12/3/12-12/5/12: Gulf Takeover- Milestone Jones

Fishy Jackson, Este Dot – Chapter 9 full effect
Location: Sarasota, Fl

The World’s Most Honorable Lord Fishy Jackson, Purveyor of Gilled Excellence & Beholder of Oceanic Mastery arrived at the SW Florida watered region with Lieutenant 009 Este Dot, New Page Same Chapter.  Calm seas and manageable east winds allowed the Squad to explore the different reefs and wrecks up to 10 miles offshore.

Day 1- Offshore

    Calm seas, The Squad shot out to the buoys outside the inlet and filled the livewell with some Pinfish and Blue Runners, caught on the Sabiki bait rigs.  First stop was the local reefs, where the bottom was covered w/ large Spottail Pinfish and devoid of any large life.  Each armed w/ 3 rods each (a top water line w/ wire liter for live lining pinfish/blue runner on the surface.  A bottom rig for Grouper or anything else big on the bottom also w/ live baitfish, and a light action rod w/ small hooks for anything on the bottom.  A 6 mile ride out to the first M reef produced the first new creature of the trip, the Bandtail Puffer.  The boat was apparantly anchovered over a mound of these fish as they were the only fish brought up from the bottom on the small hooks at this reef.  Unfortunately, the pieces that the Squad set up shop on were pretty much devoid of large sea life on this day.  There was a brief encounter with a large fish that would eventually break off Fishy’s line.  A multitude of small fish action was found while drifting at the M4 reef, which produced the next 2 new sea creatures- a couple colorful Littlehead Porgies and a Mystery Flounder that has since been identified as a Shoal Flounder, which appears to be relatively rare Flounder.  The best offshore baits, Thread Herring (Greenbacks) & Sardines (White bait) were never located, a contributing factor in the lack of large Sea life.

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Confined to Inlet/Bay Day 2

The utter lack of Greenbacks/Sardines continued, however on this day Blue Runners and even Pinfish proved hard to come by.  A couple stops on the nearshore reefs produced no desired bait.  With heavier winds than the previous day, the Squad decided to head back to the inland waters, casting under docks for Red/Black Drum and drifting along the flats.    A few nice Spanish Mackerel,  Sheepshead and a good size Jack Crevalle were the highlights of the disappointing boat session before the Squad packed it in early to gear up for the Evening Beach Fishing Session.  Unfortunately, the Beach was quite lifeless as well, yielding nothing but a Bluefish taken on a small live Pinfish.   The Beach/docks offered very minimal action for the duration for trip.

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12/5- Offshore Trip 2

With winds dying down and the seas remaining calm, the Squad hit the bait spots and this time were rewarded w/ a plethora of Pins and Runners.  A straight shoot out to the M 3 reef and shop was set up.  The bottom was covered in many tiny Grunts, which were livelined on the bottom and engulfed by the first Groupers of the trip, some nice fat Red Grouper.  It was at this juncture that the Milestone 100th Sea Animal was landed by the WMH Lord Fishy Jackson; a Cubbyu.  After some more Grouper action the Squad packed it up and headed out to the M4 reef hoping for some Pelagic fish action, Sharks or Cobia.  En route to the reef site the Squad spotted some surface blitz action and immediately casted out some live bait as well as the shiney sabiki rigs.  Surprisingly the Sabiki rigs did the job and landed some Greater Amberjack, a first for Sargeant Este.  The Dot would also later land his first Sharksucker Remora, which would go on to nearly commit suicide by suctioning itself to the boat.  The top action lines would unfortanately once again see very little action.  However, at one point a massive creature bit through both of the lines within 2 minutes of eachother, making a monumental splash and cutting the lines so quickly that the rods barely bent over.  Likely was a 10+ ft mammoth beast.  Upon the return to the dock, Lord Jackson busted out the ole Micro Gear and landed a strange little 1.5 inch fish that was hiding in the oysters along the dock walls, later to be identified as a Frillfin Goby (#101).

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Creatures Caught: Bandtail Puffer (#97), Littlehead Porgy (#98), Shoal Flounder (#99), Cubbyu (#100), Frillfin Goby (#101), Greater Amberjack, Red Grouper, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Pinfish, Spottail Pinfish, Pigfish, Tomtate Grunt, White Grunt, Grass Porgy, Sharksucker, Crevalle Jack, Lizardfish, Gulf Flounder, Southern Puffer, Sheepshead, Planehead Filefish, Mangrove Snapper, Round Scad, Blue Runner, Lane Snapper, Sand Perch, Yellowtail Snapper, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Black Sea Bass

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