11.11 ~ Grouper, Grunts & The Redfish That Got Away

Discussion in 'Gulf Coast - Saltwater In-Shore Boat Reports' started by gardenmartha, November 15, 2008.

  1. gardenmartha

    gardenmartha Well-Known Member

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    So i'm down here in Hernando, Florida visiting my family. My father is very sick with Amyloidosis. The prognsosis is not good. That's the Town of Hernando in Citrus County, and not actually any part of Hernando County, BTW. I didn't bring any gear, not even my fishing boots. After a little investigating I found www.thunderpartyboat.com.

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    I drove 40 miles to Hernando Beach, and got to the landing with half hour to spare. I was the last of 11 anglers to arrive. There appeared to be three deckhands on the boat. We had both frozen and a limited amount of live bait. You can see the bait tank in the above photo. I don't know how I missed getting a close-up. Turns out, there is only one deckhand, Mickey, the guy with the handlebar mustache on the left. The regulars just like to help out. I was really confused about who was who for most of the trip.

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    I did ask what we were using for bait, but I just can't remember now. I'll find out and edit this later

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    here's something I've never seen before on a party boat. Clean rags provided for the anglers to use between fish!

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    Nice waterfront properties.

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    A LOT of it for sale!

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    After we came out of the channel in the middle of the photo we had to hug the coast going to the left and wind back around like an obstacle course.

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    One of the anglers, Greg, who'd been on the Thunder 6 times this year said he'd never seen the tide so low before. It took us about half an hour to get to open water.

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    We went out about 15 miles, and began fishing in water 20-25' deep. It was windy and cold. My first bait, nibbled clean.

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    First fish on the boat. Grouper. Too short. Has to be 22.5".

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    First keeper. They really try not to deplete the local fishery, and move on after 4 or 5 fish are caught in one area.

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    I finally catch one, way short. At least I'm not skunked!

    The back of the boat was crowded. at the third stop Captain Mike called me up to the front and gave me a live bait, and soon it was fish ON! BIG fish on! I got it to the boat, and Mike bellowed for a gaff, like 5 times. No gaff came though. I could see the line was tangled on some coral, and the red flash just under the water. I tried to walk it down the boat, but it made one last run, and the line snapped on the coral, and I was left trembling but dissapointed. Mike said he was sure it was a redfish, at least 40".

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    Mike set me up fishing for grunts with his small spinning rod.

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    That was entertaining enough until I'd caught 5 or 6, then I pinned on the smallest grunt for bait, and waited and hoped for another big fish.

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    Here is a blowfish checking my bait.

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    My hero bait, turned out to be a zero. I fished it for 2.5 stops, and went back to frozen. This was pretty typical. Chewed up, but never felt it. We thread the frozen bait through the eyes, and hooked the body back near the tail.

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    I guess someone caught that blowfish.

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    My last fish of the day, still way short.

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    The days catch, still struggling in the cooler.

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    They say Grunts are very good eating, but you have to catch a few just to make a meal.

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    the good life!

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    Captain Mike and friends.

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    Another Thunder!

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    Some more beautiful waterfront property.

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    Going cheap!

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    back at the landing.

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    The total catch for the boat, grouper-wise.

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    Mike wanted a group photo with everyone holding a fish.

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    Mickey cleaned everyones fish at the dock. I'm sorry but either the grouper skin is very tough or he was using a very dull knife.

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    I had a great time, and everyone was really helpful and friendly! Everyone caught something, though not everyone got to take home a grouper. Maybe next time!

    PS ~ My Pops is in bad shape. All prayers welcome. He's starting a new treatment tomorrow which we hope will give him some relief.
     
  2. califblondee

    califblondee Well-Known Member

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    Prayers sent for your Dad, hope the new treatments works wonders for him! Thanks for sharing your trip, looks like you had a good time. I here grouper are great to eat!
     
  3. cappo5150

    cappo5150 Well-Known Member

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    cool report Martha, looks like a great time was had. Hope your father gets better.
     
  4. J Woodman

    J Woodman Well-Known Member

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    Nice report and lots of pics Martha. Thanks for letting us know what it is like somewhere other than the So Cal coast. Was there a reason that they cleaned the fish at the dock, instead of while heading in like we do?

    Sorry to hear about Pops. Lets hope the new treatment works wonders!
     
  5. gardenmartha

    gardenmartha Well-Known Member

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think the only reason they didn't clean the grouper on the boat (but they did clean the grunts on the boat) was that Captain Mike wanted a group photo of everyone holding up the fish for the website THUNDER Party Boat :: Hernando Beach, Florida (FL). Quite a few of the fish were still alive at the dock.

    Here are some other photos from my trip, taken from the airplane mostly over San Diego, Phoenix and Tampa.

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    arriving in Phoenix

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    taking off again

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    there are a lot of golf courses in Phoenix, Pace.

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    dam if I know where this is

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    lotta air traffic that day

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    arriving in Tampa

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    My dad started the new chemo treatment yesterday, and I am happy to say that he actually wanted to go out for dinner tonight, even after taking a fall in the bathroom this afternoon.
     
    #5 gardenmartha, November 15, 2008
    Last edited: November 15, 2008
  6. Carnivore

    Moderator

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    WOW awesome pictures. Congrats on the fishing and hope that things work out for ya pops.
     
  7. sourcreamnjive

    sourcreamnjive Well-Known Member

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    Prayers sent out for pops and family........Martha I grew up in Florida and worked on many boats out there we cleaned fish on the docks always because I think it promoted tourism well down in Key West, Fl. because the tourist would see the abundance of fish that was brought in plus the photo opportunity that tourist had........Grunts and grits is a dish I miss very much.....you could always go to the local piers or fish anywhere on shore for that fish where I was from we called them "Key West Porkchops" a very tasty delight. Take care Martha!:rockon:
     
  8. baggotrix

    baggotrix Gold Coast Lady Anglers

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    Sorry to hear about your Dad Martha, thanks for the Wonderful report and pics.
     
  9. deemus

    deemus Active Member

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    Nice pics Martha, thanks for sharing. Too bad on the red, they are fun to catch. The smaller ones are GREAT table fare. I prefer mine fried.
     

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