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Fished a half day today with Joe Espich from Indiana and let me tell you, it was COLD! Joe had only one day to fish and wanted to go despite the conditions. A cold front blew in last night and I woke up to 50 degree temps. You know its gonna be a tough day fishing the flats when you are praying to find a pair of wool gloves on the way to the marina. Needless to say, I was bundled up for this one. Of course, Joe showed up in shorts and fishing shirt, making me feel like a wuss.

Headed out of the marina at 10am into the biting northeast wind. I already knew that the flats were gonna be tough and everything on the gulf would be the color of pea soup so we headed oceanside where we could get a bit of protection from the wind and also have clear water. During this time of year there is a lot of life on the shallow coralheads and patchreefs so I headed to some areas where Don and I do some spearfishing when the water is warm enough to do some diving.

Joe and I ended up having a great day catching a wide variety of fish on soft plastics and plugs. We had a lot of action from crevalles and bar jacks as well as lookdowns (maybe one of the coolest looking fish you will ever see). We also ripped some lipped plugs over the structure in hopes of stabbing either a grouper or barracuda. Lets just say I went through a few plugs! Joe got absolutely trashed 3 different times by what could only have been fairly sizable grouper. When those guys emerge from there hole and devour a plug it’s quite a challenge to keep him from getting back in, especially in shallow water where you are not fishing vertically. Joe did end up getting a couple to the boat, along with a nice cuda and a large mangrove, but nothing the size of the ones that broke him off. All in all we had a great day making the best of the conditions and putting a bend in the rod.

Looking forward to the Bahamas, warm weather, and slob bonefish!

Capt. Ryan

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