Working the Storms
The Reelin & Chillin was able to put angler's on some great redfish, mangrove snapper, and even a cobia recently. It was tough working around the hurricanes and the associated inclement weather however, it's always been a factor that before a front fish tend to feed, this I took advantage of.
Here are a few fish tails enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin, I will associate the storms showing how fishing around them can be productive. Please note I say "fishing around them" NOT IN THEM.
With hurricane Fay near Cuba, my tarpon trip canceled. However, for me this was the calm before the storm. I had the day off so I went fishing. M-5 a near shore artificial reef located in about forty feet of water made of concrete culverts was my target. Long story short - mangrove snapper to sixteen inches, I had my limit in a half hour and started culling my catch. Water conditions were mild, maybe one to two feet however, by the late evening hours conditions went down hill, and the Gulf of Mexico was not the place to be.
With Fay past and Gustav near Haiti Frank Winkle and I headed out to M-5 with snapper as the target. It took about three hours to catch our limit of snapper including culling part of our catch. We then moved out to another reef M-7 in about fifty feet of water. We culled a couple more snapper then the catch of the day was on, a forty-four inch cobia ate my shrimp. After a thirty minute battle using fifteen pound line and only a #4 Owner circle hook I was using for the snapper, we were able to land the fish. The water conditions were like glass and unbelievably clear.
I did three redfish trips between hurricanes Gustav and Hanna, here are the results:
Ashok and Peggy Sawe with family:
Three reds, twenty-six to twenty-eight inches
Birdena Samuel and friend English:
Around eight reds all over the limit to thirty-inches except for Birdena did catch dinner landing a twenty-six inch red just at the end of the trip.
Sam Vilardi and Steve:
Twelve reds four in the slot, eight over to thirty inches.
Captain's Tip - Working the Storms
It may sound like the testosterone level is a little high going out before or between storms, however, you can do it with out incident, if you pay close attention to conditions. When I say before the storm it's not hours, it's more like a day. I'm not going far, inshore or within a ten mile distance from shore to the artificial reefs. My boat is in perfect condition, I have towing insurance with Boat U.S., several Captain's who are personal friends wouldn't have a problem coming out to help me, and someone always knows my plan for the day. I keep a 360 degree eye on the horizon for storms, and with a boat that can go upwards of 40mph, ten miles isn't far. Don't take chances, but try working the storms, it will prove productive and keep you on the water.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Catch of the Day
Cobia just before the Storm
About The Author: Captain Terry Frankford
Company: Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Area Reporting: Sarasota
Bio: Fishing experience in the Sarasota area for over thirty years - mostly salt water inshore and nearshore. Became a full time guide in November of 2003 after retiring from Verizon Communications as a Network Planning Engineer. U.S.C.G. licensed Master #1125021 – includes Commercial Assistance Towing. Completed Auxiliary boating Skills & Seamanship course. Certified in Senior Lifesaving, Advanced First Aid, CPR, and Open Water Scuba Diving.