Big Triggers and nice AJs
Spring time in the Florida Panhandle can be unpredictable. Sunny and 70s one day and a gloomy 50s the next. Fortunately we have a couple day weather window to get off shore and wet a line. We headed out first stopping to get some live bait and picked up a couple trigger fish in the process. The chicken coops were covered with trigger last year and I figured they were still there given the season on the maws cut short last year. I was right! After a quick stop 9 miles off shore we pointed to bow South West for some spots I had not visited in quite a while. The first spot produced several small AJs and some Almaco Jacks on live bait and soft tail jigs. We moved a little further SW to about 200 feet of water. I had managed to catch a few mullet off my dock the evening prior and decided now was as good a time as any to see if there was anything down there big enough to eat the 14” mullet. Within minutes my buddy Steve Steward was doubled over battling what would turn out to be a 25 pound Red Snapper. She was released nice and healthy to go make more snapper. Just a few minutes later my friend and neighbor Charlie Clancy hooked up on a 45lb Amberjack on the same type of bait. He put up a good fight but was subdued into the icebox after about 20 minutes of line peeling and some grunting by Charlie. We ended up with two nice jacks a small Amberine and a five man limit of big trigger fish (10). Clayton, from Tallahassee had the honor of the two largest triggers of the day. Olin also boated his fair share of triggers and several AJs that would have been keepers last season but were just short due to the new regulations. It was a great day on the water. There was plenty of fish to go around and we all had a great time. I hope to do it again and again as the season kicks off for 2016.
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