What can I say this is another one for the books. I must say thanks to all our sponsors http://www.yankeecapts.com , http://www.h4ljigs.com , http://www.tacklenow.com , http://www.strikertackle.com , suarez liquors at 799 West 29 St, Hialeah, FL ,Victor Colon of Island Girl EVSM Prints, and Ralph of “Rods By Ralph”.
On Thursday it all started with hopes of fishing extra time but electric storms vanished that notion as we had to refuge behind the Dry Tortugas Fort Jefferson, on the way there we had a hook injury miss hap. Friday began with slow fishing and quality pickings then Saturday was epic mayhem with big and quality fish all over the boat. On Sunday around 8:15 am we hit the docks and verified who had the biggest snapper then gave away the rest of the prizes.
We all got there around 10 am to load the boat and fill our coolers with ice. It was hot as heck.
With everything loaded we headed out to sea, I got the whole group together and handed out 3 jigs per pack and two mini bottles of rum and vodka to everyone (some packs included assist hooks provided by tacklenow.com. The jigs were provided by H4LJigs.com , Strikertackle.com and this humble blog. The rum and vodka were sponsored by Suarez Liquors. We raffled the “Next” reel and two packs of assist hook sponsored by http://www.tacklenow.com , Victor the fish slayer won the reel. We then raffled the items sponsored by Rods By Ralph; A 9 foot rod which was won by Mario the unlucky and a custom made gaff won by Jordan the self proclaimed Floyd Mayweather of this Dry Tortugas and winner of this year’s big Fish and big grouper spots.
Yes the following did happen to Mario the unlucky, the waters were on the bit ruff side and as he was walking upstairs he grabbed the rail and an exposed hook that was on a rod. I had to run to cut the hook of the line and get Mario some help. Jordan tried using a pair of pliers to cu the hook off but it was too small luckily for Marion Ralph had bigger pliers and Jordan cut the hook’s barb then pulled the hook. Tony the mate washed Mario’s finger with hydrogen Peroxide and I applied triple antibiotics and a band aid. Mario was a trooper and continued as if nothing ever happened.
We were a few miles off the Fort and Captain Greg Mercurio told me we had to stop behind the Fort because there were too many electric storms. We waited the entire night and began our voyage to Pulley Ridge at 5:00am.
When morning came Chef Chad had a spread of all sorts of baked goods and potato chips as well as other snacks and fruits.
Breakfast was served with eggs and bacon on a fully loaded bagel. Coffee and soft drinks were available during the entire trip. The $125 meal plan was so well worth it and was never hungry.
It was 11 am and we started fishing. Francis got his first Red Grouper on a Mungus jig sponsored H4L jigs.
Lunchtime came and Chef Chad did not disappoint. There were burgers that you could only find at a 5 start restaurant. this pic does not do it justice.
I was able to get a scamp and a long skinny red grouper while slow jigging a slowpitch jig.
Crab cake appetizer at lunchtime.
Friday night the fishing picked up fast. Here is NY Fire Captain and his first mutton on a Jig.
An hour later he connected with a nice 10 to 11 pound mutton snapper while longfall jigging and slowpitch jigging combination. He had trouble getting fish to bite but we all worked with him and fine tuned his technique until he started catching the fish.
This day was Jordan’s day connecting with a big king and his personal best grouper on the slowpitch jigging, later to beat it by catching another black grouper on bait.
On Saturday Jose was very happy when things turned around for him as he and others on the transom were getting pounded by sharks the day before. He got a really nice African Pompano.
Not to say Victor was happy as he was bringing his line up he got hit by a massive African Pompano as well.
Mario didn’t waist anytime as he saw a mahi mahi and tossed a bait at it.
I switched to speed jigging and connected on a couple of snappers while using H4L Jigs. This 150 gram jig made it to the bottom at 270 feet with strong current.
Victor the fish slayer also connected with an H4L sponsored jig.
William got a nice red grouper on the slowpitch jigging.
I gave a try to the 13 Fishing octopus jig and connected with 2 red groupers, jigs was 6 ounces so I had to wait for the current to slow down. The 9 and 12 ounce jigs seemed to hit the bottom without problems.
Francis kept going back to the Mungus jigs and kept catching red groupers and mutton snappers.
On the last drift Jordan was fishing for mutton snappers on a strip of fresh caught bonito and hooked up to this monster 60 pound black grouper. Hell of a fish!!!!
On the way out a nice scallop and lobster dinner was waiting for us. Chef Cad outdid himself on this one.
The appetizer which I ate as a dessert was a Blackfin Tuna with a mango sauce.
It was another great trip and the sun was setting and we started to wind down and get ready to get get home.
Once at the docks the fish distribution started.
Proof is in the pudding they say, just look at those coolers. Below are Jose still waiting on his fish to be distributed, then Dan and Dan from team Shake and Bake and Francis with full coolers.
Below are George, Chris, Jordan, Captain Greg, Jongsoo and William still waiting on fish to be distributed.
Full coolers and quality fish, this is our heaven.
Here is Jordan and his big grouper and biggest fish of the trip.
The snapper pool was a tough one since there were so many mutton snappers in the 10 to 12 pound range.
I gotta say Robert’s team knew what they were doing and connected with a lot of fish.
Below is Jordan with his winnings for biggest fish and biggest grouper.
Dan won a painting during the last raffle.
Francis also won a painting print during the last raffle.
George won this painting print for catching the biggest mutton.
Victor won the “Next” fishing reel sponsored by http://www.tacklenow.com
Ralph won a pack of jigs for catching the fish grouper and Keith won a pack of jigs for catching the first snapper.
Once again, thanks to all our sponsors and thanks to everyone that fished with us. I must say that the mates were as always working top notch and Chef Chad had our snacks and soft drinks flowing along with great quality meals.