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Ran down to Freeport Friday morning with a crew consisting of the wife, my bro-in-law, and a buddy. Gassed up in Freeport and finally broke the jetties at around 9:30. Greeted by some pretty steep chop. We estimated 4’s on about a 3 second period for the first 30 plus miles. Backless swells, but fortunately we were running directly into them. Hit a couple spots and rigs heading south. Nothing but undersized snapper. Found a great weed line around 40 miles out and worked it hard but surprisingly nobody was home.

Made it out to A-28 around 1:30 without a single fish in the boat. First drop at A-28 produced a solid 38 inch A/J. See photo below. After that, we had a couple strong hits and break offs. Meanwhile, snapper were steady but nothing spectacular.

Moved around a bit, and we finally hooked the two fish pictured below. We gaffed them, so I hope they were legal. For perspective, the second photo is the two fish laying in a 150 quart cooler.

I had forgotten my fish bag, so after these two we stopped keeping 16 to 18’s. Buddy picked up the fish in the third photo a little later in the day.

Mike from the Woodlands and his crew pulled up somewhat later in the afternoon, and they fished in our area til about 4:30. Then we picked them up and ran to Port O’C. Seas had calmed a bit, but there still was a decent 3 foot swell in small sets at times.

Saturday we ran deep out of Port O’C. Nasty chop at the jetties and for the first 10 miles or so.

Hit Falcon’s Nest. â€" Nothing. Ran a wahoo/tuna spread there for about 1.5 hours with no takers. The boat with McG was there when we showed up. They were not having much luck with live bait or trolling so they took off towards the East Breaks. We went the other way over to Dutra.

Found a nice current break about 4 miles before Dutra so we set out a spread and worked down to Dutra. 2 hours or so at Dutra produced nothing. We tied it all. Decent amount of bait, but the only game fish we saw were some small tuna busting on the surface.

Later, we deployed a high speed spread and trolled over to the East Breaks. 1.5 hours at the East Break produced nothing. Finally, we had to go to the house. One engine shut down about 7 miles out of the jetties with a clogged fuel filter, but we got that fixed and pulled into Port O’C around 8:15 or so.

Sunday’s trip home was uneventful except for a strange sighting in the ICW. About three miles East of the Bolivar ferry landing we were flagged down by what appeared to be a partially capsized boat. There were two relatively large idiots (man and wife) in a 6 foot paddle boat that appeared to be taking on water. Gross weight of the two appeared to be around 500 lbs. They were only about 8 yards from the banks of the ICW. They were frantic, so I pulled up.

The woman claimed they were hung up and did not know what to do. I suggested that one of them jump in the water and pull the boat to shore in that I could not tow them to shore because the water there was only 4 feet deep and it would become progressively more shallow as we neared the shore. Because there was zero freeboard in this craft due to its overloaded condition, I was somewhat reluctant to tow them. I figured their craft would quickly become a 6 foot crank bait if we tried towing it.

At this point, the woman said “We can’t get out of the boat because we have a baby with us” as she held up an infant. Of course, none of them were wearing life jackets.

As my crew began insisting on a mercy killing of the parents of this poor child, the problem became clear. They had anchored this paddle boat in 4 feet of water with about 6 feet of rope. As the tow and boat traffic came by, the anchor would pull the front of this boat under water. Naturally, they had anchored within about half a mile of a barge terminal, so they were getting plenty of wakes. As we were trying to figure out how to help them, the man cut the anchor rope thereby freeing the boat. They then waved us off and proceeded to paddle with the generous wind/current at their back merrily down the ICW in this 6 foot death trap. We just sat there absolutely dumbfounded.

All in all, we had a decent trip. Disappointed by the lack of success on Saturday, but that’s fishing for the bigger bites. Boat ran great, and we got home safe.



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