Yankee Capts 6/30 to 7/1 2012 Quality Pickings and Great Fun

Yankee Capts 6/30 to 7/1 quality pickings and great fun

THE FISHING TRIP:
Aboard the “Yankee Capts” with Captain Greg
The Spot : Dry Tortugas
Weather : Clear skies, hot day and night
Water: Clear
Fish catches: Mutton Snapper, Yellow Tail Snappers, King Fish, Amber Jack, Almaco Jacks, Bonitos
Biggest size Type : 18 lb Mutton Snapper
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, cut bait, and live bait
Jigs : 100-250 gram, butterfly jigs, speed jigs, silver, green, and blue colors worked the most.

At the last minute I decided to jump on the 2 day Yankee Capts trip. I did not have much time to go out and catch bait on my own but I did look for Gogs but couldn’t find them so I loaded with white bait, small runners, and dork jacks. Nilson (rare) one of my fishing buddies gave me some more bait including some pinfish and so I went on my way to the Keys.

The boat left at 10pm on a hot night and to hot days to follow. We started fishing about an hour or more before sunrise. First day was slow pickings but some quality fish in 120 feet or so of water showed up which was a great start for some. The current in shallow water was great but as the captain moved to 200 and up it was insane. We were close to the edge of the Gulf Stream I tried up to 18 ounces and would not hold. The Captain did a few attempts on water close to this depth but the current was too much. We had to fish shallow and even in the shallow water the current picked up.

You all know what happens when you are that shallow in the summer, YELLOW TAIL ATTACK! Many switched to catching Flag Yellow Tails, but to those that kept pursuing the muttons and groupers it paid off. Some nice Red Goupers, Black Goupers, and one Scamp were caught. I did ok, I got 11 Muttons 4 of which were 5 to 8 pounds the rest were in the double digits one was 18 pounds and another was 16 pounds which made me glad. I know Jarvis, Dom, and Daniel (regulars on that boat) got some 20 pounders as well as 2 or 3 other people. Vertical jigging I got 2 kings a keeper AJ and an Almaco that was used for bait. I finished my snapper limit with yellow Tails from 18 to 22 inches.

I tried to get some more pics but you all know what happens when you catch a fish, you just want to continue catching. Went to the back with Daniel to take a pic with his nice mutton but it was already iced up. On future trips it would be nice if some people stop for a few second and snap a few shots too. Pictures look great when a fish has just been caught. Here are some of the pics for your enjoyment:

My 18 pounder

My 16 pounder

I lost two big fish because of hook failure; word to the wise if a deal on the flea market looks too good to be true it might as well be too good to be true. I paid 2 dollars for 200 hooks. These two cause me 2 quality fish lost.

This boat came so close trolling one rod and it was only a couple of feet above the anchor line; I guess he wanted the GPS location.

When the sunset came the Black Fins started to show and were all caught on bait, none came in with artificial. Also a Wahoo had shown up we threw everything at it but it was not interested.

Here is the NOAA field biologist doing his research.

Preparing to recieve the catch

YANKEE CAPTS 6-14- TO 6-16-2012 Great fun and nice fishing

YANKEE CAPTS 6-14- TO 6-16-2012 Great fun and nice fishing

Since the Yankee Capts had to make the decision to stay year round in the Keys there was an opportunity to get on a limited load private charter, unfortunately some people couldn’t get the days off to go fishing and it was canceled but they have another private charter scheduled to leave on the 25th of June. Good luck Capt. Bill and others going on that Yankee Capts private charter that week. The fish are chewing and the current on these moon phases are usually favorable.

Well the private charter was canceled so I decided to jump on this weekend’s 2 day Tortugas marathon. The trip was great for many as some nice fish showed up and we had a nice spectacle with Wahoo, nice Blackfins, and Sailfish showing up.

For me it all started as it always does, getting bait at the nameless bridge in the keys passing by Pizza Works afterwards for my 2 slices of delicious cheese pizza and some Key lime pie slices for the trip.


We went into the sunset to get to the fishing ground by around 1:00am. In the meantime we got to watch the Basketball Game. Sorry guys but I have to say it “GO HEAT!”

The morning started slowly for me, one pink muffing and since I saw Bobby hooked on an AJ I took out my toys to do some jigging and had some fun with a 50 pounder AJ that was released. What a pain they are to fight but I love it.

The second stop was very slow and the third stop was on fire so I was able to pick up 6 more muffins on that one. A few stops came through with slowly pickings so many took advantage and did the right move “got fresh bait” kingfish were plentiful and bonitas had a good showing. I was stubborn and lost a few vertical jigs and when I used a butter knife jig and then the right and normal kingfish jig the bite died off. Later in the morning we had some more AJ and Almaco fun on jigs as well as playing with some peanut dolphins and a popper. It was nice to see them going for a popper that was half their size. If these dolphins were in the 10 to 15 pound range I have no doubt they would have hit the popper veraciously. Some ended catching a few on cut baits and so did I.    We saw a small craft out there fishing the same grounds we were. That was odd for me to see. The boat was smaller than 25 feet I would say.

A few stops after produced some mutton in the 20 pound range. I lost my opportunity as my drag was locked and had to figure out how to work around it and it was a major pain the rest of the trip. Here is a pic of quiet Brandon (I think that his name?)with his nice mutton from that stop.  As the day went on it was slowly pickings for me until I figured that my lever was faulting on my reel, it went to full while on strike. I took some time and fixed the issue. The cap on my tension settings had fallen off so water must have had gotten in it so I applied a bit of oil and I was able to set it correctly right on time to get this Black Grouper out of his hole.

The day went on and we hit 300 feet of water with no current problems 6 and 8 ounces was all that we needed to get the bait down. A few nice ARS came up, mines was only a keeper but I got to get one of the ones caught. Here is Eduardo with his nice fish and me with my keeper ARS.    The deep water was holding some of the 20 pounders caught.  Some were caught but not by me this time.

Here is a look at one of the first two boxes to fill before they put the ice on the top layer.

As the day finished Mike on fire (we nicked named him that during the trip) got a nice 30 pounder blackfin, a party that came celebrating a graduation got one as well just to be knocked down from the pool by a nice surprise on tiny bait. Don’t know how much it weighed but it was a very nice size wahoo. This stop was pretty much exiting since Little Monster (another regular on the boat) hooked up a nice night time sail fish that took him around the boat 4 times until he decided to just let go and popped off.    On the way back we saw a nice water spout forming and touching down.

Overall I have to say it was another great trip, and a great job by the Captains Greg and Linden and mates. By the way the food was great! High hooks were the norms, Jarvis and Bobby with Mike on fire tailing close. I can humbly say I only ended with 10 muttons, an ARS, some yellow tails, a yellow eye, 4 peanut dolphins for the tacos, a delicious scamp, a black grouper, and more experience on these trips. As always it was great fun fishing with great people. There were a total of 18 totes filled if I am not mistaken.

DRY TORTUGAS OCTOBER 21ST TO OCTOBER 23RD 2011

Here is part of the report and story as I remember it.

Since it was constant fishing, short resting periods, lots of rigging, plenty bait cutting, etc… the order of the events may have changed in my mind. I also tried to see what everyone in this trip was experiencing but focused a lot more on my fishing.

THE FISHING TRIP: OCTOBER 21ST TO OCTOBER 23RD 2011

Aboard the “Lauren Jeanne” with Captain Yuri Vakselis

The Spot : Dry Tortugas, Florida

Weather : cloudy, winds of 10 to 15 knots

Water: Cloudy sand mix noticeable

Fish catches : Amberjack, Jack Crevalles, Mutton Snappers, Yellow Tail, Snappers, Many kinds of Groupers, King Mackerels, Cero Mackerels, 1 small Blackfin Tuna. Horse Eye Jack, Bonita, and football sized Blue Runners

Biggest size Type : Amberjacks weight : around 50 to 60lbs… Muttons 16.2 lbs … Yellow Tail Snapper 5 lbs, Red Grouper around 16lbs…Kingfish mackerel around 28lbs

Techniques : Jigging, dead and live bait

Jigs : Knife Jigs 100-250 gram, Diamond jigs 100 gram, Red hawks jgs…Pink, red/white, silver, and blue worked the most.

THE PLANNING: After many emails and PM’s a year ago we decided to take one of those famous Tortugas fishing trips with Captain Yuri. It took many emails throughout the year to get in accord as to what gear we were all going to bring and some got together to order lead and vertical jigs so we could get discounts. Rods were made, reels were bought, and many lists came and went. We picked a moon that would not create so much pull and would result in weaker currents. We hit the jackpot as the current was minimal.

CLOSE CALL TO A NO GO: As many know that week almost got thrashed by a developing low pressure system that canceled many other trips on different boats, but fortunately for us a mild cold slowed down the low down and in the words of Captain Greg “it stabilized itself”. I think we almost became mini meteorologists, and oceanographers, LOL…. The good thing is that the bad weather created a nice environment for a feeding frenzy (so we think). The ocean was a bit dirty from the previous low pressure system and passing weak cold front. What a great time to fish!

Getting ready and loaded to the max.

THE BAIT: It was known that it is imperative that we take all kinds of oily baits to the Dry Tortugas but it was pretty hard to gather bait before the trip, at times we all tried to go out at some point and got drenched in water doing so. We collected a few runners, macks, and jacks. We decided to stop trying and to catch bait on the day of the trip. On the way up we did the norm, stopped at Jacks and got some fresh ballyhoos and some threadfins (in case we went to a wreck), we then passed by the Yellow Bait house in hopes for some frozen gogs but they had none, we passes by Atlantic fisheries and loaded on fish dip and slab of frozen gogs (BINGO! They had them!). We tried for cudas and other baits at channel 2 but these were on the other side of the driving bridge so we moved on, we passed by 7 mile bridge and found nothing there. We then went to get some pins that “SOMEONE” though was useless but I insisted and they caved in. After Rory netted the pins and Ricky, Nelson, and myself got a few of the bigger ones (Rob was the vigilante taking care of our gear), Rory got some sardines that were in the mix and Rory said “why not throw another cast?”. And so he did and got some more. We took the white bait just in case. We were more confident and went to the boat and met Jorge, kewl guy. Nice to meet you and fish with you man.

Bait gathering

THE FIRST DAY, FRIDAY:

THE RIDE OUT: Since on Thursday the weather was a little strong the plans were to go to the Fort and start fishing in the morning but we got to the boat early and Yuri decided we had a good window to go out right away so we left about an hour early and started fishing just before midnight. The ride was a little rough when we hit Rebecca’s Shoal and the waves according to the captain were about 5 to 7 feet. To me it felt like much more as I saw some higher waves that surpassed my head level (maybe it was the motion sickness that started to kick in due to my age, LOL)…

FISHING STARTED: All we needed was 3 ounces to get to the bottom but I chose 5 ounces for my mutton rod and 8 ounces for my grouper rods to be used with large baits ( I did target them on every stop). Others chose 6 ounces and even 8 ounces to get to the bottom quicker. Since the water was murky I stuck with 50lb leader most of the time and when the bite slowed down or the fish got bigger and the sun was out I switched to 50 pound fluorocarbon at times switching to 40 pound leader. After the water was chummed up the muttons started chewing within an hour of us being there. The bite was great from the get go. Two of the crew went to bed while the rest continued fishing. The first night was all about the muttons while a few sharks came by and collected their Tortugas tax. We started with a variety of baits pinfish, cut blue runners, and George had fresh gogs that he used and kindly shared some with us. We caught some muffins and some decent pinks but the bite slowed down. I then took out my little spinner with a 60 gram vertical jig and got a blue runner so George and I cut it and got more decent size pinkies with the strips we cut. So we kept every blue runner we caught after that. Other baits were used and just about everything that hit the water got chewed on. Also I think Rob tried the Lucanos and Jorge tried the Aki jig for a bit. The yellow tails were very aggressive and so we got many of them most were over 20 inches. I got one that was 26 inches (5 pounds), so I kept it.

THE VERTICAL JIGGING GOT STARTED: Early morning. I started jigging and got a football sized blackfin tuna, then came a couple of jack crevalles, and I had a nice fight on the Saltist 4500 I tighten the drag all the way and the hook pulled. Jorge started jigging as well and ended with another nice jack crevalle that was released. (We only kept one for bait). I then tried again with the looser drag (about 18 pounds), and then the trouble maker got hooked, SEA DONKEY! Rory and I were on. I spent quiet a while to pull mines in and Rory pulled his sea donkey in a bit easier since he had that huge 18K. We did not want to waste space in the cooler because we saw that the bite was kind of hot on the muttons. And each of those donkeys filled a 150 quart cooler with no problem. After the donkeys the bite slowed down and we moved to another spot. Rob got hooked on the Lucanos a few time the aki jig did not. The rest of the day was red groupers on live and butterflied “PINFISH” and we also got some nice flag yellow tails. I believe that Rob and Rory were using the white bait for those. We looked for the box of squid but could not find it, then realized we left it in one of the trucks. Jorge, Rob, Rory, and Ricky jigged the most. They pick a few nice and some short muttons and groupers. I only jigged when the bite slowed down.

THE SECOND DAY, SATURDAY:

It went by as we continued to try the jigging and baiting until we figured that we need to drop the jigs first before any bait and that was the ticket to some nice groupers and muttons. I got one of the biggest muttons of the trip on a vertical jig while Jorge got another two and Rory got a nice one as well. We were taking the pics when Nelson got hit on bait and pulled the other biggest mutton, both were 16.2 pounds on a digital scale. Rob kept on trying the Lucanos with Rick and both got nice red groupers and short ones as well. Rob got a real nice hit but his tiny Lucanos jig hook broke. Rory and Jorge continued with other muttons on the jig while I was using bait. We spent the entire day moving from stop to stop and we picked at the fish with the jigs on every first few drops. We would run to be the first ones to drop the jigs or bait, we had a small competition to see who got the most muttons and the biggest mutton, LOL….Ricky got creative and found a new secret bait, ended with a nice size pinky and I tried it as well with a much smaller cut bait and it worked. Then Nelson got creative and used a second hand bait that a red grouper had spit and BANG! He got hit on it but it was a short red grouper. The day went by and Ricky got a nice hit when all of a sudden his line felt like he was pulling dead weight, his nice size black got cut in half by a shark ?

This night we had the famous Yuri fish dinner and let me tell you it was all that people talk abound and then some. It was some great fish. I understand now how Robert started eating fish.

Jorge and Rob kept picking at the pinkies while we all slept I between naps. They got some live gogs and played with the kings for a bit. We ended with 3. Jorge had a massive hit that he could not stop. I went to be after that.

THE THIRD DAY SUNDAY:

It was the shark and kingfish saga! Every mutton or yellow tail would turn into a toothy critter (well it happened all trip long but it was more often as on this day). Nelson was the only one awake all night and he caught up with catching muttons I had a nice black grouper that cost me three tries to get it out of the whole when I felt my line vibrate, a king cut my sinker off when I had the fish a good 20 feet from the surface. Lesson learned: Spray paint my shiny leads in the future… We kept on fishing for yellow tails to see if we got some flags we ended catching some in the 24 inch range. Nelson, Jorge, and Rob kept on picking at the muttons while most of us were trying for more groupers and then they joined us as well. The morning slowed down and was time to go so we had to rearrange all coolers and drink all drinks since we had run out of fish space. The smorgasbord followed with Ricky eating his first Hot pocket ever, LMAO!!! He kept hearing hot pocket this hot pocket that until finally he had one.

BACK ON LAND! We unloaded and carpeted the floor with our catch, started to get ready to load all our stuff when we went to check the truck I opened it and Rory and I got hit by a MASSIVE! Nasty smell of the squid that was left on my cast net in the truck bed (the net still dipped in fabric freshener! LOL Well my truck stinks a mile away, I have to park in the far corner of the lot, LOL…Some got their fish cleane for 30 bucks an hour. I regret not doing so! I just finished cleaning mines a few hours ago and what a mess I have in my back yard. My neighbors are going to love the smell tomorrow afternoon, LMAO!!!!

Well that’s the end of some of the stories/report here are some more pics for those that skipped all the mumbo jumbo I wrote, LOL!

On our way to  No Name Key for more bait gathering we spotted an endangered Key Deer. They are very small deer  due to the small size of the islands and are losing their habitat.

At the temporary dock

Me

Rory

Ricky

Robert

Nilson

Jorge

The rest of the story in pictures

The final tally as given by the 6 fishermen was:

Nilson :

  • 11 muttons… (biggest at 16.2 lbs)
  • 3 reds
  • 1 scamp
  • 2 tails in the 18in range
  • 1 cero mackerel

Jorge:

  • Limit on muttons…(biggest at over 15 lbs)
  • 6 red grouper, plus one released
  • 2 big kings
  • 1 big jack crevalle
  • And countless yellow tails released

Rory :

  • 16 muttons…(biggest at over 15 lbs)
  • 2 red grouper
  • 1 gag grouper
  • 2 king fish
  • 1 big Amber jack
  • 1 cero mackarel
  • And countless Tails released, kept two 24 inchers

Robert :

  • Limit on muttons….(biggest at over 12 lbs)
  • 1 Big Mangrove snapper
  • 4 big porgies
  • 2 kings
  • 3 red Groupers
  • Over 10 yellow tail flags and countless more released

Ricky:

  • 16 muttons (biggest at 15 lbs 15 oz)
  • 6 groupers + 1 devoured by sharks,1 gag grouper,1/2 black grouper (had to pay the mafia in grey suit….)  ,1 strawberry,1 rock hind, red groupers
  • 1 porgy
  • 2 kings
  • 4 tails over 20″ (biggest at 24″)
  • 1 5′ lemon
  • 1 spotted moray eel
  • countless smaller tails and smaller sharks

Herbert (Cudaman):

  • Limit on muttons, over 4 released (biggest at 16.2 lbs)
  • Over 15 yellow tails released one at 26″ kept, one at 24″ kept
  • 2 black groupers
  • 4 red groupers, plus about 4 red groupers released
  • 1 football size blackfin tuna
  • 1 big amberjack….several small ones
  • 2 kings
  • 3 cero mackerel
  • 2 jack crevales over 12 pounds, kept one for bait because of gaft on head
  • 1 small Almaco jack released
  • 1 horse eye jack released

A variety of other groupers were caught and released by just about all the anglers on board. A total of about 160 fish kept and many, many released.

The biggest muttons caught were at 16.2 pounds by Herbert (cudaman) and one of same weight by Nilson (rare).

The most muttons caught by Herbert (Cudaman) and by Robert (WhoDey)

Jigging worked best at first drop

Dead bait worked better by switching to different baits as often as the bite slowed down.

Yankee Capts 4-8 to 4-10-2011- A Wreck Trip

THE FISHING TRIP: April 8TH through April 10th, 2011
Aboard the “Yankee Capts” with Captain Greg
The Spot : Offshore West Coasto, Florida into the Gulf Of Mexico
Weather: sunny, 5 to 10 knot winds
Seas: Calm
Water: Clear in the morning and less visibility in the afternoon
Fish catches:  Amberjack, Almaco Jacks, Yellow Tail Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton snapper, Cubera Snapper, American Red Snapper, Red Grouper, African Pompano, kingfish, and bonitos in the mix
Biggest size : Type : Cubera Snapper 37 pounds
Technique: Jigging and fishing with live and chunk white bait and speedos
Jigs :100-300 gram; pink worked the most on this trip.

Prolog:
Hi all, it’s been a while since I’ve written a fishing report but here I am giving it a try. I apologize in advance if the story line is not in the order in which the events took place. I went to fish and not to document the catches. So here it goes:
I was supposed to go fishing to the Bahamas in May but changes in my schedule forced me to cancel, but I had the itch for some jigging fun and catching something that could bring some pain to my shoulders, arms or my back. Well, I guess I am trying to say I needed some stress release so I booked a newly opened trip on the Yankee Capts “A WRECKS TRIP” OH boy, this sounded great for the stress release situation. A chance to really work some flutter and vertical jigs on some AJ’s and hopefully some grouper or snappers to gain some “PAIN” and get the stress out of my mind!

Chapter 1

CRAP! We ain’t fishing in the Tugas? Somebody brought bananas?
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OOOPS! I guess I did not read on the trip well enough. We were to fish wrecks in the gulf, wayyyyyyy up from the Tugas! When I found out I re read In my mind I thought “hmmmmmmm, king fish, cudas, lots of groupers, AJ’s, maybe some cobes, and a chance for permit in the wrecks”. Again I have a busy schedule so I had a very short window to really prepare since my rule to fish from a boat is “as much fresh bait as possible” and by that I mean the bait cannot be caught more than 3 days before the trip and the countdown first day starts at night. I started checking my goggle eye spot sources and those did not look promising, but then I thought I am looking for pain so I need to gather bait for the bait to target bait to catch pain species (In case you did not understand what I meant is that I was looking for bait to get legal size bait to catch big fish with shoulder and back wrecking strength). OK, so that meant bait like pilchards, threadfin herrings, small pin fish, blue runners, etc…. Well things started bad as planning had to go down the drain since we weren’t going to the Tugas, and to top it off someone (cough, cough) brought bananas in the boat?

Chapter 2
Preparation.
I am used to fishing by myself or a few friends form bridges, jetties, or beaches “I’m a BOATLESS individual” so I pack HEAVY! We have lots of space to run for the rod that gets the hit, this did not make it difficult to choose the basic needs to get the basic pain I wanted.
1- A spinning rod to jig with guts to get something away from the wrecks, a reel with enough drag and line to pull anything that could inflict pain
2- A spinning rod for bait that could be possibly used to get a 30 pound king fish in the boat
3- A conventional rod and reel to get nice legal size baits ( in the pound range)
4- A conventional rod and reel to get the big pain givers at sunrise and sunset
5- A conventional rod that could be used as a back up for 3 and 4 above
The above is my own list for a limited fishing trip (limited amount of fisher men or women on a single long range trip)

Chapter 3

The bait gathering

On the 7th of April It all started bad, I was supposed to go to a bridge that holds cigar minnows, small goggle eyes, (especially since I had to be at the dock in Stockton Island before 10 pm on Thursday). I started the day with the OHHHH boy I ain’t got bait in my coolers! I am lucky enough that I live close to the keys so I went straight to the Yellow bait house in Key Largo and haggled on some goggle eyes ( I know I said I may not need them but you never know what bait is the preferred bait of the day so I got them), and got some live shrimp (did not keep live, just placed in bag in the cooler). I went to the first bridge to get herrings and whatever else I could, I saw Jarvis and his friends said high to them as they left and I continued getting bait. I jumped to a second bridge to cast net some ballyhoos after a few one by one tries I went to the third bridge where most of the people fishing in the trip where there. Got the pins and separated them by size in zipper bags, small medium, large, and mixed bag (different baits).

Chapter 4

Fishing:

On the 8th of April after a loooooooong ride to the first wreck right before sunrise we all tried for some groupers and then did the switch to other baits and styles of fishing. You could see knocker rigs, fish finder rigs, free lining, heavy bottom weights, and light weights. My observation was that all in all everybody was trying something different and everybody was watching each other to see what worked at the moment as if we were on a pier where someone gets a fish to bite and all of a sudden you see 10 other fishermen in the same spot. Them not knowing that the fish are all over but it’s up to them to get them to bite where they are.
I and a few people got what we wanted, nice fish. And I definitely got what I wanted, PAIN! I started jigging and got on to some AJ’s while everyone else tried hard to get other fish. After my Aj’s a few African Pompanos came up, we got a few very rare Red Americans( cough, cough) and that was promising. As always the captains and crew worked hard and moved from spot to spot trying to make sure that all got into some “QUALITY FISH”. Yes, this trip was not meant to be about numbers or just Muttons, but about quality in size of fish that inhabit the wrecks.
I kept saying I am going to battle with the AJ’s, and so I did. I got 12 out of about 20. My shoulders were hurting, my back was in pain, my arms had a great work out, ended up got bruises all over, and ended up keeping the smaller ones to eat. The night came and so we started targeting snappers and groupers, to our surprise a ballyhoo going down produced a nice black fin (sorry I am bad with remembering names)…. So I tried jigging at night with no success, I went back to bottom fishing.
On the 9th (or my birthday) fishing was going very slow so I decided to break my rules and target the yellow tails using a guppy rig ( chicken rig) I know it sounds bad but I did it and I said it “aint no shame in this game, fish don’t know the difference! I went with the smorgasbord buffet special baits, LOL…A big mixed bait on the top, a smaller mixed bait on the middle, and a tiny single bait on the bottom… I dropped it and then POW!!! Rod tip bent, tangle with 3 people is on, I kept on reeling in, captain Greg ran to the bow to help, and Jarvis started s creaming don’t pull he’s got a big tail on… A nice tail comes up I say it’s a flag but Mr. Caesar says “NO!, is not a flag, IT’S A BANNER!”….Thanks goes to Jarvis and Capt Greg for the help on landing the nice y-tail. It was 26.5” total length as the picture shows it and may be even more if I had pinched the tail some more…. Instead of shrinking this thing grew from 24.5” inches to a nice 26.5”. After that a nice 15 or so pound red was landed and a real NICE 24 pounder mutton was landed as well. The day kept going with the moving from spot to spot. Others were having fun with jigging and on the same day Roberto was able to sneak the jig in between all the Aj’s and got a nice 25 pound or so black fin. After that a nice surprise came in the form of a cubera snapper, the Yankee fan was able to pull the pool winner 37 pounder, which rumors had it was around 50 pounds but that later was confirmed to be 37 pounds on the scale. A one of a kind for many, but just smaller one for the person that caught it ( he got a bigger one in Panama), but HEY!, this one was in Florida during our trip!
On the 1oth, things kept going slow with blue fish and lanes in the mix and finally Capt Matt decided to make a last minute move to arrive at sunrise city where we prepared for groupers and got hit hard, rods bent all over and a few Goliaths came over the rail but no reds or blacks, then all of a sudden the nice size mangrove snapper started to show until Mr. Sharky showed up and capt Greg gave us the last call for the trip.

Conclusion:

The bananas in the boat had to be eaten before we all started catching some fish. All in all fishing was slow for those that did not want to fish, we got nice quality fish, and we had a great time. The Captains did their job so did the mates and it was up to us to get the fish. We all did what we could and some of us landed something very nice. Numbers didn’t matter, quality did. The trip was fun and smelly because (cough, cough)” middle bunks situation” with someone bringing bait in their clothes and leaving it somewhere in there. I ended up taking lots of bait but ended using mostly artificials, (it’s what I asked for, “PAIN”). I did not fish for cudas as it was just to easy to do so, they were all over and a tube lure would have been just too easy.

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