I had a fun trip last week with a diehard group of returning fisherman for their third consecutive year fishing inshore with me. The only day they could fish just happened to be the coldest day of the year for us so far, with temperatures in the upper 40s, and the wind blowing at 20 for our 7am start.  And still one of the guys showed up in shorts, those guys from up north can be nuts at times. With numb hands I baited their hooks with live shrimp at the first stop where we caught a few whiting, and a few dreaded hardhead catfish.

The next stop made the morning for us. It’s amazing how the cold isn’t so bad when you’re catching fish. The first fish put up quite a battle on the light spinning tackle screaming off plenty of drag before the nice black drum over 20” came to the net.

That started off a great bite with several more drum coming in along with a few very respectable sheepshead. The guys were happy and had a nice bag of fresh fish for the night’s dinner.

I’ve also had several offshore trips over the last week, with the fishing continuing to be excellent. Several short range trips from 4-5 hours have had us catching plenty for fresh fish dinners. Mostly grunts, lane and mangrove snapper, and a keeper size red grouper or 2 among the tons of short ones we’ve been catching. Some very nice gag grouper have been caught, which must be released until July, along with a few sharks for some bigger fish on the short trips. The long range trips from 8-10 hours continue to bring in great catches of legal size red grouper up to about 30”. The grouper have been biting dead and live baits equally well, with most of the larger fish coming in on the bigger baits. The exotic catch of the week was a small tiger shark caught and released on a long range trip.