Cobia Time - April 28, 2019© Photos Posted by Mark Primo Miller © Hi-Res Source
Paul's Birthday was April 27, but I was doing Lionfish Hunting off Pensacola, so this was the day after and I told him I would take him out and he could bring his own crew. Paul fishes professionally and doesn't get to freedive as much as he likes so he invited Austin Powell and off we went. We stayed in close and the water was somewhat muddy. We stopped at a few wrecks and a shrimp boat where I took my typical bird photos. Eventually we ended up at Air Force Tower "C" and started chumming as several large Red Snapper showed up boatside. I decided to try and hook one up while the guys were about to get in. I put a butterfish on a free hook and just as I planted it in the water, a nice big brown head showed up at the boat. I presented the bait and he engulfed it immediately. We were tied to the platform and you have to understand that this particular platform has legs going off at an angle underwater so I knew I was in trouble. After setting the hook good, I actually gave the fish complete slack so he would not run off as we eased off the platform. Once we got a comfortable distance away, the fight was on. It was a really good fight that lasted probably 30 minutes. We had a great deal of trouble trying to get him close enough to gaff as I was afraid of a break off. Since they boys had their spearguns, I encouraged them to finish him off which Paul did. It was a grand fish that pegged our 60 pound Boca Grip and really made out day. So I estimate the weight at about 62 pounds. The boys also shot some nice Mangrove Snapper and we called it a good day. The trip encompassed 65 miles, 38 gallons of fuel, and 7 hours.