Saturday, January 12, 2013


One of the benefits of working on an Island like Cedar Key is ... well, it's an Island!
So the Gulf is always just a stone throw away and getting in it or on it ... or both is delightfully doable.
Haley Seadog leads the way out into the Gulf of Florida.
Haley is in the bow of Captain Denny Voyle's fishing boat and we are heading out to sea after a long day of teaching other people's children.

Ten miles, a pod of dolphins, and a flock of 50 loons later, we arrived at the "spot".
Captain Denny had guided us across a slick calm sea to a tiny patch of rock and sponge, about 25 feet below.

Our target on this trip was black seabass.
Becky Seadog inspects the catch.

Fishing for seabass is kid fishing, ... it's never been fishing, needs to have an awesome first experience fishing ...  it's fast and furious  fishing with the bite happening as soon as your bait gets near the bottom.

And then there's this ...

Seabass are tenacious, pugnacious, piscatorial pugilists.
Hook one and three follow him up from the depths trying to get at the bait in the hooked fellow's mouth.
Sometimes you catch two at a time on one hook only because the second one grabbed the bait too and is only hanging on like a bulldog ... not "hooked" at all, just determined to get that bait.
A closer look at the iced down catch.

The hump-headed dark fish in the left foreground is a male black seabass. The pinkish fish to the right is a pinkmouth grunt. Both species like structure, so you find them around outcrops of limerock on the bottom or near wrecks and reefs.

Both have firm white flesh that is delicious anyway you cook it.

We tossed back ten times the fish we kept to eat ... the action was that hot.
Two small ones even got to go "home" alive to live in our Cedar Key School marine lab touch tank.

It was an awesome afternoon for mid-January ... T-shirt weather and a sea like glass.

And fish.

Lots of fish.


Caroline said...

T-shirt weather and sea like glass vs
Winter Storm Gandalf and 3F, what is wrong with this picture??

threecollie said...

Color me green!

Pablo said...

Sounds like a great time!

Yesterday we were at 60 degrees. Today, snow!

heyduke50 said...

always a nice to have fun and catch dinner at the same time

Floridacracker said...

Hey troops! Guess what? I got to go again today.
This time I lowered the GoPro to the bottom. Haven't checked out the video yet, but I hope to have something good.

cuz tina said...

Please let me be Seadog Tina next time. Welcome back to the blog FC!

myamuhnative said...

I'll bet there was an extra special loon somewhere in that flock!
Keep your eyes open for razorbills they have been seen in Pinellas and up in the panhandle too.
We went to Anna Maria to see them and they are awesome little birds.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Cuz! Good to be back at it again! We all have a little seadog in us.

I did see a very different seabird out there and haven't tried yo id it yet. All grey with a heavier bill than loons. All by itself too.

Wally Jones said...

Doggone it, now I'm hungry. A little grits and tomato gravy.....sigh.

Julie Zickefoose said...

You had me at "T-shirt weather and sea like glass."
From the landlocked state of soggy breaded haddock and frozen shrimp, my envy pulses out in waves.
Please fix me fresh seabass, at your convenience.

Julie Zickefoose said...

ps I ate nothing but crustacean the entire time I was in Savannah and Va. Beach. I was like Tom Hanks in Castaway, except that I loved it.