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I left Charlotte at 6 AM on Friday and headed to southport. My plan was to fish the nearshore reefs for sea bass, sheepshead and tautog and check the boat out since I have not really run her in a few weeks. On Saturday the first tower trip was on the menu and I wanted to be prepared. It was a good thing I did this... arrived at the ramp and my starter was shot!

Removed it, took it in to a shop who had it rebuilt in 4 hours. I spent the four hours fishing off the town pier for a dozen tiny sea bass.

Anyway, installed the starter and hit WOFES at 4:30 PM and caught a few dozen grey trout, bluefish and small sea bass.

My radio then quit, along with my camera. Bad things really do happen in threes! Called seacat and told him to bring his radio and we would wire it up if needed. Grabbed some dinner with a couple of fishermen I met at the motel (they were in town from PA buying a boat so we grabbed some pizza and beer and shot the breeze for a while). Then got the boat ready for Sat morning.

Left Southport Marina at 6:15 with Riptide and Seacat aboard. Our plan was to go to the tower.

The ocean was without a ripple, but the further out we got the more swell we encountered. In spots it seemed like they were all 4 feet, and we had to take them dead on the nose which really slowed me down. You could tell the size of the swell by the sounds of the operator.. 'Whoops' meant hang on I did not see this one coming. 'Oh Sh*t' meant to prepare to get bounced! LOL

Anyway, we started fishing a few yards off the tower and got a few nice sea bass, pinkies and grunts plus one amber jack and believe it or not a cobia!

Moved to a series of ledges about 8 miles away and it was ON!

First bait down, nailed by a red grouper. Over the next few hours we caught about 50 pinkies, 10 or so vermillions, a handful of grunts and 17 grouper (15 reds, 2 scamps). Biggest grouper was just under 15 lbs.

The ride home was about as perfect as they come. The swell was smaller and behind us and there still was not a ripple on the surface. We arrived back at the ramp in the dark after an absolutely awesome dolphin escort!

Great company, great weather, great fishing! Who could ask for anything more?
 
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