After being gone for almost a month I got back to Seagrove Beach, and weather permitting, back to fishing off Grayton tomorrow. My annual pilgrimage to Indian Pass is over and it's back to bottom fishing and filling up the box.
Today was my last day in the Grayton/Seagrove area for a bit. I'm off first thing in the AM to Indian Pass to chase Tarpons & Tripletails for about a month. While I'm sure I'll miss the "guarantee" of a full box off Grayton, I sure am looking forward to tangling with critters that weigh more than I do! No traffic and an empty beach at sunset is sounding pretty good after a busy summer here too.
Whooo, we got squalled out today and I took two naps totaling four hours of well-needed "catch up" sleep this morning. I was still on the beach at 4:45 with the boat but was back home by 6 a.m. I just ran a quick count and I have run 32 days in a row totaling 54 different trips in that time. A new all time record for this old (tired) fishhead.
Angler Steve Brown and Team Reel Worthless combined with the Reel Fuelish crew to land the biggest—and only—blue marlin of the 2014 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, held at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort June 18-22.
The 594.9-pound fish was worth an ECBC record payout of $498,450. Reel Worthless swept the marlin division, top crew, and all but one of the optional jackpot entries to claim the biggest share of the overall $1.68 million in prize money.
As I mentioned last report, this time of year I take lots of folks that have been fishing with me for many years. All the folks in the pics below have been coming every June for many years, some of 'em for over 15 years. While the weather does not cooperate every year for all of 'em it seems the fish always do when we get to go!
These guys come with a big group and book 5 or 6 days in a row. They got some Big Red Snappers on this trip.
Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay, Shell Island reflects the push and pull of the delicate coastal ecosystem. White sand blankets the shoreline and gives way to tall pines, scrub bushes, and moss-draped oaks of St. Andrews State Park. A lone cabin sits high on stilts, clinging to life until the next hurricane. Life there is Florida as nature intended.
Whew! I have been running hard this past week taking advantage of calm seas and beautiful beach weather. I have run two trips a day for the past eight days and my anglers have all had a blast with great catches even on the short trips. Red Snapper have been the primary target with a King or three added on most trips.
There have been as many days of breezy and bouncy as slick and flat the past week or so. We've had a limit of Red Snappers every trip along with some fine bonus fish but I have had to work hard to get a box of "grade or better" snappers on a couple of the calmer days with lots of 16" to 18" fish biting.
The long awaited opening of Red Snapper season has not disapointed any of my eager anglers that have gotten to go chase the critters. We have had some really pretty boards of good size Snappers along with lots of bonus fish.
The richest billfish tournament on the Gulf Coast takes place every year at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The 12th annual edition of the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is June 18-22 in South Walton.