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Girl power on the Grounds:
The Florida Fisherman, Hubbard's Marina, has been on dry dock for a few weeks. Spent my weekends attending Jesuit High School football games instead of fishing the Florida Middle Grounds. That is about to change, the Florida is back. Forty eight anglers and a crew of five are busting at the seams in anticipation. Let's go! The weather forecast is great, the moon is full, the Florida is loaded with enough food & drinks to supply a small, make that a large, army. It's time!
Let's board the Florida:

Amanda welcomes an open John's Pass bridge:

Madeira Beach is so pretty we almost hate to leave:

Let's get the bait ready. Some of us like to ice & salt down our bait of choice ahead of time. We will be using thread fin hearing.

The Florida has individual live bait wells. Live pins work better for gags and AJ's.

Joe, one of our mates, is so good at bringing one and all up to par. We want to be at our best. Thanks Joe!

Time to hit the bunks. Hold on, I forgot something very important, food. That Tammy Philly cheese steak sandwich was truly heaven on earth:

OK! Now it's time to hit the bunks. This is a very touching moment for me. For the first time ever I will be keeping warm under my daughter's blanket. Betty is now fishing in heaven. Rest in peace my darling daughter, daddy will be with you until the end of time:

Captain Mark & Captain John are taking us to the extreme ends of the Grounds, a long ways from Madeira Beach. Two A.M., battle stations! Boy! Was it ever hard leaving that warm, cozy, blanket. With camera in one hand and my TLD 2X speed reel mounted on an 'Ugly Stick', in the other, I was ready. Only problem was the fish were still asleep. Oh! We caught fish, great big nice fish, however, the action was much slower than anticipated.
I caught two beautiful bar jacks, took some pictures, and hit the sack. That blanket was kina working on me. I needed some time to myself:

Well it's morning already:

Tammy gets me up. Wake up Bob, breakfast is on. And what a breakfast it was. French toast made with Tammy's own special home made raison bread. Now that was enough to cheer anyone up:

Fishing continued to be slow, never-the-less, many really nice fish were landed.
Rich & Will congratulate Amanda. Gosh girl! Your AJ is almost as big as you. Catch Amanda's great battle on video: (click on the link at the end)

More girl power. Florida Fisherman ladies can really fish:

This is all out war:

To talk about power is to talk about amber jacks:

We were often overpowered, but we refuse to give up:

The great AJ battle continues late into the evening:

The mango bite may have been slow, but we still caught some really nice fish:

By our standards the fishing was slow, however, we ended up with a very respectful catch. Joe, Captain Mark Hubbard, Will, and Amanda are really proud; they know how hard we worked:

Wonder who will win the jack pots. We have three chances of winning, Amber jack, grouper, and snapper. Now there are some contenders:

And the big winners are:
Amber jack: Mister William O'Reilly (R)
Grouper: Mister Eddie Sumrall (middle)
Snapper: Mister Robert Hummel (L)

How about that for coughing up cold cash?

Even after doing this for over forty years, every trip is still the adventure of a lifetime. And, to make things even better, Betty will be with me from now on until the end of time. Is it the weekend yet?

Check out the action on video. You won't believe 'girl power on the grounds!'
(Click on the link)

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