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Had a great weekend fishing the Pensacola Bud Light Fishing Rodeo. We fished HARD and hoped to be all over the leaderboard but only one of our anglers placed in any category. We left saturday morning, fished all day, stayed the night offshore in a 26 Horn and then fished Sunday morning and early afternoon. Our main focus was the king jackpot but we didn't place there. We did win the Mingo category though.

We met at the house at 0400 Saturday. By the time we loaded ice and gear and got on the water it was near 0500. We picked up the few live baits that were penned up from the day before and started our run to the SW. The first 30 miles or so were kind of choppy. There was maybe a 2 foot chop and we had to skate in between a couple of thunderstorms. For the last 20 miles it flattened out some. Our first stop was a live bottom area about 50 miles out. Fishing wasn't that good. We boated a snake king and a few mingos including the 3.63lb winner in an hour or two of fishing. We also got a pair of smallish scamp.

We bounced around that area for a bit before picking up and running to another live bottom area a few more miles SW. We caught a few more small king, some sharks, and a few reef donkeys. Our biggest king of the tournament came around 1400 Saturday. It hit a free lined dead bait and weighed a respectable 39.47lbs. We didn't get a picture on the boat but PNJ took a shot of us at the scales


After that fish and a few smaller ones, it was getting to be late afternoon and the wind had all but stopped so we decided to put mackerel fishing on hold and make a couple of grocery drops. The first drop at 400ft was 4 baits down and 4 snowies up. The one fish is pretty small but you can't pick and choose with this kind of fishing.


Second drop was more snowies and a 16lb snapper that we released dead as a doornail after its 400ft trip to the surface. I try not to kill them out of season but you just can't avoid snapper any more.


We got all but one of our grouper limit in short order leaving one open spot in case we got a big one somewhere else. The next step in the plan was to run to the west for the night to try and find some fish around the rigs in the morning. Arriving at sunset, we anchored on some live bottom near a cutoff rig (Black Beauty?) and got ready for bed. The other 2 guys slept on bean bags but I couldn't get comfortable on the bean bag so I laid on the front seat with my feet on the gunnel. We all got some sleep but even in good conditions sleeping on a center console is camping at best. My bed was the seat in the picture below.


The next morning, we were up at 0520 and ready for the awesome morning bite that never came. I don't know what happened Sunday morning but it was 2 hours before we ever lost a bait. Fish were marking good on the sonar but they had a severe case of lock jaw. We fished around and got a couple of small kings, small cudas, a chicken dolphin and a few other non weighable fish.

We made one or two stops on the way in to check some spots I haven't been to in years. A couple were gone but a couple were still there. We accidently caught a 25lb snapper on one of the spots. It was only 110ft but the fish was blown up pretty bad. We did manage to get it on the scale for a quick weight check so I know it was 25lbs give or take 1lb and we vented the fish quick enough that this one did swim back down. I know it made it down because it swam out of my hand and I tracked it on the bottom machine the whole way back to the bottom. Hopefully that fish lives...until next snapper season:whistling:


We got to scales around 3pm on Sunday and we were able to go right in without waiting which was nice because we were tired. When we left scales, our king was 2nd, we had 1st and 2nd Mingo, and 2nd and 3rd grouper. A couple of boats came in the last couple of hours and bumped us off everything except the mingo though.

Overall the tournament was EXCEPTIONAL. Good weather, great staff, scales were organized, and Flounders is the best tournament venue in the area bar none. We can't wait to fish it again next year:thumbsup:
 

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Wow! that is a weekend of fishing for sure, congrats on the mongo win.

The bite was slow for us as well last week fishing to the east.

Jimmy
 
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