GO FISHING is a daily look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mark Cook.
It doesn't happen very often, but on Wednesday my dad, along with my uncle, Vernon Cook, Quinton Cook, Bruce Jacobs and cousin Ronald Davis got together for a family fishing trip. Uncle Bruce purchased a new 24-foot pontoon boat this summer and we finally managed to coordinate everyone's schedule so we could get on the water for a trout fishing trip.
Things weren't looking good as we pulled up to the Kingfish Boat ramp at Holmes Beach as 25 mph northeast gusts were pushing water and waves over the seawall. With no way to get the boat in safely, we headed south to the ramp at Longboat.
With the wind somewhat blocked, we made our way to the large island east of the pass and anchored. Everyone tossed a line in and immediately corks started getting yanked down. For the next hour and a half, we boated at least 20 undersized grouper, small trout, grunts, pinfish, lizardfish and catfish. We used a combination of live shrimp and 3-inch Berkley Gulp shrimp.
Around lunchtime we moved a little north toward Cortez and found some semi-protected coves. With the tide dropping and little water, fishing was slow, although I did managed a 14-inch snapper. By the way, there is a reason they are called snappers.
As we sat back eating our sandwiches, the conversation turned to the family's oldest sibling, my Uncle Nolan, who passed away last month. We all remembered the good times we had cast-netting for mullet or speckled perch fishing with him while he constantly was barking out commands. What we all would give to hear him holler at us one more time.
Don't put off that next family trip. You never know if the next one will ever come.
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