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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks again to Capt. John Stout and BradP for another super trip aboard the Possession Limit. Its truly a wonderfull experience to go out with these gentlemen on such a great boat. Capt. Stout really knows how to find the fish. As usuall I myself didn't take pics but there were some taken and hopefully they will be posted up by someone that has them or I will if someone will email them to me.

For those wanting the short report - its only 4 words:

I am VERY sore!

For those wanting a more detailed one, read bellow. I'll probably be a bit more detailed than usuall as I don't think my crew mates post alot.

We met about 6pm on Friday at the dock. There was myself, Bruce and Jason. Capt. Stout and BradP made up the rest of the crew. We were one short this trip due to a last minute cancellation. The seas looked super. We loaded up and headed over to the Red Snapper Inn for dinner before heading out.

We departed after dinner and just under the bridge we saw a log several foot long drifting towards the bank. I started to worry about debris due to the storm. Sure enough a few hundred yards down the channell we ran over a jug or something. It would seem it had a net or something attached to it. As we came up on plane the Possession Limit started shaking. We thought the trip would be over right then and there before we ever got started. Capt. Stout put her in reverse and fortunately for all involved whatever it was came free and we were able to continue on.

Note to those that fish the waters around the jetties. Did you know there is a dredged hole several hundred yards off the South Jetty out a ways from the bouy? Its 10' deeper then the surrounding bottom and probably 40 or so feet wide. I'm thinking it would hold trout and reds. Just an obsorvation we saw on the graph as we passed by.

We motored all nite towards the Gardens. The target area was in that vacinity. We were going to bottom fish Saturday morning and then head over to a spar for the nite time bite. After 2 hour shifts on the bridge for everyone we arrived there on time. It didn't take long to start catching fish. And I mean we were catching them hand over fist. Red Snapper - many nice ones, grouper after grouper - all either nice yellow mouth or even nicer marbled. Thats right, after setting 4 state and one world record on the 2 weeks before Capt. Stout hit the mother load with them again. We caught a ton of the things. One was just shy of the world record they caught previously. I must confess this is where my fishing journey started taking a different track than most of the others. While we very nearly boated a limit of grouper - I didn't catch a single solitary one. I couldn't get past the AJ's for anything. Everyone else would hook up to a snapper or a grouper, I'd hook another 40-50lb AJ. Before the stops were over for they morning we had boated just shy of a limit of snapper and grouper and 2 40-50lb Ajs (Capt. Stout had one and I the other). I'm not sure how many AJ's Capt. Stout had released but I had let 3 others go up to 50+lbs. We didn't have the cooler space for any more as the grouper and snapper were filling up the box and we still had to leave room for tuna. Now note my inability to catch the "prefered" species of fish and my determination to catch something else. This would prove to be a pattern for this trip. Another note of interest in this area we met up with a shrimper who was interested in bartering. We ended up with an orange sack full of nice sized headed gulf shrimp. After we bagged them into gallon bags there was more than enough for us to each take a bag. Gonna eat those babies up tonite along with some fresh fried fish.

We headed out deep to do some late afternoon/evening trolling before hitting the tuna at a spar. I of course went into the salon to sleep. I wake up a few hours later to tail whacking on the deck...hmmmm...what did I miss this time? I step outside to see we are trolling around a platform and Jason has landed a very, very nice (30lb or so) Wahoo. It was caught on the troll with a ballyhoo. Ok, I'm still wahooless in the "caught this category" so I'm bright eyed and busy tailed now. Ok, so in the next 3 passes on this rig we catch 3 more fish - one of which is another wahoo pretty much the stable mate to the first. I catch 2 of these fish so chances are good I got my first 'hoo, right? Wrong. Bruce gets his first hooter and its another beauty. I get two dinky 'cudda's and some snickering and comments from the peanut gallery. Hey, its just my independent fishing streak showing its ugly head again. We head on over to a semi-submersible in the vacinity of a spar and start making passes at it. The blackfin are feeding. We boat several of those on the troll. I got 2 and I think both Bruce and Jason each got one or two. It is getting dark now so we setup for the nite time tuna bite again at the semi-submersible. There is evidence of tuna here so no need to go over to the spar.

I start throwing a popper without getting any blowups and so move to chunks. Bruce and Jason are fishing chunks. Both of them boat a nice yellowfin in the 50-60lb class. I caught a - yep, blackfin. That does it for the fishbox capacity - its pretty full now. We keep on tuna fishing. I catch 3 yellowfin - 2 are pretty nice, in the 60-70lb class. We have no room in the box (not to mention I have plenty of tuna at home) so they are released. We release a total of 6 or 7 yellowfin. Everyone is tearing up the blackfin on jigs, swimbaits and such. I'm concentrating on the yellowfin with the chunks (easier to release too) so didn't catch anymore of them. However for those that wanted, they were to be had on just about every cast. They were catching and releasing I don't know how many. None of the blackfin had alot of size to them. The yellowfin bite died down possibly due to the baracudda's moving in (they also started tearing up alot of the hooked blackfin). I'm sure if we had been wanting to catch them we could have moved over to the spar and gotten more but we had all the tuna the box could hold, plus plenty of action on the blackfin.

We pack it in and head back in with the idea of hitting either some more botton structure to top off the bottomfish limit or a shrimper Sunday morning. I wake up in the early morning as the engines stop. We are positioned over an artificial reef. I drop my jig down, and hook up - another AJ! Earlier this spring I couldn't get one for anything now they are like ocean pearch (only painfully so). Unlike the previous trip I'm not using my SST-30 and 80lb line on these AJ's but my SST-16 and 50lb. More sporting for them, more hurtin' for me though I still strap in to my harness and plate. On one of these morning stops my Longhorn/Aggie brain gets a workout not to mention every muscle in my body. I have my jig down by the bottom and when I pull up to jig it my line comes tite. The Aggie side of the brain says "fish"...."big..big fish"...I strap into the harness and start pulling and reeling, pulling and reeling...all the time not getting much line. The "aggie" side says "GROUPER"....BIG BIG Grouper...5-10 minutes later after not gaining any line, everything in my front pockets being compressed into my skin and bones by the plate, feet killing me from all of the straining (not to mention my back)..the Longhorn side of the brain speaks up and says "Bottom"....sure enough, never gained any line - never really lost any line. It should have come to me earlier but didn't because of that confounded Aggieness...we position the boat and enable the jig to come free so I don't loose my entire topshot.

We make some more stops before heading in. One a couple of them we run into the snapper again - NICE ones. I catch a few more of them to add to the topping off of the box and the filling of our limit. Then my independent streak shows up again. Everyone is catching snapper around me. Not me, no - nuh uh..I'm fishing a red/white snapper slapper with a sardine or flying fish on the trailer hook. I catch a 4-5' Atlantic Sharnosed shark - BradP and I release it and he notes how these things should be called "Shark slappers". I didn't think alot about it as I've allways caught snapper with them, never a shark. Very next bite - yep, another Sharpnose. Ok, enough of this I think - its just a bad coincidence. Just to be safe I go get another jig, a hot pink number with a rubber skirt that has worked fine for me for AJ's and snapper. Everyone looks at it and says "hot pink is the sharks favority color"...I'm thinking, Yeah - right. :) The first 2 had gotten me as I was going down. With this jig I get to the bottom and hook up, thinking allright a nice snapper/grouper! Sure enough, - another stinking sharpnose! By now BradP is getting tired of taking these toothy critters off my hook so I take care of this one..That is 3 sharks and no one else has so much as had a nip from them, they are realling in snapper after snapper. We make one more move before the bait runs out. I get the jig down to the bottom. Others are bringing up more snapper. I got a big one this time...even strap in for a few seconds when he was giving me a hard time.....It was another one of them sharpnosed shark grouper!....Well at least I get everyones thanks for keeping the sharks at bay. The bait is gone so we head in to cleanup the boat and divy up the fish.

You couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend, weather conditions, or fishing companions. The seas varied from flat calm, to calm, to maybe 1-2s. Not much wind. Thanks again to Capt. Stout and BradP and great fishing with Bruce and Jason.
Boat total was something on the order of:

12 yellow mouth and marbled grouper
19 red snapper (we were one short, through others back because we thought we had our limit)
2 wahoo (anyone want to exchange a nice Sharpnosed shark for a 'hooter, come on - they taste the same.)
2 AJs
2 Yellowfin


Personally I had:
4 Red Snapper
5 AJs to 50+lbs (only one boxed)
3 YFT to 70lbs (all released)
3 bft (kept for chunks)
2 dinky 'cudda (coulda been the same dang one that hit 3 times for all I know)
4 stupendous Atlantic Sharpnosed Sharks

Earl - the Sharkhunter.
 

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man, that's one nice 'who. Sounds like y'all had some fun and some catchin' to go with it. Glad ya got the props cleared, the fishing Godess was smilin' that morning.
 
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