Reward Fishing Fleet – All Day Trip 1-9-16

I wanted to go fishing  this weekend so I called the Reward Fishing Fleet to book a spot on their special all day trip, for $100 it’s a nice bargain to go out all day fishing without having to go back to the docks and the wait for the boat to leave back on the next trip (taking two 4 hour trips on the same day).

The trip started by gathering bait. The mates and a few other fishermen collaborated with catching white bait, pinfish, and small grunts. Once the bait was non responsive we moved onto another bait spot, the famous Bent Marker outside of Government Cut Miami. There we met with a numerous amount of boats trying to catch bait themselves. Below is a pic of the Marker.

Bent Marker Port Everglades

We then moved up to several other spots where people were catching vermilion snappers, Amberjacks, and Almaco Jacks. Jongsoo caught an Amberjack that was tagged, the fish was lip gaffed, taken a picture of, measured and released again. Below is Jeff the mate before measuring the fish. Sorry I didn’t take a pic of you Jongsoo.

Taged Amberjack

On the next move we saw some birds but nothing was biting under them, we kept moving and then as we stopped to fish I saw a Mahi Mahi and let everyone know, I wanted to make sure someone got it before it left. Leaving a caught Mahi Mahi hooke in the water will bring others closer to the boat if they are schooling together. I went to get my plug rod as Will sent his out first cast catching the first Mahi Mahi. I sent my plug flying out and as I retrieved it with a sweeping motion I caught the next Mahi Mahi with an H4L Wingman plug. I caught another right after while using the same plug. One of the mates set up some pitch rods and people started catching more mahi mahis including Jared who was ready with his own pitch rod. A total of 12 were caught ensuring many would take a nice dinner home. Below is mines.

Dolphin Fish

At one of the spots we started to get a few small Blackfin Tunas, mines was one of the smallest ones and one of the fishermen by the name of Ben whom is another experienced slow pitch jigging fisherman that was only using jigs caught the biggest one, a football size one with enough meat to get a couple dinners out of it. Here is my small Blackfin Tuna, it was so greedy that it swiped a jig half it’s size.

Blackfin Tuna

As the day went by a few yellow eye snapper, sand tiles, and a rare Long Tail Bass was caught by Jeff another experienced slow pitch fisherman. I should have taken a picture but I was busy fishing, sorry guys, I was trying to maximize my fishing time. On the deeper end of the trip we fished down to 500 feet of water where Will caught a nice keeper Amberjack.

Will Amberjack

I was still fishing with my prototype slow pitch setup and Shark Fishing Jigs when I hooked up a Snowy Grouper and then sent my 500 gram slow pitch jig down again and hooked a Yellow Edge grouper. What are the odds, the only two keeper groupers caught were back to back on my setup. Below is the Snowy Grouper and the the Yellow Edge.

Cudaman Snowie Grouper

Cudaman Yellow Edge

The highlight of the day came when Jared hooked up with a Sailfish on a jig. He fought it for 30 minutes going around the boat 2 times until he got it close enough to touch the leader and made it an official catch. The jig was extracted using a gaff and the fish was released. High fives went around and the fish swam away to live another day. Below is Jared fighting the fish and also a pic of the Sailfish with the jig on it’s mouth.

Jared Hooked on a Sailfish

Below is a video of part of the fight.

All in all it was a good trip and plenty fun was had. We left with a full boat’s fish cooler. Back at the Bayside Marina Docks the fish were unloaded and the mates cleaned the fish for those that wanted that service. Below is the mate sorting and giving the fish to the fishermen.

Reward Mate sorting fish

Below is a fisherman that was using bait and tried out vertical jigging. He caught dinner and wanted a picture for him to later retrieve from the web. So here you are Sir. You are welcome to download your own picture, enjoy your fresh fish dinners. Just click on the picture to make it bigger, right click on it and save it to your PC or phone.

Fisherman

Happy New Year to you all and Happy Fishing in 2016. thanks again for visiting my site.

Vertical Jigging tips:

In order to reach the bottom use 1 gram weight per foot of water (if fishing in 300 feet of water use a 300 gram jig), if the current is stronger adjust accordingly by using a heavier jig. It works the same way for Slow Pitch Jigging.

If of any interest to you I was using a 60 to 400 gram Slow Pitch Jigging Rod, a Shimano Ocea Jigger 2000 with high speed gear 6.1:1 loaded with 30 lb test braid line, 40lb test fluorocarbon leader, and 3/0 size hooks with 2mm length  assist cord. two hooks on top and two hooks on bottom.

 

 

 

Pulley Ridge LITE – A Jig and Bait Adventure

Many have adventured to the Dry Tortugas fishing grounds; some have adventured to the Pulley Ridge area and fished the deep drop zones in the daytime and shallower areas at night. Not many if none have only fished below the 500 foot mark and the shallows of Pulley Ridge a full 3 days (if someone has congrats you kept it quiet long enough). This trip started when members of the Boatless Fishing forum got together at a BBQ, some dreamed of a long range Florida fishing trip, since a few of us had done this before we suggested a few options and one topped them all so we said lets go on the Yankee Capts, let’s put a date and ask the options. I emailed Captain Greg Mercurio of the Yankee Capts and asked him for rates and dates. He came up with a great idea that involved less sharks than in the Dry Tortugas and less quantities of small size fish, but a novelty on its own, something a little different; A focus on quality fish, let’s go to Pulley Ridge and explore fishing on top of the bank in less than 400 feet and doing so full time. No deep dropping that requires electric reels. That was the main idea behind this trip and what can I say, he was right on the money. We found quality and plenty of it. I can only let the pictures speak for themselves.

We told people not to focus on buying expensive baits like goggle eyes. A lot of people still did, well, it didn’t work so well here The fish wanted oily or bloody baits like speedos bonita. Squid did well enough in my opinion. As for gear just stay with the regular Dry Tortugas gear. Just like Captain Greg recommended; 50 pound test braid was perfect to get the bait down, a 15 foot top shot of 50lb test mono was sufficient, a 10 to 12 ounce bank sinker tied to a swivel placed on the main line and then a bead on the main line. Then another swivel and about 10 to 15 lb test mono with a 7/o in line circle hook was the preferred rig  ( http://yankeecapts.com/tackle-section/ ). For the vertical jiggers, 50lb braid to 10 feet of flouro carbon line and 220 gram jigs to 350 gram jigs was all that was needed under the conditions we had.

We were to depart at 8pm, but Captain Greg contacted me the prior day to see if we could leave the docks earlier since we had a long drive to Pulley Ridge. We all got there with in minutes to 3pm and waited for the boat to return from filling the boxes with ice and the boat with fuel. We all gathered by the boat and looked like a Marine Flea Market was about to happen.

     Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Bill, who drove from Georgia wasted no time and started to troll with his rod as soon as we hit the depper waters of Key West as we approached one of those Key West sunsets

      Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

We all prepared our final adjustments to our gear as the night approached. After many ours to Pulley Ridge morning time was there and our co Captain was waiting for the morning wahoo bite. But we had to wait for that one.

Pulley Ridge fishing She knew we were getting close to the fishing grounds and in no time our Pulley Ridge veteran came up with one stud of a 17 pound Scamp Grouper. Winning the prize for first grouper caught.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Coincidentally, Bill who is an avid traveling fisherman was slow pitch vertical jigging and hooked up on the very first Mutton Snapper of the trip. He won a prize for doing so.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The day started on fire, there was hook up after hook up. Bait and vertical jigs went head to head. Here is Jarred a new comer to vertical jigging and now an avid slow pitch jigging man, he hooked up on a slow pitch vertical jig with a Red Grouper.

        Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

The bite had slowed down on the first stop and so we moved to another and then a little deeper. Nilson, did not take long before hooking up with a nice Amber Jack which was released.

Pulley Ridge fishing  Pulley Ridge fishing

A lot of screaming reels all over the boat with double hook ups, up to quad hookups, the over under screaming of the mates could be heard from one end of the boat to the other as the mixed bag of fish started flooding the decks. Some bonitas (little tunny) found their way into the mix and a regular scene to happen of the days of fishing.

     Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Pulley Ridge fishing

Andre, a new face to our group was enjoying some vertical jigging action and caught a nice Almaco Jack.

    Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

Will, a now vertical jigging veteran showed his jigging machine aptitudes switching from speed jigging to slow jigging when the moment required it, but he also threw a pencil to change routine from time to time. Next to him is Chris, a new comer to the Long Range scene hooked up on not only a good fish but on the urge to go back and do it again.

   Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing
The bite was still almost non stop, we hit the right place at the right time. On came Quy, he jumped on the trip after another fisherman hurt his knee. I got to to tell you he made the right decision as he was getting some nice fish. Next to him is Art who once again nailed another quality fish and not to be his last either.

     Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Well I was not only documenting the trip I also got to fish and this time I hooked up on a nice Amber Jack from 400 feet of water on a Shark Slow Pitch Jig.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The the jigs kept on bringing fish up to the decks, this time bill and Jarred had double headers on slow pitch jigs. Jarred was also having good luck with Shark Jigs. Jarred has a Yellow Edge Grouper and Bill has a Snowy Grouper.

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Rori joined the party with a nice Blue Line tile and Nilson got himself a Snowie Grouper snack.

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Jongsoo hooked up with a nice Snowy Grouper.Pulley Ridge fishing

And then again with an Amber Jack using a Shark Jig.

    Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

Nilson and Imran hooked up on some nice beauties Queen Snappers.

Pulley Ridge fishing

      Pulley Ridge fishing

The variety kept coming, big Gag Groupers started to show on this trip. Below is Danny with a nice 27.5 Gag Grouper caught at 11:30 am of the first day of fishing. This fish was caught with a whole squid.Pulley Ridge fishing

Some more Amber Jacks were showing up in between the Gag Grouper Catches.

Pulley Ridge fishing

It was a madhouse again with a mixed bag of fish comng over the rail and them again more Gag Groupers made a showing. Jongsoo got a nice one that went over 20 pounds.

Pulley Ridge fishing

I got another Gag Grouper that went 29.5 pounds.Pulley Ridge fishing

Then Victor joined me as he was part of our triple Gag Grouper hook up.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The hot bite was quick, it only lasted 30 minutes and by noon things had calm down. The only thing caught for an hour was strangely enough, a startfish. No worries it was released back to the ocean. Then the fishing got a little slow with a few fish on every drop and so the sun  started to set many took a nap or stayed away from the hot sun. That was a good choice.

Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Night time came with a another nice mixed bag of fish. Rori started it with a Red Grouper and William caught a nice King Fish Mackerel on a Pencil.

Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Danny got in the action with Black Fin Snappers and Rori got a nice Mutton Snapper.

Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

Then Rori hit it big with a nice Red Grouper at around 10 at night.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Once again the bite slowed down and slow pickings were back on, but then at 2am things turned around. Chris got a Mutton Snapper and right after that a very nice Dog Snapper.

Pulley Ridge fishing

By 2:30 am Nilson got a nice Blackfin Tuna. Many of the were to come via vertical jigging with glow jigs and even with non glow jigs close to the boat. Sorry that bite was just too hot for me to put the rod down to take pictures.

Pulley Ridge fishing

I followed with a Mutton Snapper and a Nice red Grouper.

     Pulley Ridge fishing   Pulley Ridge fishing

The bite kept on going on and off with waves of fish coming and going, this lasted until about 7:30 am and after it slowed down the Captain decided it was time to move and try something else.

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I keep telling people if you brought the gear to troll, do it. Rory did and he was rewarded. Up came a nice 35 pound Wahoo. I know that left a great taste on many people’s mouth. Got to love a quality fish like that.

Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

 Pulley Ridge fishing

I fell as sleep during a hot Mutton Snapper bite that lasted a short 30 minutes. It goes to show you that you should always sleep when the boat moves and not when it stops to fish. Well, after that was over a few quality Kitty Mitchel were caught and some were released. Here is Jarred again with another Slow Pitch Vertical jig caught fish.

Pulley Ridge fishingBelow is a video Jarred shared on his Slow Pitch Jigging

The quality Queen Snapper did not stop showing up. Here are Bill and Nilson with two more beauties.

 Pulley Ridge fishing

Pulley Ridge fishing

As the Queen Snapper were hitting the decks 3 sail fish were hooked. One by William on a vertical jig, one by Patrick as he was deploying bait, and one by Art. Hopefully the video will come out good. To top it off a Mako shark was hooked up and lost right at the boat.

Sailfish Pulley Ridge

Chris and Art kept on the quality hunts.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Art dialed in.Pulley Ridge fishing

It was almost the end of the fishing trip and I nailed the smallest fish so far to hit one of my jigs. It’s amazing what fish will try to swallow when they are hungry.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The day ended for us at the bow with Bill and a super nice Grouper.

Pulley Ridge fishing

And Victor with a very nice Almaco Jack easily over 20 pounds.

Pulley Ridge fishing

All good things must come to an end, and this time with an awesome Pulley Ridge Sunset.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Rori and Bill did not give up on the trolling until the very end.  Chris and Rori were hoping for a last minute Wahoo.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The fishing crew last resort was rest and wait for a dinner snack.

Pulley Ridge fishing

The boat crew lined up all the fish on the side of the boat, getting ready to dock. In total we filled the 2 back coolers and one quarter of the third. Not bad for so many who were here for the very first time. That goes to show that when people follow instructions they get results.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Once docked we got ready to receive our fish and tally for the prizes.

    Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Pulley Ridge fishing

These were the 2 contenders for biggest fish. I happened to win that category, but did take my self out of the non cash prizes since I organized this event. The cash prizes were a pool and had no sponsors in it.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below are the runners for biggest Snapper. Imran won that category.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is William, he won biggest tuna and 2nd place most Mutton Snappers, Groupers and Blackfin Tunas, he received a fishing trip with Captain Phil Caputo.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is Art, he won First Grouper caught. He got a nice set of jigs donated by OSAGE my self and a prize bag donated by JimyjigsUSA. The jigs had a very nice finish to them and the glow paint is high quality. I and others were impressed with the finish.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is Bill, he won First Mutton Snapper caught. He received two one pound spools of mono donated by Art.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is Quy, he won most Mutton Snappers, Groupers, and Blackfin Tunas Combined. He received a free 3 day Dry Tortugas fishing trip on the Yankee Capts.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is William, with his prize for biggest tuna caught. He Receive OTI poppers donated by OSAGE and a prize bag donated by JimyjigsUSA.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below and again is William, he also won Heaviest fish caught on jig. He received a Vertical jig pack donated by OSAGE and my self. He also received a prize bag donated by Jimyjigs USA.

Pulley Ridge fishingAnd Once again William won with heaviest combined weight of Snapper, Grouper, and Blackfin Tunas.

Shark Tounament Winner

Below is Andre, he won 3rd Place with most Mutton Snappers, Groupers, and Blackfin Tunas caught. He received 2 Packs of Mentos and a $50 gift certificate.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Below is Chris, he won 4th place most Mutton Snappers, Grouper, and Black fin Tunas caught. He received a Harness donated by Patrick and a JimyjigsUSA Koozie.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Here is another look at Art’s Queen Snappers. These were runner ups to biggest nappers.

Pulley Ridge fishing

Victor and Danny show us their groupers once again.

Pulley Ridge fishing

here is Victor showing off his Almaco Jack

Pulley Ridge fishing

The crew cleaning the fish.

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And to finish it all off here is the group shot and two panoramic shots.

Pulley Ridge fishing     Pulley Ridge fishing

Pulley Ridge fishing

Please visit our trip sponsors. They were generous and very professional with their Prizes.

Our trip not only became a special novelty trip, it became a mini tournament on its own thanks to officer Chris’ idea, a California Long Range trip and Dry Tortugas trips veteran on board of different vessels. I started to look for sponsors right away and was very happy that Capt. Greg Mercurio sponsored us from the start, not only did he waved the fuel surcharge for our Long Range Fishing Trip, he also donated a free 3 day fishing trip to the Dry Tortugas. Also to add to our prizes Nilson Soto a member of several fishing forums and avid Land Based Fisherman and with several Dry Tortugas fishing trips on his belt donated an unusual prize. Osage a vertical fishing veteran also donated jigs to our mini tournament. Art who is another Florida Long Range veteran and an original Pulley Ridge pioneer donated 2 full spools of mono. I posted on several places looking for sponsors and JimyjigsUSA came on board on their own, we really appreciate they did that and were impressed on the quality finish of their jigs. Shortly after, Captain Phil Caputo donated a full day fishing trip as well. Jongsoo, a representative of Shark Jigs came on board with a full load of samples and great prizes. The jigs functioned perfectly and were of high quality. We were very grateful to all those that donated to our mini tournament.

YankeeCapts

Yankee Capts, Key West’s Originators, Leaders and Pioneers of Dry Tortugas/Pulley Ridge Fishing Trips since 1977

http://www.yankeecapts.com

Shark by Jigging Depot copy

http://www.jiggingdepot.com

JimyjigsUSA

http://jimyjigsusa.com/

Pulley Ridge fishing Pulley Ridge fishing

Pulley Ridge fishing

Panama City Beach – Grouper Madness – 8-10-14

Back in August my son and I took a drive up to Panama City Beach for a friendly Tournament. Getting out of Florida always seems like it takes for ever specially when you have to drive through unfamiliar back roads and ghost town look a like places. On the way we almost hit a dog and some deer that seem to appear on the road like holograms in the foggy night.  Scarier thing is to stop at a gas station and been asked “you lost? You ain’t from around here ha?” I have to thank to that darn GPS for always taking me in the back roads and neighborhoods with 1 pump gas stations.  Well, once we got off the I-10 highway it was a dark ride all the way to Panama City Beach but we got there in one piece.  As we arrived at the hotel we went to get some subs and a drink then shortly after we went straight to the hotel and prepared for an all day of vertical jigging. My plan was to start with a long jig for AJ and then to use the slow jigging method combined with what I refer to as Yo-Yo technique (not Yo-Yo California Style; drop, reel fast, drop again, repeat). Simply drop the jig to the bottom and slowly pump it up and down. Then after a few up and downs slowly pump and reel, pump and reel in a slow manner.

It was morning time, we got some breakfast and then we had to hunt down for the Marina’s location. Once there we loaded the boat with our long list of gear and a couple bags of ice. The boat left at high speed to the fishing grounds just to find another team fishing the same wreck we were going to fish as our Captain positioned the boat we heard a shout saying that we were already fishing for second place as they had caught a big Amber Jack.  We thought they were joking so we began to fish the other side of the wreck where a small jack was caught but nothing else was interested in our Metal Vertical Jjigs. Boat Ride on the Snapper Napper

We moved to a second spot where the action was hot from the start it was an all out Porgie (White Snappers) madness by the guys. Below is the first Porgie on the boat, this one was by Ray.Ray and his Porgie

Here is Jeff and the second Porgie on the boat. In total there were 7 porgies caught and most were from this stop.Jeff with Porgie

Finally on the third spot red grouper after red grouper started coming up, but for me it was slow as I was the only one with a long jig in pursuit for a big AJ. After seeing that my jig did not produce on the first two spots I changed it to a smaller length H4L Goober 300g and finally started to catch them groupers and in between them there were several Red Snappers and a couple of  Bonitos caught.

Below is Captain Charlie helping Ray with his Red Grouper. He was using a Jigging World JW-A141 170g Vertical Jig.

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Here is Jeff and the biggest grouper of the tournament. A 19 pounds Gag Grouper.

Jeff Gag

Rey with another Red Grouper.

Ray and his nice Red Grouper

Below is a double with a Red Grouper by Ray and a Scamp by me.

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A keeper Gag liked my H4L Goober 300g jig.

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Red Snappers also liked my jig, but most of this one was taken by the tax man in the Grey Suit (a shark).

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Here is James with some bendo action.

Jay and Bendo Action

After the Grouper and ARS mayhem things slowed down a bit, then my son was able to nail an Lesser Amberjack.

Seth with Almaco Jack

There were lots of American Red Snappers caught on our boat. Below is Ray and in the back you can see  James with another one.

Ray with American Red Snapper

Here I am with another ARS as well.

Herbert and am American Red Snapper

Then my last Scamp Grouper came in. I caught 3 Scamps and a Gag on this trip.Herbert and a Scamp Grouper

After that scamp we had a 5 consecutive hook up. Here are three bent rods on this pic. It ended being a mix of groupers, American Red Snappers, and a Bonito.Triple Hook up on the pic

This spot has an all out mix of fish. Here is my son with a Porgie. He was catching all his fish on an 80g Maxel Dragonfly.

My Son Seth and his Porgie

Then he managed to get an Amber Jack on the same small jig on a different spot.Seth's AJ

That was it for us it was getting late, we had a box full of fish and most of us had our grouper limit for the day so we called it the day and headed home.

On the way back

Back at the dock we tallied our fish and took a quick picture. The total came out to 27 fish caught between 5 of us. 6 Red Groupers, 8 Scamp Groupers,2 Gag Groupers,7 Porgies, and 4 Almaco Jacks. We waited for the other teams to show us their catch but one of the boats had bad luck with the weather in the area where they went and turned back a lot earlier than we all expected. The second boat showed up with a 70 pound Amberjack, an 18 pound grouper, lots of peanut dolphins, and some Vermillion Snappers taking the winnings since they caught the biggest fish and Pelagics plus Snappers.P1050602

It was the end of the trip and we all got together to share some stories before we headed home. Below is a group shot, but the camera flash did not work properly so it didn’t come out correctly. We stayed for a little while before heading home for our 10+ hour drive. It was plenty fun and the fishing in Panama City Beach seemed well worth the stop for a future trip.

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 Below is a link to a video of this trip.

The gear my son and I used were a Jigging Master Power Spell 200g Rod with a Jigging Master PE3 reel, a Jigging Master Terminator 400g rod with a Jigging Master Ocean Devil PE6 reel, a Spinal 250g Rod with a Shimano Saragossa 10K, and a Phoenix Hybrid rod with a Stella 8000PG. This last rod fought many hard battles against Amberjacks and Groupers but on this day it broke below the reel seat.

Hope you all enjoyed and perhaps it helped someone with some Vertical Jigging information.

Jigging on the Reward won 5-4-2014

Weather had been fair all week but as we were to embark on our 10 hour fishing trip all was to change,a warm morning became windy with a cold breeze, we were hopping the fish would still bite, we had many good expectations on this trip for the grouper opener. We began by catching pinfish for bait, a great bait for groupers, snappers, and many other species. 6 people alternating on sabikis yielded about 100 baits plus the boat had another 20 to 30 baits. This was more than enough since many would only do vertical jigging.

On our first drop there were no bites, Captain Chris readjusted the boat and all of a sudden someone fishing with a live pinfish at the bow has a tight line and a bent rod, he was using an old Penn 6/0 with 80 lb line and fishing next to an individual with a high End Shimano Tiagra 3o 0r 50 (I did not confirm). The end result was a 10 to 12 lb Gag Grouper. To cut it short this was the last fish to be caught for hours as the weather took a turn with winds switching to North and the current on the opposite end and then switching to Northeast. Here is the weather synopsis

“Surface high pressure will build into the area from the Gulf of Mexico behind a departed cold front leading to tranquil weather conditions. The high will gradually shift into the western Atlantic through the week. This will result in a northeast wind flow becoming easterly by mid week.”

The sudden weather change affected fishing and how the Captain would position the boat and as we were over a wreck our vertical jigs went horizontal due to 20 knot winds pushing the boat very fast past the wrecks. The Captain the decided call for a vote he asked us if we wanted to continue trying over the wrecks or go anchor in shallower water. Final decision was to fish shallower and anchor in 120 feet deep waters, but the same was to be had strong currents. Again the captain moved the boat to about 60 feet deep and this time the current was better. A chum line was started to attract snappers, groupers, and any other species that might hit a jig or a bait. A first hook up was had on 12 pound test and a jighead tipped with bonito, we never got to see the fish after a few minutes battle. As we were cvatching a few ballyhoos all hell broke loose with baitfish boiling the waters so the Captain Un anchored and we set after the boils casting everything we had at hand. The first hookup was Garriga on a verical jig, the my son, end result was about 4 to 5 bonitos landed some released some kept for bait on a later day. We continued following the school hoping to hook on watever was feeding on the little tunny (bonito). My son had a strong hook up the made him fight the fish from the transom to the bow, as otheres were still on the bonitos he was still fighting what ended being a nice size jack crevalle. Unfortunately I did not take many pictures, but here are the ones I took.

 

Gag Grouper

Seth Fighting Jack Crevalle

Seth With Jack Cravale Vertical Jigging

Here is the end summary of my fishing report:

 THE FISHING TRIP: Super Grouper 10 Hour Fishing Trip
Aboard the “Reward Won” with Captain Chris of the Reward Fishing Fleet
The Spot : Around 5 to 8 miles off Key Biscayne, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday Easterly winds 9 to 14 knots then up to 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet with occasional seas to 5 feet. The real weather was: Earlier seas 2 to 3 feet in the morning and 3 to 5 later in the day with occasional 6 foot rolling waves, cloudy skies in the morning then clear skies in the afternoon and no rain all day.
Water: Calm at in the morning then choppy and strong current later in the morning and stronger in the afternoon.
Fish catches: Several bonitos, one Gag Grouper, one porgie, one small almaco jack, and one Jack Crevalle.
Biggest size Type : Jack Crevalle estimated at around 15 pounds
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 grams all colors were working on the bonitos.

 

Vertical Jigging with Right Hook Charters 6-21-2013

THE FISHING TRIP:Right Hook Charter Boat
Aboard the “Right Hook ” with Captain Mike

The Spot : Riviera beach Wrecks

Weather : Partly Cloudy with Chances of Rain but the rain was not close to us.The Docks at Riviera Beach

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.

Getting ready to vertical JigThis 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.

African Pompano on Right Hook Charter

African Pompano and Yellow Tail Snappers on Right Hook Charter. Trip before us

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.

BNZ with a small Amber Jack on Vertical Jig  AFRICAN POMPANO

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.

Garriga with a nice Black Fin Tuna on Vertical Jig

To finish this Vertical Jigging report here are some more pictures. Just hoover over the pics with your mouse pointer to get a description.

Getting ready on Right Hook Charter   Getting ready on Right Hook Charter

Staven with a small Amber Jack on Vertical Jig  Herbert Hans Muller Small AJ

Jeff with a small Amber Jack on Vertical Jig  Garriga with a small Amber Jack on Vertical Jig

Staven AJ   Bill BNZ with a Horse Eye Jack on Vertical Jig

 

Reward Won Bait and Vertical Jigging 2-24-2012

THE FISHING TRIP: February 24TH, 2012
Aboard the “REWARD WON” with Captain Wayne
The Spot :Offshore Key Biscayne, FloridaSunset from the Reward Won
Weather: sunny, 5 to 10 knot winds then to 15 knots later in the afternoon
Seas: Calm in the morning and around 2 to 4 in the afternoon
Water: Clear in the morning and less visibility in the afternoon
Fish catches: Small Amberjack, small Almaco Jack, Mutton snapper, trigger fish, a kingfish, and bonitos in the mix
Biggest size : Type : Amberjack around 7 lbs
Technique: Jigging and fishing with live and chunk white bait and speedos
Jigs :100-300 gram; pink worked the most on this trip.

This trip was a last minute one for me as the weather cleared up for Saturday fishing. The weather has been crazy around South Florida lately. Weak cold fronts and then as hot as summer time. This seems to have shut down most of the fishing. We had the VHF running all along the trip and heard other boat’s catches and most were the same “Pretty slow day today”. Then the wind picked up just a tad bit and a report of a Blue Marling and a couple of Sailfish with some AJ’s on the mix were heard. We started jigging with only bumps and missed fish, looks like the fish wanted slower jigging this day. A small AJ was caught on jigs, then on bait a small snowy came up and was released followed by a double hitter of muttons, and a trigger fish. As the day went on a tilefish, another mutton, and a king mackerel were landed. I did not see who caught them since I was loading up on spedoos for a coming trip. The mate put out a kite to see if would change our odds but unfortunately there was nothing interested on those live baits. On the last try we hit about 4 wrecks with jig quick no catch move fast to another and had no luck. Maybe next time. The captain tried hard again for us and were back at the dock at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Her are a few pics that I took:

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