The return to Florida! Last year's trip was such a success that we had to do a repeat this year. Unfortunately, Ken and Michael weren't able to make it this time, but my friend Terry and his girlfriend Kayla agreed to join Ruoxi and me on a roadtrip from the midwest to the sunshine state. The four of us packed in my Subaru and drove two days before arriving at the duplex we rented in Marathon. Ryan and Meghan, our friends from Tampa, checked in a day earlier and were waiting for us when we arrived. After unloading the car, I grabbed my light rod, put a piece of squid on a small hook, and dropped it in the canal behind the property. On my first drop I got a new lifer!
Gulf Toadfish (Opsanus beta) - new hook & line species #244
The next morning, before heading out on our charter, I checked the canal again to see if anything new showed up. The morning light was just right, and I could see the bottom clearly. A school of jacks swam by, and I quickly tossed my piece of bait in their path. One of the fish took it, and I reeled in my second fish and second lifer.
Horse-eye Jack (Caranx latus) - new hook & line species #245
While Ruoxi and I went off with Ryan and Meghan on our charter, Terry and Kayla spent the day relaxing at the duplex. They did pretty well catching fish and took some good photos.
Schoolmaster (Lutjanus apodus)
Gulf Toadfish (Opsanus beta)
Blue Runner (Caranx crysos)
For the rest of our stay we didn't get too much else exiting out of the canal. I caught a couple mangrove snapper and bluestriped grunts. Another gulf toadfish was the only other fish I took a photo of.