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October 23, 2010

Port Canaveral Offshore 10-22-10

Port Canaveral Offshore 10-22-10

Todays trip was not a charter, but part of a Florida Sportsman's video shoot for an upcomming show on fishing clubs. The FSFA (Florida Sport Fishing Association, and the CFOA (Central Florida Offshore Anglers) had close to 10 boats involved in in the production. The focus was on the club activity more than the fishing.

Fortionatly the fishing was not bad, so as to help smiling faces for the video! On my boat the "Wile E Coyote" we had Bill, Ben, Bryce and myself fishing. Mitchell A. Roffer of Roffs ocean forecasting was aboard another club members boat, and part of the days activities, along with providing the forecast anylisis. The forecast called for the best
activity along the 140' line east of the port, and that's where we started. At 20 miles, there were widely scattered weeds, clear blue and warm water. We set lines out and worked north towards the 20 mile bouy. We had no activity until we passed the bouy and started heading east. We were pulling lines in to head out a few more miles where
some Mahi reports were comming in, when the last line in brought a flash of colors 20' behind the boat. It was either a Sail or Mahi. Either way, I dropped a Ballyhoo in the water and started releasing it back, and only 30' behind the boat, BAM, fish-on. I had to figure
out how to lock the drag (not my reel) as the fish was taking line. I handed it off to Bill, and was back at the helm. Clearing the other lines, we played the fish out, getting it to the boat, for a clean catch and release of a 35 to 40lb Sailfish.

We went east to 150' to work the weeds where Mahi reports were made and set lines out. We worked a couple miles to the south, and back towards the weather bouy. No action, despite decent weeds and bait, we opted for another pass by the structure. It did not take long before the next line went off. This time Ben took the rod to work a 20lb Mahi. The fight and retrieval was anything but routine, and we gave this fish every oppurtunity to escape, but in the end it was in the icebox. First was a big "birdsnest" on the reel. While Bill helped Ben straighten that out, I held the line, literally, to keep tension on the fish. Finally cleared up, it was back to fighting the fish. Now at the boat, and gaffed, into the boat it came, only to make a valiant leap, off the gaff, and back into the water. For the second time, Ben got to fight this fish to the boat. Again gaffed and in the boat, but this time with some weight on it and on ice!

A few more pass's were made with no results, and I decided to put a line out on the downrigger. This did not take long to bring results. Rather than heavy conventional gear, I sent the ballyhoo out on a spinning rod. Though questioned at first, the results quashed any doubts. The next pass had a fast moving fish hooked, and thrashing across our spread. Bryce was 'up to bat', and now had rod in hand. Working hard to keep lines clear, Bryce worked the fish towards the boat. A sucessful Gaff,and a Wahoo was added to the menu.

It was a repeat pattern for the spread and another big sweeping pass around the bouy. This time it was my turn and a fish. The downrigger went off again, and I now had my fish-on. Hoping for another Wahoo, I started working the fish in. Though smaller than the other I thought it may have been, until the last second, when the fish revealed itself as a King Mackerel. In the boat it came, and on ice to add more meat for the crew.

Again with the spread and downrigger, and after a long swing by the bouy, another fish on the downrigger. This was a Shark. Though a very large Sharpnosed Shark, and good eating, we had a nice collection of more desirable fish going, and released it. Another few pass's with
no action, and off to do a little bottom fishing we went.

To a wreck at 180' we went. We did not bring any live bait, as we initially thought it was going to be primarily trolling. We met up with a few of the other boats from the group, and worked the bottom. They had already boated an AJ (on live bait), and another boat had an AJ on the line (on live bait). We dropped speed jigs, and cut bait to the bottom, and had a few likely grouper hits at the bottom, but no solid hookups. Speed Jigs were tried, without sucess. We did manage a few large Sea Bass, including one that could have been a keeper
Grouper sized!

With boats heading for the docks, we made our way in also. We made a few stops alow the way and hooked up another shark, before heading for the cleaning tables. The clubs were beginning to assemble, and the catch's were being unloaded. Food was being cooked, and Fish Stories were being swapped. It was a long day, but but just as a bad day of fishing beats a good day of work, a good day of catching trumps all others! With a charter lined up for the next several weeks I can only hope the weather and fishing will continue as good out of Port Canaveral.

Captain Henry
"Wile E Coyote"
www.ACME-Ventures-Fishing.com
"Deep Sea Fishing Charters"
602 Glen Cheek Dr. Cape Canaveral Florida
321-794-7955 .