Red Drum and Cobia

Left the big boat in the slip this weekend and made a couple of short trips in the 20-year-old skiff that just keeps running. Yesterday evening, I ran over to the buoy 8-10 area and fished with live hard crabs on the bottom. Put out 4 rods, 2 go off. Catch a big red drum on one. The other has a little crab shell left on the hook. Put them back out, catch another big red drum. This is going rather well. Then all 4 rods go off. Well, there is only one of me so this is a problem. Get the first one in and then the second. Worried about the first one being in the boat too long so just leave the last two screaming drags and release the first two. Get the third and then the forth. Well, that was fun, wasn’t going to do that again. Took my remaining bait over to Wes who was also over there fishing solo and ran back home at sunset.

Went out for an even shorter trip this morning. Ran across the flats and set up off of Plumb Tree Island. Caught 2 cobia and pulled off a couple more and came in for lunch. Both fish were released. The cobia season opens June 1 with the same regulations as last year: 1 fish per person, 3-fish per boat maximum, 40-inch minimum, only one fish may be over 50 inches. The gaff prohibition went away last year and gaffing remains ok. Pay closer attention to the required free cobia permit and mandatory reporting. Reporting is really mandatory this year and if you do not file your reports on-time, you will be out of the fishery next year.

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