I was sitting home on Saturday afternoon looking at the weather. I picked up the phone and called one of my best friends, Uncle Al and my good friend Harry to invite them out for a cubera snapper trip. Both were eager to join.
We met at the boat in less than an hour and unleashed The Beast. We began discussing the game plan.
We powered up and cruised out to the patches for some crickets. Since this was a last minute deal we needed to get bait quickly. In less than an hour we collected all we needed.
We then decided to do a quick, one-chum-block yellowtail session. After finding a favorite spot, we set out the chum and shortly thereafter began bailing nice, fat keeper ‘tails. With things going so well to this point, all I could hope for was an even better performance on the cubera grounds!
Unfortunately, a few storms were moving offshore to the north and southwest. The north storm was a bad one with frequent lightning cracking down and making its way slowly toward us. My radar showed it to be 2 ½ miles from us. I hoped this storm would play itself out so we wouldn’t have to take an intermission to run from it. Thankfully the storm began falling apart. We packed up our 15-18 yellowtail and gear, then made our run to find the cuberas.
When we arrived, the north storm came over us and we donned our rain gear. There were no electrical displays, thank God! As we waited for the rains to dissipate, I scouted the area. The winds went slack, the sea was slick, the current was slow, and the air was heavy with moisture. There were fish marking everywhere.
We worked the area for a solid hour, and then some, without a single look. Then I heard Al start yelling and he suddenly had his hands full working a fish and had to throw the reel into low gear to move it away from the bottom. It was coming up and when it broke the surface we saw a respectable 27-pound fish. It was about time we broke the ice! The first fish of the 2010 season went in the box.
The bite was on, but unfortunately we missed the next three fish. Then, suddenly the bite quit and we were back to square one – putting primo baits in front of preoccupied fish.
With a bait well full of prime bait we decided to stick it out until we couldn’t take it anymore. I kept looking for areas and places that I hadn’t put a bait in yet. Several hours pass and I hear Uncle Al say, “That’s a bite.” A second later, he cranks the reel about three turns which resulted in a solid hookup. This fish has some shoulders and Al dropped into low gear again. The fish was stripping 25 pounds of drag! The fish never said quit, continually fighting Al until it came over the side and tipped our scale at 42.5 pounds. Now that’s a brute of a snapper!
We worked the area for a little while longer but the bite never resumed. We were all very tired however, we did what we came for, going two for five, limiting us out with a 27- and 42.5-pound fish. Everyone on board was spent, so I pointed The Beast toward home and boogied.
If doing a charter with us to catch Cubera, the King of Snappers, is on your list of things to do, remember that the season can be short (30-60 days). Get your dates together and give us a call asap to reserve them. Weekend nights, especially, tend to fill up very fast.