Went on a 12 hr out of Port A Saturday. Myself and 5 other people on a sportfisher. Second half of our group went out on a different boat, another sport fisher. Both parties left at the same time, returned at the same time.
On our boat we spent several hours trolling open water for kingfish with ribbon fish. The only problem was no-one on the boat wanted kingfish and made that clear. So why were we trolling for them. I had some high speed trolling lures hoping for a wahoo, they were useless at those slow speeds. Luckily we caught no kingfish since no one wanted them, just wasted about 3hrs of fishing time.
We had no live bait and never stopped to fish for any. Just had ribbon fish and sardines.
After the trolling boat ride we snapper fished. We got our limit, but continued to fish for snapper. It was doubtful we would catch anything else since we were in pretty shallow water. The deepest we ever got was 120 ft. Most of the time it was under 100ft and grn water. We would move closer and closer to dock. The last spot was just 18 miles out. We continued to fish for snapper that we would catch and throw back. Never really got deep enough for anything else.
It appears that our Captain had an itenerary and he wasn't going to deviate. I don't know if he didn't know of good spots or was just trying to burn 12 hrs close to shore.
The last three hours or so half our party had stopped fishing. I guess they were tired of catching snapper they couldn't keep as was I. I still don't understand why the captain didn't take us far enough out to get into some deep water species, why we didn't attempt to make bait and why we were fishing grn water rather than blue. The boat was definitely capable and fitted for fishing.
We arrived back to the dock and saw what the other half of out party from the other boat had caught. Huge AJ's, limits or red snapper and vermillions. They said they fished 300 ft of water for the AJ's.
We came back with a six person limit of red snapperor so we thought. They had miss counted our fish and we did not have a limit. Guys 2x6=12. All the Snapper I threw back and we come back to the dock short. I ended up giving one of mine away since I had caught a couple of lanes.
I may be nieve but at almost 300 bucks a head, I expected a better trip then what we were given.
My advice is research who you are going out with thuroughly before you drop your money for the trip. I was unfamiliar with this captain and his manner of fishing. The Captain we were suppose to go with, his boat was down and this was a last minute change.
Make sure the captain understands what type of fishing you want to do and delivers it. This captain knew what we wanted and ignored it. Make sure you know how far out you need to go and that he, the captain is willing to take you.
A boat like that on a 12 hr trip, we could have covered some ocean with the right captain.
I can't speak for the other five on the boat with me, but this was my worse offshore fishing experience and I will never let that happen again.
I love to fish and I understand that sometimes no matter what you do, they are not gonna gove you a bite, but the man at the helm should be doing all he can to put you on the fish and not trying to save a little gas money.