Dive And Fish

I usually fish out of Sebastian Inlet, but since moving to my new home in the Magic Kingdom (tower 3 with the big birthday candle) I have been forced to change horizons when I want to, well, chase the horizon. So now when I am in school and get the opportunity to go out of Port Canaveral with some buddies, I will usually jump at the opportunity.

 I got this chance last Friday. Plan was to meet my buds Karl and Randy at Karl's house and we were going to launch at the Port and head out to do some diving and fishing. Since all my dive gear is in Melbourne I would be the designated 'bubble watcher' who is basically the guy who drives the boat and keeps it on top of the divers below so when they come up it doesn't turn into a re-enactment of "Open Water" and they don't have to swim for the boat. We were also going to do some bottom fishing in between their dives.

It was rough. I was laying on the back deck sprawled out on a baseball-patterned bean bag which saved my tailbone plenty of times as we slammed against solid 4-footers. About an hour later we made it out to our first spot of the day, the wreck of a rather large ship that was, I'm speculating, sunk on purpose in about 85' of water.

We threw a bouy with a 10lb weight attached to a long rope right on top of the wreck to mark the spot, making navigation back to the bouy very easy. When Randy and Karl were ready to drop down, I motored us back up to the bouy and they flipped over the side and disappeared into the blue. While they were down I kept an eye on their trail of bubbles boiling on the surface and attempted to drop some baits down to the bottom, but it was difficult to keep an eye on them, the fishfinder, the bouy, and tend my own rod at the same time. After a couple drifts with no fish, I resorted to annihilating a bag of honey mustard and onion flavored pretzels.

About 20 minutes later up pop Randy and Karl, and I see two big tails dragging behind Carl. They hand me up their spearguns and other gear and I help them up in the boat. Karl shot a nice 22lb gag grouper and a 25lb cobia that swam right up to him on the bottom. Randy missed a shot on a big gag, said there were some nice ones, but they were skittish.

We decided to head shallower to some 60' reefs and we were greeted with somewhat calmer seas. Randy and Karl readied their gear after we dropped the bouy on good looking spot. I dropped down a small jig on a spinning rod and immediately hooked up on a hard fighting fish. After a minute of crankin' I got it up, a nice 22" red snapper. I was stoked. When Karl and Randy dropped over board this time, I was able to drift the reef and bounce the jig. On every single drift I hooked up to fish, but most were red snapper at 19", an inch under the size limit. They sure are fun and fight great on light tackle. When Randy and Karl came up, Karl brought with him a 7lb lobster that he pulled out of the ledge, but they said the viz was only about 5 feet at best.

We continued to fish that spot catching around 20 red snapper and kept four. We could have easily kept our limit, but we left a bunch for someone else to catch and to grow bigger. Headed back to port shortly after, cleaned the boat and fish, and cruised home listening to Bunny Wailer.

Enjoy the pictures, get out there while it's nice, the fishing is great right now with this cool weather!!

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