Today I did a double charter. Mr. Antony called me up Sunday and said he had 8 eager fishermen wanting to try their luck in the Gulf of Mexico - i'm all in! 

 We decided to split up the crew into two separate trips (one leaving at 5am and one leaving at 1pm). My alarm sounded at 3:45 the next morning and I began my usual prep for a day on the water - water, rods, ice, bait, PFD's, fuel and tackle. I checked everything off and set out to meet everyone. 

The first crew (Sam, Gabe, Haley, and Christian) boarded the boat and we set off for the bait guy. A cool, brisk breeze welcomed us as we made our way under the Destin Bridge and into the pass. We loaded up on bait and set out to the first spot 11 miles SSW. With this being the last day of Snapper season, I knew two things to be true for sure; we needed to catch our limit in Snapper and catching our limit may be tougher than usual as all of the "hot spots" were probably going to be over-fished from the previous 60 days of open season. We approached the spot and everyone dropped lines. Right away we were hauling in Snapper - NICE! At one point, all three rods were bowed up and a snapper a piece were landed. Then things tapered off a bit - a strike here and there and a snapper or two to show. Christian also caught a beautiful Gag Grouper that we had to throw back due to the limited season. I was really impressed with the way everyone stayed focused and were intent on harvesting keepers. At the end of the 5 hour trip, we had 7 keepers on ice and high spirits heading home! Wish we could have caught more, but that is the way it goes sometimes at the end of the season. Nice job guys!

We offloaded the first crew and boarded the 2nd around 12:30pm (Zack, Kevin, Hannah and Mr. Antony). These guys really shared a true passion for the sport and we spent all 5 hours talking about past fishing stories and sharing advise and tips. Zack and Kevin are experienced fishermen in Texas and I could tell it was all business when we dropped the first lines to start trolling. We trolled forabout an hour over my favorite place about 5 miles SSE of the pass and NOTHING! I was purely shocked. Day end and day out, year after year I catch quality Kings over these numbers but today for some reason, the trolling bite just was not on. The water temp is still holding strong at 82 degrees and the water is clean - beats me. Anyway, we stopped at a place I hadn't been to in a while and tried our luck bottom fishing. This particular spot is pretty shallow but I wanted to see if it was holding snapper - after an hour, nothing but spot tails and a squirrel fish to show. Ok, I had to show these guys how much fun it is to hook into a big snapper or grouper so I made the call to venture out 16 miles to my "honey hole". We hovered over the spot and the fish finder lit up like a Christmas tree! Everyone dropped lines. A couple nice looks and and then finally, Zack is bowed up. A beautiful Red Snapper was the result! After that, the bite seemed to taper off once again. Clearly the fish were there, as I could see hoards of them on the screen, but they just were not biting like usual. Kevin hooked into something big that cut his line and  we had couple others break off on the way up. Anyway, it was getting late and we had to head home. I could tell, that Kevin and Zack had caught the fever and at one point spending the night on the boat was even discussed but with work the next morning, i had to exhaust that option. At the end of the day, it was all about good company. I have said it before; fishing can make total strangers become friends in no time. There is a certain camaraderie that only the water can glue together. Everyone had fun. We caught some nice fish and shared quite a few good laughs - that is what it is all about. Tight Lines! - Preston