Grand slam offshore fishing adventure
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Fishing offshore in the Tampa/St.Petersburg area is almost always good, and often times great, but last week's offshore adventure with Kevin Whildin and crew was borderline spectacular! We're talking Grouper digging, sky-rocketing Kings and light tackle fishing for Mangrove snapper-big enough to make the Red Groupers look silly,...oh, and I swam with a Whaleshark. Yeah, nothing to see here folks, just the daily routine..not!
We started out in the Egmont shipping channel trolling for Kings but with water temps in the 80's now, despite the acres of Spanish Sardines in every direction you look, there were no signs of the toothy speedsters around. Deciding to go to the bottom fishing grounds sounded like a good idea, and although the tides were slack and the water was top to bottom visibility(in 75 feet) we managed to fool a few Red Groupers into the box. A little moving around put us on a ledge that had Mangos swimming up in the water column, and seriously...we mistook them for Bar jacks at first, these guys were HUGE!!!
After putting some nice color in the cooler, Mangos bigger than the Groupers, we got settled on a rock that appeared to have some King fish activity about it. Our flatline was in the drink for less than 5 minutes before a beautiful 20# plus King fish flew straight out of the water 15 feet into the blue sky, everybody on board was watching this as the beast splashed into the water only to do it again...this time he was on, and we watched as 300 yards of line was violently peeled from a Shimano 20/40...wow!!. Check her out, posing with the boys Kevin, Ari, Josh, Trent, Brian and Robert, above.
To end what was already a great day with an awesome crew, we witnessed a 25 foot Whale shark swimming the surface about one mile in from where we were fishing. I told myself the last time I saw one of these magnificent fish "I am swimming with the next one"...and I did. It was incredible and so far, the highlight of my year. Blessed indeed, blessed indeed. Happy fishing folks, Capt.Dan
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