The folks I have onboard are very easy going. As long as the rod is bent they are happy. I have them for multiple days and today they just wanted to keep busy. They also wanted a little fish for dinner. We made the decision to go Snapper fishing today. We were mostly looking for Yellowtail Snapper. They are not large, but they are delicious. Last time I looked, (and I look, but never buy), Yellowtail snapper fillets were going for around $17/pound at the fish market.
We snapper fish at anchor. Using light tackle and block chum to attract the Sapper. The nice thing about fishing for Yellowtail snapper this way is you can catch many other fish while doing it.
The first two spots I went to were not that great. The Yellowtails were undersized and not biting well. I think the water was too clear. We did catch one nice Mutton snapper. The third spot was good. Just like the old saying, “third time is the charm”, we started catching “keepers” almost immediately.
We had a little “critter” trouble. Something kept eating some of the bigger snappers. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was a big barracuda or a shark as we never saw it. They kept getting eaten down deep. Finally, we had one taken on the surface and we realized we had the “taxman” to deal with. That’s a nickname for a Shark. Every bottom fisherman knows that you have to pay the taxman eventually.
For whatever reason, the sharks were not too bad. They took a fish every once in a while, but we still brought some keepers to the boat. We only had 2 anglers so our limit was only 20. At the rate we were catching, we would get to that before the day was over and we did.
The ballyhoo, (baitfish), showed up. My first couple of throws with the cast net were what we call “less than productive”. I really haven’t thrown the net much this year, so I guess I was out of practice. Also, I’ve got a new net. It’s fairly large, 10ft radius, (20ft diameter), but it’s light. It was a concession to my back and my age. 63yrs old with 2 back surgeries already, I really didn’t want to throw a heavy net. The drawback is that sometimes the Ballyhoo can swim out from under the net as it sinks. That happened the first couple throws but I finally got a “money” shot and we had all we needed.
I wanted the Ballyhoo to put out as live bait. We were hoping to catch some Cero mackerel, and maybe a Kingfish or two. We got some nice Ceros. Never saw a Kingfish. Snapper fishing today was good. So tomorrow we will go back to the same area and hopefully get some more Ballyhoo and live bait fish for Sailfish at least part of the day