Pulley Ridge Lite 2017 – Quality and Good Times Tourney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imram got his Grouper on bait.Pulley Ridge 201704

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is some bendo action by Dustin.Pulley Ridge 201709

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex found a nice Almaco jack here.Pulley Ridge 201721

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is Victor, the Slayer’s catch.

Victor's fish

Below is Miami Chris’ catch

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

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

Pulley Ridge 201726 menu

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

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Man Day Fishing Trip on the Katchmore – A jigging trip?

Since the last trip we decided to fish more often and what day to start doing so better than on Man’s Day? So it was decided, we are men and we go fishing on this Man’s day. And what more manly thing to do than for all of us to ask our wives for permission? Permission was granted to us men and the trip was on, LOL. I had to prepare my rods, check and make sure all were sprayed with a non odor, environmentally friendly petroleum based line, lure, reel, and rod protector solvent. Why do I do this? Well, it protects my stuff from the sun and salt water deposits and it does make the braid lines and mono filament lines exit the the reel smoother and faster. Yes, that stuff really works. This is not a commercial, I haven’t mentioned brands. All my rods, reels, lines, and metal jigs were sprayed. All reels were checked for loose screws and drags were set at 15 and 9 pounds respectively. I minimized my selection of jigs to a couple dozen. six 250 grams, six 150 grams, and the rest were 100 grams and under. I took one kingfish mackerel rod, a seven foot spinning rod with 30 pound test braid line and a little reel that is supposed to have 32 pounds of drag. Also with me were a 250 gram jigging rod with a Stella 8000PG and color coded PE8 line, a 200 gram jigging rod with a Saragossa 10000 and 50 lb test white braid , and a 150 gram jigging rod with 40lb test green braid that could double as a bottom rod. Enough of the talk about gear here is the report:

Well, we were supposed to be on the way at 8 am but the captain called us asking if we still wanted to go out with the bad weather, then he called us back saying he had trouble with starting the engines, then he called us back saying that his father (the mechanic) was on the way and would be another hour. Well we were thinking on going on a party boat but decided to wait and see what luck would bring.

KWC

We waited and waited so I started to take some pics of the seagulls that were taking a sip of the available fresh water.

Haulover marina seagulls

We got a call from the captain and finally the engines were working and so they came around 9:45 a.m. and we boarded the boat.

Katchmore

Katchmore 2

As we loaded we started setting up the gear.

Katchmore 3

As we got on the way we decided to pass by Lester’s Live Bait boat that basically anchors on the inlet waiting for people to pass by buying some live bait he sells it at $20 for a 5 gallon bucket full of white baits.Not bad considering that you don’t waist time looking for live bait. Live bait and so pirate Nilson was now happy and we got on the way to fishing.

Lester's Live Bait   Nilson

We passes by the Balharbour jetty so I snapped a few pictures. Word was they were catching pompanos.

Balharbour Jetty

Balharbour Jetty 2

On the way out we saw the Hurricane (from the Kelley Fishing Fleet) fishing in about 50 feet of water which was not a good sign for us.

Hurricane

The plan was to go jigging in 350 feet of water but the captain did not want to because of the waves, there were one too many small storms making it difficult to maneuver and so he asked us if we wanted to go catch Lane Snappers and then try the vertical jigging. So we said what the hey let’s do it. On the way we saw some dolphins (Mahi Mahi) jump and asked the Captain to give us a shot and so he did but not for long. One of the engines was having trouble and kept shutting off. When we got to the Lane Snapper spot out went the chicken rigs and a few Lane Snappers came in the boat. I did not catch a single fish, oh well. We then decided to go trolling and that did not work out. Then the captain offered for us to drift with our live baits and as we did i threw out a few as chum but that did not work either. We gave it one more shot at Vertical jigging but the winds around the storms made the boat advance way too fast over the only wreck the Captain seemed to have on his numbers.

Katchmore 5

In the end the total catch was placed in a small cooler. Sad day of fishing for us so we decided to end the trip early and only do half a day.

Lane Snappers

On the way back we saw a few people fishing in Haulover under the bridge, unfortunately if this fisherman would catch a fish he would loose it since he is using the reel backwards. We got back to the dock and were disappointed on the bad day of fishing, but that is how it goes. We call it “Fishing” not “Catching”. If you are interested the Katchmore Luhrs is for sale at $20,000 U.S. Dollars. The boat is really nice for fishing but needs some work, I think it is a bargain at that price.

Googan   Katchmore 4

THE FISHING TRIP: Key West Crew get together for Man’s day
Aboard the “Katchmore” with Captain
The Spot : Haulover, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday East southeast winds 9 to 14 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet with occasional seas to 5 feet. The real weather was: Seas 4 to 6 feet with occasional 8 foot rolling waves, cloudy and scattered rain all day.
Water: Choppy up to 8 foot seas and strong currents all day.
Fish catches: Lane snappers and one blue runner
Biggest size Type : A blue runners was bigger than the snappers caught, LOL
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 gram,  butterfly jigs, no jigs worked. The current did not allow for the jigging.