A J day number 1 - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-03-2015, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default A J day number 1

For Florida sports fishermen one of the most sought after fish of them all is the fighting amberjack; AKA, 'Donkey of the Sea.' Anyone who has ever done battle with even a smaller 'donkey' knows why the name is very appropriate. You are in for the fight of your life.
With great anticipation many of us eagerly await August first; 'A J day number 1.'

This year our spirits are dampened by low pressure, continuous hard rain, and strong winds. Here is where large head boats come into their own. The Florida Fisherman ll is a 72' long, 25' wide, catamaran. Even in heavy seas we still have a stable platform from which to fish. On the long 100 mile journey offshore we encountered heavy rain and 30+ MPH winds. Most slept through the roughest of times. After all, we want to be well rested for the fights sure to come. Saturday morning was a little on the rough side. Regardless, we are on a mission:


The AJ's are ready and so are we. Let the fights begin:



I am stronger than you...I think!



The bigger AJ's win most of the fights, but we win some. It's a good thing we have a two day possession limit:

We are absolutely starved. Chef Tammy to the rescue with the best of the best Cubans. Lean ham, roasted pork, the finest of melted cheese, Let's eat:

More meat than bread on a Tammy Cuban:

Back in action! 'What a Fight.'


Now that's looking impressive. Rain & rough seas...Who cares:

The red grouper & kings join the action:

It's a good thing Will & Captain Garett are good with the gaff:



On these extended trips we also fish the long nights:

Mangrove snapper time. These little hard to hook, bait thieves, offer even the seasoned angler a real challenge. Even if we catch nothing else our two day federal limit of twenty mangos are a great catch:


It's always an honor to have ladies fishing with us. However, there is one huge problem...they tend to out fish us guys. It's embarrassing:

Well! Guess that about does it for this adventure. Let's enjoy a Tammy 'Yankee' pot roast dinner with the leanest, tastiest, beef and the freshest cooked to perfection new potatoes & babby carrots smothered in the best brown gravy immagionable. Every wonder why we thank New Jersey for sending us this master chef? It's really pretty obvious:
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:41 PM   #2
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We are still a very long ways from Madeira Beach, take us home Captain John.
6 A.M. Sunday morning. Now that was one quick, restful, night. Let's fill our coolers, check out the in the money jack pot winners, and anxiously await our next great adventure.
Mr. Thomas Ryan is very proud of his custom, hand made from scratch, palm hat. Who wouldn't be?


The 'in the money' AJ hit the scales @ 25.9 pounds, red grouper, 14.4, and mangrove snapper @ 8.7 pounds. Unfortunately many of the larger fish were not in the jack pot.

Is a good catch possible with low pressure, wind, and rain? Well:

And, speaking of great adventures, the Florida has three Deep-Drop trips planned for August, two in October, and one in November. For those who have never fished 700 to over 1,000 feet deep into the very heart of the Gulf of Mexico, you have absolutely no idea what you are missing. Ever see a barrel fish? Justin has:

How about a long tail bass? Justin has:

Ever catch four snowy, yellowfin, grouper at one time? Once again, Justin has:

Come August 7, Justin & crew will be at it again. Be sure to watch for our full report & video.
As a proud Florida native I feel privileged to have spent a life time fishing & hunting in this tropical wonderland. Check out my latest trophy wild boar hunt in the August edition of Woods'nWater magazine:


Come November I will, once again, be visiting the pride of Perry, Florida, Two Men & a Hog Outfitters. As always, it will be an honor to share my adventures with fellow sportsmen/women. Be sure to watch for my on the water, in the field, action packed reports. Better yet! Join me; I will feature you in my report.

Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association

Last edited by Harbison; 08-03-2015 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:32 PM   #3
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Great pics and a fine read like always, tks Sir!
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:44 PM   #4
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Thank you so very much. Your kind words mean a great deal to me.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:48 PM   #5
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Default Good trip

It was test of wits!!!! The highs made the lows go away after the AJ's started biting!!!! Would do it all over again!!!! Thanks for the good write up!!!!:thu mbsup:
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:31 AM   #6
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Mr. Ryan, thank you so very much for the kind words; they are appreciated more than you will ever know. We had no idea the weather was going to be as bad as it was.

Regardless, we all made the best of a lousy situation. The fishing was OK at best. The late AJ bite was great; we left them biting. The food was tops. However, what really makes the trip is the people; people such as Mr. Thomas Ryan & his hat.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:55 AM   #7
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Nice report as usual Mr. Bob. Looks like even though you had some nasty weather, you guys prevailed as usual. the Cuban sandwich looks delicious and that was a stud Mangrove that took the money. I always enjoy your reports. Thanks for posting !
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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Thanks so very much. As usual we had a blast. We seldom let the weather stop us. The Middle Grounds does indeed grow many 'stud' mangrove snappers.
It is always an honor to share with our North Florida friends what Central Florida has to offer. We are all so lucky to live in the Sunshine state.
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