The Adventure

Pensacola, Florida

First, thank you to all three of my blog readers!  Good to have you and thanks for following this blog.  This is going to be another long blog, so grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and I hope you enjoy this next adventure with us.

You all knew I would.  I bought a new boat!  Here she is:


32 ft deep V Century with twin outboard Yamaha 250s on the stern.  It is quite simply a beautiful, elegant, fishing machine!  The gentleman who previously owned it took impeccable care of her.  As the previous owner stated, "I was rather 'pedantic' about the maintenance."  Thanks to him for that.  There isn't a scratch or dent anywhere on the boat.  The NEW name of the boat?  "Capt'n Hook"  :-). 

I admit, at first I was embarrassed about the "Capt'n Hook" moniker considering the circumstances of how I attained it.  But hey, after awhile I decided to accept my nickname fate.  There are worse monikers to be labeled as a boat captain.  One of the dock guys in Pensacola told me that he calls a boat owner there "Captain Crunch".  I'm certain that is worse.

The boat didn't come with a trailer, not that I would trailer the darn thing anyway.  Those who know me are certainly aware that I loathe boat trailers.  But we have to get it from Pensacola to Panacea.  Last I checked, that is a long way!  And it is November.  Cold and windy in November in North Florida.  Nonetheless, the boat has to move.  I can pay a transport company to move it by highway;  but what is the challenge in that?  Besides, there is no better way to learn a boat than to spend three days on it.  Now, who can I find foolish enough to come with me on a three day tour, in November, on a boat that I have never used, taking it 200 miles through the Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola to Panacea?!   When I called them, both of them said, without hesitation: "I'm in!"

So the crew makeup is:  Marc Paul, Gene Griffin and Sam Littlefield. 

And really, the final crew member is Ryan Brooks who drove us all the way to Pensacola, dropped us off, and drove right back to make a 3:30 p.m. meeting the same day.  Thank you Ryan for doing that.  It was greatly appreciated!

To illustrate the journey:

Pensacola to Panacea

If it looks like it is a long way from Pensacola to Port St Joe.  Trust me, it is.  Keep reading...

Pensacola to Panacea

Monday, 11/10/2014 - Pensacola

Sunny, kind of chilly, low to moderate winds.  Pensacola Marina dock.  We know we are going to spend the night on the boat tonight, but the question is, should we do it at the dock where it is safe or do we head out into Federal waters where we can potentially catch fish?  The decision is unanimous:  Head into Federal waters outside of Pensacola.  After loading all our gear, sleeping bags, coolers etc., and preparing tackle, we leave the dock around 2 p.m.

Wow, this boat is a beast!  Very intimidating to steer.  500 horsepower.  Wow.

After catching some bait-fish near a wreck, we are now approx. 11 miles offshore south-east of Pensacola.  It is about 6 p.m.  The sun is setting:
Sunrise on the Gulf of Mexico

Temperature is about 60 degrees. A little chilly - but all-in-all, quite pleasant.   I find a fishing hole with lots of structure. We anchor.  We start fishing.

Snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper, snapper,   - okay you get the idea.

I say, 50 red snapper.  Gene always claims that I exaggerate; he says 30.  Okay, so lets go with 40.  And yes, they ALL go back in the water.  Snapper season is only open for 3 weeks a year for recreational fisherman.  Again, don't get me started with recreational versus commercial fishing rules!  We could have easily filled up the boat with snapper as we were catching one every 2-3 minutes.  Mind you, these are pretty big fish.  Here are a few pictures of our first night:  (and no, that is NOT snapper cooking on the grill)

Gene & Sam

GeneMarc Paul & Gene

This last picture is kind of odd.  Not because of Sam (although he is a little odd) but because he caught a live squid with a dead squid.  Now that is odd.  Caroline Cook (who I know still reads this blog although she would never admit it) once caught a starfish with a shrimp.


Hers was the oddest catch - until Sam's.  Caroline is still much cuter though.

Panacea Moon

We finally stop catching snapper at 11:30 p.m.  Time for bed. 

Sleeping on the CenturyGene and Sam are sleeping under a tarp on the bow and I have a small berth in the head compartment.  At about 1:30 a.m. an odd, loud noise wakes me up.  I don't like odd, loud noises on a boat 11 miles offshore.  We have put an anchor buoy out to check during the night in case we drift.  I don't see the buoy.  Oh, there it is.  Whew!  The wind has picked up.  The noise I heard is simply the wind blowing hard on the bow tarp.  I don't sleep that well the rest of the night as the boat is kicked around quite a bit.  Believe it or not, it is a little stressful sleeping on a new boat 11 miles offshore with strong winds.

Tuesday, 11/11/14 - 11 miles SE of Pensacola Beach

We awake around 7 a.m. to a beautiful sunrise:
Gulf of Mexico Sunrise

The wind has subsided.  Gene breaks out the "present" again that he and Ryan got me as a "boat-warming" gift:  A gunwale (pronounced gunnel) grill. Man, that was a great gift gentleman!  Gene cooks sausage and brews fresh, percolated coffee.  Having hot food and coffee on the boat first thing on a cold morning does wonders for your soul!

Time to start heading East!  I turn the port engine key.  Click.  Nothing.  I turn the starboard engine key.  Click.  Nothing.  Crap.  Batteries are dead.  Crap!  Crap!  Yes, we did charge them for a few hours at the dock, but the boat has been sitting for months.  They really should have charged for 24 hours.  Well, I guess we coulda/shoulda/woulda have done that, but offshore fishing was much more enticing (less wussy) than sleeping at the dock.   But wait!  The boat has 4 batteries on it - two of them are backup.  Gene switches to the backup batteries.  Vroom, vroom,  both engines start immediately.  We all exhale nervously.  I smile.  With the engines running, all four batteries are now charging. We're back in business.  Crisis averted.

JourneyMy eastward route has us heading quite-a-ways offshore.  There are a few waypoints (reefs) I want to fish along the way.  I mean, why not?  Before we left I entered all our waypoints into the GPS - which is a good thing since I forgot to bring my trusty offshore map.  I'm an Idiot.  Yes, I capitalized that word for a reason.  Terri and Delaney have actually been texting us screen shots of map segments.  I don't really need it as long as my electronics work.  However, if the electronics go down, then I am limited to navigating by compass.  I would prefer avoiding that particular navigational challenge.  After 2 hours, we reach the first waypoint - without further incident. 

Gulf of Mexico - Fishing SpotsWe are pretty far offshore now (approximately 30-40 miles).  We are at the location circled on the map to the right.  No land for a long, long way.  The guys are anxious to try out the outriggers.  So they setup 5 rigs in a "W" placement.  We troll for an hour or so, but all we catch are bonito.  Beautiful fish, and I know there are a few recipes on the Internet for eating them, but I have tried to cook them myself, and trust me, although they are beautiful, they are nasty, nasty tasting.  Save your recipes folks, I'm not eating them.  We have no problems throwing them back.  They bleed everywhere on the boat.

Nothing biting out here but bonito.  This doesn't bother us too much as our goal is to get the boat safely from Pensacola to Panacea - not to fish.  Still, it would be nice to catch a wahoo, or a King Mackerel, or whatever.  But nothing.  November!

At the next waypoint, the guys bottom-fish for a few minutes.  Here is a nice Amberjack they caught:

Gene & Sam

And of course, he/she goes back into the water.  "AmberJack are also closed".  Now don't get me started on the recreational versus commercial fishing rules.  BTW, Gene and Sam are exactly the same height.  I'm sure Sam would want me to convey that for the record.

We are very far out in the gulf now and still a long way from Port St. Joe.  The forecast on my marine app calls for 0-2 ft seas.  Bullcrap!  The wind and seas have increased to 4-5 ft and it has gotten very cold.  Fortunately, the wind is coming in from the West (a following wind), so we are not steering into the teeth of it.  Still, it is very choppy.  We are about 30 miles south of Panama City Beach.  It's time to head for Port St. Joe.  This next leg is 2-3 hours.

And now allow me to quickly tell you about the nicest feature on this new boat. Autopilot. OMG, I love this feature!  You simply enter your next Waypoint into the GPS, press "Track" on the AutoPilot, sit back and the boat drives itself!  For hours!  The computer moves the engines to keep the course.  Amazing.  Even with autopilot though, I have to admit that this is the worst part of the trip for me.  It is cold, dreary and for the first time, I get wet.  We are coming down off a 5 ft wave and water clears the considerable gunwales.  In fact, the wave crashes over the entire boat.  Did I mention its a big boat?   I make note of it.  That said, this 32 ft boat handles these big waves without much effort.  Had we been on the Triton bay boat, I wouldn't be here to write this blog.

We arrive in Port St. Joe, on schedule, at 4 p.m.  It is my next opportunity to dock this boat, but this time I have to do it with big yachts around me.  I'm happy to say that there were no dock or boat crunching ("Capt'n Crunch") sounds to be heard.  I take my time and pivot the boat using the two engines.  It takes a little practice; it is a little stressful, but not too bad. 

St. Joe

Sam & Marc PaulSt. Joe

Safely on land after 27 hours on the boat!  The people working at the Port St. Joe Marina are very friendly and hospitable.  We are light on ropes (forgot those also), so they let us borrow a few.  The hot showers and morning coffee were awesome.  Oh, and the bicycle was quite useful!

Time for a little on-shore fun:

So that night we each drink 2 or 3 beers total in various bars/restaurants.  I seem to remember that there was also some tequila involved.  At least one waitress named Taylor won't remember us favorably.  :-) We return to the boat around 10:30 p.m.  Sam patiently waits for me to finally shut up and we go to sleep.  I sleep much better here since we are safely tied to a dock and the boat isn't rocking.  The beer and tequila had absolutely nothing to do with my sleep satisfaction.

Wednesday, 11/12/2014, Port St. Joe.  7:30 a.m.

This next leg is interesting because instead of taking the boat back into the Gulf and heading around the cape, we are taking the boat through the intercoastal (which is basically a river).  The river eventually emerges in Apalachicola.  We head into the "ditch" which is a 3-4 mile man-made channel that takes us to the river.  And here is where I will issue my first apology.  I enter the ditch going too fast and there are lots of small boats around me cast-netting.  I forget how much bigger this boat is and I cause problems for these small boats.  I get a lot of angry stares and one guy is actually screaming at me before I figure out that I should slow down.  So there are some people near Port St. Joe who don't have a good perception of "Capt'n Hook".  I really am sorry guys.  A "no wake" sign would have been helpful though.  There wasn't one.  Still, I should have been more courteous.

The "ditch" is a little creepy with sunken ships scattered about:

The "ditch" ends at the river.  Gene takes the helm.  The river contains lots of twists and turns.  Gene does a great job at the helm.  In fact, he is the one who really figures out how to make the engines "hum" by synchronizing the tachometers and correct trimming.  I learn that from him.  Lake Wimico is kind of like the lake that time forgot.  Very beautiful.  Nothing there but millions of ducks.  And I think that even Gene would agree that I am not exaggerating this time.  There really were millions of them.  The river is calm and driving through this is scenic and fun.   We even pass a few sailboats. 

Thank you Justin Williams for this intercoastal route advice!  Not only does it reduce our overall journey by 2-3 hours, I really wasn't looking forward to heading around the Cape where the waves can get rather severe.

ApalachicolaWe exit the river in Apalachicola:


I go too fast here also.  A "no wake" sign would be nice.  If it had been summer, and busier, I surely would have been ticketed, but there is really nobody else on the water, except the Coast Guard putting out new buoys in the cold. 

Thanks again to the Coast Guard for all you do. 

I'm happy that I donate to the Coast Guard foundation.

About this time, the porpoise show up and play in the wake.  Gene and Sam feed them from the boat as they play in our wake.  Since we are not fishing, it is always fun to watch them surf:

Porpoise in Apalachicola

I am nervous about going through "government cut" which is the man-made pass separating the Gulf from the Apalachicola Bay.  I go slow, but it is well marked.  There is a small boat next to the rocks.  I am courteous and go even slower!  I'm improving.  No apologies needed this time.

We emerge again into the Gulf of Mexico.  Holy Crap!  No wind, the Gulf is smooth as silk and the sun is shining.  This is what the weather was supposed to be yesterday.  "O" Tower is our next Waypoint.  It is about 20 miles offshore and "somewhat" on our way home.  We fish this Air Force tower for 20-30 minutes with a variety of bait, but there is simply NOTHING biting.  November! 

Bring em in.  Time to head home boys.

Two hours to our final waypoint.  Autopilot on.  Smooth seas, smooth ride.  A few more miscellaneous pictures:  (not in any particular order)

Gene & Marc Paul


Amazing Electronics including AIS, AutoPilot, and Radar.

Marc Paul

We arrive in Panacea ahead of schedule.  My final docking maneuver goes smoothly.  They even make me do it twice while they move boats around - to test me apparently.

Gene, Sam, Marc Paul

Cleaning the boat takes forever.  It is a big boat.  My brother Russell even makes it down to see us.  Thanks bro, for being our welcoming committee.  That was cool of you.
Brothers - Marc and Russell Paul

Thanks to Captain Joel Singletary at Sea Tow Panacea for "standing by".  I will remember to close out my float plan next time on VHF.

Thank you again to Gene Griffin and Sam Littlefield for adjusting your busy schedules and being an amazing crew.  I couldn't have done it without you guys!  You did a fantastic job.  I'm proud of all three of us.  Tomorrow it gets windy and very cold again.  We were quite fortunate to get the boat that considerable distance in November because I think our window of weather opportunity has now closed until Spring.

It is winter now so the boat, and this blog, will be quiet until Spring.  Look for us again in March/April!  Come fishing with me next year.  It's time to go deeper!!!

Thanks for reading everyone.  (all three of you)

Russian Roulette

Russian roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which a "player" places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against their head, and pulls the trigger. "Russian" refers to the supposed country of origin, and roulette to the element of risk-taking and the spinning of the revolver's cylinder being reminiscent of spinning a roulette wheel.

July 3. 2014

Hello everyone.  Happy 4th of July.

Hurricane Arther is directly off the Florida east coast.

Bullet #1.

Hurricane Arther

Hurricane Arther is being upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane and blowing at about 100 mph. It should hit the N.C. coast in a few hours.  Sucks to be them. 

One of the outer bands has been pushing severe weather into the Tallahassee area.

Bullet #2.

At 4:00 a.m. this morning, my entire family is awoken, in the hotel room, from severe lightning, wind and thunder.  We are spending the night in the Wakulla Best Western hotel.  (What can I say, nothing but the best for my family).   We go back to sleep.  However, it IS our intent (okay, my intent) to wake up at 5:50 a.m. and head 20 miles offshore to K Tower for BIG fish.  The "family" is tired of me bringing "big fish" pictures home.  They want to "experience the excitement" of offshore fishing.

In retrospect.  That's funny.

I wish I would have remembered to take a screen shot of my phone at 5:50 a.m. this morning.  From a safety perspective, that is funny.  But I didn't.  However, at about 6 p.m. this evening, I did take a phone screen shot:

See all that red stuff on Tallahassee?  Yeah, well, this morning, it was all at the coast. 

Bullet #3

I know.......  You are thinking what I am, right?

I'm pretty sure Cameron Paul isn't awake yet.  Delaney Paul, I must say, is being a trooper.  She is better in the morning than Cameron - takes after her Mom. 

So.... family on board.....Wind blowing kinda hard.  Hurricane nearby...... Very hazy... Lightning visible nearby....  Perfect fishing conditions for a bay boat.  What could go wrong?    

Bullet #4

We head out with confidence!  Delaney is learning how to be Captain.  She takes the helm.  Not bad Delaney.  I wish Cameron had taken a picture of you at the wheel.  Being an offshore Captain is difficult.  Taking direction from me (your father) is even more difficult.  I'll give you credit.  You stuck with it.  Nice job.  For those of you don't know her, Delaney is wicked smart.

We head to Trout hole. Terri is immediately on fire.  She catches everything that moves:  Trout, shark (good sized shark), dogfish, mudfish, she kind of catches everything there.

The sun comes out.  Who knew?  I'm thinking we are in the hurricane eye :-)  The wind is still with us, but heck, I like the sun.  Where's the sunscreen?  Lets bring up the lines and head for Rotary Reef about 8 miles offshore.  Screw the weather.  Time to go deeper.  The hurricane can bite me.

We arrive at Rotary Reef.  Damn.  Terri is still on fire.  Who taught Terri how to fish?  Here she is with a Cobia on light tackle:

Panacea Fishing - Terri

Obviously, because of the wind and weather, we don't make it to K Tower.   Believe it or not, I am not that much of an idiot.  Its all about safety for my family, right?  For those of you still reading:  I know, you call bullshit... 

Bullet #5. 

We were fishing with small tackle, yet I forgot to tell the hungry, large Cobia that.  Oops.  Sorry family!  "Yes, the rod is supposed to be close to breaking..."  At least there are no water spouts visible like when I took Caroline and Jared fishing. 

Hurricanes are overrated.  I know what I'm doing, right?

We kind of tore up the Cobia (with live bait).  Cameron Paul and I shared this dude:

Cameron & Marc Paul

You can't really see it, but 5 minutes before this photo was taken, Cameron got blood all over him from trying to release a Ladyfish that his Mom caught. Teaches him not to wear white shorts on the boat.  Nice of him to help his Mom though.  Crew members have responsibilities on my boat!  Cameron is good crew.

 I have Cobia scars/punctures on my left arm from this little bastard (the fish, not Cameron).  Wait a minute, is my 17 year old son bigger than me?  Damn.

Perhaps it was the hurricane, perhaps the fish were just swimming around confused from all the wind and lightning, but whatever it was, I must say, that I have never seen such a variety of species caught in a two hour period.  It was Cameron's job to keep track of everything we caught on Rotary Reef, but here is my attempt (and trust me, I may be forgetting a few):
1. Cobia (obviously), we were killing them.
2. Gag grouper (very small, but still....)
3. Ladyfish
4. Mudfish
5. Key West Grunts
6. Shovelhead Sharks (Terri)
7. Pilot fish (the ones that stick on sharks)
8. Salmon (are you really that gullible?  Just wanted to see if you are still reading)
9. Some weird species between a grouper and a grunt (now that is actual fact)
10. White Trout
We returned to Mad Anthony's at the dock, where we had a very nice lunch in the pouring rain and lightning.  We learned that a water spout, the night before at 2 am, had taken out part of their roof, and all the tables had been smashed up against the windows.  Like I said, it was a hell of a storm and... hurricanes are overrated.. And, Captain Hook knows what he is doing....
Have you been keeping track?

In typical, revolver style Russian Roulette, I have one bullet left!

As a family, we managed to safely catch an amazing number of fish amongst high seas, high wind, lightning, rain, a water spout, a nearby hurricane and return to the dock with only superficial scars.

What are you waiting for???  Come fish with me soon. 

I have one bullet left.  :-)

Happy 4th of July, everyone.  Thanks for reading.

Marc PaulCapt'n Hook

Like Father, Like Son.

Good morning everyone.  Not a long blog this time.

A heart-felt "Thank You" again to everyone who takes the time to read.  This blog has surpassed 1900 page views now - closing in on 2000.  Thanks everyone.

I'm certain that I have written about "Action Jackson" before.  Bottom line:  This kid loves/lives to fish.  Now, I don't mean that he "really likes" to fish.  Its kind of an addiction for him.  This boy knows more about fishing than I do.  (which, honestly, isn't saying much).  I mean, he spends his entire weekend watching fishing shows (okay, so do I).  I have never met a kid that likes fishing as much as he does.  He has a good soul and is a kindred spirit.  So it is always a pleasure to have him (and his Dad) on my boat.

It is early Friday.  Gorgeous morning:

Live bait in the boat:  Check.  Lunch:  Check.  Everything working:  Check.  Let's go!

45 minutes to K Tower.  Very smooth seas.  We arrive:

For those of you who don't know, the navigation towers in the North Gulf of Mexico are no longer used, but they were previously used by the Air Force for pilot training purposes.  Because they have so much structure under them, they are a haven for big, mean fish, and small scared fish.  Now, that's not to say that catching the fish that hang out there is easy.  It has taken me years to figure out how to attract fish to my line.  And on top of that, it has taken me even longer to figure out, once I get them on the line, how to keep them from munching through "said" line.  The fish we seek out here are BIG, and they have big teeth.

Tackle Today:
  • Penn Senator reels
  • Stiff trolling rods
  • 80 pound monofilament line
  • 43 pound steel leaders (not thick enough - should have been using at least 60 pound)
  • Live pinfish
  • No weight whatsoever on the lines 
We are also using the downrigger.  Downrigger is set to 45 ft.

Water depth:    55 ft depth at K Tower
Water Clarity:  Average
Distance from shore:  20 miles

Another lesson I have learned:  "The first boat to K Tower wins".  That is why I prefer fishing on Fridays versus Saturday or Sunday.  There are very few boats out here on Friday, so the odds of being the first to the tower are much better.  In the summer at least, the "bite" seems to be "on" between 8 & 9 a.m.  After that, more boats show up and the fish simply stop biting.  I don't know if the fish have figured the boats out, or it just gets too hot for them.  Either way, its good to be the first one out there.  The biggest fish hit early and fast.
We decide to do the "bump and run".  By this I mean that we throw live bait out the stern, with no weight and I bump the throttle from neutral to forward every 30 seconds or so depending on the wind and current.  It takes a little practice.  So we are "kind of" trolling, but kind of not. 

It doesn't take long. 

That wicked cool drag sound "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz". 

I really need to get that sound as the ring tone on my phone.

Now, for the 3 people who actually read my entire blog, you know that the last time we were at K Tower, (a couple of weeks ago) we mostly caught Amberjack.  Jim Pittman, of course, caught that huge smoker king, but mostly we caught lots of big Amberjack.  The bad news, Amberjack are closed in Federal waters.  In fact, almost everything is closed in Federal waters.  Wait:  Is Snapper open?  No, that is only open to recreational fisherman for 9 fricking days this year.  Of course, it is open to commercial fisherman all damn year.  Grouper - closed.  Snapper - closed.  Amberjack - Closed.  Salmon - Closed. (Okay, there are no obviously no salmon in the Gulf, but if there were, I'm sure that species would be closed).
Sorry, Capt'n Hook digresses.....
So, I forewarned my crew (father and son) that the odds are good that we will be throwing most of our fish back due to "regulations".  Still, there are worse things to do on a Friday than catching big fish and throwing them back.
But throwing big fish back simply isn't the case.  The first fish that hits the line:  Cobia.  (Big Cobia in fact - 36 inches at the fork).  Incredible job Jackson reeling that monster in.  I wish you could have seen his face after we landed it.  His first Cobia.  In the middle of the fight, which lasted about 5-7 minutes, it actually jumped completely out of the water.  That was cool.  Cobia are strong fish and they run like hell so Jackson had to use the entire boat to get it reigned in.  He did a great job by keeping pressure on the fish the entire time. 

The next fish that hits the line:  King (For those of you who are keeping track of the biggest fish on my boat - no, it is nowhere near as big as Jim Pittman's king), but still, a very cool, large fish.  King run like crazy also.  I think father and son played a role in catching this guy.  Have I mentioned that it isn't easy to actually get these fish in the boat?
So, two big (keeper) fish in the boat and we've been out here less than an hour.  Who's your Daddy!

If you are keeping score, and I am sure Jackson is, Jackson's Cobia is bigger and fatter, than the King his Dad caught!

Up until this time in the early morning, Jackson has been relying on his father for quite a bit of the "crew" duties.  You know, putting the poles out, baiting, re-tying the leaders, etc.  Gene is busy on the bow and I turn around and see Jackson sitting on his 12-year old ass.  "Dude", I say, "What are you doing?" He looks at me quizzically.  "What, Mr. Marc?"  He is drinking a coke and neither of the trolling lines are in the water.  "You got crap to do little man, get off your lazy butt and get those lines in the water!  That one needs to be re-rigged, and the other two need to be baited and payed out.  I ain't paying you absolutely nothing so you can sit on your adolescent butt". I probably shouldn't be so hard on a 12 year old, but the life/fishing rules are slightly different, and more severe, 20 miles offshore.  If you wanna make the blog, you gotta earn it!  :-)

I don't care what age, or gender, you are, if you are going to be a fishing crew member on my boat - you got duties and responsibilities.  Now if you want to go "boating", I can accommodate you with a pleasant lunch and some sight-seeing, but come on, we are fishing for monsters at K Tower.  You got to be on your game out here - the Coke can wait until AFTER the lines are in.   After that, the boy stepped up his crew game just fine.  

We actually had another big Cobia on the line and the next King we had on the line was huge, (I think bigger than Jim Pittman's), but Capt'n Hook lost him right there at the end.  My fault, not sure what I did wrong.  Fish don't count unless they actually make it into the boat.  That is a long-standing rule that comes from "Lake Cue".  I should probably share those rules with you sometime - they are kinda funny.

We did catch some Amberjack (which we threw back), and on the way back in, we stopped at my favorite Camp spot (thanks Camp - you fishing with us on the 11th?) and caught a ridiculous amount of Key West grunts and tasty Rock Bass.  By 1 p.m., the cooler was full of fish, so we decided to call it a "short" day and head back to Rock Landing Marina.

I love it when my cooler is full of fish at 1 p.m.!

Oh, and one of the great things about Mad Anthony's Bar & Grille at Rock Landing Marina, is they will cook the fish you just caught.  (Yes, they still charge you), but still, it doesn't get any better than that.  Here we are eating freshly grilled and blackened Cobia:

We had ourselves a little mini-feast.

Jackson:  You're a good kid. You're welcome back on my boat anytime.  Nice job.

Thanks for taking all the pictures Gene.

Have a great and safe 4th of July everyone!

Capt'n Hook