July 20, 2016 by E. Rogers

Trip Info

The Catch
Snapper (Red)

This charter was a 1/2 day afternoon charter.  The weather cooperated but the bait did not.  We could not catch or buy bait in the morning and when we came in from the morning trip the bait boat was not selling.  I picked up my afternoon charter and we tried to get bait…then…next best thing…Head to the harbor to guy frozen cigar minnows.  We decided to try our luck at bottom fishing.  We motored to the SW and dropped down a 10” mingo (from the AM charter).  The rod belonged angler was quick to snag the fish but it was more fish than he could possibly imagine.  He thought the fish was actually the bottom.  After I confirmed he did, in fact, have a fish we started working to get him in.  We worked hard at pulling every inch of line.  As soon as we got close the fish pulled drag.  This happened again and again.  I had to enlist the help of one of the anglers to help motor the boat to “chase down the fish”.  We were getting closer to getting the fish in when there was a giant “tug”.  The line was rapidly being pulled out.  I finally grabbed the line again and started to hand pull the fish which seemed easier this time.  When we finally got the fish to the surface we found out why the sudden pull.  Mr. Shark had attacked this nice AJ and bit off over half of the fish.  This was a massive AJ and there was only half of it left.  The gills were still working and the fish was trying to swim away but he was missing his tail and 1/2 of his body.  By the time we got the remainder in the boat the fish literally bled out on the boat.  At least I got my hook back!!!

We continued to fish and everyone was able to pull in a snapper or two. One of our anglers even caught 2 snapper on her two hook rig.  She was the champ for the most on one hook…except the person who caught the giant AJ tried to say he caught the AJ and the shark that bit it.  Still not sure if we can count that one since we didn’t see the shark.  The jury is still out on that one….All of the snapper had to be returned since they were out of season.  They didn’t mind tossing back because they enjoyed the fight.

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