Huge Florida Middle Grounds and Beyond Catch

DeeDee

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 18, 2012
888
482
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tampa/Fl/Hillsborough
Name
Harbison
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Florida Fisherman
Finally the long wait is over. June 1, 2018, American red snapper and gag grouper season opens in our Gulf of Mexico. Huge question! Where should we go? Well, Central Florida's 460 square mile Florida Middle Grounds is now a prime target for many who seek the very aggressive, fun to catch, great to eat, American red snapper, and the are you man/woman enough to force me out of my rocks home, gag grouper. Want even bigger fish? The deeper water beyond the Grounds is home to some real trophies. This is our Florida, Florida the Fishing Capital of the World. The opportunities for 'Huge Catches' are endless.
Friday, June 1, the Florida Fisherman ll leaves Hubbard's Marina, Madeira Beach, Florida, on a 44 hour mission, a mission to catch fish, a lot of fish. Will it be a, 'Huge Florida Middle Grounds and Beyond Catch? Only one way to find out... join us on the deck of the Florida as we find out together. We will be fishing just after the full of the moon, prime time!
As an example of what to expect, take a look at Mr. Sumrall's prized American red snapper:

The Florida Middle Grounds and beyond is a long ways from beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida. No problem! Mr. Sumrall is not only an expert at catching trophy red snapper, but trolling for kings. Ed's long time friend, Mr. Dan Jackman, is so pound of his fishing partner. Watch Ed fight the monster king 2:52 minutes into the video at the end of this report:


Hungry? Jersey Girl just served the best meat ball sandwich in the entire universe. What makes this masterpiece so special is Tampa's signature Cuban bread topped off with melted cheese. OK! Let's top off our meal with something sweet. Nothing better than a "Packed full of peanuts, Snickers satisfies" candy bar. This very special chocolate treat was created by Mr. Frank Mars. Mr. Mars named the Snickers bar after one of his family's favorite horses. The original bar sold for 5 cents. Snickers were first sold under the name "Marathon Bars" in the United Kingdom, they are now sold worldwide under the Snickers name. In different countries the formula may vary, but the taste remains relatively constant. Mr. Larry Miller just returned from Canada with a 4 pack of Snickers made in Canada. The ingredients are different. Which is better? Mr. Justin Perlow, a Florida Fisherman ll regular, has been a school lunch room manager for well over a decade. He is an expert on taste. Watch Justin's 'taste-test' 3:31 minutes into the video:

Justin is also an expert at teaching fish who the boss really is. Think this is a large Strawberry grouper?

Wait till you see this man of the sea go to work on American red snapper, Red grouper, and the highly prized Scamp grouper.
Another long time friend, Mr. Brett King, shows us how to catch gag grouper:

Looks like the red grouper are also hungry:


Never to be forgotten, the hard fighting, fast, Blackfin tuna:

For many these overnight trips deep into the very heart of our Gulf of Mexico socializing with old and meeting new friends is every bit as important as fishing, or eating. Mr. Rodrick Mack is not only a dear friend, but a dedicated family man. Wife, Wanda, and Rod have three sons, three young men to be proud of. Ryan is seven years old, Joeylen ten, and Bryon seven:

Roderick knows how to make his wife, and sons, proud:

And, speaking of proud:







The night bite was sensational. Wonder what Saturday morning will bring?


Saturday is looking good:

Ed brings out the heavy gear:

And for good reason. That looks like a jack-pot winner:

If it swims, Ed can catch it:

The gag bite is hot:

Speaking of hot is to speak of Jersey Girl's hot off the grill pan cakes and hickory smoked bacon:

Our, 'Huge Florida Middle Grounds and Beyond Catch' is turning into a major catch:





Ryan carefully records every fish. We are getting close, very close, to completely limiting-out on red snapper. We will not keep over our two day limit:

This is turning into the catch of a life-time, an adventure never to be forgotten:









Justin knows a lot more than 'Snickers':

The 'fights' have been going on all night Friday as well as all day Saturday:


We are proud, very proud:


Ever see a shrimp boat up close? We have:

We now have well over 2,000 pounds of snapper and grouper, and the 'bite' continues. Ever wonder why Florida is recognized as the Fishing Capital of the World? Wonder no more:



Good thing Justin has that 'Snickers' energy":


First mate, Will, holds what we think is a world record Lionfish:


Saturday evening. The Florida's number one huge fish box has been filled, iced down, and sealed ever since Saturday morning. Number two has just enough room left for ice:

We are wore-out, fish catching, tired, and ever so hungry. Let's visit 'Jersey Girl' before hitting our comfortable bunks for the long ride home:


Sunday morning. Mr. Mack, Wanda and the boys can be proud, very proud:

Talk about a mountain of fish:

It's so good to see our younger generation interested in fishing, they are our future:

The American red jack pot winner hit the scales at 15.0 pounds, grouper, 36.2 pounds, and mangrove snapper 9.5 pounds:

Our Captain, Captain Garett Hubbard, is as proud of us as we are of him:

Will it be a, 'Huge Florida Middle Grounds and Beyond Catch'? You had better believe it!

Catch the action in this short, action packed, video of our trip:


Bob Harbison
Florida Outdoor Writers Association
 
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SSUfish

Well-Known "Member"
Sep 14, 2006
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San Diego
Name
Eric
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n/a
So coor. Out of curiosity some questions:

- What is the bunk situation like? Open bunk room, state rooms, size of beds?
- Are there showers on the boat?
- Typically is food included in the trip cost?
- Filleting, do they do it on the boat or is that up to you? Are there fish processors who will vacuum pack them like here in SD?

Thanks for the report! `
 

Blackfish

Fishing, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
Sep 20, 2005
5,881
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In a Pineapple, under the sea.
Name
Lee Obvious
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50' Hatteras
Always like your reports.

Thats a nice Lion, but I don't think it's a WR. :) They can grow up to about 18". Thank you for taking that invasive off the reef.
 

DeeDee

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 18, 2012
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tampa/Fl/Hillsborough
Name
Harbison
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Florida Fisherman
Thanks guys. Not sure about the Lionfish. Just know it was a big boy!
Will try to answer your questions. Thanks for asking:
Bunks: The Florida Fisherman ll has large 4 inch foam very comfortable air conditioned bunks:

SHOWERS: The Florida has 2 private hot water showers.
MEALS: Not included in trip cost. You are welcome to bring your own or purchase the meal ticket. The food is excellent!
FILLETING: Not done on he boat. Done on the dock as soon as the boat docks.
PROCESSORS: None! Sounds like a great thing.

Any more questions... please do not hesitate to ask. Bob H.
 
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Paddyman1

A mossback is better than a hairy back
Nov 7, 2010
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La Costa Izquierda
Name
Steve
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N/A
Nice post Harbison! Florida fishing is definitely unique to SoCal fishing, I guess like anywhere else. I like the fact you have a canopy nearly surrounding the entire perimeter of the boat to keep the sun at a minimum. Some great looking snappers and other cool exotics.

Going to have to visit one of these days!
 

DeeDee

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 18, 2012
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tampa/Fl/Hillsborough
Name
Harbison
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Florida Fisherman
Thanks! That canopy is a life savor. When it gets too hot we duck inside. The Florida's huge AC system keeps it good & cool even during the hottest days. We had a good catch. Sir, it would be an honor to have you visit us.
 

Chicago Pete

Newbie
Jan 17, 2012
35
12
8
Homewood
Name
Peter D Womack
Boat
None
I'm out on the 10 hour next Tuesday. Do they still let you troll in between stops?
I'm just trying to decide what gear to bring?
Thanks. See you all on Tuesday.
 

pascuale

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 14, 2004
1,595
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Tampa/San Diego
Name
Ethan
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nope
Try the 12 hour fast boat Flying Hub 2. Takes about 14 and gets you to the same grounds in 2 hours or so. The 39 hour is great IF you get an inside bunk in the AC and there are not 50 people shoulder to shoulder. Just my honest opinion.
 

DeeDee

Well-Known "Member"
Mar 18, 2012
888
482
63
tampa/Fl/Hillsborough
Name
Harbison
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Florida Fisherman
Sir, your "honest opinion" is 100% correct. Other than red snapper season the Florida is not as a rule that crowded.
12 hour Flying HUB. Wonderful boat that really catches the fish.
Disadvantages:
(1) NO bunks
(2) N0 AC
(3) NO 2 day limit
 
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