Pulley Ridge Lite on the Yankee Capts-Wahoo and Queens

Ed and Captain Jimmy of the Lois Ann (part of the Lady Pamela II fleet), called me and said they wanted to go fishing at Pulley Ridge so I said yes and joined them. My plan was to jig as much as I could and then use bait and jig in between. They were just going to use bait and try some jigging for the blackfins.

We arrived at the dock on Thursday and loaded up our gear in the boat, we then ate our customary Hogfish sandwich at the bar and grill with the same name. It was close to 5pm and we were on our way. At the boat it all started with a short orientation from the Florida Sport Fishing TV crew. Very simple, fish as you always do and if you can don’t get on the way of the camera man. They gave away t-shirts, nice prizes during a raffle, and by recommendation of Captain Greg Mercurio each one of us were given a nice gold hammered jig which proved to be  a lethal jig for the fish.

Pulley Ridge 06-201608

We got to Pulley Ridge around 4:30 am and it started off well. Ed is below with a nice mutton caught on a chunk of king mackerel.

Pulley Ridge 06-201609

Below is Captain Jimmy with a blackfin tuna caught on a chunk of king mackerel.Pulley Ridge 06-201611

Below it’s me and a nice mutton caught on a Jigging Depot SB 220 gram slow pitch jig. I got 2 mutton snappers and a small blackfin tuna on this jig and then it got cut off. The current was almost non existing so we were able to fish with light jigs and weights of about 6 to 8 ounces to get the bait down fast.Pulley Ridge 06-201612

A keeper red grouper and this time with a 210 gram Shark jig from  JiggingDepot.com . I caught several fish on this jig until it got cut off later in the day.

Pulley Ridge 06-201615

Wahoos where all over this trip, this 60 pounder was caught on a jig and won the pool.Pulley Ridge 06-201616

Captain Jimmy decided he was going old school with a 6 ounce bucktail and nailed this nice mutton and a red grouper.Pulley Ridge 06-201619Pulley Ridge 06-201620

Trolling got the most of the wahoos, this one was caught on a Yo-Zuri bonita.Pulley Ridge 06-201628

Below is Captain Jimmy with his bucktail and an almaco jack.Pulley Ridge 06-201631

Ed got into the action and got a nice amberjack that was released.Pulley Ridge 06-201636

Pulley Ridge 06-201641

Luck be the lady on the one below. He caught a mutton on bait and a nice size blackfin got tangled on the weight. Pulley Ridge 06-201630

That bucktail was working and this time it caught a nice size queen trigger fish that was released.Pulley Ridge 06-201634

After 2:30pm of the 17th things turn to a slow pickings until the next day in the early morning when the trolling had another victim and wahoo wahoos on the Yo-Zuri bonita it was.Pulley Ridge 06-201642Pulley Ridge 06-201644Pulley Ridge 06-201643

That was followed by a couple of mutton snappers and some nice red groupers (no pics of the reds, sorry). Below is Ed with his part.

Pulley Ridge 06-201647

As the bite had slowed down to slim pickings, Captain Greg decided to make a run to some deeper waters where I was able to catch a decent size Mystic Grouper. This one was on a whole squid and was using a 16 ounce weight.Pulley Ridge 06-201650

And in came the queen snappers, some beauty of fish and so very tasty. Here is Captain Jimmy with his.Pulley Ridge 06-201652

The bite had slowed down and we made a move to even deeper water. While on the move and around 1pm in came another wahoo.

Pulley Ridge 06-201656

And as deeper we went more monsters showed up such as the grouper below.Pulley Ridge 06-201660

Ed got in the game with more queen snappers. This time the queen snappers were much bigger. I think some were probably over 25 pounds.Pulley Ridge 06-201662

And a nice size blackfin tuna caught on kingfish strips.Pulley Ridge 06-201663

Here is Captain Jimmy with another nice queen snapper.Pulley Ridge 06-201666

We had the co captain reminding us to be on point.Pulley Ridge 06-201668

The bite had slowed down again and the smaller fish were hitting our jigs. This yellow eyed snapper hit a 500 gram jig.Pulley Ridge 06-201670

It was on the last stop where this nice gag grouper hit a benthos jig. This was the last fish of the trip as Saturday afternoon had come to a close and we headed back to the dock.Pulley Ridge 06-201673

Here you can see the size of this nice wahoo.Pulley Ridge 06-201675

What a way to spend fathers day. This family showed everyone what it is like when you don’t stop fishing and put your time on the rails.Pulley Ridge 06-201680

Here is a group picture of all the participants of this trip holding some nice catches.

Group picture Pulley Ridge 06-2016

All in all it was a great trip, started great, slowed down, there were slim pickings, and then it turned into mayhem catching fish after fish. There were a lot of people fishing with jigs and they were catching fish. Those on the slow pitch jigs did very good and ended with some decent catches such as mutton snappers, red groupers, blackfin snappers, etc… The best baits as always were squid and oily baits like the king mackerels. Bonita strips in combination with squid worked great too. At the beginning we were fishing with light jigs but in the end had to switch to heavier jigs as the current picked up and so did  the wind with just enough speed to make the drifts a bit faster. If you jig or bait always bring a small assortment, just in case, you never know what mother nature will throw at you.

Well, my next trip is July 7th so I hope to catch more fish on the jigs and off course we will also be using bait.

For more information on these trips please visit http://www.yankeecapts.com

For information on what rigs to use please see http://yankeecapts.com/tackle-section/ and look for the “Pulley Ridge Lite Trips” section.

Thanks for stopping by and for reading!

Tight lines and until the next one!

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.

 

 

 

Out Of Control IV Pulley Ridge- 360Tuna Jig and Crank!

As many people already know that after 59 pages of forum talk and over 25,000 views on the Yankee Capts thread for the 360tuna.com charter the trip was a go but as I docked from another fishing trip I learned that unfortunately the Yankee Capts boat’s generator stopped working. Captain Greg made the calls but was not able to get a replacement on time for the switch for our trip. It was unfortunate that the trip was canceled and had many running around looking for different charters as many were driving from Georgia and the New Jersey area. Then the Out Of Control from Fort Myers stepped up and allowed David to make the deposit for an unscheduled Pulley Ridge trip. Thanks to Capt Bill (hawkboat) for the phone calls to set this last minute trip.

Where do we start? It was HOT! As Captain Greg said “it’s Africa Hot”. We all had bought water and Gatorade for the trip but it was not necessary as the boat included all you wanted to drink water in the $65 meal plan. I found out too late as I had already loaded it in the boat. Well, I had forgotten that part as I had already been on that ship. Oh Well! We waited for the mates and Captain to load and ready the boat for our trip. We loaded up, we used their carts to get our 50 pound jig bags and rods. I did not take a cooler as they did not allow coolers bigger than 50 quarts in the boat. Afterwards we went to get a bite to eat at the nearby restaurant but we had to take our food to go as they took over an hour to get it ready. It was now almost 9 pm when we left the dock for our 12 hour journey to Pulley Ridge.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 04

It was about 10 am according to the time in my pictures that we started fishing in the 200 foot marks and were not lucky to find the fish, the Captain kept moving the boat over and over looking for the ones that wanted to bite in the 0 knot current and 0.1 knot wind if that much! That did not help with finding the hungry fish. The boat just wouldn’t move. Then the Captain decided to move the boat as we went for deeper and deeper waters plus a Westerly route.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 05   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 06

In between the moves some people like Q were trolling,  they hooked up a few times but the fish came off the hook that many times as well. No fish hit the decks on the troll this day.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 07    360Tuna Pulley Ridge 08

It was almost noon when the first few fish decided to start chewing in about 300 feet of water. We were jigging pure metal but a couple of people were using electric reels with bait and were the first ones to hook up (David and Q). I hooked my first on the jig and so did Bill, Garriga, and Jay plus many others as the day went through.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 01   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 02

The day went by and not many fish were landed. We were all worried that we were going to be skunked. It was not the jigging with pure metal that did it as some had tried with cut baits and live pinfish. Then at around 4 pm things started to sporadically pick up and we started catching some fish again.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 09   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 10

Below is Q and a nice snowy that barely had spots. He caught this one around 6 pm. This is around the time Garriga gave up on the jigging and then I gave up on the jigs after only catching three snowies on pure metal. Soon after me Jay (redneck_billcollector) gave up on the purist jigging and added bait as well. He outlasted us on the pure metal jigging, even with his foot gout problems.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 11

By 11 pm Garriga hooked up with a horse eye jack on a jig. My self, Jay and him kept going back and forth on the jigging and tipping jigs with bait.  It was past midnight and after one mutton snapper caught we were all waiting for the blackfin tunas to appear. At about two am I took a nap and when I woke up, Jay told me that young Dennis had caught a wahoo on a live flyer. I went to look at the first fish box and found it decently full.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 12   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 13

At morning time the Captain took us to deeper water but our luck was going in the same direction as the previous day. Gilbert and I spoke to David and suggested that we should just go to the deep wrecks or the Towers in the Ft. Myers area. David gave it a thought and ran it by the Captain. The decision was made to give it a few tries in deeper waters and then we would move to the wrecks. The Captain move the boat to 500 feet and told us that the fish were about 30 feet from the bottom. The Captain was good at letting us know at what dept the fish were so we were able to efficiently target them. By this time the current had picked up just a bit to about .4 knots if I remember correctly plus we had a small breeze that made it feel more comfortable. 9:30 am HALELUYA!!! QUEEN SNAPPERS!!! Yes, the queens started biting and the the yellow edge groupers did as well!

Jay with a supper double. A yellow edge grouper and a queen snapper on the Dennis Cluster Phuck Rig.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 14

Gilbert with a super nice Queen Snapper.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 15

Me with a queen and Garriga with a yellow edge grouper.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 16   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 17

David with a double.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 18

Bill and his Queen.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 19

Jay and what I think was the heaviest fish of the trip.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 20

      Chichi landed a hell of a Queen Snapper. 360Tuna Pulley Ridge 21

That bite lasted until about 1:30 pm. Then it was move and move until the captain decided to go to the wrecks just outside Pulley Ridge. This is where Dennis landed a nice red grouper on a jig. Picture below.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 22

Then it was AJ and Almaco madness as everyone got hooked up and as many almacos were gaffed some AJ’s were sent back into the water with injuries. Some were attacked by the barracudas as if attached by piranhas. Below is Chichi and crew hooked up.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 23

Below is Bill hooked up.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 24

Below is Garriga and his AJ that was released.   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 25

That was to be be the last few fish that jumped into the coolers. By now we were satisfied customers as we found some quality fish in the slow picking of the days of fishing. Then again it is called fishing not catching. I checked the live wells and saw just as many pinfish made the journey back with us. All the rods were packed away on the top deck and off to bed we all went.

360Tuna Pulley Ridge 26   360Tuna Pulley Ridge 27

The next morning we woke up to eat breakfast and pack our items to get ready to dock.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 28

Back at the dock.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 29

The group Picture and our catch.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 30

Dennis went high hook.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 31

Davis with his catch.360Tuna Pulley Ridge 32

Chichi and his group with their catch.      360Tuna Pulley Ridge 33

All in all the trip had an extremely slow start but gradually got better and better. The Captain was great as always and the crew worked very hard to get all the fish and tangles as fast as they could in that extreme heat. A special thanks to the Co-Captain Dennis who was also our chef cooking all the meals. He catered to everyone’s needs for the food. This trip was basically an exploration trip for the Out Of Control IV group. They have now found the fish so their next trip should start with a strong bite.

A big thanks to the http://www.JiggingWorld.com crew for sponsoring the trip with their donations.

Update: This boat is no longer on the West Coast of Florida. I was renamed to Super Sealegs and now operates from the East Coast.

Boatless On a Partyboat – Charter On the Reward Won 6-1-14

Many months ago during the boatlessfishing forum BBQ, we spoke about a private fishing charter just for boatlessfishing members. Nothing happened until after I went fishing on an Ironman trip ( ten hours fishing on the Reward Won). The trip was an all day fishing trip, jigging, kite fishing, trolling for dolphin, bottom fishing for snappers and groupers and king fish flat lining; “A mixed trip”.  So I asked Captain Wayne how much a private charter like this would cost. After finding out the cost of the trip I suggested to fish on this boat, the boat can have 15 people while drift fishing  but I suggested to have a maximum of 12 to give us all plenty of elbow room to fish comfortably and with less people there would be more chances for everyone to catch a fish. I started the thread about the trip. Some members wanted to fish vertical jigs, some wanted to fish with live baits, and a couple of them were interested on king mackerels (kingfish).  We set a date but later found out one of the Captains was not available to fish on that day and Captain Wayne had another private charter booked, so we moved it a day over. Lady luck was on our side as the fishing trip got us some trophy fish.

The original intent was to fish live bottom for snappers and groupers, troll in between spots, and then a few wrecks to vertical jig for big  amberjacks. When the captain got there he explained that the commercial fishermen had already wiped out the amberjacks and so that would be hard to do, so I asked him to take us where the fish were. I have fished with Captain Wayne at the helm for many years, sometimes once or twice a year and some years up to ten times so I trust his judgement anytime. When he starts to give advise I listen even if I know about it or had done it before, you never know when he will say something I’ve haven’t heard before or give a twist to something I already know. As we waited for everyone to arrive and finish unloading (by this time it was 6 am) he gathered us to give us the fishing plan for the day: We were to go catch pinfish on the way out, fish some ledges, rock piles, wrecks, live bottom and some deep water on the way to Fowey Rocks light house. If we made good time we would meet Jimmy the bait man and get some white baits, all depending on how everything went.

Below on the left is Captain Wayne Conn giving the plan, on the right boatless members talking about their adventures as we are heading out on the boat, it was about 6:20 am.

Captain Wayne Conn  Leaving in the crack of dawn

Below on the left catching pinfish for bait. On the right it was 7:30 am when passing by the new South Beach pier (almost completed).

Catching Bait  South Beach Pier in progress

On the way out I told everyone to take turns on the trolling rods. One was mine, the other was Richard’s and the another was the boat’s. The ride was not as time consuming as catching bait was, we got to the fishing grounds and were in about 130 to 150 feet of water when the Captain said “I am going to adjust the boat for the drift”. Everyone started to drop the baits as the engine shut off and I jigged for that first drop along with Ron, Victor and a few others. A few minutes after the baits were dropped the first rod bends were observed.

It was 8:06 am when Jessie had his bent rod fighting a super nice Gag grouper and only 3 minutes later Robert “ffishermen” was fighting a very nice Mutton snapper. The bar was set high at the very start of this trip.

  Jessie fighting a grouper   ffifherman fighting a mutton

 Below is Jessie with his first ever a very nice 21 pound Gag Grouper.Jessie's Gag Grouper

Below is Robert “ffishermen” with his nice 12 to 14 pound Mutton Snapper.ffifherman's  mutton

As the boat drifted away and nothing else on the bite the Captain decided to do a second pass on the same spot. At 8:48 am my son Seth was the first to hook up and then Raul at 8:51, both brought in gag groupers.

Crabman fighting a gag grouper  permitchaser fighting a Gag Grouper

My son Seth and his Gag Grouper.Seth's Gag Grouper

Raul and his Gag Grouper.permitchaser's gag grouper

Again no more bites as the boat drifted and many were already with only 1/4 of a spool left as we leave our reels in free spool trying to maintain the bait in the bite zone (where the boat turned the engines off for us to first drop our bait). This is what many of us call long lining. The Captain decided to do a third drift where fishman Joe AKA Gruntking got another Gag Grouper at 9:06 am.Gruntking's Gag Grouper

The captain made the decision to move the boat to deeper water looking for the better fish populated spots. No one was trolling anymore so I decided to put my trolling rod out but there were no takers. We were now in the 200′ to 240′ and many had to up their weights from 6 to 8 ounces to 12 or 16 ounces, some doubling up on sinkers as we did not bring those specific weights. It was all pick a fish here and there and we started to see some scamps come up.

Below is Chris with a nice scamp at 10:55 am. I know he will enjoy it very much.cvstrat's scamp grouper

Below is Jessie with his first ever American Red Snapper at 11:00 am. This was the only one caught on this trip.Jesto305's American Red Snapper

Ron and Victor where jigging and got a few almaco jacks but not many more fish were picked up on several drifts so Captain Wayne decided to go even deeper. No one was trolling anymore as no fish had fallen for the trolling skirt I was using. I had told Richard to use a pink trolling skirt I had brought and then offered it to others but the lure was left on the bench as trolling was not giving results. I understood why no one wanted to do so, as you do have to pay attention to the rod and have to make sure to bring the line in every time the captain slowed down the boat and made a few turns around the wrecks looking for fish on the sonar.

 Ron fighting an almaco jack on a jig at 11:15 am.Ron on an almaco

On the way to one of the spots someone saw a school of peanut  Mahi Mahi’s around a vertically floating piece of bamboo and so everyone tossed bait at them. Raul and I were some of the lucky ones to get one that was of legal measurement but the rest would have to throw back a few and so did I. The boat was drifting and since no more fish were taken, I decided I would rig the pink trolling skirt on my rod. Perhaps I could get lucky and get one more dolphin fish I thought.  I took the black, purple, and blue skirt that I rigged using 10 feet of 250 lb test wire cable off the 500 lb snap swivel (makes it easy to switch trolling rigs). I use that trolling skirt to target toothy fish like wahoo and blackfin tunas, but sometimes Mahi Mahi get hooked on it as well. I snapped the pink skirt rig on, I had used 10 feet of 100 lb test fluorocarbon leader to a 11/0  3x strong live bait Mustad hook.  As the boat turned the engines on and started to move I let out the trolling rig and as I snapped the release clip on, I looked to the right I heard a scream and saw my rod bending, I picked it up and let the fish run a bit. I tightened the drag and started to fight the fish, I saw a big wide flash and screamed BIG DOLPHIN! (Mahi), but there was not a jump during the fight, then the mate says “IT’S A WAHOO! IT’S TURNING! BACK THE DRAG OUT!” So I did, this allowed the fish to run and wear it self out and prevented it from breaking or snapping my line. These fish have power and very sharp teeth. The fish made an additional small run and I was able to get it close to the boat for the gaffing. I was lucky the fish did not cut through the fluorocarbon leader. On my boat and while on fishing party boats on the way to Bimini back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I would always get them no bigger than 15 pounds and this time I was able to get double that weight.

Me fighting the wahoo at 12:30 pm.Cudaman fighting a wahoo

Below are pics of my wahoo. One to show the nice fish.Cudaman's Wahoo

And one to show size comparison.Cudaman's Wahoo pic

The Captain continued stopping where the fish were but the fish were not cooperating and so he went even deeper. This time to 400 feet where a couple of fish were landed.  Jessie again nailed another fish as we has getting ready to bring the bait back on the boat he felt a tug and in the middle of a tangle he was able to land it. And yet again another first ever for him, a Snowy Grouper!Jesto305's Snowy Grouper

Many could not reach bottom as the current started to rip faster and faster as we went deeper, so the Captain told us he would move the boat to shallow water to give us a chance at snappers, more groupers and perhaps a chance at kingfish mackerel as well.

It was now 1:40 pm when we were in 150′ of water and Robert got a very nice 6 pound Ocean Talley while fishing for king mackerel.ffishermen's filefish

Some of the last to hook up to a fish on the trip were Richard and Peter. This happened at 2:10 and 2:15 pm when they hooked to a black tip shark. Richard fought one and as he was bringing it in it broke off, then Peter fought his all the way to the boat. They both did great on the fights.

kingofthesea fighting a blacktip shark   Peter Miami fighting a shark

Peter Miami's shark

It was over, no more bites 3:00 pm was here already and some water spouts began to form. We got rained on and the Captain called it quits, we headed back to port. Again I stressed for someone to let the trolling line out and someone did but there were no takers.

The water spout at 3:35 pm.water spouts

Back at the dock the fish were laid out on the deck.At the dock

And we took the group picture. Boatless people trip

 The only thing we missed was the big amberjacks and bait to go on the kite, it would have been an awesome addition to this trip. But it was not needed as this trip was considered epic by some since many personal best were attained. I hope we can do this again.

Here is the end summary of my fishing report:

THE FISHING TRIP: Private Charter Boatlessfishing.com 10 Hour Fishing Trip.
Aboard the “Reward Won” with Captain Wayne Conn of the Reward Fishing Fleet
The Spot : Off Key Biscayne Cape Light House, FL
Weather Forecast: Cloudy with afternoon showers and thunder storms, Sunday SouthEast winds 10 to 15 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 2 to 4 later in the day with occasional 5 foot rolling waves, cloudy skies and storms after 3pm.
Water: Choppy and slow current in the morning strong currents in the afternoon as we got closer to Fowey Rocks Light House.
Fish catches: Small Dolphins, 1 mutton snapper 12 to 14 pounds, 1 mangrove snapper,1 Red American Snapper, 4 Gag groupers 1 @ 21 pounds, 1 Snowie Grouper, 3 or 4 scamp groupers, 1 wahoo, almaco jacks, a couple of bonitos.
Biggest size Type : Wahoo around 32 pounds on the scale
Techniques : live bait, dead bait, and some Vertical Jigging
Jigs : 80 to 400 grams

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.

 

Iron Man 10 Hour fishing on the Reward Won 4-12-14

The was another 10 hour fishing trip on the Reward Won and this time we would go straight to the action with the amberjacks and anything else that lurked around the artificial wrecks around Fowey Rocks Light. The trip started by going to get live bait which again is included in the $100 of the trip’s cost. As we got to bug light and waited on Jimmy’s boat (the bait man) some started out tossing sabikis and started catching bait, some of us started tossing crappy jigs and got a couple of blue runners, the captain bought the rest to complete a live well full of big pilchards and thread fin herrings plus a couple dozen of goggle eyes (Gogs courtesy of Jimmy the bait man).

Live well 1

fishing for bait

Jimmy and his Bait Boat

Here is the live well after Jimmy the bait man passed by.

Live well 2

 

As we headed out 4 rods were set up for trolling, not so far out the day started with a football size blackfin tuna reeled in by my son  was welcomed aboard to the fish cooler.

Blackfin Tuna

A Sailfish Tournament was going on so there were many boats flying kites. Below is one near Fowey Rocks.

Fowey Rocks Light House

The drive to get to the fishing grounds went on and a small Mahi Mahi was caught on the troll. The Captain said to give the fight to one of the lady anglers that came on this trip.

Mahi Mahi 1

As soon as we got to the wreck we started jigging and there were double hook up and quad hook ups. I landed my first fish of the trip a decent size Amberjack and as was landing it some were fighting their fish side by side.

Amberjack-Herbert

Double header

Others were landing their fish, here is a couple that came on the fishing trip.

Amberjack-3

Another happy fisherman got his priced caught fish which he released.

Amberjack- 4

Amberjack released

Here is my fishing friend Ron playing around with his exaggerated fishing pose and afterwards happily posing with his catch which he released.

Ron fighting fish

Amberjack- 5

And another angler continued the battle and then landed his biggest fish to date which was also released.

Verical Jigging fight

Amberjack- 6

Amberjack- 7

We passed over the wreck and as we started to fish a new wave of anglers were catching more Amberjacks. This time William did it again by catching a 65 pound amberjack that unfortunately was not going to make it and was kept along with three others. This was one of the longest drifts and as many continued catching fish Captain Wayne Conn let out the kite and placed two goggle eyes out in the water so I was fortunate to fight a sailfish and got it to the boat and the leader was touched making it a catch, unfortunately I do not have pictures because I pressed the wrong buttons on the Gopro and the fish had gone under the boat cutting the line off.

Willie Amberjack- 8

Below is my son with one of the last amberjacks caught, after this one the fish turned off and the captain moved the boat to another location.

Seth Amberjack -8

As we arrived at the other location a deeper one this time I used one of the boat rods set up with a chicken Rig and caught two Vermillion snappers with it. Not many were bottom fishing so I decided to get a rest and do so. Captain Wayne had the kite out with two live baits and William took the rod as a nice Mahi Mahi hit one of the baits.

Willie Dolphin

The day went by and weak cold front started approaching so the seas got a little rougher. A fishing friend of mines Nilson came out of hibernation and caught a peanut Mahi Mahi,  it was not of legal size so it was released. A few more Mahi Mahi came in the boat and a few made the size limit while a few more were released. On the troll another peanut tuna was caught and a couple of skip jack tunas came on board as well. As the day came to a close I took a chance at tossing a live thread fin Herring bait to a good size Mahi Mahi of about 20 lb or so and it took it I thought it had the circle hook well set but as it made it’s first jump it tossed it out. I ran to the back of the boat and took a goggle eye and tossed again and again it did the same. I ran back again got another bait and the same happened again, then another person also had it and he also lost it. This fish was a smart one and it might  is still out there eating.

Nilson's Mahi Mahi

 On the way back I was able to take some pictures of the Key Biscayne Light House. It is always nice to see.

Key Biscayne Light House

We also Passed close by the Bill Bags State Park Fishing Piers. Below is the first one in the corner of the park.

Key Biscayne fishing piers

Below are the rest of the piers lined up one after another.

Key Biscayne Fishing Piers 2

And again another picture of the Rickenbacker Causeway Fishing pier.

Key Biscayne Fishing Pier 3

A closer look at it.

Key Biscayne Fishing Pier 4

Here is the end summary of my fishing report:

 THE FISHING TRIP: Iron Man 10 Hour Fishing Trip which in the end ended being a 12 hour total trip again so thanks to the captain for that.
Aboard the “Reward Won” with Captain Wayne Conn of the Reward Fishing Fleet
The Spot : Around Fowey Rocks Light House, FL
Weather Forecast: Sunny 20% chance of rain, Saturday Easterlyt winds 9 to 14 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, clear skies and no rain all day.
Water: Choppy and slow current in the morning strong currents in the afternoon around Fowey Rocks Light House.
Fish catches: Small Dolphins and one gaffer, Big Amberjacks, 1 mutton snappers, 2vermillion snappers, 1 Snowie Grouper, small kingfish, football size blackfin tunas, skip jack tunas, and several bonitos.
Biggest size Type : Amberjack estimated at around 65 pounds
Techniques : Vertical Jigging, dead bait, live bait
Jigs : 80 to 300 grams all colors were working.