Lobster Season Opened and Cubera Snapper Fishing Is First up!
<p>Ricky called me twice on Saturday to confirm our trip and I guess he also needed some reassurance that this trip would be successful. He was excited, but was pessimistic as well. I told him not to worry that we would do everything within our power to insure a successful trip to "Nastyville".
Ricky, brought his brothers Robert and Ralph, and his Dad, Ralph Sr. We were supposed to meet at the dock at 3 PM. The group arrived at 3:15 and then we ran into another hitch and didn't get to turn The BEAST out until 4 o'clock. We made the run to a lobster patch and tossed Devon into the water. 30-45 minutes later and we only had 4 or 5 bugs in the live well. Devon climbed aboard and we moved to a better patch and in he went. Nice! He was pulling up legal bugs, one after another, at times he even had one in each hand. That is incredible since he doesn't use a net, only a tickle stick and his hands. He is something to watch and I swear if you look close enough you will see gill slits behind his ears. The process went along quickly and we have enough bugs on board for the night. I powered up the Suzuki's and we made a run to a good Yellowtail spot to catch a few of them while we await the fall of darkness.
We arrived at the spot and sent the chum line into the current. This time spent Yellowtail'ing is great as the anticipation builds and we get to answer questions about what is to come, all the while catching some more edibles. The guys put 10 nice Yellowtail in the boat as the sun lowered on the horizon. It's almost dark and we could see several boats already arriving at Nastyville. We packed up our light gear, broke out the Nasty rods, and made the short run out to the assembly of boats.
As we arrived there were 6 or 7 boats drifting the area. Everything seemed courteous and orderly, so we joined them. I made a short drift so I could get my drift line and then motored up for our first set. Drop 'em now, Devon! The guys elected to hold the rods rather than using Rodney, the rod holder. Twenty seconds into the first drift and the stern rod gets a strike. Bump Bump! BAM! Robert has his hands full as my short custom built Cubera rod doubles over to the water. OMG! Robert can't believe the strength of El Nasty as it pins him to the gunnel a few times. As we see color in the lights, the size of this fish draws a reaction from the group. It is a Pig! Devon reaches over and with a thud, 55 pounds of toothy snapper hit's the deck. First fish, and they elect to put it in the box.
This started off our evening with a bang. We will be selective now as the limit on Cubera is only 2 fish per boat over 30". Robert is on the boards with a score, we set up again and dropped lines. Ba Boom! Ralph is hooked up and into another good fish. This fish is put on the deck and after a short photo op and weighing, Devon vents the 45 # red devil and slips it back in the water to continue on.
Set up again, dropped the lines and Bada Bing! Ricky gets the nod and is wrestling his "bucket list" fish. Once again we bring the fish to boatside for the customary photos, weighing, venting, and release.
I wasn't quite sure why most of the boats were fishing where they were, but I guess they had there reasons. The majority of the boats left after an hour and we were there with only 2 others. Our scenario played out over and over again with single and double strikes coming on each and every drift. Robert caught a 25# and Ralph Sr. finally gets a fish that he can handle. A scrappy 22#, also released.
Ricky gets a 48 # fish and Ralph catches a small 20# fish. We've been on the Nasties now for about 2 hours and the winds were picking up and the seas too. 11:15 and we decide to do one more drift as the action is slowing down. Ricky gets another big bite and it's game on again. This fish comes into the light and it is another El Grande' Nasty. This fish weighed in at 46 pounds and we can't get a good release on it. We tried but the fish was done so we boxed it for our boat limit.
We had 4 tired and satisfied anglers so we wrapped it up. We caught 8 fish out of 13 bites. We had fish hooked up on every drift, some singles some doubles, some wrecked us and broke off. We ended up the night losing plenty of terminal gear. That is totally irrelevant when you fish with a good group of guys and get to see them all, smiling from ear to ear. They must've been very happy with their trip as they were extremely generous, above and beyond the norm. They vowed to return 1 or 2 more times this season. We look forward to fishing with them again!
Our Cubera season has begun with a bang! It sure beats bobber fishing for Bluegills! What do you think?
About The Author: Captain Jim Barlett
Company: Beast Fishing Charters
Area Reporting: Miami & upper Key Largo, , Florida
Bio: Beast Fishing Charters is an offshore, light tackle, live bait, fishing charter. Capt. Jim has been fishing South Florida waters for over 35 years. The BEAST is a 2007 WorldCat 330TE, powered by twin 300 Suzuki's and is a stable, comfortable, center console. Capt. Jim specializes in, but is not limited to, Sailfish, Swordfish, and Dolphin. Wreck fishing and bottom dropping are also on the menu.