Capt. Yuri Dry Tortugas Slow Jigging and Bait 9/14/18

I was invited to go fishing on a trip to the Dry Tortugas. I was asked to replace a fisherman that was not able to make the trip so I jumped in. Many times you arrange a trip in advance things come up and people can’t make it. I was in their shoes as well looking for a replacement but ended going fishing as I was able to resolve my plans. On this trip my goal was to test my back and jig as much as I could. I’m glad I’m able to enjoy jigging a lot more now. I jigged the first two days and had to rest on the third, but I made it.

We left the docks around 9:30 pm and got to the fishing grounds around 12:30 am. On the first stop the current was fairly strong, Rory was able to get a pig of a mutton snapper but then shortly after it turned into a sharknado. No matter what you would put down it was shark after shark. Morning time came and current was still fairly strong. I was able to use 220 grams slow pitch jigs hooking up to several American Red Snappers and small mutton snappers. Then things got a bit better and was able to land a nice Scamp Grouper then again we were hit by another sharknado and ended up moving away as they were even hitting our jigs making us loose several of them until I added some flexible Tyger wire. This is a pretty good wire that is very hard to kink and is so flexible that almost acts like heavy mono filament and you can tie knots with it making it very easy to handle.

Below is Rory with his nice Dry Tortugas mutton Snapper.Mutton snapper

One of my American Red Snappers.American Red Snapper

The sharks started hitting the jigs.shark on vertical jig

My scamp grouper below was caught with a slow pitch jig .scamp grouper

Rory getting ready to release an American Red Snapper.American Red Snapper

Bill and his American Red Snapper.American Red Snapper

Having moved only a few minutes away it was donkey kong time! Ben was able to land a 70 pound class amber jack with the help of Rodney the rod holder. I was able to somehow get away from them and landed another scamp grouper. Fishing hadn’t been as good as we wanted and so the Captain suggested we do some deep drop fishing and out came the electrics but me and Jongsoo tried jigging with 500 gram jigs anyways and was able to get down successfully only to get tangled with the electric reel lines as the Captain kept trying to stay on the spot by power motoring. We decided to get a rest and Jongsoo got in the electrics while I helped a few times bringing in the fish. I should have helped more, my apologies to the guys for that.

Ben and his Amber Jack that was released. The pic does not do justice on the real size of this fish.Amber Jack

Below is my second Scamp Grouper of the day. I got a total of 3 Scamps on the #slowpitchjig.scamp grouper

A sample of the deep drop fishing snowy groupers caught by Rory and Bill.snowie grouper

Sunset came and no black groupers, no mutton snapper just sharks and sharks and more sharks. We decided to just eat a nice dinner prepared by Captain Yuri then rest and went to sleep waking up at night to try again but the sharks were just too thick. Morning came and things went for the better. A few porgies were caught as well as a couple of red groupers. Rory’s dad Bill got some nice mutton snappers and Greg got his first ever mutton snapper and it was a pig of a fish. Way to get a first with a 12 to 14 pounder. I also got into some mutton snappers on the slow pitch jig. By this time it was already 3pm and the Captain decided to move.

A nice Dry Tortugas Sunset.dry tortugas sunset

Below is Jongsoo on a battle with a big shark.dry tortugas fishing

below is Jongsoo with a porgie caught on a slow pitch jig.porgie

Then again a Red caught on another slow pitch jig.red grouper

At this time of the day it was #slowpitchjigging time and worked nicely. Rory with a mutton snapper caught on the slowpitch jig.mutton snapper on slow pitch jig

And another mutton snapper caught by me on the slowpitch jigs.mutton snapper on slow pitch jig

What I call a white grunt caught by Greg.porgie

Below is Bill with another mutton snapper.mutton snapper

Rory with a nice porgie.porgie

Here is Greg with another nice Dry Tortugas size mutton snapper.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i also took a turn with a nice size Dry Tortugas mutton snapper.mutton snapper

Next spot was not so great we power drifted to keep vertical but all we hooked up again were sharks and re sharks. Sunset move was also not productive, no black groupers just more sharks and the rest of the night proved much of the same, sharknado! Jongsoo took the cake with a shark over 200 pounds or so.

Morning time came and it was basically the same so the Capatain took us to a shallow water flag yellow tail spot. The boys were able to land many nice flag yellow tails but I was not prepared for that. I was able to land a nice mutton snapper and a nice Barracuda but that was it. It was the end of our trip.

Here is the nice cuda.barracuda

All in all it was a sharknado trip with slow catching and some quality fish in the mix. In the end we took dinner home for a few weeks if not a couple of months so this was an ok trip.

Below is me with two of the fish not in the above pics and the overall catch from the trip.Herbert 7

Until next time, Tight Lines!

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Yankee Capts Halfway Ledge 7-12-18 Awesome Times!

It is always a tedious process to put together a fishing trip a year in advance, yet I always love looking forward to the next. Being a Charter Master isn’t something easy but it’s fun and it’s where my fishing trip starts. Many got on the trip, many dropped off due to new jobs or family issues, others because of health issues and so on. But finally in a crunch of a few weeks we were able to get all replacements done and as always with the exception of once, we found all great people to fish with.

I started collecting bait very late as I had many family outings that preventing me from going in the search for bait on a daily basis. I usually start one week before the trip and load up on as many fresh baits as possible. This year it got tough I looked for goggle eyes and spedos but was only able to get a few goggle eyes and a few baby bonitos. That was not a problem as I was planning on jigging in the daytime and using baits at night time only. Below is my bait setup at one of the local piers and before you ask there isn’t a specific pier where you can get your bait, you must visit all of them and then when you find the bait you go there as often as possible.

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Before I loaded up the car I made sure to include 3 pitch rods, 2 bottom rods, and 3 jigging rods and one of the jigging rods to double as a heavy grouper rod. The Capt had contacted me through the office as he was out there fishing and told me to bring heavy weights as the current was very strong. I notified everyone and was glad I did since some times I needed to use 2 pounds to keep my bait on the bottom, but vertical jigs of 200 grams and up were no problem to hit the bottom.

As we were driving up I noticed the old trailer park in Sunshine Keys that was next to the Missouri Ohio bridge was completely gone, but as always in the keys rebuilding after a hurricane was already in progress and many new stores, houses, and projects were already started or completed before the last hurricane, hell, my roof is still being replaced jsut now after many months of humid battles against the rain and the Keys are looking amazing in comparison to my house. “We survived, now we thrive” is always the motto of the keys and they have proven it.

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An awesome sight along the highway was to see the rebuild of the old 7 Mile Bridge is back on the way again.

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A dream for me had been to see this bridge in Big Pine Key reopened to fishing once again (Spanish Harbor West End). As a teenager this was my favorite bridge to fish from. Even when I had a boat  I spent a few weeks fishing under it with my family. I am so exited go see it again, there will be no more taking a long piece of 4×4 to sneak in the middle of the night to fish from this bridge. Oh boy! Oops did I say that?IMG_1543

Well we got to the boat and as always it was on to the Hogfish Grill for a nice Hogfish lunch and a drink.IMG_1548IMG_1555Once lunch was over it was back on to getting the boat loaded. Sorry for the pic below it is not meant to offend anyone but its towards Captain Rare who on the last minute made us all look for a replacement. I know he was glad to see this picture. He was missed as he is always part of the fun.

IMG_1557With the boat mostly loaded it was just time to wait for a few straggler running late.IMG_1562IMG_1569With everyone there all the trucks, cars, and vans were parked it was time to go on this adventure.IMG_1564

While on the boat, we all got together upstairs and talked about the plans and giveaways of goodies donated by Osage. Everyone got a bag with 3 items or more in them, randomly given to everyone of the fishermen. Plus a white hat in case they needed one.IMG_1506

And while on the way another middle finger for Captain Rare. Why not!IMG_1570

We got there early morning and the bite started. Here is William with a nice Red Grouper.P1040713

Jordan with a Mutton Snapper.P1040715

The fish started flying in the boat, we had a nice hot bite!P1040716

I hooked up a decent Scamp Grouper on the slow pitch jigging depot jig right before sunrise.P1040717

Can you complain about a nice fish filled sunrise?P1040718

Eugene hit it hard with this nice Porgy.

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I kept on the slow pitch jigs and hooked up on this Amberjack that was released.P1040722

Dan got a nice Red Grouper while jigging.P1040726

I saw some top water action so I threw an H4L Wingman to get me this nice Black Fin Tuna.P1040729

Alex got this Grouper pool winning Fire Truck Red Grouper.P1040731

On Jose’s first trip he hooked up nice on the Red Grouper as well.P1040734P1040736

This is what the first box looked like by 10:30 am. It was full!P1040739

Well, morning have to start with nice fishing and a nice breakfast right? So here my my custome breakfast by Chef Chad. Here is his menu.

https://yankeecapts.com/yankee-capts-galley/

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The day went on slowly but surely, Robert hooked up another nice Red Grouper.P1040741

Well, why not show the rest of the sotry? Even the small fish were aggressive, look at this 2 lizard fish hitting a jig. They must have said I’ll get half abd you get half?P1040743

Double hook ups trippele hook ups were still seeing around noon.P1040746

Dan got a Nice Scamp Grouper right before we drifted into sand and the the Slippery Dicks started to show up.P1040748

Lunchtime came so I was ready to eat my bun less sirloin and bacon burger.P1040750

The Red Grouper kept on coming I think just about everyone got a few of them or even their limit.P1040751

As I kept on and off with the slow pitch jigs I hooked up another Blackfin Tuna.P1040756

The current was getting out of control so the sea anchor was deployed.P1040757

And in again came the double hookups but this time jigs were king.P1040759

Another nice Scamp Grouper this time by Robert.P1040763

And a nice fatty Red Grouper by Eugene.P1040764

While at the bow Victor was getting his Mutton it ended up in a double. This is a Father and son in law combo!P1040767

Robert had been doing slow on the first day and then woke up and killed the next day! Here he is with a nice red grouper.P1040768P1040769

Well we were at sunset city and things started to slow down a bit.P1040771

We filled the second box around midnight when the blackfins started to shoe up in bigger numbers!P1040772

The next moring came in and Art wok up and it was a rotation between him, Jordan, Little Chris, Miami Chris, and Mario. They got plenty Mutton Snappers while us at the bow were just looking at one another.P1040775

Things got so slow after that, we even found someone trying to fish with an orange!P1040776 The jigs were king again, here is Chris on his slow pitch jigging Red Grouper.P1040778

My back started hurting so I stopped jigging and decided to go big and pay the price of not catching fish for the opportunity to get a big grouper. I used spedos and big squids I kick my self for missing 4 bites that almost pulled my in the water but hey! It’s fishing not catching! (kicks my self again!)P1040782

Rory with a broken leg made the best of his trip fishing at the rail as much as possible. Here he is with a nice Mutton Snapper.P1040783

Robert did great with the slowpitch jigs and his 10 bucks plastic squid, here he is with a nice wahoo.P1040790

The Shake and Bait double D’s Dan and Dan also did great vertical jigging all styles.P1040791

Lunch time came up and a nice meal was at hand. A Chef’s Philly with out the bun.P1040792

As you know all good things must end, it was our last chance at fishing and we we got to the spot it was filled with hundreds of Barracudas and Amber Jacks, but William was able to get through them and catch this last mutton of the trip.  after that it was home bound.P1040794

On the way home we got our last dinner. With an awesome starter of Avocado and tuna.P1040797

The shrimp scampi was amazing!P1040799

And one last look and a Florida West Coast Sunset. P1040800

And what a way to enjoy it with a nice beer, meal, new and old fishing buddies! Even if there were a few name callings, a few screams for getting lines crossed, a few “HEY who drank my Gatorade? In the end we all ended up smiling and drinking the night away on the way home.P1040801

When we got back to the dock it was only a short wait to get our fish. The totes were overloaded with them and we had had a nice sleep before we got to the docks in the morning.IMG_1587

Here is Donald who won biggest Snapper with this about 14 pound Mutton Snapper.

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Not only did he win the pool but also a nice goodie bag with the Havana Club Rum donate by Captain Rare and Churchill cigars donated by Osage.

Here is Robert again with biggest fish. He also won the pool for biggest fish and a goodie bag with a Stag knife, braid tantrum, Yo-Zuri Chrystal 3d, and detachable rod butt.

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Below is Alex with biggest Grouper. He won a bottle of 12 year Old Flor de Caña Rum donated by Suarez Liquors located at 799 West 29 st Hialeah FL 33012 and Churchill cigars donated by Osage.

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Mario got a goodie bag from donations by Osgage and my self. This was for catching the first grouper.IMG_1511

Victor got a goodie bag from donations by Osgage and my self. This was for catching the first Mutton Snapper.

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Robert got a goodie bag from donations by Osgage and my self. This was for catching the first and only wahoo.IMG_1510

And now some of the fish pics and cooler pics to make some people jealous for not coming on this trip.

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I hope you have enjoyed the report. Keep your lines Tight and until next time!

And my apologies to Captain Greg for getting so loud on the last day while coming back home, but we threw a party to celebrate our success.

A great thanks to:

Captain Greg for making this trip affordable to all of us.
Osage for donating the vast amounts of items for the giveaways
Captain Rare for supplying the rum for our celebration and for biggest mutton
Suarez Liquors for supplying the 12 year old Flor de Caña rum for biggest grouper

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Shoal and Marquesas Keys 2018

It was nice to finally be able to go out and fish. After a car accident last year I was sent to the side lines and had to stay away from hard activities. I did my therapy exercises and and worked very hard on strengthening my back, but still was only able to fish 2 times and it was not pleasant once I got home. This time it was different, I went to catch the bait and felt good, I went fishing and did not spend weeks in bed suffering pain. I am very glad to now know my back is at least 95% good.  For this trip our plan was to catch fresh gogs for the trip, make fresh chum, and hope for good weather to make a long trip as far as the Marquesas and perhaps as far as Rebecca Shoal  near the Dry Tortugas Florida just in time for the grouper bite. We accomplished all.

As we got to the docks in Key West we loaded the coolers and got rid of a few, we had to play Tetris to get them in the 22′ Sea Cat. 4 fishing rods each, 3 tackle bags, 2 food and drinks coolers, 2 bait and chum coolers, and 2 coolers filled with ice for the fish is what we packed.

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Once the boat was loaded we left the docks around 8am and got to our destination around 11 am. It was nice to ride on 1 foot seas so we went passed the Marquesas to near Rebecca Shoal area.

On the way there we were pleasantly surprised to see a school of young Tarpon migration through the distant shores, it was roughly 40 miles out near the Marquesas when we spotted them. We stopped, took a few pics and and threw a few casts but they just wanted to swim, below is a photo so you can get the idea.

Tarpon migrating

Once we got far enough, well, as far as Bill the Captain had calculated we would have enough gas to get back, we looked for rock bottom and barely had any markings of fished but we tried anyways.   It was about 11:25 am and to our surprise the fish showed up and started chewing like the was no tomorrow.

First up was Bill with this Porgy.

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In second came this nice Black grouper,MarquesasRebbeca201839Black grouper

We caught a couple of Mutton Sappers and then to my surprise after a big hurtful battle in came my Goliath grouper. I thought I was done after catching this fish but kept on fishing.

MarquesasRebbeca201841 Goliath Grouper

Below is one of Bill’s Mutton Snappers and a nice Scamp Grouper.

MarquesasRebbeca2018mutton snapper

MarquesasRebbeca2018scamp grouper

The fish were chewing well so I took out my slow jigging rod and my jigging depot slow pitch jigs. In came a Porgy, a few  legal size mutton snappers of which I released a couple to let them grow bigger and a nice black grouper which I also released. Below are the pics:

MarquesasRebbeca2018porgy

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MarquesasRebbeca2018Black grouper

After hooking up to a small Mahi Mahi using an H4L Wingman lure, things died down so we decided to go to a Public listed wreck around Rebeca Shoal that was in about 60 feet of water and it was Donkey King fighting all the way along with a few groupers and snappers. Below is my Amberjack which I released. I could not get a bait past the Amber Jacks so after this fish I decided it was time to take a break as I was hurting a bit.

MarquesasRebbeca2018AmberJack

Mario had caught a couple of Mutton Snappers already when he got the American Red Snapper below.

MarquesasRebbeca2018ARS

Bill saw the screen loaded with AJ marking and so decided to start speed jigging for them. He hooked up some nice fish along with a big Jack Crevale.

MarquesasRebbeca201869AmberJack

MarquesasRebbeca2018JackCrevale

Mario was able to get a bait pass the Amber Jacks and hooked up this very nice Mutton Snapper.

MarquesasRebbeca201867mutton snapper

In the end we were able to fill two 120 quart coolers with fish and no Amberjacks were kept. I got my limit on Mutton Snappers and groupers plus my porgy. It was a nice load. I have fish for quiet a bit now.

The main baits used were Google Eyes, Cigar Minnows and Flying fish. The gogs and cigar minnows were caught ahead of the trip, the flying fish just literally started jumping in the boat at night. Thank goodness for LED lights that attrack them and for the sharks and  other fish that were scaring them enough to fly in our boat.

We butterflied the gogs as shown below:

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I used an 8500H Calstar Rod. My reel was an Alutecnos Gorilla 12. My main line was 50 lb braid with 25 feet top shot of 80 lb test line. The top shot was already on my line and it wasn’t going to get in the way of catching mutton snappers but ideally it should have been 50 pound test mono line.  The terminal tackle used was 5/0 4x Strong circle hooks with 10 to 15 feet of 50lb fluorocarbon leader. And yes, this is what I used to bring up that Goliath Grouper as well as the Amber Jacks.

As for the slow jigging I used my SJ& Shark and Cudaman jigging rod. My reel on this rod was an Accurate Valiant 400 2 speed loaded with 50lb test Daiawa J-Braid and 20 feet top shot of 50 lb flourocarbon leader. For the jigs I used http://www.jiggingdepot.com 230 grams slow pitch jigs. We were mainly fishing 180 to 300 feet of water and bare a knot of current. For my pitch rod I used a Calstar 8 foot rod and a Shimano Sustain 8000 with 30 lb test and H4L wingman lure. I did take a speed jigging rod with a narrow Alutecnos Gorilla 12 loaded with 70 lb test Daiwa J-Braid that I had to use to fish with after loosing the knob on my main reel. I gotta remember to use lock tight so this won’t happen again.

Thanks to Captain Bill for a great fishing trip!

Thanks for visiting my humbled blog. I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures. Until next time.

Tight lines!

 

 

Pulley Ridge Lite 2017 – Quality and Good Times Tourney

This is our third annual trip to Pulley Ridge on board the Yankee Capts. As always, it was a blast to be fishing with great fishermen from our fishing forum communities. It is always great to put a face to screen names and it’s always great to hear how they fish in their areas. The exchange of ideas and knowledge is invaluable on these trips. Our trip this year was a grind like we haven’t seen before, but the captain was able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. He put us on top of quality fish and then found some fish that were chewing so we were able to catch and put fish in everyone’s cooler.

What a start! I got to the docks on 3 cylinders making me show up later than I ever would have. When I got there the Captain asked me if we were all at the dock so we could leave earlier and as I was told we were, with the exception of 3 people. I started contacting all the missing fishermen. One was by the Navy base, Victor (alias Martin and 5 other names including mutton slayer of this trip) was late, told me I am 20 minutes away but showed up an hour later, and Andre showed up as we were waiting on Victor. I counted the 19 we were supposed to have and we left the dock. As we were out on the water and on the channel bound to the fishing grounds, the boat stops. The Captain had to turn the boat around because Andre called saying we left him at the dock. CRAP!!! I must have counted the extra person on the boat (a Captain in training). We made our way back to the dock, picked up Andre and then off to the fishing grounds we went. Below a pic of Andre being picked up.

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As we went on our way we got a nice surprise snack from the Chef.

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Thanks to OSAGE, H4L jigs, Jigging Depot, and this tiny blog of mine we were able to give away hats, T-shirts, and some nice jigs, knives, and other tackle.  All took place on the second floor while at the same time I gave a small orientation.

DCIM107GOPROOur plan was to start with ARS (American Red Snappers) at about 1 am and then make a run to Pulley Ridge but a storm was on top of the fishing spot and as we got to another spot we were greeted by the taxman (sharks). Bill and a few others were able to get away from the sharks and landed a few ARS and other fish. We then took off to Pulley Ridge and arrived in the am. The bite was slow but we managed to catch a few here and there.

Below is John with a keeper Red Grouper caught on a goggle eye bait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is Jongsoo with a Red Grouper caught on 220 gram Jigging Depot jig.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is Nilson with a keeper Red Grouper caught on a goggle eye bait and Rori telling him to let him grow a tad bit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is Victor, the slayer, with a nice Red Grouper caught on a goggle eye bait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Victor again with a Mutton Snapper caught on a goggle eye bait as Brian is trying to lick a bit of luck off his smoking head.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Victor again with another Red Grouper caught on a goggle eye bait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jongsoo got this Red Grouper with a 220 gram silver SharkjigPulley Ridge 201703

Imram got his Grouper on bait.Pulley Ridge 201704

Daniel landed his Mutton Snapper on the jig. This one got him the first Mutton of the trip prize.Pulley Ridge 201705

I managed to land this nice Blackfin on a silver 120 gram Jigging Depot jig. This one took the biggest Blackfin pool.Pulley Ridge 201706

I believe Alex landed his Mutton Snapper on a jig as well. This one took the biggest Snapper pool.Pulley Ridge 201707

Chris below with a big Black Grouper. This one won the Biggest Grouper pool. He caught this Grouper using an 8 ounce buck tail jig tipped with ballyhoo.Pulley Ridge 201723

He picked it up a few times for those taking pictures.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is Brian trying to show a Lionfish inside the Grouper’s mouth. Yes, they have reached Pulley Ridge.Pulley Ridge 201708

Here is some bendo action by Dustin.Pulley Ridge 201709

The bite stopped and the grind started after lunch. Luckily for those who paid the $100 for the all inclusive food package we were in for a culinary treat. Below is the Brizo, a grilled panini with smoked turkey, salami, Brie, Swiss Cheese, Berry Chipotle, and Aoli Balsamic glaze. WOW that was good!

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Around 3 pm we got into a few more bites. Here I am with another Mutton Snapper caught on a silver 220 gram Sharkjig.Pulley Ridge 201711

I apologize to the guys as I was not carrying my pocket camera but instead I had to run to the table to reach for my big DSLR camera. Below are Mutton Snappers caught by William and not sure if it was Andre or Dustin on the jigs. This was a short bite around 7pm or so.

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Night time came and we got a nice dinner, a Chicken Cordon Bleu, White Wine Beurre Blanc Sauce, Sauteed Spinach, and a Parmesan Risotto with a side salad. This is when I learned the beer was included in the $100 all inclusive meal plan.

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Night time was another grind, I expected the Blackfins to show in large numbers but it never happened. Below is Bill with a Red Grouper around 5 am.Pulley Ridge 201714

The Captain moved and the a.m. gave us another short lived hot bite. Here is Chris with his Red Grouper on the jig.Pulley Ridge 201715

Below is Bill with his Mutton Snapper on bait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nilson below with his Mutton Snapper on bait.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is Jordan with his nice King Mackerel from a flat line.Pulley Ridge 201716

We were also expecting a good number of Wahoos, but the guys trolling lost a few hits and waited for one to materialize. It just did not happen so they fell asleep.Pulley Ridge 201717

Since the bite was so slow Captain Greg took us to deeper waters in the 350′ to 450′ range where a mixture of AJ, decent size Almaco Jacks, and some Groupers were slowly caught. Below is Chris with his catch caught on a jig.Pulley Ridge 201718

Jongsoo got lucky and won a prize for most unique fish. He landed a nice size Long Tail Bass.Pulley Ridge 201719

Nothing was happening so we made a 25 mile ride to another area where Robert was able to land a very nice Black Grouper. He patiently waited on this fish to get out of the hole, but in the end he had to just put that pressure and pull him out.Pulley Ridge 201720

Alex found a nice Almaco jack here.Pulley Ridge 201721

After that we moved again and this time we were in a hot ARS and Yellow Eye Snapper bite. I think everyone was able to get fish in their coolers on this stop. Below is Rory with a nice Scamp Grouper caught on Squid bait.

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Dinner was a very nice Surf and Turf combination; Filet Mignon, Crab Cake, Hosin Greens, Roasted Red Potato, and Side Salad plus a great raspberry shake. After dinner we went on our way to one more stop. Some fishermen went to sleep, while others stayed awake preparing their rigs, checking their bait and chit chatting a bit.

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At 2 am Sunday we arrived at our last stop, so I went to the bunks screaming LAST CALL TO FISH GUYS, IF YOU WANT FISH WAKE UP! Someone screamed F- DAT gonna keep sleeping!  Well this stop was mayhem fish after fish after fish, many got their ARS limit here and many put fish in the cooler. The Blue Runners were a pain, but I was able to get my limit of ARS and got me a few Muttons as well. Below is Nilson with his 2 am ARS.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got back to the dock and put away our tackle. Then the ending ritual began, numbers called, people responded and fish went flying into their coolers. Below is Brian walking towards Mario’s cooler with his African Pompano.

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Once the fish were in the fishermen’s coolers, it was off to the scales to see who had the biggest Grouper, Snapper, and Blackfin Tuna. Below is Chris who  won the Grouper category by a landslide.

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I won the Blackfin Tuna category with only a couple of pounds difference.Pulley Ridge 201706

Alex won the Mutton Snapper category with a nice difference in weight.Pulley Ridge 201707

All in all, there were some mishaps at the start, but great food started early, and the giveaways were given. As we started fishing we had some quiet time with slow quality pickings, and then ended up with some mayhem fishing time.

After the long grind many of us were able to fill our coolers. Here is my 120 quart cooler, I was very happy about it. Pulley Ridge 201708

Below is Victor, the Slayer’s catch.

Victor's fish

Below is Miami Chris’ catch

The best part was that I did not have to go hunting for ice since the boat now has ice for sale on the property.Pulley Ridge 201703

Below is the menu we had  to chose from, sorry for the blurriness, it was hard to get a good pic.

Pulley Ridge 201726 menu

A big thanks and kudos to Captain Greg Mercurio for allowing us to fish more on the way back home, finding a way to put us on the fish that were biting, Those last stops put a lot of fish in our coolers. Another big thanks to the crew for working as hard as you always do. I hope the black box was filled with a good share of thanks from the fishermen of this trip. And who could forget the great food and the “wake me up at any time to cook food for you” from Chef Chad. Once again an awesome trip. And one more big thanks to Ricks Reels Service for servicing my reels and returning them on time for my trip.

Pulley Ridge Mini Tournament 2016-Don’t sleep

Let me just start by saying it’s fishing, not catching. We had a weird current and wind on this trip. We kept on drifting towards the wind on some areas and where there was no wind there was a whirlpool that made the lines in the bow go to the stern and the lines in the stern go to the bow. The mates worked hard at the tangles but I think we did a good job at not having as many. Key here was fishing with the right weight. 12 to 16 ounces was best, those using less were getting their lines all over. Jigging was almost king on this one. Slow jigging got many fish and some were nice quality. Well, yes it was a grind, but at least we had a nice breeze to cool us off. And with the pics below you can now see what a bad day of fishing at Pulley Ridge looks like, and I can testify to the old saying, it is a hell of a lot better than the best day at work. And the other saying: If you snooze you miss out on quality fish.

Below, getting ready to load the boat.Pulley Ridge 06-201619

We took a group pic at the beginning since so many just wanna dock and go home.Pulley Ridge 06-201625

Upon arrival to Pulley Ridge the mutton snappers and red groupers were waiting for us with open arms. Here is Nilson with the first red grouper of the trip at around 6:30 am. Photo courtesy of Bill Benz.Nilson Red Grouper

Gilbert started shining with the red groupers as well. Photo courtesy of Bill Benz.

Gilberts red grouper

The red groupers and mutton snappers responded very well to our jigs. Below is Jongsoo with a mutton caught on a Shark jig and a Shark and Cudaman Slow Jigging 7′ rod.Pulley Ridge 06-201628

Below it’s me on the same jig and rod with what we call a “muffin”. It’s a mutton snapper that was on the smaller size but made it to the box.Pulley Ridge 06-201629-2

Miami Chris got this mutton around 9:30 am.Pulley Ridge 06-201630

Then Jongsoo landed this nice mutton snapper on the same setup again.Pulley Ridge 06-201633

Below is Chris, he just ventured on slow jigging and landed 2 muttons back to back on the jigs.Pulley Ridge 06-201634

Pulley Ridge 06-201635

Bill got in the action landing this nice red grouper below.Pulley Ridge 06-201638

Jared converted with the same Shark and Cudaman slow jigging rod. Pulley Ridge 06-201639

Gilbert joined the action with this nice mutton snapper.Pulley Ridge 06-201640

Around 10:30 am double header by Art and Bill. Art was second high hook of the trip and landed 8 nice mutton snappers as part of his load.Pulley Ridge 06-201643

Below is Gilbert with a nice red grouper.Pulley Ridge 06-201645

Here I am again, but this time with a jiggingdepot.com jig and my Shark and Cudaman SJ7 rod.Pulley Ridge 06-201647

Jared took home some nice mutton snappers caught on his very expensive jigs. Unfortunately for him he lost many jigs to cut offs, OUCH! My wallet hurts just thinking about it.Pulley Ridge 06-201649

Gilbert again and another red grouper.Pulley Ridge 06-201650

Art got one of the first blackfin tunas, and a very nice one non the less.Pulley Ridge 06-201653

Bill jigged all methods, and here he is again with a nice almaco jack.Pulley Ridge 06-201655

Bill was on fire at one point. Landed another nice red grouper. Pulley Ridge 06-201656

Jared followed him with another nice red grouper on the jigs.Pulley Ridge 06-201657

jongsoo tested just about all his jiggingdepot.com jigs and they produced very well. Here is another nice red grouper.Pulley Ridge 06-201660

This gentleman tried and finally landed his fish. The red groupers were all over on this trip.Pulley Ridge 06-201666

Will got  another nice red grouper on a 220 gram jiggingdepot.com jig and a Shark and Cudaman SJ7 rod.Pulley Ridge 06-201668The afternoon landed and with it came quietness and tangles and the grinding started real hard.Pulley Ridge 06-201670As the night flew by Captain rare and I made our move towards the stern and back and as we floated to the stern Nilson got a very nice blackfin tuna that was enjoyed by 3 black tips that came cookie cutting it to the top. The sharks came and went but were not much of a hassle for us. in the background is chef Camela, she made some awesome burgers and fish tacos.Pulley Ridge 06-201671

Jongsoo also got into the blackfins with his jiggingdepot.com jigs. The blackfin tunas came sporadically through the night, I know a few guys got some on the H4L jigs that were given as samples. I hope they took some pics.Pulley Ridge 06-201673Night turned to daylight and I was on the grind side of things when I heard “DOLPHINS!, DOLPHINS!” I quickly ran to my rod I had ready with an H4L Texas Toothpick and got me a small dolphin “no pic sorry” it was lost due to a missed gaff. Three time it was missed three times I had it belly side up next to the boat, but that’s how life goes. I then went back to fishing and as the day went by lunchtime was here and again I heard “DOLPHINS!, DOLPHINS!” this time i got my other rod that was ready with an H4L Wingman, I sight casted to the bull but the he stood back and let the cow hit it. I quickly set the hook and she ran to the sides, she took one jump and as I got her head out the water she quickly gave up. this time the gaff didn’t miss.

Cudamans mahi mahi on H4L wingman

 

Afterwards it was back to the grind, a fish here and there  and then Bill with a mega donkey of about 70 to 80 pounds! Bam! That most have been a lot of work. I was catching some z’s while this happened. Photo courtesy of Bill Benz.Bill and his 70 to 80 pounder amberjack

And again Bill, but this time with a blue line tile. We ran into some of them at 350 feet of water.

Bills blueline tilefish.jpg

. Here is Jared connecting a 2 dinner size scamp. I think he will post on his blog. If you go there you can read the recipe he made “Scamp grouper in a lemon garlic chardonnay reduction with brown rice and molasses kale”, it looks good.Pulley Ridge 06-201676

Captain rare took the snapper part of the pool with this mutton snapper over 8 pounds. Chris came second so rare took the money and Chris took the Rum and cigars. Enjoy!Pulley Ridge 06-201681

Gilbert, on the last few hours pulled a Hail Mary beating my cow dolphin and took the pool money with this nice black grouper, he also took biggest grouper prize and most snappers, groupers, and blackfins combined. He put a big bait on and went home with big black grouper steaks.Pulley Ridge 06-201683

Below photo courtesy of Bill Benz

Gilberts Black Grouper-2

Will made out nicely on some big blackfins winning biggest blackfin tuna.Pulley Ridge 06-201695

We fished until the time allowed,Nilson got one of the last mutton snappers caught.Pulley Ridge 06-201696

Miami Chris got a few kingfish at night and on his last efforts he hooked up a fish that made him go from the stern to the bow.Pulley Ridge 06-201698

This was his reaction when he saw the fish.Pulley Ridge 06-2016101

A bobo, a bonner, or better known as a bonita in our waters. Oh well, it could have been something better.Pulley Ridge 06-2016103

The night ended and we went back home. her at the dock was the marine biologist collecting samples and measurements.Pulley Ridge 06-2016105

Here are the guys waiting on their catch.Pulley Ridge 06-2016106Pulley Ridge 06-2016108

If you didn’t sleep so much below is what an average cooler would look like. Nilson catch, minus a few red grouper and a big margate. Photo courtesy of Nilson.Nilsons catch

Rori’s catch and his future fisherwoman next to it. Photo courtesy of Rori.Roris catch

William was very happy with his H4L jigs.Pulley Ridge 06-2016109

Pulley Ridge Trip 2016 Mini Tourney rules

Heaviest overall and heaviest grouper: Gilbert

Heaviest snapper: Captain rare Nilson

  • 1st Place – Gilbert
  • 2nd place – Art
  • 3rd Place – Miami Chris

Heaviest fish caught on jig – William

Heaviest blackfin tuna – William

Heaviest mutton snapper – Nilson, rum went to Miami Chris

First wahoo – Prize given to Rory, he is the only one that came close to it

First mutton snapper – Jongsoo

First grouper – Captain rare Nilson

Worst luck – Imran

Once again thanks to the sponsors on our trip and for our trip. You make this trip a lot better than it normally is.

Captain Greg Mercurio of http://www.yankeecapts.com

Osage from 360tuna.com

http://www.H4Ljigs.com

http://www.jiggingdepot.com

Captain Phil Caputo from boatlessfishing.com

Captain rare from boatlessfishing.com

And this humble nonprofit blog that is here to help as many as possible.

And again thanks to the forums that let me post these trips:

http://www.boatlessfishing.com

http://www.360tuna.com

Thanks again from the Shark jigging Depot team.

shark team

 

Pulley Ridge Lite Mini Tournament 7-7-16

July 7th is only a few days away. We will be fishing a Mini Tournament about 175 miles off Key West Florida. I am writing this post to thank our sponsors, without them we could not add the additional excitement on this trip. Making it competitive will make all anglers fish harder and they will be able to test new or known products. Thanks to those that sponsored our trip!

http://yankeecapts.com/

http://h4ljigs.com/

Osage, he sells on ebay by the name of okmeans

http://jiggingdepot.com/

Captain Phil Caputo, a newly certified 6 pack boat captain

Captain Rare of Boatlessfishing.com

Also thanks to the forums that allowed my posts:

http://www.boatlessfishing.com

http://www.360tuna.com

 

Pulley Ridge Trip 2016 Mini Tourney rules