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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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.