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Old 07-20-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default The Best of Florida Fishing


Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the Florida Fisherman ll and guests are ready to challenge the fish who call the Florida Middle Grounds home. For those who have never fished the Grounds you have absolutely no idea what you are missing.

The Florida Middle Grounds is a series of underwater ridges on the otherwise gentle sloping continental shelf off the west coast of Florida.
The Grounds covers a 460 square mile area beginning around 97 miles off Madeira Beach, Florida:

Middle Ground ridges, as much as 40 miles long and 10 miles wide, are home to 170 known different species of fish. Individual banks have vertical relief of from 30 to 50 feet, about as high as a 3 to 5 story building. These near-vertical bank edges consisting of overhangs and caverns, plus a supply of nutrients and warm tropical waters from the Loop Current have created environments rich in tropical and subtropical fish.
Want to actually see what fishing the 'warm-tropical-waters' of the Florida Middle Grounds and vicinity is like? Join us as we see, first-hand, together:

Will, first mate on the Florida, makes sure we are ready:

Tammy, Chef, nurse, and friend on the Florida for over a decade is appreciated and loved by one and all:

As our sun dives into the warm, tropical, waters it's nap time. After all, we will be challenging the fish who call the Middle Grounds and vicinity home for almost twenty hours. We simple must be at our best:

1 A.M. Wednesday morning: The hard fighting, ever so tasty, gag grouper are hungry and ready for a fight. So are we!

Did you know that Gag grouper are all born female and that the larger, more aggressive, females become male as it becomes advantageous. Gags grow big, really big. The state record is 80.6 pounds caught near Destin, Florida. Gags can be found in such places as the western Atlantic, primarily from North Carolina to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, as well as the Florida Middle Grounds. Florida Middle Grounds gag grouper love to fight, but so do we:
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:30 PM   #2
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Talk about a big smile, sir, you have earned it:

In addition to gag grouper, the Florida Middle Grounds is also home to the hard to fool, hard to catch, mangrove snapper, and the ever so popular, ever so aggressive, American red snapper:

Ladies are always a welcome addition, and wow! Can they fish:






The night-bite has been strong, very strong. The fish have been 'hungry' all night long:

Wednesday morning: The weather is less than Florida perfect:

But this is the Sunshine State, great weather coming soon. In the mean time, the fish are not the only ones that are hungry. Let's see what 'Jersey Girl' Tammy has to offer:

Hot off the grill pancakes, eggs, and bacon... Who could ask for anything more? Well! How about a good fight:



Lady power with family & friends on the fish-rich Florida Middle Grounds. It just does not get any better than that:

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:31 PM   #3
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We love our fish:






This lady-power thing is on going and most welcomed. What an honor having these anglerettes on the Florida:

Lunch time, we are fish-catching hungry. This is much more than just another burger, this is a Tammy burger:

Talk about a different, hard fighting, fish... the African pompano is just that:

Never to be forgotten, the pride of America, the one and only American red snapper:






It's good to see so many gag grouper on the Grounds and vicinity. During the warmer months many move into much deeper water. Gag grouper are in season for the remainder of the year. As the water cools, the gag fishing will get hotter & hotter. Are you man/woman enough to force this ever so strong fighter away from its rocky home? Join us as we find out together. We need all the help out there we can get:



What a trip, what an adventure. Ever wonder why Florida is widely known as the Fishing Capital of the World? One good reason is the fish rich, warm, Loop Current waters of the Florida Middle Grounds:


[URL=http://s644.photobucket.com/user/harbisonphoto/media/July%20%2017%20%202018/41_zps3xnky6xv.jpg.html]
Back at the dock. Captain Bryon is proud, and so are we:

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:32 PM   #4
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Hubbard's Marina, as the Florida Middle Grounds, play integral parts in the development of modern day offshore fishing.
Deep sea fishing, as we know it today, dates back to 1956 when Captain Wilson Hubbard began marathon 18 hour fishing trips for hard-core anglers. In 1971 he established overnight weekend trips to the far offshore Florida Middle Grounds. Captain Hubbard's first head boats were a lot different from today's fishing machines. His first three head boats, the Miss Pass-a-Grille l, ll, and lll were all wood. All have a long and distinguished history, but none more distinguished, unbelievable, than Captain Wilson's second head boat, the Miss Pass-a-Grille ll. Prior to Captain Hubbard purchasing the boat (originally know as the Royal Pearl) from Mr. Roy Ramanas the vessel ran short fishing trips out of Corey Causeway at John's Pass.


Captain Hubbard ran 1/2 trips on the re-named Miss Pass-a-Grille ll. Mr. Omar Castillo, Jr., a proud member of Today's Hubbard Marina's Regulars Club, actually fished on the Miss pass-a-Grille ll. Omar only fished short trips, "The grouper were so plentiful that 1/2 day trips were all I needed. Often I could not lift my stringer"!
Today, Omar, a proud Tampa Catholic graduate...

is still catching huge red and gag grouper:

As a Florida native I have had the honor of fishing our Central Florida waters ever since the late forties. Overlooking the Hubbard's History board is a replica of my first boat. It had a 'monster' 2.5 H.P. kicker:


Our destination was often the, 'snapper-banks' as far out as 1/2 mile along side Gandy Bridge. Later on, in an attempt to fish deeper, as much as the middle of the bridge, we purchased a new, much larger, 10 H.P. 'kicker'. It simply did not work out... Too much power, too fast, for any boat.
Then, in 1976, a whole new ball-game, Middle Grounds fishing on the Florida Fisherman l:


Catches then, as today, were outstanding. The grouper and mangrove snapper fishing was, is, strong. Mangrove snapper tend to go a little 'crazy' during full moon periods. The full moon for July, 2018, is 7/27/18 @ 4:22 P.M. Snapper time! July 7, 2017 produced a 'mountain' of fish:

July 27, 2018, will, once again, be, Full Moon 'Mountain Time'!

Check out the short, action packed, video of our 7/17/18 trip.
https://youtu.be/NwVJzmm9CQY

Bob Harbison
Florida Outdoor Writers Association
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:58 PM   #5
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dang, that food looks good..... makes me hungry


oh, nice fish too....
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:59 PM   #6
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Tell me about it! It does a lot more than look good.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:32 PM   #7
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Great report as always!! Amazing fish! Looks like everyone had a great time, when you see them popping advil at dinner time you know they got their moneys worth.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:09 PM   #8
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Thanks guys! You are what keeps me going.
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