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The big fish are here and they are hungry.
A lot of hammerhead sharks have moved into the area and insist on playing tug-o-war with anglers. Last Friday we had hammerhead sharks follow baits all the way to the boat, circle the bait then engulf it while we watched. How cool is that? Both fish that did that were in the seven foot range. We don't normally bring this size into the vessel for the safety of both the fish and the people. I have a dehooking device called a "hook extractor" made of stainless steel (19" long) and when you pull the handle it pulls and turns the hook. If you are looking for one I got mine at Cabela's (mail order). Since most every circle hook ends up in the corner of the fishes mouth, the hook extractor is perfect for boatside releases. Please do not bring these large fish on board unless you plan to keep them. being pulled from the water may cause internal injuries. Oh, and last Friday we hooked a fish that spooled my 4/0 Penn reel before we could get the anchor up and follow it. Wow. My best guess is that it was a very large bull shark.
Scallop season seems to be going very well. Horseshoe and Crystal river seem to be the hottest for these tasty bivalves. The limit is two gallons per person or ten gallons (whole) per vessel whichever is less.
Offshore the grouper bite has waned a bit likely due to the full moon. The Kingfish never did really come through here this year. Maybe they came by on all of those windy days in march. Red grouper seem to be biting best right now. The threat of thunderstorms seems to have the offshore types leaving at pre-dawn and coming back before the storms get going good. Of course it is very important to leave a float plan with loved ones on shore. The sea can be a generous, kind gal, but can turn into a harsh taskmaster in just a little time...please be careful out there.
Capt. Dennis Voyles is a fishing guide in Cedar Key.