pass Bridge opens wide. Gosh! Madeira Beach is so beautiful, so popular, clear warm water, white sun bleached sandy beach. Kina hard to leave, but we are on a mission. We are going 'where the big boys play.'
Joe, one of our very experienced mates, goes over every little detail, every thing we need to know for the battles to come. But! Hold on, Tammy is cooking, hurry up Joe. Philly steak, onions, peppers, what a life, what a way to begin our 39 hour assault. Boy! are we ever full, full and ready for a good night's sleep.
One A.M. Captain Mark Hubbard slows those two huge 'cats', and sounds the alarm, battle stations. We are still in the Middle Grounds. Immediately gags, mangrove snapper, and king fish, yes king fish, hit the deck of the Florida Fisherman. The action was by no means fast, but steady. Long before the sun came up, Mister Donovan had a field day with gags, mangrove snapper, and kings. Mister Dederick Lape, and Craig Scott, to name a few, also did very well. The king fish action was un-expected, but welcomed. Talk about un-expected, how about a monster Atlantic Puffer fish. Take a look at the teeth on that big blow hard.
As the son decides to make an appearance in the Eastern sky, we hear Tammy calling, "Come and get it!" Boy! This battle is making us hungry. That hot off the grill bacon, egg, cheese sandwich hit the spot. Thanks Tammy! We are ready for battle! Mister Craig Scott really did a number on those bait thieves sometimes called mangrove snapper. Craig saw to it that they did not eat and run. Andy helped him out; after all, Craig is good, very good, but he does need some help. Many, many mangoes hit the deck. What beautiful fish!
We were, once again, fortunate to have Butch & Jon, FWC Biologist, with us. We sure gave these hard working scientist enough material to keep them busy. They would vent, tag, and release gags as soon as we landed them. And we landed many.
OK! Time to go deep, deep as in 250 feet. Time for tired, overworked fishermen/women, to hit the bunks.
Once again Captain Hubbard sounds the alarm. This time we are West of the Grounds, out where 'the big boys play!' And did they ever play! Even our first mate, Will, is amazed at the size of these deep water monsters. The red grouper were huge, and hungry. The scamp grouper were plentiful and big. Man! this deep water stuff is a real challenge. What the heck is that? A jack fish, but not an amber jack. I can't believe it, a monster jack crevalle. No telling what we are going to see next. Well! Here they are, big, really big, American red snapper. Gaff! Gaff! What a fish, what a prize. Once again, the action was never fast, but steady. Let's go look for an evening bite a little closer to home, we are so far out. That looks like ARS on the screen. We are still past the Middle Grounds. Two hundred feet down sure is a long way. Too deep for mangrove snapper, but not American reds. Finally, the red snapper are hungry; in fact, they are in a feeding frenzy. Let's give them a real battle. For the first time this year, American red snapper are everywhere. What a thrill, what a battle. Many of us limited out, two day limit, on this big red fighting machine. As the sun dips below the Western horizon, we must say good by, good by for now, to 'where the big boys play!' We will be back; the battle is far from over. Time to put all that ice to work, one last piece of chocolate cake, a hot shower, and off to dream land. Wander what we will be dreaming about?
Joe loads hundreds of pounds of ice:
Mister Brooks watches as the jaws open wide for the Florida Fisherman:
Madeira Beach is so beautiful, so popular:
Joe gives the seminar:
Night time action...
Mister Dederick Lape:
Mister Craig Scott:
Will is proud of us:
What a big blow hard:
A blow hard with teeth:
Sun-up over the Florida Middle Grounds:
Chef Tammy Time:
Mister Scott continues:
The FWC is always there:
Andy goes to work:
Will is proud of deep water red grouper:
Mister Donovan is all smiles:
Talk about scamp:
American Red Snapper:
Bob gets in on the action:
Our catch is very well iced down:
Sun down over the Florida Middle Grounds:
One last treat before we hit the bunks:
Mister Allie Shamsidin:
Check out the short video of all the action. Look at the size of that jack crevalle: