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Old 06-03-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
CatDiver
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Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

We took 5 divers (2 teams) and 15 tanks to the Middle Grounds on 6/1. Left Clearwater Pass at 6:15 am and the first set of divers was in the water by 9:30. Two foot or less seas that got better as the day went on. Conditions in the water were unbelievable with some spots where you could make out structure and sand from the boat in 100 feet of water. The beautiful blue water didn't make it all the way to the bottom but viz at the bottom was still outstanding.

This is only our third trip out there, so we are still figuring out where to go, what we're looking for, and how to best maximize our trip. We really only had one spot to repeat and that spot didn't produce any fish (It would have produced ARS and AJ's). We tried four other new spots (we do have some number to point us in the right direction and the sonar / side scan work well). One spot produced the best fish for the day - and because it was so good, both teams dove that spot. That spot had two 15 pound hogs a 15 pound gag and a 19 pound gag.

A third spot was a total waste of time with green algae / gumbo, and no real life. Two other spots combined for three other hogs, two more gags and a mangrove. These fish while all really nice weren't "Middle Grounds" fish. I don't think anyone saw any lionfish or red grouper with any size. Lots of ARS and to a little lesser degree, mangroves. There was a thermocline at around 60 feet taking the temp down to 77 degrees. One diver wore a shorty. The rest of us just had on SPF shirts.

Everybody was safe, had fun, and we were back at Clearwater Pass right around 5:00 p.m. The seas agreed us with us coming back and we ran mid 40's the entire way which was nice at the end of a long day.

I put together a video. I put my crappy shots in there too. It happens. It's a real live dive trip. All wounded fish were ultimately killed and recovered so it worked out.

https://youtu.be/sXLJ93io67k
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #2
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Nice trip and video. Solid hogs on that first dive!
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Glad you got some very nice hogs. Thanks for the written and video trip report.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

cool video, not everyone makes perfect shots on every fish. I would love to get back out there sometime.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Thanks guys. Each trip out there has been better. Would really like to go a few times a year but easier said than done with work, family and weather.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:11 PM   #6
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

...kinda like going to a huntin' camp. Always an adventure.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

That 'cuda at 4:01 would have been a dinner for the boat
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Nevermind...you got him at 5:12 Nice.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:17 PM   #9
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Nice video. I am curious though, why not reload on the hog instead of trying to go cave man on him?
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:14 AM   #10
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

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Nice video. I am curious though, why not reload on the hog instead of trying to go cave man on him?
I think probably as much as anything, I'm just not as comfortable with that gun. It's a custom semi-enclosed double barrel which my wife bought for me. It's more of a chest loader, and I haven't used as much to get proficient. One of the spears had a reel that was already bitched up from an earlier shot. I switched back to my 48 JBL for the rest of the trip which was probably what I should have used all along.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:27 PM   #11
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Fun trip! Nice job! Some beauty hogs for sure.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:04 AM   #12
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Nice Vid,
Iam going soon out of Cedar Key ,will post.
Were you in the southern or middle middle grounds area.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:01 PM   #13
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

Thanks for posting. Good on'ya for staying on the wounded fish and finishing it off. Those damned remoras always have me wondering where is the shark?
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:36 AM   #14
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

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Nice Vid,
Iam going soon out of Cedar Key ,will post.
Were you in the southern or middle middle grounds area.
I'd say a little north of about the middle. Did one spot even further north but it was full of gumbo
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:40 PM   #15
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Re: Middle Grounds Trip 6/1

One of my buddies on the boat took the same raw video and made a completely different video. It's funnier than mine.

https://youtu.be/BC3zGTh5fLY
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