Trip to FH-7 & MP243 on October 20, 2018© Photos Posted by Mark Primo Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was a trip with Omar who brought 2 friends from Guatemala, Harry & Dulce Chargorodsky, and 2 friends from Biloxi, Ron & Ginger Collins. Our primary mission was to fish for Amberjack. We stopped by FH-7 to retrieve a USM Data Quality Recorder where I got a 15 pound Scamp Grouper as a bonus. The water was very clear all the way to the bottom which had been unusual for this area. There were no Amberjack seen at all which is also unusual, but FAD2 had broken and was laying on the bottom which could have contributed to the lack of AJs. It appeared that someone may have hooked it with an anchor and broken the PVC pipe. The USM Recorder even had fishing line tangled up on it showing the fishing pressure had been high. Regardless, there was a good population of fish as seen on the video. Our next stop was the MP243 Cutoffs which we always found Amberjack at. We had looked at the forecast and saw a front was coming down and that we needed to be at the pass by 5pm so we planned to leave the Cutoffs around 2pm. We had caught live bait on the way but between the Red Snapper at FH-7 and the hungry barracuda at the Cutoffs, we ran out of live bait and Amberjack were being a challenge. We lost a couple in the Rig and an Almaco Jack to a Shark at boatside. Only hooked one on a jig which we lost to the Rig. We resorted to Spearfishing to boat an Amberjack, a couple African Pompano, and another Scamp Grouper. Omar lost his shaft to a Scamp Grouper on the first dive which didn't help our efforts. But the water was clear, the weather pretty good, and all in all we had a really fun day out in the Gulf of Mexico that encompassed 166 miles, 103 gallons of fuel, and 12 hours.