Angler 1: 6/16 Shark tournament. Ron and I headed out at 6, wind was up so choppy run down to Danger reef. Found Bill and one other boat set up in place. Moved a bit to get the anchor to catch and then set up. Put out chum block and had bait fish right away, chunked up a big fresh Jack, and put two lines out. Ron hooked up within 15 mins 3' Black tip was released, rigged and set again, 20 mins Ron hooked up again with a 3' sandbar shark, released. 2 hours later reel starts Togo and I hook up on a big Nurse Shark, she fought hard and was fun to work over to the boat about 30 plus minute fight. got her to the boat she was over 7' and a good 200 lb. Got part of the hook out and released her, what a beast. We cut up several gallon bags of old threadfins and whitebait I had frozen, and chunks of old fish heads and parts. We had a steady stream of big and small chum going. Had several small Cobia around the boat and numerous bait fish of all sizes. We started to pack up at 11:30 and one of the reels started to go. Ron hooked up and the line was going fast, I tried to get the anchor pulled so we could chase it down but the 120pound wire leader failed at the hook. Almost got spooled on that one. Called it a Day
Angler 2: 6/16 Launched from Placida around 8:30, incoming tide, water temperatures mid 80’s, exceptionally light breeze, and stained water. The key lately for me has been points with a strong current flow. I really try to fish along the windy stretches along mangroves, not so much to catch fish but to stay cool. Today I fished a stretch along the backend of Bull Bay. I know that my time window is small but I’m glad to be out giving it a go. I love to power fish and I use that strategy to find areas holding fish. Points are definitely the deal, but it needs a good current flow. Another key today was Shrimp, I found a load of Snook and they were all spitting up pieces of shrimp. I caught 15-20 Snook today all on the smaller size, but it was a blast. I figured if I stayed in that area, I might have a chance at a better Snook or maybe a Red. Sure enough, around 10:00 I caught 2 Reds, one nice 26-inch fish. Both reds were along the same stretch as the Snook, I’m sure they were in on the Shrimp deal. I managed a few Trout along deep holes away from the mangroves. Once I noticed the Shrimp deal, I switched to a Zman Dielsel Houdini, and they were all over that presentation. By 11:30 the Heat was on, and the bite was very tough, headed back to the ramp. I had great day in Gasparilla.
Angler 3: 6/16 Went shark fishing today. Started out near Danger Reef and after over 2 hours caught only one 4” Toad fish. Moved close to the Reef deciding to see if some Snapper would bite. Still no action. Decided to go over near Three Sisters and catch some Trout. On the way we saw a large area of bait busting the surface and so we stopped and cast some shrimp into the area. Ended up catching about 25 small Jacks and one nice Mangrove Snapper. Moved on towards Three Sisters and drifted. Lost bait to pinfish and caught a 3 1/2-foot shark. So, our boat joined the others in catching a shark. Good day on the water but it was getting hot. Quit just after noon and headed to the dock.
Angler 4: 6/16 - Got a late start joining the club for the shark tournament at Danger Reef. Wind started around 10KT from the ESE. High tide for Boca Grande was forecast for around 2:22PM which meant that the incoming tide was against the wind. Water temp around 86. Had live pinfish, frozen sardines, frozen ladyfish and a frozen mullet for bait. Some of this was used along with cat food, dry chum and other stuff for a chum smorgasbord using 2 small chum cages. We anchored at Danger Reef but didn't get a single bite on the variety of bait we had so we moved over to deeper water 18-20 feet deep and drifted. Here we finally caught some small sharks 1.5 to 3 feet on the pinfish. Chris caught a ladyfish that we cut up for fresh bait which resulted in the largest hook ups. Aaron had a 5-foot shark that he fought for a while, but the braided line got tangled in one of the chum cages and broke. Chris hooked another big shark which jumped but shredded his nylon coated wire leader and broke free. Not counting these 2 hookups Chris and Aaron still caught 3 sharks each that we released near the boat. One of Aaron's catches was on the frozen mullet. I only had one hit on a pinfish which never got hooked but it was nice playing guide for Chris and Aaron which made for a great day on the water.