Capt. Easy Charter- Amberjack Mayhem-Vertical Jigging 4-27-14

After bridge fishing I arrived home in time to take a nap and then get ready to set up my Vertical Jigging gear. I knew I was to get punished by the Greater Amberjacks, those that carry the nick name of “Sea Donkeys” so I set up some heavy line on my reels. Four rods for this 3/4 day jigging trip with one of them a light setup in case we encountered a school of Mahi Mahi. As many trips before all reels were checked for loose screws and drags were set at 15 and 9 pounds respectively (this time I set the drag at the boat). I did not minimize my selection of jigs because I was expecting some cut offs by toothy fish. I took twelve 250 grams, twelve 150 grams, and the rest were 100 grams and under.  First up was a 250 gram jigging rod with a Stella 8000PG and color coded PE6 line (80 lb Test), a 200 gram jigging rod with a Saragossa 10000 and 70 lb test white braid , a 400 gram rod and conventional PE6 jigging reel with 300 yards of PE6 (80lb test) braid,  and last but not least a live bait rod to double as a light jigging rod rod with 30lb test green braid that could double as a small jig pitching rod for Mahi Mahi. Enough of the talk about gear here is the report and it’s mostly in pictures:

It was  4 of us on this Florida Keys Charter out of the Postcard Inn Marina in Islamorada. I arrived there early and just waited so I snapped this picture.

Early Morning at Isla Morada

Captain Bruce of the Capt. Easy Sport fishing Charter arrived shortly afterwards and we spoke about previous trips and the Mahi Mahi bite which had been on an off at times.

Capt EasyAfter Adam, Ed, and Jimmy arrived they loaded the boat and off we were to our adventure.

On the way out

Shortly after we were in 300 feet of water and started jigging. I had some mishaps with the Diawa Boat Braid line as it got cut off, by the wreck, and then on the second fish the jig was cut off by a possible barracuda, and on the third I got sharked. As we had a quad hook up and I lost my fish Ed, Adam, and jimmy did well on bringing theirs in.

Ed Amberjack 1

Adam Amberjack 1

Jimmy Amberjack 1 and Adam AJ 1

Jimmy Amberjack 1

The second drift over the wreck came and this time I connected in the quad hook up and we all brought our fish in. But unfortunately for me it was a Barracuda and so I decided to change colors from a blue to orange and seemed to work for me, everyone was using pink at the time and  perhaps it was just a coincidence that I got cut off and then caught a cuda since others changed to a blue color later on and were successful.

  Ed Amberjack 2   Adam Amberjack 2

Jimmy Amberjack 2

Jimmy Amberjack 2 alone

On the third drift I was able to connect well and this time I was using a conventional jigging reel which felt a lot more powerful than my other setups.

Herbert Amberjack

Ed Amberjack 3

Adam Amberjack 3

The fourth drift came along and again we all connected well and brought all our fish in to be released soon after.

Herbert AJ 3 fight   Adam Amberjack check mate

Herbert AJ 3

 Adam Amberjack 4

The fifth drift came in and again it was a repeat but I was beat by this time on my 4th Greater Amberjack, I just had to rest my arms on the rail while Adam and Jimmy continued hand in hand with their 7th and 8th Greater Amberjacks. Ed  after his third fish took a little break on this drift and took some of the pictures.

Herbert Amberjack on Jigging Master Terminator II 400g rod with Jigging Master Ocean Devil PE6 reel.

Jigging Master Terminator II 400g jigging rod with Jigging Master Ocean Devil PE6 reel.

Herbert Amberjack 4

On this one I believe we stayed on the drift as the Captain kept power drifting just over the wreck and Ed got back on for his 4th Greater Amberjack. By this time we were no longer taking pictures of the fish and were just catching and releasing them as soon as we could. I caught my fith Greater Amberjack and I was basically done for the rest of the trip. I literally begged for Mercy on my 5th fish. I di try again on other wrecks but was really wishing for a fish not to hit, LOL.

Ed and Adam on a double Amberjack Hook up

Here is Captain Bruce quickly releasing the Greater Amberjacks caught Vertical Jigging.

Captain Bruce

 And one last Picture of one of Jimmy’s Greater Amberjacks.

  Jimmy Amberjack 3

Afterwards other boats started showing up trying to figure out what we were doing and off their live baits went in the water. Our bite started to slow down so the Captain Bruce moved the boat to another wreck. I got a small almaco jack and Jimmy did the same at a later time. On the other wrecks we were not able to get the fish to bite and so we headed home.

Boat close to us

The day was great and all we wanted to accomplish was done on the first hour of fishing. We could not have asked for more. Off we went to eat lunch at a nice little restaurant by the shore and off to home we went to face the Sunday traffic.

Mangrove Lines by Restaurant 2

Mangrove Lines by Restaurant

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Florida Keys Traffic

 Short recap:

Of all the jigs I took I lost 3 Nagamasas and used only 6 different jigs after that with one orange jig working the best. The heaviest set up was the one used the most as the Amberjacks were in the bigger side of the scale. I most say that Captain Bruce is really knowledgeable about power drifting and keeping the boat in check for all the lines to stay vertically. We were able to work our jigs the way they were intended to be used “Vertically”. Kudos to the Captain for a class service, we will absolutely be back and I strongly recommend his Charter Services for any kind of fishing, but specially for Vertical jigging.

THE FISHING TRIP: Greater Amberjack Vertical Jigging
Aboard the “Capt. Easy” with Captain Bruce Andersen
The Spot : islamorada, Florida Keys
Weather Forecast: Sunny 0% chance of rain, Saturday didn’t even check the winds as all week had been less than 2 foot seas and so this days was the same.
Water: Light chop almost no current.
Fish catches: Greater 26 Amberjacks and 2 Almaco Jacks. Adam with 9, Jimmy with 8, Me with 5, and Ed with 4.
Biggest size Type : Fish were mostly 30 pounds to 50 pounds with a couple about 25 pounds.
Techniques : Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 150 to 300 gram, all jigs would have worked in this situation as the Greater Amber Jacks were in Spawn season.

 

Youtube Video Part 1

Youtube video part 2

Youtube video part 3

Youtube video part 4

Youtube video part 5

Youtube video part 6 and final part of this fishing report.

DRY TORTUGAS OCTOBER 18th TO OCTOBER 21st 2012

Cudaman's Ctach    We went fishing with Captain Yuri once more. Here is part of the report and story as I remember it.

THE FISHING TRIP: OCTOBER 18th OCTOBER 21st 2012
Aboard the “Lauren Jeanne” with Captain Yuri Vakselis

The Spot : Dry Tortugas, Florida

Weather : cloudy, winds of 10 to 15 knots? first 3 days up top 20 knots on the last day

Water: Calm at first then cloudy with sand mix noticeable

Fish catches: Mutton Snappers, Yellow Tail, Snappers, Mangrove Snappers, lane snappers, many kinds of Groupers, King Mackerels (kingfish), Cero Mackerel, and football sized Blue Runners

Biggest size Type : Muttons 15lbs … Yellow Tail snapper 4 lbs, Mangrove snapper 6 lbs, Red Grouper around 16 lbs…Kingfish mackerel around 20lbs

Techniques : Vertical Jigging, cut bait, and live bait

Jigs : 100-250 gram, Bullet type bucktail jigs, butterknife jigs, butterfly jigs, speed jigs, Pink, red/white, silver, and blue worked the most.

THE GAME PLAN: It was going to be a mixed jigging trip and bait trip. We had planned what worked for us last year, no bait in the water until we finished jigging. It worked at the beginning but later on we seemed to have gone in our own individual plans to get the fish to bite. We all had mixed jigging and baits at the same time and it worked ok. Jigging didn’t impair fishing with bait and fishing with bait didn’t impair jigging. Dead bait worked better by switching to different baits as often as the bite slowed down.

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,yes, again just like last year. Because of our schedules it was hard to get out on the days that the conditions would dictate good bait catching for us and this year we were also plagued by the canal water to close to the bait catching areas and lets not talk about the gas prices to get to the bait catching areas. 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 some stopped by Atlantic fisheries and got some fresh ballyhoos and frozen gogs. Nilson and I stopped at the bridges for some threadfins (in case we went to a wreck), and mackerels. On one of the bridges we saw Adel and his frien catching some threadfins, he is one of the people that fish the Yankee Capts regularly. Talked to him for a bit, he gave me a new bait contact, and I wished him good luck on the trip. We the    n passed by the bridges after 7 mile bridge and found a few barjacks and yellow jacks. Some of our crew went to get some pins and pins they got, great job guys. Wish you would have waited for me so we could have kept a few more alive.

BASICS WERE LOADED: . After the bait we stopped at one of my favorite Pizza Places, the one across from Winn-Dixie in No Name Key, Pizza Works. What great Pizza, or is it that I am always very hungry by the time I get there? Only thing is that every year it just keeps on getting smaller. After pizza it was a Cannon Ball Race for the best bunks. Low Rider Red car team pulled a David Copperfield/David Blain act on us and disappeared so it was to safely race to the docks. Team Stoner a little confused made a turn back to No Name Key, which gave us the advantage to at least get the small bunks even though we missed Schrimp Road we got there before them. We loaded the boat and enjoyed a few beers.

THURSDAY FISHING STARTED: We left the docks around 8:10 pm and started fishing shortly after midnight. We knew that we were going to be plagued with high currents but surprisingly the Captain found areas in 130 to 150 were we could fish with 6 to 8 ounces of weight, but we celebrated too early as every time the tide changed we would need up to 2 pounds to find bottom. On my snapper rod I never went above 10 ounces but I was using light line. On my grouper rod I was using 12 ounces. For snapper I started with 40 lb test leader but after loosing the first fish I stuck with 60lb 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 and at times switching back to 40 pound leader. After the water was chummed up the muttons started chewing within an hour of us being there. The bite started slow from the get go and we prepared for an ok trip. It was slow pickings but we got a good job done, at least I think. On the first night we got     some muffin muttons while a few sharks came by and collected their Tortugas tax.

FRIDAY CAME: This is when the jigging really got pretty good. There were some small groupers, muttons, and Red American snappers caught. The days that followed a few more came up by way of jigging. FISHING ALMOST ENDED: Well, we were getting taxed heavily by the sharks. We lost just too many muttons to them and on one of those as I was getting ready to grab the leader on my line a stupid shark dashed to the bottom cut the line off and the 10 ounce weight sprung bat towards my head. I was not able to move away fast enough and up came the punch from Shark Tyson, well, knock down!!!! I hit the floor up I came bleeding like a boxer and went to get some paper towels, the Captain gave me something to clean it up and a band aid, so all in all was kewl with a bit of double vision and blurriness. We kept fishing and after the trips was over I ended up going to urgent care, I was sent to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, some anesthetics and an eye patch until my laser procedure to remove some blood vessels. Just be car    eful with handling those tiny sharks, sometime they cause the most damage. Pic don’t look so bad but it felt rally bad.

SATURDAY: This was a slow pickings day for most, the daytime brought some slob and we got to fish in 250 feet where some yellow eyes and more Red Americans kept on coming as pests. At night most of the time was filled with muffins, but we got a few nice ones as well.

SUNDAY FISHING ENDED: The captain said that the wind would pick up in the morning so we headed to fish by Rebecca’s Shoals. This is were the nice flag yellow tails came from. It got a little rough but not enough to get anyone sick. We did a couple of moves around the area and surprisingly were fishing in 30 feet of water were a couple of nice Red Groupers, more flag yellow tails, and some button muttons came up. This is where some were able to catch up in the fishing; it was not bad at all.

What bait worked best? As always the fresh bait is what did it; fresh gogs, fresh ballyhoo, fresh blue runners, fresh bonito, and fresh pinfish, some of the backup bait was used, but the men in the grey suit loved it too much. At least that was the case in my part.

THE FINAL TALLY WAS:

Herbert (cudaman):
20 muttons with biggest at 14.5 pounds, a 6 pound mangrove, 2 yellow eyes(only kept my 2 day snapper limit), 1 Red American snapper, 2 triggerfish, one strawberry grouper, one red grouper, a cero mackerel, a kingfish, and too many sharks to count with one that almost leaves me blind.

Nilson (rare):
15 muttons with biggest at 14 pounds, a 6 pounder mangrove, too many sharks to count, and a 20 pounder kingfish

Rory (PhishingPhanatic):
10 muttons with biggest around 14 pounds, 3 flags at around 24″ each, 1 red grouper, 1 king, 1 baby cobia, 1 big jack crevalle, and 323 sharks

Ricky (Rijkaard):
12 muttons with biggest mutton at 15 pounds, 3 mangrove snappers, 3 yellow tail snappers, 1 kingfish, 1 nice margate, 1 rockhind grouper, 1 red grouper, and too many sharks to count.

Robert (WhoDey):
11 muttons, 2 Mangroves, 2 Red American snappers, 4 yellowtails, and 3 red grouper, and too many sharks to count.

Adam (EnglishAdam):
15 mutton, one mangrove, 2 Red American snappers, and a red grouper, and too many sharks to count.

Here are the pics:

Picking up Nilson on my old faithfull 300k plus miles truck

On the way

At No Name with the endangered ones

Passing the 7 mile bridge

Loading up

Loading up

If you put them in individual bags this does not happen

On the waters

Herbert (me) with “El Cuchillo part 2”

Nilson

Rory

We had a very, very tired visitor

Ricky
Someone chummed the water for him

It worked!

The result!

Chilling after eating a great dinner cooked by Capt Yuri

Rob

Adam

This Stowaway came from the beaches of the Atlantic to get me a snapper

The sharks were so thick they were hugging down jigs as well

Back at the Docks to hear some of Stevie’s jokes and have a few beers

Tight Lines to all and until next time

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.

Bridge Fishing the Keys With My Nephews 7-2-2011

After a long time of saying I will go fishing with my nephew’s (from my wife’s side) we finally came up with a day to go bridge fishing, Friday July 2nd, not such a great day since normally the 4th of July weekend is full of people rushing to the Florida Keys to have fun in the sun and water to celebrate this great country’s independence. Well, they had great expectations of this trip as they have seeing many pictures and heard great fishing stories from the Florida Keys, only one of them had gone fishing with me before and that was to Channel #2  on a Memorial day weekend that was a nightmare to drive to and from the Keys, but was a great day of fishing to catch and release sharks and keep some dinner snappers.

The only fishing experience they had were some previous bass fishing. I set them up with the basic rigs. I decided: Knocker rigs and troll rights with jig loop knots should be the best choice. They were fast learners and had it good after 2 hours of fishing, WOW! That was quick!.  I worked hard on getting them on a fish, no matter what it was, but absolutely wanted to get them on at least one quality fish. Expecting many fishermen and fisherwomen to come to the bridge that weekend I thought that it would be best to scheduled our trip to be on the bridge at a time in which most bridges are empty.  All bridges in the Florida Keys are good and you can catch many species of fish from them but in this task I had to bring them to a place where they didn’t have to drive so much, walk so much,  and catch some keeper snappers for dinner and at least one quality fish to keep them interested.

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The time went on and we discovered that we were surrounded by alien looking like creatures that kept on giving us the finger, but as you can imagine they were scared of these creatures, and what is the first thought? Get rid of them or they might bite us! LAND CRABS all over! There were dozens of them at a time. One of the family members I brought was a peanut that had the courage to try and grab one and guess what? OUCH I GOT PINCHED!!! They all panicked and started pushing them back to sea. I had to watch them and constantly tell them they were creatures that were more scared of us than us of them. The crabs were appearing claw less and come to find out there was a group of people hopping bridges looking for their claws, locals that knew what was going on.

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Now the fishing report: The weather was great, no rain (which I wanted some) the water was not clear and this was great, the current was not ripping when we got there and almost seemed slack to a point until it changed to incoming which is when all the action started with the clouds gathering and the winds picking up a bit.

Well, the fishing story/ report got too long so let’s go back to the report, this time with pics:

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The peanut got his first fish ever and a keeper 12.5” snapper, which he told the story on how he caught it and fought it for the whole night and ride back home, LOL

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The oldest nephew got his first fish, one hell of a Hog Snapper!

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My nephew’s brother-in-law got a bonnet head that he didn’t want to touch, LOL

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I was able to get a nice size permit

Herbert Hans Muller Permit Keys Bridge

One of my nephew’s went home blank so I still owe him another trip. My other nephew also had no luck on this trip but he had come bridge fishing with me before and caught some nice lemon sharks and snappers. All in all it was a successful and very nice bridge fishing trip. I just have to find the time when they all can get off work at the same time again to go fishing with them again.

Bridge Fishing in the Florida Keys 6-12-2011

Herbert Hans Muller

My permit

My friends had met the night before and started fishing, by the time I arrived they had gotten some mutton snappers and mangrove snappers…. I had a lot of plans that did not happen on the weekend because of Mr. weatherman, they never get it completely right, LOL . When I got to the bridge the water color was still a bit cloudy and had just started to clear up which was not too good for my likings but started off good with losing a nice run, possibly a mutton, then I got a 14.5″ mangrove that I kept and threw back  3 keepers that were less than 12 inches. After the permit hit it was over for me and we started getting ready to go back home. It were a good 3 hours of fishing for me. Like always it was great fishing with the crew.  Here is a pic of my permit and one of the crew:

Part of the crew

Part of the crew

Bridge Fishing in the Florida Keys 7-8-2010

The boys from the boatlessfishing.com forum decided to go permit and snapper fishing during the weekend but my schedule did not allow for an overnight bridge fishing get together so I was to meet them Saturday morning. As I was approaching them on Long Key Bridge I decided to play a little joke and screamed FISH ON! I startled as they hurried up to get their fishing rods wa wa wa sorry guys didn’t mean to scare you all, LOL… Well, I setup my rods and dropped the bait then as soon as I started to walk away from it and was talking to the guys RRRRRRRRRR! zzzzzznnnnnnn  znnnnnnnnnn I ran to my rod and picked it up, flipped the lever to engage, got a permit hit going on! OK!!! I have to go under, I am going towards you all, please move the rods, I am under this line, I am over that one! I kept the tension and the fight was over all mayhem slowed down as they were bringing the permit on a bridge net when RRRRRRRRRR! zzzzzznnnnnnn  znnnnnnnnnn, CRAP MY SECOND ROD! and so I run and I screamed I GOT THIS! Picked up the rod, flip the lever, start reeling in and the over under mayhem starts again! Wow! nice runs from these fish. I was finally able to land the second which was released after a photo opt. After that Rory caught a nurse shark with 3 hooks hanging from it’s mouth, he was nice enough to remove them and released it. The day went on but I had to leave.  Conditions would have been even better if the water color held up, but that’s how it is. I would have gone to another bridge and continue hoping until I found one that had better looking conditions but instead I decided to head home.

Hans permits 2

2 permits caught, one was released