Fishing & Spearing to MP270 and Back on January 19, 2018© Photos Posted by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was a trip to look for Amberjack. The government unexpectedly closed the recreational fishery for this fish on March 24, 2017 citing overfishing. It opened on January 1 but was closing on January 27 and this was the only weather window in view so while I probably would not have fished on this day, the regulations compelled me to get them while I could. It had the same effect on many others as well and there was a report of one man falling overboard never to be seen again so regulations could be having a negative impact on human safety. Anyway, the DeepWater Mafia also decided to open their tournament early because of this window so this was the first day for that Tourney. We started at a shrimp boat and although we didn't jig up a Cobia, the crew was nice enough to trade us 3 gallons of Shrimp for our only 12 pack of beer. We headed further south hitting MP232 and MP236, finding only red snapper, but we did catch some live hard tails as well for bait. We hooked up Steven on his AJ since he wasn't diving this day. Then Omar and myself went down on MP270B. We brought down some chum and I shot an AJ early on, then reloaded and shot a Cobia. There were quite a few Red Snapper, Amberjack, and Cobia swimming all around us. Omar poked 2 Cobia before coming up. Omar made a second dive on MP270A to get his Amberjack and then followed up with a Scamp Grouper and a Mangrove Snapper. We also hooked a nice 43 pound Gag Grouper which was not allowed to be brought back. We kept trying for a Warsaw Grouper which would be allowed but only caught 3 large Sharks. Then it was time to head back as days are short this time of year. We had a great time that encompassed 159 miles, 82 gallons of fuel, and 12.5 hours.