Once again the golden grounds trip put smiles on our anglers. Somehow we just always seem to get lucky out in the golden zone. We really didn’t have very nice weather, actually, it was really horrible for deep dropping. It wasn’t really rough but we had a persistent 15-20 knots against the current. That kinda really sucks for drifting the deep but we just kept on grinding and somehow it all worked out.
Okay… here goes!
The ride out was east wind with the seas behind us so it was a good ride. We trolled up a bunch of Bonita along with a nice king mackerel and a sailfish. The sailfish was released after some photos. We drifted in 30 fathoms an hour or so before sundown and picked some keeper red grouper on the first few drops.
The magic happens in the dark…
We steamed a little further offshore and anchored up after sundown and pretty much instantly we had the rods bending. The group on this trip were very good fishermen, they all got into a good groove of releasing nonkeepers with care and measuring anything close. The whole night was a steady pick of fish, no crazy fast bites or no painfully slow periods, just steady fishing and catching. We captured a whole mess of giant yellowtail snapper, a. 18.5 pounds 35” hogfish, s couple of mutton snapper, a bunch of vermillion snapper ( mostly big ones), some triggers, and keeper Red and scamp grouper. A bunch of Almaco Jacks and lots and lots of red porgies. I know I’m forgetting others but you get the idea… we had lots of different fish around and they were biting.

We trolled our way offshore in the morning to go deep dropping and as we got closer to the zone the wind also got more persistent. I already told you about that so I’ll get to the fishing part. We were drifting really fast and somehow we still caught fish. It was really mostly keeper scamp grouper and red porgies and it remained that way for most of the day. In the late afternoon the wind backed off and we caught a bit better. We caught yellow edge grouper, queen snapper, tilefish, and others. It wasn’t epic or anything but it was really welcomed.
After sunset, we wiggled our way to a couple of night spots and we had very good fishing again. A cubera snapper, more muttons, more red grouper, more mango snapper…. You get the idea. It was good steady fishing, we only moved twice the whole second night. Again it wasn’t fast and epic just a steady pick.
It’s 4am and I’m pecking at my iPhone while bouncing our way home, writing this report, hopefully, it’s not as jumbled as the people aboard the Gulfstar are right now. Hahahahha

Captain Richard J Castellano
WWW. Gulfstarfishing.com
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