'It's that time of year when people want to go fishing'
Although red snapper season closed in federal waters Monday, charter boat captains are still fishing and booking trips.
"We're booked solid the next few weeks," said Capt. Kyle Lowe on the Special K.
"We'll be catching snowy grouper and yellowfin on the longer trips," Lowe said, noting there are other fish in the sea.
"You've just got to follow the rules," said his deckhand Danny Brennan.
Monday was the last day of the nine-day snapper season in federal waters. With the extremely short season, captains have fished two and three trips a day trying to get their anglers out to the fishery for a catch of the shiny red fish.
"We fished 74 hours last week," Brennan said as he cleaned up Monday's catch of red snapper and a scamp.
For a look at some of the catches, click here.
Texas anglers aboard the Game On with Capt. Eric Thrasher pulled in Monday with a catch of red snapper, black snapper, mahi mahi and Spanish mackerel.
Capt. Mike Graef on the Huntress and his customers from Arkansas backed in with a load of red snapper, black snapper, Almaco Jack and a blackfin tuna. While deckhand Groovy cleaned the morning catch, Capt. Graef went to fuel up for the afternoon trip
Capt. Ken Bolden on the Just B Cause came in from a six-hour trip with a rack of red snapper.
"We've fished about all we could stand," Bolden said, noting they've been doing 10-hour trips, or a six- and a four-hour trip, or two six's each day.
"Historically our customers are used to coming down and catching red snapper … they are getting cheated out of it," Bolden said. "I have to remind them, it ended," he said when they call to book a trip.
"I'm slammed the rest of the week," said Capt. Scott Robson of the Phoenixas his first mate unloaded the days catch or red snapper and black snapper.
Tennessee anglers on the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips came in with a mixed bag of red snapper, king mackerel, white snapper and mingo.
Atlanta anglers on the First Light with Capt. Steve Haeusler reeled in a rack full of red snapper. The Atlanta man said he's been fishing with Capt. Steve since the 1990s.
Capt. Jason Hallmark on the Vengeance and his group from Indiana backed in with red snapper, lane snapper, mackerel and Almaco Jack.
Capt. T.J. George on the Daybreak filled the racks with red snapper.
The Shamrock II with Capt. Eddie Dykes at the helm came in with a limit of red snapper, northern mackerel and king mackerel.
Capt. Kirk Reynolds on the SS Enterprise and his group from Arkansas reeled in their share of red snapper and Jasmine Hattabaugh pulled in a 25-pound king mackerel.
Capt. Reynolds who's also been fishing non-stop, says the next few weeks are "filling up."
"I don't think the snapper thing is going to slow it down. It's that time of year when people want to go fishing."
Tampa anglers on the Fish-N-Fool with Capt. Casey Weldon filled the racks with red snapper, mingo and white snapper.
Capt. Bernie LeFebvre on the Windwalker II and crew pulled in red snapper and black snapper.
Colorado anglers on the Sure Lure with Capt. Don Dineen brought in some big red snapper and Georgia anglers on the Silver Hook with Capt. Rodney Souza pulled in their share of red snapper.
Red snapper is done in federal waters; however there are a few boats in the harbor that have dropped their federal permit and can still catch red snapper in state waters — out to nine nautical miles through July 14.
Fishing is good and there is a wide variety of fish to hook up with so go ahead and book a trip.
See you at the docks.