The Spot : Riviera beach Wrecks
Water: 3 foot seas
Fish catches: Amber jacks, African Pompano, Almaco Jacks, Horse eye Jacks, and a black fin tuna
Biggest size Type : 25 pound Black Fin tuna
Techniques : Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 130-350 grams, butterfly jigs, speed jigs, Pink, red/Glow, silver, and blue worked the most.
This trip had been a month in the making, Jeff (Angryangler from 360Tuna.com) had been trying to get a group of jiggers to charter a boat he fished in previously, but wanted to get people that only jigged. This jigging trip was aimed at catching and releasing Sea Donkeys (over 40 pound Amberjacks). No bait was to be used on this trip. It was first to set sail on June 9th but the boat’s GPS unit fried and since the captain did not want to just take our money he advised us to wait until he got familiar with his new unit. After a couple of weeks Jeff had the idea to do a mini swap-shop on vertical jigging items. Here in South Florida we lack stores that have dedicated Vertical Jigging Products and usually only sell knock offs or products that might work but are not proven. I thought the swap-shop flea market was a great idea so I took some of the jigs I did not use so much, you never know what does not work for me might be a gold mine for someone else. Jeff put out a showcase of the the items he brought and was kind enough to offer free t-shirts and jigs. Hope the idea keeps going in the future. Two friends of our regular fishing crew were going to go on the first scheduled trip that was canceled, then it was only Ricky but the guys forgot all about him and since I didn’t check the thread on that forum Ricky was left out. Sorry my friend this was my fault. Well Ricky went on another Jigging trip with the Sealegs III out of Hollywood.
The Captain arrived and we loaded our gear in the boat. The boat was a very nice looking boat, tons of space for 6 people fishing. Enough space to cast out lures and jig comfortably. There weren’t many tangles and all were savvy as to what to do when hooking up a fish. A few fish were lost to knot problems and a couple of jigs were lost. I lost one jig because I did not replace my old split ring which was a bit partially open and as I jigged it may have just opened and allowed the jig fall off. I have seen this a few times already. Next time I will just get rid of the old ring and will replace it with a new one. Some other fish were lost because of knot failure. I helped one of the boys by tying a PR knot which was and adventure on it’s own trying to do it with the boat moving, no glasses on, and hurrying up to get ready to drop my jigs, LOL. The know was done but no big fish to test if would hold up since I only had time to do 3 over under half hitches and one six turn reverse hitch. I usually do about 6 over under half hitches then a three turn hitch, and finish with a six turn hitch and burn the end with a cigarette lighter wich was not done this time.
The Vertical Jigging got going and a couple that drove from Georgia were hooking up pretty well with inchiku type jigs in combination with small plastic squid skirts about a foot about the jigs. They got a small african pompano, a horse eye jack, and a small AJ on those jigs.
The day went on and we were a bit worried that it would be a skunked out trip but after the first few fish we went into deeper water and had double and quad hookups at a time, all were small amber jacks and then an almaco jack came on board. One of the last fish of the night was a nice surprise as the captain said we might get some blackfins in this area and so Garriga’s fish ended up being a nice 25 pound Blackfin Tuna. Congratulations to all since we did not skunk out.
To finish this Vertical Jigging report here are some more pictures. Just hoover over the pics with your mouse pointer to get a description.