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Had a terrific day in the 10K Islands yesterday with my buddy Mike (InTheSlot12). We launched at Outdoor Resorts around 6:30 a.m. and planned to fish close in to Chokoloskee in the backcountry. Wind was a bit more brisk than the weatherman predicted, imagine that! Initially overcast, the sky cleared and we had beautiful though cool weather. 9:07 a.m. low at Chokoloskee so we would have outgoing water for a couple of hours and then incoming for most of the day. Fishing live shrimp on jig heads, some plugs and soft plastics, we caught dozens of dink snook, 10-12 rat reds, a couple of slot reds, 1/2 dozen trout, couple of jacks and ladyfish. And then, to cap the day Mike brought this monster to the boat. I spotted a sheepshead against the mangroves and tossed a shrimp at it. The little convict didn't eat, but then we saw this big pectoral fin waving at us, in 2 feet of water at the edge of the mangroves. We both said "it's a grouper". My jig head had caught on a mangrove root, and all that was rigged was a Z-Man Trout Trick on a jig. Mike tossed that at the fish, and the race was on. Almost an hour later and several hundred yards from where we hooked it, Mike brought this monster to the skiff. There were 5 12" or bigger catfish inside including the one in the picture! It looked like one of the fish may have been caught in its throat. Perhaps it was laying on its side in shallow water waiting for it to decay?

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BD, thanks for again letting me live vicariously through your adventures.  I can't wait to have a day like that again.  I've started working on my "new" 04 Redfisher, but again it's 31 right now with a forecast high of 48 up here in Gawga.

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