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#12391380 - 08/18/17 02:09 PM Dauphin Island report
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
Back from 6 days fishing offshore from Dauphin Island, Alabama, our second annual guys trip. Same crew, a great mix of skills, experience, personality, and energy. We didn’t even allow ourselves to consider topping last year, when we caught dozens of kings; including 38, 42, and 55 pound trophies; many great amberjacks and red snapper, Spanish mackerel, a mahi mahi, a 250 pound bull shark, saw loggerhead sea turtles and amazing sights, and had great food and conversations. But this trip was just as awesome!

With the unpredicted changes in red snapper regulations this year, the first day out we excited that we could keep fish. We went to sea by the light of the stars to beat everyone to the spot our captain had found the day before, and we had our 4 person limit in under an hour; good sized, hard pulling fish. We hit a few other spots and through the day released another dozen snapper, added a bonus mangrove snapper, and a few kings.




Trolling ribbonfish over a sunken WW II Liberty ship turned reef produced hard pulling amberjacks rather than the expected kings. The anticipation while trolling, watching the rods with intensity is intoxicating, waiting for that zip, zip, zipping of the drag as the rod bucks and bounces as the fish fights against this unseen force that is the line and the boat pulling against it. But to pry that rod out of the gunnel holder to do battle with not a ten or fifteen pound king but with a forty pound reef donkey is truly an invigorating pleasure.





Trolling ribbonfish also produced barracuda, red snapper, and cobia and the saying “you can catch it all on a ribbonfish!”



_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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#12391392 - 08/18/17 02:15 PM Re: Dauphin Island report [Re: mickeytfc]
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
After a few days of exploring the area and sharpening our techniques and tactics, the seas laid down flat and we went far out to sea. Once again, we did not find the expected kings, but after breaking off and losing a few unknown big fish and marking the largest ever seen sonar return on the fish finder, I hooked, fought for an hour and half, and caught my new personal best fish, an estimated by the length, a four hundred pound bull shark, on a rig designed for 20-40 pound fish! Since we obviously could not land the fish, the pictures lack scale and cannot do justice to the enormity and fearsomeness of this epic catch and experience.



We never found the kings, but along with the shark, it became the day of the leaping out of the water barracudas and reel screaming bonitas.




Don’t let anyone tell you bonita is no good to eat. The tenderloin sashimi sliced thin and served with soy, crushed red pepper (leftover from pizza night because we had no wasabi), and crushed peanut (making due from what we had in the can of mixed nuts), it tasted and felt amazing! The sunrises and sunsets heading out and coming in were amazing too!


_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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#12391403 - 08/18/17 02:21 PM Re: Dauphin Island report [Re: mickeytfc]
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
The fourth day we fished fast and slow, speed trolling for the faster than the boat and tasty Spanish mackerel and drifting along with the falling tide over the Dixie Bar with live croakers, catching leaping blacktip sharks and bulldogging bull reds.




After four days of great fishing and great times together, we were satisfied! So, we decided to wander into some new waters. We went east towards Gulf Shores and then Florida. After again finding no kings at a rig, another of the captain’s “lets just try one more spot” led to finding acres of busting bait being hounded by some yet unknown predator. After drag screaming bowed rods and hard battles we found out it was the often underappreciated but hard fighting and ruggedly beautiful jack crevalle.





Trolling in Florida waters produced little and the sky was filled with building storms all around, so we headed towards home. But of course, we had to check a few more rigs. The first produced another stinking, literally they really smell acridly funky, barracuda. Again, the “let’s just try one more spot” sent us to another rig and led us to what we had been looking for the whole trip, big kings! Two rounds around the rig and a twenty-five and thirty pounder later, from smoking, drag screaming runs to cheers and high fives, we ended our day on high!


_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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#12391412 - 08/18/17 02:24 PM Re: Dauphin Island report [Re: mickeytfc]
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
One more quick trip out for the final day and hopefully the icing on the cake, another limit of desirable and delicious red snapper. The same rig produced again and we had our limits in an hour, with some bonus bonitas.



The fishing is easier to describe and photograph than the amazing views of the ocean, the beaches, the waterfront homes, and the island, and the comradery that I crave most of all cannot be adequately depicted, but those were the ultimate trophies of the trip. I loved fishing and talking the good life with the guys and I can’t wait ‘til next time!




_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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#12391662 - 08/18/17 05:00 PM Re: Dauphin Island report [Re: mickeytfc]
lite-liner Offline
Capt. CUDA

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 6509
Loc: Fulton, Texas
kickass report!

thanks for sharing
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#12392747 - 08/19/17 05:37 PM Re: Dauphin Island report [Re: lite-liner]
mickeytfc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 194
Loc: Little Elm
Originally Posted By: lite-liner
kickass report!

thanks for sharing


Thank man, we are truly blessed to get to experience things like this aren't we!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

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