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Wednesday morning, I fished about 17 miles west of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> with Harry and Melanie McDaniel and their daughter, Molly. We had steady action, which helped compensate for some pretty<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

rough seas as we were on the storm-fringe much of the morning. We used shrimp and caught ten keeper Spanish mackerel to 24 inches, a keeper mangrove snapper and porgies and grunts. We released lots of just undersized mangs, yellowtails, and red grouper, along with a twenty-pound goliath grouper.<o:p></o:p>


Thursday, I headed out 19 miles from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> with Mack Wilson, his son, Jonathan and grandson, Scott, who was celebrating his eighteenth birthday. We caught fourteen nice whitebone porgies, which the group looked forward to cooking. We released lots of undersized gag and red grouper, as well as mangrove and yellowtail snapper. We also caught lots of keeper-sized Spanish mackerel that we released, since the guys much preferred porgies for table-fare. We did, however hook one of the Spanish macks on a heavy pole, to give Scott a chance at hooking a goliath grouper. Sure enough, moments after casting, he hooked a huge one, about six-foot long and three-foot high, and estimated at about 400 pounds. Scott reeled that fish in, released it boat-side, and required a twenty-five minute break to recover! But it was a nice thrill for him to feel something that big on the line and a great way to top off his birthday adventure.<o:p></o:p>


The next time I fished was on Monday, August 10<SUP>th</SUP>. David Conway, eighteen-year-old son, Kyle, eleven-year-old son, Will, and Kyle’s friend, Eric Legal, fished with me about 18 miles west of new Pass. Will caught a 14 inch hogfish and the group also caught two keeper mangrove snapper, 16 and 17 inches, keeper Spanish mackerel to 24 inches, and keeper porgies. We released lots of smaller mangrove snapper, yellowtail and red grouper. We also released two goliath grouper at 100 pounds and 175 pounds, along with a 3 ½ foot sandbar shark. We used shrimp for everything except the goliaths, which bit blue runners and mackerel.<o:p></o:p>


The photo shown is of the 100 pound sailfish I caught the end of July on a busman’s holiday to Marathon in the <ACRONYM title=Florida>FL</ACRONYM> Keys…not a local catch where I usually fish but I just had to post it!


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