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    Mishaps, lanes, and **** is this thing? 2-16-20 (really long trip report) - 17 Feb, 2020

    Our day really started on Saturday when we gassed up at O'neills.  There were 2 boats on one side of the dock and 1 boat on the other but it was parked right in the middle.  I pulled in behind him but half my boat was sticking out past the dock and it was iffy if the gas line was going to reach.  Right when we pulled up the boat in the back on the other side said he was leaving so we could have his spot.  Right when he started pulling out, 2 guys on jet skis came in pretty fast and were headed for the spot he was vacating.  They were obviously not going to be polite about the situation so I squeezed in pretty quick to cut them off.  But my boat ended up all catywampus to the dock.  My wife grabbed the rope up front but the back was way off.  I tried to sort of nudge us over but she was struggling so I put it in neutral to help her.  Only guess what.  It wasn't in neutral.  The boat started moving backwards so I ran back and overreacted and it lunged forward right at the boat in front of us.  I again overreacted and almost threw my wife in.  By then everyone at the dock was staring at the idiot that can't drive a boat.  Crisis averted, but I was pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.

    Our plan was to hit some close in spots with shrimp and if we could get some white bait and things laid down, run a bit farther. We found bait at the gulf pier, but it was really scarce.  It took about 25 throws but we had enough in addition to the shrimp.  Captain Bly showed up about the time we were leaving with a buttload of pins he got in his traps so he helped us out with bigger bait.

    Our first stop was at a spot where we caught some hogfish a couple of weeks ago.  We managed 1 undersized hog but the trolling motor started acting up.  It is not holding the spot and the anchor lock is shutting off.  I'm guessing my batteries are going.  Once the wind died down it held up fine.

    We didn't do all that well so we decided to hit some deeper water.  On the way to our spots, we stopped at the peaks.  My wife got sharked almost immediately.  It took so much line, the mono backing showed up and she was yelling at me to help.  So, I put my rod down (without thinking) and grabbed the shark pole.  Almost immediately, my pole bent over but not from a fish.  The line got caught in the trolling motor.   What a disaster.  A fish on one line and a trolling motor on the other.

    We got all that sorted out finally.  The leader finally broke on the shark so we got all of our line back.  We had enough of that spot so we moved on.

    The first spot we stopped at was one we had caught red grouper on in the past.  Right off the bat we started catching lanes and a couple of mangos and a keeper red grouper.  We stayed there until lunch then moved on after we ate.  A few more lanes and another red grouper but not much else.  Well, except for a bonito on a knocker rig!?

    The day felt tough to me, but we got a few nice dinners out it.



    At our first spot, this guy showed up.  It swam around the boat like a cobia would and at first I thought that was what it was.  We tossed a pin at it and it chomped it in half right away.  I thought I had it, but it didn't get the hook.  I tossed the remaining half of the pin back at it and it chomped it again.  I have no clue what this is.  Anyone know?