Tim has been anxious to get his boat on the water, and Monday was shaping up to be a beautiful day, so I scheduled a short day for myself and the boys so we could all go out with him and Denise. They invited Mark & Maryann, as well, so we had a full boat for an afternoon of fishing. We even had a hijacker!
From the boat launch, we passed under the Little Carlos Bridge,
and found a spot to anchor the boat and have some lunch.
It was a busy area, with lots of boats around, but not anywhere near as busy as it was on the weekend!
With all the activity, the water in the pass was pretty rough, but the guys couldn’t resist trying to catch a few fish.
Mark got off to a quick start, catching a pompano that wasn’t quite big enough to keep, and Bryce caught a jackfish.
The waves were throwing the boat around pretty well,
making it difficult to catch anything, so we decided to head out into open water.
You’d have to be pretty brave to take on the open water on a little sunfish like this one! Even on the bigger boat, the waves were pretty big! Tim let Nicolas take the wheel to get us out to our next fishing spot – May’s Reef.
We anchored over the top of the reef, where the fish supposedly like to hang out, and for awhile we were the only ones out there.
We did see this sailboat while we were out there – it was a great day for sailing – plenty of wind!
The guys got busy fishing again,
all but Tom – he just relaxed!
Bryce was getting quite a few bites, but was having trouble recognizing them in the rough surf. He had to replace his bait quite a few times!
I was getting a great suntan, but they weren’t having much luck with the fishing, so we decided to move back into calmer waters.
At the north end of Lovers Key, we anchored just offshore in about 7 feet of water, near the Big Carlos Bridge that goes into Fort Myers Beach.
The water was definitely calmer here, but the guys only caught a few fish. Nicolas took the prize for the smallest catch of the day!
But don’t worry, he’ll make up for it later!
We moved under the bridge into the canal, and found a spot near the docks of Lovers Key Resort. Before long, Nicolas had a bite on his line and determined that it was something big.
He worked at reeling it in for several minutes, and finally brought this monster up to the boat! Mark had the net ready to catch it in case it came off the hook!
Mark identified it as a Goliath Grouper (REALLY good eatin’ fish!), and Nick held it up to get a measurement – 23 inches!
Nicolas did a great job – it was the “big catch” of the day!
The rest of the guys wished they had been the one to reel this one in!
Unfortunately, the goliath grouper is a protected fish, so we weren’t able to keep it! Too bad, ‘cause it would have made quite a meal!
Before throwing it back in, Tim told Nicolas that he needed to give it a kiss to send it on its’ way . . . Nick said “No way!”, but Tim was game!
We moved one more time, right to the edge of the channel, and the guys really started pulling in the fish – whitings and trout that were keepers, and a few more jackfish that were not! Bryce caught several of each,
and Tom got pretty good at taking them off the hook!
He didn’t quite build up enough nerve to kiss one, though!
the day was winding down, and the sun was sinking lower in the sky, but we couldn’t go back until we’d used up all the bait!
Bryce used the last little shrimp, and that brought our day to an end. All together, the guys ended up with 16 keepable fish – not bad for a little fish fry!
We headed back to the boat launch, and Tim got the boat loaded onto the trailer.
It was a beautiful day on the water, and everyone had a great time! Thanks, Tim & Denise, for taking us out!