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Posted by Cpt. Scott Avanzino

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Pretty increadible finish for us this week..Indian summer appears to be over and honstly it is fine with me..need a few days off to reconnect with the family and tie up all the loose ends left undone..seems like everytime we recover from a equipment breakdown we get rewarded by the Almighty with smooth transitions and bountiful catches for passing the trial..First trip out was with a group of docs one of which was my brother in law..think it set the tone for the week..great weather and easy fishing..limits of snapper everyday, at least 10 grouper, wide open tuna bite and a first for us..back to the dock before 4pm everyday..Did get one day off in between work making an Island recon mission with good friends Pete Cooper and David Bell..Tusday we had 8 blackfin, one 120 pound yellowfin, 3 grouperand 24 red snapper..Wednesday I had Ed Hodgens and his family for a snapper and grouper trip..after 3 years we were finally able to coordinate our schedules..of note were quality grouper (20-30 pounds) and the largest snapper we caught during the season a 34 pounder..we needed to get Beth's dad Jim on a snapper for his 80th birthday present and we did just that over and over..Beth even caught a 20.5 pound scamp..final tally was 10 grouper, 24 snapper, 6 blackfin tuna and one aj..Thursday I had planned to fish with the Butlers on a busman's holiday but missed the boat in a communication mix-up..smoke signals just don't work like they used to..I was able to save the morning by geting permission from Mrs. David Bell to go out and see what Ivan did to our beloved hotspots..glass calm day..sad to report that Gosier Island is nothing more than a sandbar about the size of the fuel dock..we made it there about high tide to see enough landing strip for a dozen pelicans..Breton looked relatively unchanged with a few deeper holes than we ever expected (some 8 ft)..we spent about 4 hours fishing or relaxing in the shade..got on 2 seperate hour long bites that resulted in 25 trout, 4 redfish and 3 flounder for me..David and Pete also caught some quality fish on his fly tackle (and went back for more the next day)..Also you may have heard David shouting loudly all the way in New Orleans as he got in the rhythm late in the day and couldn't contain his excitement..think I saw him catch 7 two pound trout in 7 consecutive casts at one point, my ears are still ringing..think the total was about 60 trout, 4 flounder at the dock..highlight of the day was a 20 minute fight on a bull red I fought on a stolen rod..went to bed early but vividly recall a dream I had of breaking the Gulf record for yellowfin tuna that night..a 265 I think it was..anyway Friday morning I awoke refreshed looking forward to fishing with my old pal Tom Harmon and family..Tom knows his stuff so I didn't bring a deckhand, nor was one available as both Sonny and Darryl were out on other trips..we only had to hit one spot to make the trip for me..fished out west at places I hadn't hit in some time..it was the first time this season that we fished bottom structure and it paid off tremendously..the first few fish to hit the deck were groupers..nice ones..we were fishing in 310 ft of water in an area known as the rockpiles..they were also holding a few snappers..Tommy and his dad took turns hooking fish for the guys while I watched the boat..the drift was very light and the wind and sea nil..I came down off the bridge to make a drop..I got into something that nearly bust my guts..there wasn't time to hand the rod off or even put on a fighting gimbal..as it was all or nothing to get this fish out of its hole..when it broke the surface I nearly freaked..wasn't sure if it was a snowy or a yellowfin or yellowedge grouper but I new it was a state record or even a world record..turns out it was a yellowedge grouper and at 57 pounds beats the all tackle world record by 16 pounds!!so my dream was partially true..right idea, wrong species..as of today it is pending..picked up a few more smaller yellowedges and made a run to a nearby rig to finish off the snapper and jack limit..only found 2 jac
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