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Old 02-26-2018, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Gags and Snapper on FIRE


Grouper and Snapper on FIRE
As most of the nation freezes over in February we in Florida are enjoying Spring like weather at 80+ degrees, calm winds, and, we hope, 'Grouper and Snapper on FIRE!'
How good is the Sunshine State's fishing in February? Come along as we find out together on an over-night 39 hour trip deep into the very heart of our Gulf of Mexico.
Fishing coach, Mr. John Martin, *and chef 'Jersey Girl', Tammy, welcomes one and all to fishing Florida Fisherman ll style:

Open wide, John's Pass Bridge, we are out of here:

Madeira Beach, Florida, is hard to leave, but leave we must. We are on a mission, a mission to catch fish:

First mate, Will, and Fishing coach, John, make sure we *are ready for the fights sure to come:


Jersey Girl makes sure we are*Always*well fed. With nothing but the very best Italian sausage, smothered in hot off the grill peppers and onions, and the richest melted provolone cheese, this trip is already *winner:

The fishing on these over-night trips is often fantastic, but it's the people, people from all over the country, that makes these extended trips the best they can be. Ever wonder what life in scenic, cold, very cold, Maine is like? Just ask the father/daughter team of Mr. Travis Galligher, and his lovely daughter, Miss. Kassandra Cox.* They are as proud to be here as we are to have them. Kassandra is a senior at Memorial High School in Machias, Maine. This young scholar has already been accepted into over 20 of the best colleges. Her field of study, veterinarian. She is sure to make the profession proud!

This family team traveled 1,683 miles to fish with us. Machias, Maine, is a 'little' different from Madeira Beach, Florida:


Mr. Larry Miller, Regular on the Florida, is no stranger to cold, very cold, weather. Larry spends a great deal of time in Canada:

The snapper, and porgy, bite is strong. Never over-look porgies, they are fun to catch and excellent eating:




No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot get away from the 'endangered' American red snapper, they are everywhere:


Rudder fish are there for the taking, as many as we want. Omar & Travis show us how it's done:

Hold on! Larry, that's no rudder fish:



The gags are just as plentiful as the red snapper. Is it June yet?
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:21 PM   #2
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Our Captain, Captain Garett Hubbard, is all excited about red grouper, we are not even targeting them, yet!
And, the best part, we can actually keep them.

Mr. Michael Dickinson, a Florida 'regular,' fishing spot # 60, is one of the best:

The late night, early morning, catch is looking good, very good:

And, speaking of good, Nothing beats early morning, hot off the grill, blueberry pancakes. Only the freshest, most flavorful, blueberries are good enough for Tammy's guest. Add Hickory Smoked bacon and this is much more than breakfast, it's an early morning feast!

It's early Saturday morning and already approaching 80 degrees, let's ice down our catch:

Joe and Larry show us how it's done:


Joe is catching huge snapper one after another. How?
Joe share his secret:

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Old 02-26-2018, 04:22 PM   #3
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Tammy is so proud of Joe:

And, speaking of proud, here comes Tammy. Jersey Girl, we are hungry, not just hungry, but fish catching hungry. Not for long! This is not just another burger, this is a proud, 'Jersey Girl' burger. The best, most flavorful beef, surrounded by the freshest tomatoes, the most crispy Romaine lettuce, real American cheese on a very special bun, and restaurant grade potato salad,* makes this a feast to remember. Hungry? You will be:

Even the squadron is joining us for lunch:

Mr. Larry Miller continues the fight.

Professional mate, Jon, is so proud of us. Be sure to 'catch' Jon's excellent recap of our trip 10:52 minutes into the video.

Another 'regular,' Mr. Phillip Salvia, fishing out of spot # 3,
is one of the best:

Our Northern friends add so much to these trips. They are always more than welcome. Mr. Robert Sellers, Carmel, Indiana, traveled 1,034 miles to fish spot # 10 from the deck of the Florida Fisherman ll. Mr. Sellers represents the Hoosier state very well. Our own Tammy gaffed Robert's prized blackfin. Catch all the action 24 seconds into the video at that end of this report:



Tuna number two for Robert. Both were caught trolling in between stops:

Carmel, Indiana, is a 'little' different from Madeira Beach, Florida:

Far from Indiana, Florida native, Mr. John Martin, the Florida Fisherman ll fishing coach, not only tells us how, but shows us how to become a better fisherman. Want to learn more. John is always more than willing to share his vast knowledge.

Another Florida Fisherman ll regular, Mr. Omar Castillo, is one of the best. Omar proves, over & over again, that there are no bad spots on the Florida. Omar fishes spot # 35, the front of the boat:

Mr. Larry Miller is, as usual, putting on a show for us. What an honor having this man among men among us. It's the people, people like Omar and Larry, that make out trip, not just trip, but an adventure.

The mangrove snapper bite continues, and, as the water temperature warms, it will get better and better. Coming up 3/2 is the first of March's two very special 44 hour snapper trips. The full moon for March is 3/1 @ 7:52 P.M. We will be fishing the day after the full of the moon. The snapper will be on fire!
And, if that's not enough, 3/30 is another 44 hour full moon snapper marathon. Think February was great? Wait until you see March and beyond. 2017 was a very good year for fishing, 2018 is looking even better!

Late Saturday evening:
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:23 PM   #4
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The fights continue:


And so does the food. It's 'Jersey Girl' Tammy time. Think you have feasted on the finest chicken & yellow rice? Wait until you have tried this Southern-Northern-Italian, tradition, with that special 'Tammy Touch!'


Come Wednesday, after a three our flight from Tampa to Machias, Maine, our father daughter team will be facing 20 degree weather, but until then:

It's been a long night/day. No better shoulder to lean on than a daddy shoulder:

The late, after dinner, Saturday evening bite remains strong, but there is a problem, the gags and American reds will not give the mangrove snapper a chance:


We are fished out, full, and ready for a peaceful, restful,* ride home. Take us hone Captain John.
Talk about great sleeping, the mighty purr of the Florida's two massive 1,150 HP CATS is music to our ears.
Sunday morning...Already!

Our father/daughter team from Machias, Maine, is all smiles:


Proud:


The winning snapper hit the scales at 7.1 pounds, grouper 13.8. As usual, most of the bigger fish were not in the jack pot:


Be sure to check out the action in this action packed on the water video of our trip:

https://youtu.be/VYezJbzj5VQ

What an honor bringing our Florida into your home.
Better yet! Join us on our next adventure. Hope you are not camera shy. The entire nation is anxious to see your huge catch.
Bob Harbison *Florida Outdoor Writers Association
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:52 PM   #5
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Great report as usual.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:35 PM   #6
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Thank you so much. I know you have great fishing, and great peoples, also.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:17 AM   #7
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What is the grouper just above the chicken and rice?
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:07 PM   #8
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Good question...Strawberry grouper. They are a small grouper that we do not see too many of.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:12 PM   #9
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Awesome load of fish, do you guys use live baits?
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:22 PM   #10
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Thanks! The boat supplies dead bait & squid. We also use live bait. Every ticket comes with the use of a very good live-well. Live bait of choice is penfish. You can either bring your own or purchase at the marina.
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Last edited by Harbison; 03-01-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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