: A total team effort on the Middle Grounds:
Fall is a very special time of year for the avid sportsman. The days are getting shorter and a little cooler. In addition, as the water temperature begins to cool down, fishing can be spectacular. During the full moon periods snapper tend to feed very well at night. The September full moon was 09/19 @ 7:12 A.M. This weekend the Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard's Marina, will be fishing two days after the full moon, great timing, let's go! The Florida is fueled and ready. Captain Bryon, Captain 'Coach' John, and longtime professional mates Will and Joe are read & eager to go. Chef Tammy Kotta has loaded enough food and drinks to feed a small army. Chef Tammy brings her own special touch to each and every meal. She loves to cook; we love to eat...perfect match!
The Florida Fisherman ll stands ready to take a very diverse group of avid sportsmen/women on a thirty nine hour excursion deep into some of the best fishing grounds in the entire world, the Florida Middle Grounds.
This natural coral aquarium, with the demise of many proud old ships, is part of the reason why Florida is widely known as the, 'Fishing Capitol of the World). Many come from near and far to fish this tropical wonderland. Many, such as Mister Robert Crum, Mister Willis (king fish) Ellis, Mister Dan Jackman, Mister Mike Payne, and Mister Richard Sipple, are members of Hubbard's 'Regulars' Club; we are family! Our 'family' welcomes everyone and is more than willing to help in any way possible. We love to share what Florida has to offer. Many of us are Florida natives who know very little other than Florida. Interacting with fellow sportsmen/women of different cultures is fascinating to us. This year we welcomed friends from as far away as Greece, Washington State, California, and Alaska. We talked for hours about ice fishing North of the Article Circle. Just imagine minus 70 degrees, a fifty
MPH wind, and six feet of ice to chop threw. Now that's dedication! We have friends from Atlanta, and Maryland who, every Summer, make the long drive just to fish with us; what an honor!
Let's go fishing! First things first. Plenty of very lively pin fish will be needed:
Live pins, frozen Spanish sardines, and squid should be enough to tempt any fish.
Mates Will & Joe, as well as Chef Tammy, share their vast knowledge with us. This is going to be a total team effort on the Middle Grounds:
As we cross under John's pass bridge, the weather is picture perfect. Mike, from Bass Pro Shop, takes full advantage and trolls for king fish: (Catch Mike in action @ the very beginning of the video, end of this report.)
Mister Leo Smith, a very good friend, enjoys a Chef Tammy cheese steak sub with grilled onions and peppers. What a way to begin our great adventure:
Twelve midnight Saturday morning, the beginning of over twenty hours of actual fishing time on the Grounds. Coach John, that's one heck of a vermilion, and red snapper:
The fishing is slower than expected, but still:
October can't come soon enough:
Nice almaco jack:
Way to go Mister Sumrall, way to go Ed! Mister Sumrall caught 17 different species of fish before the sun came up. He caught numerous big American reds:
Mister Richard Sipple, a very good mangrove snapper fisherman and friend. Rich is fishing spot # 50 on the Florida:
The American reds keep coming in. Watch & listen to the air being forced out of the ARS as they are being properly vented and released to fight again. Watch as the great fish immediately heads for home. (3:48 min. into video).
Now that's some impressive mangrove snapper:
We are really hungry. Tammy, what's for breakfast? "How does my special home made blueberry pancakes, bacon, eggs, & link sausage Sound?" Full moon over the Florida Middle Grounds, and a breakfast fit for a king, for a Florida Fisherman. Tammy, you are too much!
The mango fishing is much slower than expected. Never-the-less, many beauties are forced to pay for their breakfast:
As the sun decides to make it's daily appearance, the mighty amberjacks take over:
The battle waged by an 80# AJ simply defies the imagination. (Watch the great battle 5:14 min. into the video). Look at that building cloud cover:
Even the ladies can't believer their eyes:
First mate Will's father, Mister McClure hooks into a big boy on a jig. AJ's hit a jig very well, very hard. Be ready for a battle:
Will (R) is so proud of dad. Way to go sir, way to go! (watch the great battle 6 min. into the video).
Mister Willis Ellis proudly represents the Hubbard's 'Regulars' Club with this monster king fish. Mister Ellis, fishing spot # 2, reports that the king hit very close to the boat. He was gaffed green. When that monster hit the deck, he was not a happy camper. Be very careful of that slashing mouth full of teeth:
Mister Sumrall, listen to that 9/0 sing: (Hear it in the video)
Mister Roger Poulin, fishing spot # 10, Sir, that's one to be proud of:
The girls record the action:
Now that's a real battle:
And the winners are:
Talk about some great eating. That's a red grouper to be proud of:
Another beauty! That smile is well earned:
We all know the Grounds fish are king size, but porgies that must be gaffed:
Ever hear of a sheepshead porgy? Look at those stripes. (Watch the sheepshead being caught 7:38 min. into the video)
Tammy, we have been in a real battle all day long. We are starved, what's for dinner?
"I sure hope you are good and hungry."
"Start off with a fresh garden green salad, my special recipe alfredo sauce over a very tender chicken breast & angel hair pasta, green beans, Texas toast, followed by a double chocolate cake:
Talk about being stuffed. Let's see if we can catch a few more fish before hitting the nice cool bunks for the long ride home:
Wonder how many species Ed has now?
Nice way to end our trip:
We were forced to battle falling barometic pressure, strong winds, a killer current, and rain most of the day:
Thanks to that big old catamaran, and, 'A total team effort on the Middle Grounds' we ended up with a most respectful catch, a bunch of smiling faces, and memories to last a life time. Let's hit the hot showers and nice cozy bunks. Madeira Beach, here we come.
A wide open John's Pass bridge welcomes us home, home until the Florida once again attacks the fish-rich Florida Middle Grounds. See you in October.
Time to collect the fruits of our labor:
And the in the money jack pot winners are:
Even during less than perfect conditions, can, 'A total team effort on the Middle Grounds' really yield trophy fish to be proud of? Ask Mister Edward Sumrall, Mister Willis Ellis, and Mister Richard Sipple:
It's a very good thing that Will & Joe are fast. They have their work cut out for them:
Mister American red snapper, October is pay-back time. See you then.
Check out the short action packed video. See all the action. (Click on the Youtube link)!