If Point Pleasant captains can't fish at home, they just take their rods to other waters. That was the case today when I joined Capt. Dennis Pelligrino on his 28.5-foot Sailfish moored behind his Cape Coral, Fl. home -- along with fellow Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association member Capt. Pete Grimbilas. Pelligrino's neighbor, John King (a retired Customs agent from Ca.) was also aboard as relatively light winds permitted a 30 mile run from Sanibel Island to some of those rare patches of hard bottom that concentrate fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
We drifted in 60-foot depths with bucktail jigs tipped with a finger mullet or large plastic grub plus a squid-baited hook on a dropper hook above it, and had steady action on long drifts. It was mostly small but colorful lane and vermillion snappers plus many undersized red groupers -- though Pelligrino boated a fat 23-incher and Grimbilas hooked one that just made the 20-inch minimum. There was lots of variety that included lizardfish, grunts, small blue runners, a gag grouper, a puffer, and even a very small bluefish that followed Grimbilas south. I released two porgies with neon blue coloration on the head.
Our fishing was interrupted only by eating lunch prepared with love by Pete's wife, Lynn, as non-stop bites continued during a beautiful day before we had a nice ride back and ended up with some great eating fillets after proving that Jersey guys can adjust to other fisheries.
The Ocean Explorer from Belmar fished much closer to home on Thursday to catch a few keeper blackfish and ling plus two dozen short tog. Their big pool is up to $3,840.