December 27 – been windy for last couple days so other work and some bayside bait catching. Went out for a few hours last couple days and the water is dirty, weeds everywhere and choppy. You can put out chum and pick up pinfish, snappers, jacks and get blues and Spanish macs in the mix. Loaded up pinfish and hooked up with several blues and macs. Freezer full of mahi and grouper but brought this guy home for a fresh catch and cook
December 29 – Big blow over and NOAA says 3-4 for Saturday. Finally a family day at the marathon hump. Well they were wrong there was some 6+ waves but the World Cat got us there. Made 4 or 5 passes and had all the tuna that I wanted to clean. On the way back stop a scattered weedline in about 650’ and put the spread out. Left long goes off and we have a dolphin on. Nothing huge but a lot of action and Casey loves tuna.
Two Days left to get some grouper. Set up on first spot no action. Went next spot looks a little more promising so I get set up. Already have some live bait so the bottom rod gets loaded first. Then set a live one off the transom with a balloon. Then I start working the chicken rig on the bottom to get more bait. Picked up a nice rock hind, small yellow tails, grunts and a green eel. The next drop is pulling very hard but I finally get it off the bottom and up pops a nice red grouper. Caught two of these that got vented and sent back down.
Next is the bottom rod that gets bent over and at first it puts up a good fight. He doesn’t last long and up comes a Yellow Jack. Then a couple drops later up comes an even bigger yellow jack.
Reload and in a few minutes the bottom rod gets bent but not as hard as a grouper. I am thinking another jack but up comes a 22” mangrove snapper. Box has some good eats in it but no grouper. Keep working the chicken rig with the action slowing down and then I see a dolphin in my chum slick. Grab a rod with a bucktail on it toss it out and get hooked up. Mahi jumping and pulling hard on this 6500 spinning outfit. As I am working the dolphin I see my bottom rod double over in the rod holder. I put the dolphin on hold and start cranking the bottom rod and feels like a grouper. After getting the grouper off the bottom I go back to the dolphin. As she gets closer to boat makes a big jump, headshake and comes unhooked. Now back to the bottom rod and work this fish to the surface and success a black grouper. With a box of good eats it is time to head in with one day left for grouper.
Great day of fishing in Marathon