Don't let the gorgeous aquamarine Gulf water and light blue skies in the pictures below fool you.
This day started off cold, grey, and rainy.
A completely overcast sky dribbled a steady light rain on us as we pulled up to the Cedar Key boat launch.
It was dawn by the clock, but the grey curtain above allowed no sunrise.
Captain Denny turned to me as we loaded the boat in the rain, "Don't worry about this rain, it's only 10% water, ... the Weather Channel said there was just a 10% chance of rain."
I laughed and the movement caused some cold 10% rain to run down my neck.
Denny's glass is always at least half-full, even on a gloomy grey morning.
I think if victory favors the bold, it at least smiles on the optimist, ... and who is more optimistic than a fisherman?
We did not stay ashore.
We cruised out of Cedar Key in a cold rain, clutching a tarp overhead to defend us from the needle prick strikes of cold rain drops in a fast boat.
Before you knew it, Florida had faded over the horizon in the greyness and there was only the sea.
By 10:30 in the morning, we were peeling off parkas and rolling up sleeves under a sunny blue sky.
The newly bright sun lit up the deep blue offshore waters as we cruised slowly towards a secret spot of Denny's.
Beneath us, the depthfinder showed a typical flat bottom, occasionally broken by outcrops of rock.
We had not seen another boat all morning long, but as we approached our target site, the only other boat out in the Gulf was parked directly over "our" GPS coordinates.
It reminded me of that old tale ... in the early 1900's, at one point there were only two cars in the entire state of Kansas ... and they ran into each other.
Denny had another set of GPS numbers nearby so we cruised a little farther and anchored over a nice outcrop of limerock and live bottom.
|Fish and Evolved Fish.|
|Like us, the grouper is a predator. This huge maw is the last thing many a grunt or sand perch ever sees.|
|Officially ... (meaning, what Denny told his very patient wife Karen), this trip was school related. We were actually not fishing, but collecting black seabass for an aquaculture display tank in Denny's classroom. |
The black seabass in the photo above is a big one by the way. It is also a male ... see the big hump?
We caught a blue million of them by the way ... often two at a time on tandem rigs.
In fact, in the course of the day, an assortment of at least a hundred fish came over the gunwales. Sand perch, grouper, seabass, puffers, jolt head porgies, and grunts.
Of these, only about ten fish were kept for the table ... mostly delicious black seabass like the fellow above.
(I ate my share of the catch as soon as I got home)
After a full and fantastic day fishing on the beautiful Gulf of Florida, we cruised back to Cedar Key, fishy and happy.
We had to be back at the dock by 4:00 pm.
Denny had gone fishing on his wedding anniversary and he and Karen had restaurant reservations at 6:00 pm.
I told you she was patient.
WARNING: Shameless advertisement below:
Captain Denny Voyles is a licensed charter captain.
He really is a fish whisperer.
Check out his website and book a trip if you want to catch fish ... lots of fish.