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jbdba01

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Executive Summary - Temps Mid to upper 80's, water temp 81, winds 5-8, 1 poon, couple more bites...

Details - Friday evening started out pretty ominous, we had hail pelting the cars and screens and a tornado touch down a couple/few miles from home, but the double rainbow would hopefully set the tone for some good beach fishing off Anna Maria Island.

I managed to squeeze off the below after setting up at a red light - total blind shot and totally lucky.



It reminded me of "Double Rainbow" - except I didn't cry like a girly man.

The next day Rich and I met at our usual rendezvous location at the BK on 301 and Boyette, and headed off to the Coquina Beach ramps in Bradenton.  It's a bit farther to drive, but it eliminates the long boat drive from inside the bay to the beaches.  5:30am traffic is a breeze and we were at the ramp at 6:30 or so. The ramp is a good one and we watch a youngster pull up a mid 20'ish snook right as I was backing the boat out.   We hoped it would mean it would be a good day, but as we pulled up to the Longboat Pass to find bait things looked sketchy.  We spent 30 minutes all over the bridge and didn't find any bait.  Undeterred we pushed out the pass and put on some artificials - I had a 10" white Hogy, Rich had on a  big MirorLure.

We putt-putt along the swim buoys looking for poon, but actually found bait and sabiki'ed up a bunch.  Eventually we found ourselves near the armada of boats off Anna Maria Island - without the trolling motor working (it died the previous week), we opted to slowly motor on the outside of the group, see if we saw and rolling fish, and use the side imaging sonar to spot fish.  None of which happened; so the change of plan was to push back out on to the flats.

Motoring out we found a nice pod of fish that was happily rolling on top of the water.  I killed the engine and both Rich and I grabbed our already baited rods.  We were the only people on this pods and at about 25 yards out Rich says, "Fish at 11 oclock."  I looked at my yellow line and told him, "I'm in the danger [strike] zone Rich."  So was he - mine was dead, his was swimming.  The outgoing tide had cooperated and took our threadfins right towards the pod.

Sure enough my dead threadfin started swimming off very aggressively.  I flipped over the bail and it was game on.  The rod doubled over and drag started really peeling off...around the bow I went and off to the stern.  I hammered the hook home three times for good measure.  The fish peeled out about 50 yards off and you could see that he was coming up.  The fish presented himself at at least 6' out of the water - and with a loud splash the armada was on notice that we were on.  People were pretty courteous and kept their distance - one boat circles us.  Best I could tell it was tourist just watching, but I was a bit busy.  Several minutes into the fight and using the rigs purchased from the Dave Dennison presentation in May, I opted to really start applying heat and clamped down a bit more on the drag.



Near the boat the fish gave several great  jumps, and while trying to leader the fish Rich got a faceful of water.  I managed to get wet as well.  Eventually the fish gave up and we were able to glove it.



We gave several high fives and a couple "That's what I'm talking about".  This fish was a solid team effort and Rich worked the helm, took photos, and  even had me comfortably sitting at the helm with the back of the seat reversed several times.   I had really applied heat to this fish and the new [used] gear performed flawlessly.

After the brief celebration we opted to chase more poon.  Unfortunately the armada had settled in where we found the fish.  So that gig was up.

We kept hitting the pass and we know that we had two confirmed hits of which one doubled over the rod and came up quickly.  That fish came unbuttoned right boatside and a couple feet short of getting out of the water.  The other bite was a thump and gone...I also brought in a small shark.

After a while of drifting through the pass and armada we threw in the towel.  Frankly seeing all the boats anchored up in the channel made us wonder about the navigational issues for regular boaters.  One 40' Catamaran opted to just cut right through everyone; can't say I blame him the pass was practically full.  A couple people threw up their arms in protest.  Personally I think the game should be a drift like they do in Boca, but to each their own.

After a while we threw in the towel and headed home.  Coming in at the Longboat pass we came across the party scene.  



I checked out my Hummingbird's GPS and found a marina about 1/4 mile South.  With this being the first poon of the season the mandatory angler buys beer rule was in effect.  Well...at least that's the rule on my boat.  We ended up at Moores Stone Crab.   Here's the Amanda Buff docked up.  Almost looking like old school FL.  It's a pretty quaint place and walking in our fishing attire, and smelling like chum, didn't seem to catch anyone's attention.



At the bar and we made friends with some of the locals - as Rich pointed out two were about 2 sheets into the wind.  I'm thinking it was a Yankee Clipper and will go with 4 sheets with no one at the helm. Regardless we retold our stories for the day and had a beer to close out the day.  Mentally I was already prepping for the next trip.  



At home the boat was clean up, stowed - I slept hard that night.  Really hard.

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JB
snook crazy

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Your connection with Rich has paid dividends for you both. Those smiles say a lot about the day you had!   snook crazy
jbdba01

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That's what SSA is all about; anglers getting together, trading stories/techniques, fishing and doing good in the community.  

We certainly weren't the wealthiest/most expensive boat out there, but we were the richest.

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Reply with quote  #4 
Great story and pics John. have not been out there yet, but hope to before they leave for spawn.
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