Mad Son Fishing, Palm Beach Report
Fishing Report 11/20/2015
After some moderately slow trips during the summer, it is fun to write about another epic adventure aboard the FishingVessel Mad Son. I had invited my old friend Terry to join us on this trip, but he got called out of town pretty much at the last minute. There was no problem getting Luis aboard in his place. Luis & I were joined by Bob & Harvey, and for the first time since early summer, Gayle & Philip. The crew of the Mad Son was Captain George, still scratching mosquito bites from his recent trip to the 10,00 Islands , and Rohman. It is never a really good idea to camp down there until the weather has gotten cool. There may be more biting insects there than anywhere this side of maybe Africa .
George left the dock by 6:45 and took us out to about 110 feet of blue Atlantic water for our first drift. We had not been fishing very long when Philip got hooked up to what he thought might be the bottom, but was not. He fought the fish well, though it did not pull much drag. He got a few head shakes out of it, so he knew it was alive, not just a piece of the reef. George netted his keeper black grouper, which weighed 18 pounds, one ounce at the dock.
Aside from a strawberry grouper, the only other groupers to be caught were short reds, always fun to catch, but we seldom see them 20″ or more. We hammered the yellowtails & porgies, and caught a couple of mutton snappers & mangroves. The first time the flat line went off, it was a very respectable yellowtail snapper, probably drawn up from the reef by the chum we had out. The next time, it turned out to be Luis’ second kingfish of the morning.
My first fish was a porgy, big enough to keep, but not really large. My second was bigger than the first, my third, bigger yet, and the fourth was the biggest of all. My fifth was about the size of the third one. I also caught a nice 5 pound ocean tally, and the first keeper grey triggerfish since they changed the minimum size from 12 to 14 inches. I also caught & released a queen trigger.
There were a few blue runners and a 5 pound bonito caught, which I took home to cut up for bait. I had a great deal of success this trip using strips of blue runner & kingfish belly. It stays on the hook better than sardines.
And then, there were the sharks. I think all of us got hooked up to one or more, either on bait or by having one eat a snapper. In fact, there was one keeper size mutton snapper head brought in. Gayle battled a shark for a while, before passing the rod off to the crew. Rohman had to go up front as the shark circled the whole boat a time or two. No pictures, but we did see it, a seven foot long nurse shark.
We saw a lot of flying fish, and at least two Magnificent Frigate birds, along with a few southbound Gannets.
Everybody caught fish and enjoyed the heck out of themselves. We all appreciated the extra hour of fishing time. It seems hard to wrap things up when the fish are chewing and there’s nobody waiting at the dock to go out on the afternoon trip.
Captain George joined Gayle, Philip and me at Lola’s for a nice lunch. I am not certain when the next exciting deep-sea adventure will be. I believe we are about to get some gnarly weather, but not sure yet how long it will last. I have some kinfolk coming down from North Carolina , & hope to get them out. The saltwater fishing is much better here than in the Smoky Mountains .
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