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· Senior Member
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Sorry I haven't posted a report in a while, the charter trips are starting to pick up and I have ran three in the last five days. First trip I was actually out catching bonita for bait when I get a call from the girl who does my bookings and she asked if I could take a charter that evening. It was already 3:30 and they wanted a four hour. I said I would take them so ran in and picked them up. I only had trolling gear on so we went and trolled. In hind sight I should have ran them back out to where I was catching the bonitas but we tried closer into shore because a few king mackerel are starting to show up. We had no luck trolling but the highlight of the trip for the two teenage girls was when a group of young dolphins decided to play with the boat and about ten of them were jumping and flipping right beside the boat. They carried on like that for almost ten minutes.

The second trip was the next morning. We stopped outside the pass and caught live cigar minnows for bait and headed out to some spots I had marked the day before when trolling for bonitas. The first spot was covered up with red snapper so after catching a couple we moved to another spot. Again, big snapper after big snapper. Moved to a third spot and caught a couple of short trigger fish and you guessed it, more big snappers. Finally caught a couple of white snappers for dinner then the big rod bends over and we are hooked up on something big. I suspected it was a grouper because the client didn't gain anything the first several seconds. I grabbed the line and hand lined a couple of pulls to get the fish away from his hole then the angler was able to gain a little. After about a five minute tug of war the gag grouper gave up and we boated it for pictures. Fish weighed right at 20 pounds. Shame it had to go back as the season for them doesn't open until June 1.

Third trip was yesterday. I had a trip planned with friends to run out about 60 miles and try deep dropping for golden tile fish and yellow edge and snowy groupers. Got a call from my booking girl at 9:30 pm and she had a call from a family whose charter had cancelled on them just a few minutes before. All my friends know that if I get a charter call it takes precedence over a friends trip so I told her I would take the charter and I texted my friends and cancelled. We stopped outside the pass and caught some live cigar minnows, they were having a little trouble catching them so we quit after catching about a dozen. We got to the first spot and after a couple of drifts didn't catch anything but squirrel fish even though we had a good show on the bottom machine. We moved to another spot that I had found while running last year and gave it a try. It turned out to be a bonanza! I am guessing it was a natural bottom coral area because we drifted several hundred yards all around where I had the spot marked and were in fish almost the entire time. They had a ball reeling up all kinds of fish. White snapper, Red snapper, lizard fish, unicorn file fish, and to top it off 4 gag groupers!! Two were keeper sized and two just under, all had to go back because not in season but they were a ball to catch. It seems that the increase in the number of gag grouper happens after you have a hurricane like we had last year. It pushes the grouper in closer to shore. I will add pictures into a reply from my phone. If you are coming to the Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Florida area give me a call for a charter. 573-789-3761
 

· 2 Corinthians 5:10
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those calm seas are about the only thing I can ocean fish in without getting the hurls... looks like fun
 
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