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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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.

Reward Won Vertical Jigging Trip- Last Trip of 2011

THE FISHING TRIP: DECEMBER 17TH, 2011
Aboard the “REWARD WON” with Captain Wayne
The Spot : Offshore Miami and Biscayne, Florida
weather : cloudy, no wind

Reward Won Boat

On the way out

Seas: Flat Calm!
Water: Clear all day
Fish catches : Amberjack, ALmaco Jacks, Groupers, small Blackfin Tuna, with bonitos in the mix
Biggest size : Type : Almacojacks around 15 to 20 lbs, Red Grouper around 10lbs, small scamp and snowy
Technique : Jigging
Jigs :100-300 gram, Hammered Diamond jigs. red/white, blue, silver, pink, green, and glow worked the most.

I got to the docks a little late as the boat engine was on I though “Oh NOOOOOOO, they are leaving without me!” But they were just warming up the boat. The trip starded slowly as we were in the shallower water, the fish were not there but the captain as always found the fish , this time in over 300 feet of water. We saw some beginners today turn good jiggers and birthday boy Peter’s first offshore catch was priceless. And now, the rest of the story:

Blackfin Tuna Red Grouper

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In between moves Pat Hooked up

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Sehoon Almaco Blackfin Tuna

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On Tipped Jig Troy's Scamp on Vertical JIg

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First Blackfin Tuna on vertical jig Small Blackfin Tuna

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Little Tunny AKA "Bonito" Small blackfin tuna

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