Brody and I usually practice catch, photo, and release. However, with the Daniel Island Inshore Fishing Club fish fry on Sept. 21, we are keeping some of the fish that we catch.
One of our favorite fish to fry is the vermillion snapper. They are abundant, easy to catch and very tasty. So, Brody and I set out to catch a few for the fish fry. We launched the boat just after sunrise and headed out to a ledge in 125 feet of water. Thankfully, the ocean was calm, and we made the run in less than an hour. Upon arrival, we idled the boat along the ledge looking for fish on the depth sounder. Of course, with the amazing fish-finding and stock-trading dog onboard, this was unnecessary. Brody began barking when he wanted us to fish. There were no fish showing on the sounder, but I have learned to fish when Brody says to fish.
I dropped an 80-gram Shimano Wing Fall jig to the ledge, and it was crushed on the way down. The fish was a brute, pulling much harder than the typical vermillion snapper does. To my surprise, when the fish came to the boat, it was a mutton snapper. A big one at that. Mutton snapper are not common catches around here. Well, at least not for Brody and me. After a quick check of the fishing regulations, we invited the mutton to the fish fry. Shortly thereafter, a limit of vermillion snapper was invited as well.
With our legal limit in the fish box, Brody and I headed for home. On the ride back to the dock, I decided to stop at a submerged oyster bar in the Wando River. I was hoping to invite my other favorite fish to fry, spotted sea trout, to the party. Fishing for trout in a 32-foot Yellowfin can be a bit of a challenge. But the trout were super cooperative. Soon, a limit of trout was visiting with the snapper in the fish box.
Back at the dock, Brody asked me to take a picture of all the fish “he” caught. I laughed. Brody smiled. At least I think he was smiling. Regardless, it made for a good picture.