This year, our actual independence day falls on a Tuesday.
Not the best day for a holiday, so we are celebrating a few days early by going fishing on a Saturday.
And, we are pleased by the fact that Snapper, instead of only being open for 3 days this year for recreational fishermen, has now been re-opened for a few more months on the weekends.
I was so pleased about this decision, that I sent the FWC Director an email that looked like this:
The email was simple, and to the point. He actually wrote back and said, "You're Welcome". So, no complaining from me today about ridiculous fish species decision-making. Today, we rejoice in our red snapper holiday fishing endeavors!
On the boat today are: Cameron, Gene, Jackson, Harry, Tommy, Hunter, and Capt'n Hook.
Here are the college boys hanging out at the Shak the night before:
Cameron, Tommy, Harry and Hunter have all been friends since pre-school. Don't believe me? Well, as proof, here is a picture of Cameron and Hunter in their slightly younger days (5th grade):
My goal is to head to V Tower. I have considered S Tower because the snapper fishing is usually better the more West you go, but it is 20 miles further and I don't want to head quite that far because of the chance of storms. Not that V Tower is close - 30 miles, but still closer than 50 miles offshore.
Okay, I can't stand it.... I was going to save this YouTube video for the end of this post, but I can't stand it. It is just too kick-butt to withhold. I know that videos don't always work perfectly embedded in this blog - hopefully, this one does - with sound. So, watch the video and then return here and I'll tell you about the rest of our day:
If the above video link doesn't work, or doesn't appear, try clicking on this link:
Special thanks to Tommy for bringing his drone! That kid is amazing with that thing.
At our 2nd waypoint, it didn't take us long to limit out on Snapper. Well, we actually only kept 13 because SOMEBODY can't count. So after we caught our limit, we decided to have a little more fun with the drone:
And here are a few shots, right before we headed back in, of the boys relaxing by V Tower:
BFFs! (We missed you Ronnie! Keep the kids safe!)
Now if you watched the whole video (above) and you saw Tommy's red snapper at the end, you were probably thinking - "That guy photo-shopped that picture! No way that snapper was that big!" Nope. He didn't. Tommy's red snapper really was that big. Here it is again, from two different angles:
That is a monster fish, Tommy!! And yes, he complained about it the whole time he was reeling it in. :-). He does look rather patriotic though. Proud to be an American. And yes, I did play that song when we were out there.
Maybe I should have had Tommy take a few steps backwards. Those other snapper really aren't that small :-)
And God Bless him, Cameron doesn't mind cleaning fish. And bless Hunter also, cause he said, "I don't mind learning." So here he is helping Cameron clean ALL those fish. They were there for 90 minutes:
Here is the whole motley crew at the end of a very successful fishing day:
What a great day of fishing! No thunderstorms, no showers. Just a beautiful (albeit very hot) offshore fishing day with close friends and family on a perfect July, holiday weekend. I'm certain it doesn't get much better than that in this lifetime.
I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again, I feel blessed.
There is a new restaurant in Panacea called Hook Wreck's. Jason and Angie are the proprietors. After we showered, we headed up there and Jason cooked up our snapper (fried, blackened and grilled). Man, it was amazing (and obviously, VERY fresh):
So that's it all for today folks. Thank you for reading. I'm not sure when I'll be back, but it probably won't be too long, and it will probably be for another snapper run. Gonna be hard to beat this one though.
Happy 4th of July everyone. Enjoy the fireworks and stay safe.
Captain Marc Paul