December 21, 2013

Florida Road Trip 2013 (Day 9)

We woke up in Ben's motel room quite late. We had about 4 hours of "sleep" in total since the morning of December there was much sleep to catch up.

Ben and Ruoxi left at around 8am. I took my time so Michael grabbed me some breakfast before they stopped serving. We didn't get out the door until 10:30am.

The debate was where to fish. We could go back to Skyway; but I remember chatting with someone on December 13 that the area had a recent run of small Blacktip Shark and Bonnethead Shark. So we decided to fish that spot again to see if we can find some small sharks.

We didn't get fishing until 12pm. Upon arrival, I met someone who had just arrived but he needed to leave after 30 minutes of fishing. He gave me some small Pinfish he had for bait, so I casted a couple of shark rods with the small Pinfish.

While checking bait, I noticed that one of the Pinfish had a crescent shaped bite taken out of it. In fact, it was chomped in half by a small shark. The shark was able to bite without setting the clicker off. A little while later, Michael also had a Pinfish chopped by a small shark without setting off the baitrunner. Although this was a promising sign that small sharks were around, we couldn't connect with any of them. We tried to fish chunks of Pinfish but the small sharks simply ignored the cut bait. Later in the afternoon, someone offered us a large mullet that he had netted to use for bait, and there was still a good portion of mullet left. We tried to fish chunks of mullet but it was either untouched by the small sharks, or it was getting chewed by crabs.

While waiting for a shark bite, we also tossed the Gotcha around or fished the sabiki. Hooked a Spanish Mackerel on the Gotcha but I think the fish heard that we were going to get it. It got off the hook right at our feet. Michael was fishing the sabiki and found an Inshore Lizardfish and a Sand Perch, two species I wanted to catch. I've been fishing for them the entire time that afternoon and can't find them.

Before sunset, someone was leaving and offered us his live shrimp. I was fishing a live shrimp for Bonnethead when something hit and I finally caught my Inshore Lizardfish!

Inshore Lizardfish (Synodus foetens) - Species #378

We were hoping the bite would pick up as the sunset, but we only had a beautiful sunset to enjoy and the rods remained silent.

After the shrimps were used up, I returned to fishing chunks of mullet on my 9' light surf rod. It was a bit of surprise to catch a Sand Trout on the chunk of mullet. I actually counted the anal fin rays to confirm that this was a Sand Trout.

After sunset, the fishing completely shut off. We were debating where to spend the night (since we didn't book any accommodationg) when I returned a call to Ryan and he invited us to stay with him. Thanks so much for your hospitality, Ryan and Meghan!

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