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Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 27th, 2020, 4:44 pm
by zload
Had a chance to go with a friend on 6/20 aka Saturday before father's day and 1st Saturday of scallop season... typically I avoid the coast on scallop season weekends but figured we’d be offshore before most scallopers woke up... reality was “what a zoo”. Had I been by myself I’d would have turned around and headed home but it was a good reminder of why I avoid scallop weekends.

Arrived at the hatch around 7:30am stopped by Seahag for bait busy but not crazy, they were out of cigar minnows etc. but got some squid and some kind of frozen baitfish my buddy picked out of what was available. As we left Seahag and got within sight of the ramp parking lot traffic stops and we wait in line for an hour to drop the boat. No parking spaces in the field 1st time around, on second loop TCSO deputy stops vehicles in the road saying no more parking available and not to drop boat w/o available parking, when she stopped me I pointed out I had already paid to park and dropped the boat. Finally wiggled into a non-traditional spot in the field once I confirmed w/same deputy that I wouldn't be towed. Headed offshore to slightly choppy conditions but relatively ok water.

Ended up in 60’ more or less w/no live bait due to delay in launching. Our party of 4 landed 4 keeper red snapper all 24” or better and 2 gags with one just shy of 32” that I caught on a frozen squid. We fished hard and ran all over the place but couldn’t find any more snapper and never caught a short red snapper. Did release a few short red grouper and my buddy had trouble with some new line breaking off so we should of had a limit of snapper.

Back at the ramp we waited 1 1/2 hours to load up, same deputy was directing traffic onto the road from the parking field, some roads closed to non-boater traffic and they had a couple of guys directing traffic in and out of the ramp area. People were considerate, pretty much paid attention to the guys directing traffic and seemed to be loading relatively quickly. Basin was full so there were boats waiting in the river to load. We had planned on local dinner but no way we were waiting 1 hour + to eat so headed home to clean fish and eat left over pizza...

Returned in my boat on 6/25 with an early in the week forecast for east winds and 1’ or less which altered my plans for a summer boat “shake out“ trip inshore. Ramp was not busy and plenty of parking :-D Boat had been idle since last summer due to family priorities/CV19 and some minor repairs but after getting on the water wife and I decided on heading offshore for some more snapper action. We churned out to 60’ or so in 1-2 with a SW wind after putting some pins in the livewell. Also had some squid based on prior trip. We ended up with 2 24” red snapper, 1 25” gag and 6-8 short red grouper that had to be released. Oddly I don’t think we caught anything on the squid and the snappers/gag and most red grouper were on live pinfish so spending the time to catch bait worked out this trip. Second trip with no short red snapper landed. Hit Fiddler’s for dinner this time with no wait, new owners, somewhat different menu and food still about the same.

Not sure how much this trip will end up costing me as wife has decided she prefers snapper/grouper fishing to inshore fishing and she has started boat shopping for something mire offshore capable :o

Think I’ll stay with the week day trips :lol:

Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 27th, 2020, 7:16 pm
by leesburgga
Thanks for the report and you make me thankful I was not there on scallop opener! How far are you running to get to 60’

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Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 27th, 2020, 10:08 pm
by Salty Gator
Thanks for the report. Some good eats for y’all, congrats. I didn’t make my usual April trip this year , so I didn’t know fiddlers changed owners.

Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 27th, 2020, 10:25 pm
by zload
leesburgga wrote:Thanks for the report and you make me thankful I was not there on scallop opener! How far are you running to get to 60’

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In the 30 - 35 mile range

Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 28th, 2020, 9:39 am
by silverking
Great report. Glad you found some after the ramp wait.

So what has the wife decided on for the next ride? :wink:

My former publisher just bought a new Parker 23T with single F300. They fish offshore out of Yankeetown and they love it so far.

Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 29th, 2020, 9:34 pm
by zload
SK she thinks a 36’ Yellowfin is just right... I can’t pay for the gas in those :o

I’m thinking something in the 24’ range maybe a KW 239 or KW 244. I like the looks of the Everglade 253 as well. Lots of research and waiting out the CV19 stuff before I jump into that end of the pool.

Of course she thinks we also need a flats boat for red fish. I think the old 3 boat adage is true, skiff, bay and offshore to cover all the bases...

I was down in the keys several years ago fishing in the Maverick Boat owners tournament with a friend and at the dinner they had a tricked out Pathfinder with just about everything you could hang on it I think it was around 28’. I sent her a picture of it in a text and said they had a special tournament price going and I was bringing it home... a few minutes later I got a text back....

“I’ll meet you at the ramp”

I stopped kidding with her on new boats right then and there :-D

Our 6/25 trip was what she wanted to do for our 37th anniversary so I “chose well”.

Re: Steinhatchee 06/20 and 6/25

PostPosted: June 30th, 2020, 7:58 am
by silverking
Those Yellowfins are nice. Great ride, but somewhat spartan. Contender and SeaVee in the same class in terms of ride/performance.

A couple of good friends fished in the KingMaster tournament in Biloxi aboard his 39 YF. They burned 900 gallons of fuel running all over the central Gulf. Caught the second-place king, though at nearly 53 pounds. They won enough money to cover the fuel bill. :wink:

I've tested the Everglades. Lots of gadgets that could break and not the softest ride in the fleet.

Take a look at Parker and Sea Hunt, along with the Key West. All heavy layups with plenty of deadrise to handle the seas.The Carolina builders aren't afraid to use fiberglass.

Congrats on the anniversary and your fishing bride. My 39th is coming up later this month. :thumbup: