Snapper season closes with easy limits
Limits filled out with mangrove snapper, cobia but grouper nowhere to be found
Red snapper limits came quick for those who hit the rigs on the final day of the 2012 season. Left to right: Bubba Perriloux of Boat City, Louisiana Sportsman's Jack Fisher and David Reynerson of Bowie Outfitters.
We left out of Fourchon at 6 a.m. and ran to a wreck approximately 35 miles from the coast, halfway into the South Timbalier blocks. Live hardtails were hooked onto 16-ounce leaders and the boat limited out with 12 snapper in less than 90 minutes.
After filling the box with red snapper, we made a run to one of the last rigs overlooking the edge of the Green Canyon to target warsaw grouper. We dropped two bonito steaks off the bow for a 40 count and dropped one whole bonito the entire span of 500 feet to the mud line from the stern.
One almaco jack was harvested at the rig, and the pole on the stern was struck a few times but nothing was pulled from the depths. Judging from the lacerations on the leader, Reinhardt decided that the deep strikes were probably from red snapper and not the warsaw for which we were hunting.
“Sometimes they just don’t want to take the bait, you know; we switch it up sometimes. I’ve caught warsaw on everything from hardtails to amberjack,” Reinhardt said, pushing aside the disappointment of not landing a grouper for the trip. “From my experience if the grouper doesn’t bite within 30 minutes, it’s not going to happen and you should stop wasting your time.
“And I’ve waited for hours for a grouper to bite (to no avail).”
After running back from the edge of South Timbalier, we stopped at a rig about 35 miles from Fourchon for some mangroves.
“I like staying farther out for my mangrove snapper. I find that the closer rigs have lower numbers because of the pressure.” Reinhardt said.
This reasoning, combined with chumming sardines and drifting cut sardine on small circle hooks, brought in the last meat haul of the day.
“It’s not just sardines, though: They bite on most kinds of cut bait. Somedays they just like some (kinds of bait) more than others. It’s like deciding to eat a steak or pork chop,” Reinhardt laughed.
While Reinhardt’s deckhand, Paul Guidroz, was chumming mangroves into frenzy, I noticed five lemon fish swimming about 20 feet below the surface.
I dropped straight down to them and flipped the bail on the heavy spinning reel. One ling turned in reaction to the falling bait and swallowed the hooked sardine chum.
One more cobia was landed, along with a nice mess of easy mangrove snapper. We could have decided to finish or limit of mangroves, but we were pretty fulfilled with having lemon fish in the boat.
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