Working Bottom & Wrecks!

It’s been a while since I wrote a report because the trips have been a bit redundant.  I didn’t want to bore everyone with the same thing over and over.  I have done mostly short day trips and the dolphin haven’t been big enough or plentiful enough to spend much time chasing after them.  I have been keeping my clients busy working and catching wreck donkeys.  I don’t know why the local fishermen thumb their noses at these fish because they’re tough, tackle testing, knuckle busters.  They are delicious to eat when cooked and eaten fresh, although some of them do have some tail worms.  If you simply cut away the meat that has worms in it, you can chow down on the clean pieces.  When clients insist on doing short days, for whatever their reason, they handcuff the charter crew.  We must find fish so that everyone catches a fish and returns with a smile and possibly a filet or two.  Amberjack fit that bill perfectly.

We had a short day trip with Justin, Mark 1, Mark 2, Dan, Jay, and Jeff.  This day was a wreck day because we had 6 people and got a late start.  By the time we caught our bait we had to get some time in wetting lines and getting these guys on some fish.  We ended up catching 12 AJ and 4 very large ‘Cudas.

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Another trip we did was with Rob, Andy, Barry, and Jack,  We spent most of the time working the wrecks and this day the speed jigs outworked the live bait.  We caught a big Jack Crevalle, 5 Amberjack, a Barracuda and a couple of large Bonito.

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We had a friends & family trip with John, Diane (aka Smiley), Missy, Charlie, and Mason.  That trip proved to be a whoop diddy!.  The crew caught several nice AJ’s and Barracuda on live baits and speed jigs.  Charlie caught a nice Black grouper as well.

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During that trip, Smiley also set a new “BEAST” boat record for an Amberjack catch.  Our record stood at 96 pounds and she killed it with a 109.5 pound monster.

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We had another trip with James, Alex, Aldo 1, and Aldo2.  This was a full day and not one of our better days.  It was supposed to be ½ tide when we arrived to catch bait but there was no water moving… no bait. We headed out to 1300’ of water in search of the green rockets but only managed to catch 1 that was bigger than minimum legal size.  I came in and hit the Knuckle Buster wreck and caught 1 AJ missing 4 more. I pulled up and went to the Grunt & Sweat and same there, 1 AJ and 5 misses.  I pulled out and tried once more for some better bait but the current was still dead.  I hauled butt back out for some Permit and we located them, managing to hook one and get a bite on another, but catching neither.  We worked the top with what bait we had and had 2 more top bites and then catching a 20 # Cuda.  This day was more of a lesson in how to get bites without wasting your energy catching the fish.

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We did another fun trip with family and friends down in Key Largo.  They had fun swim fishing for hog fish and Schoolmasters.  We went after some Muttons with the only 3 live Ballyhoo we managed to catch.  We got 3 nice Muttons, 8, 9½,  and 17 pounds.

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Shortly after that fun trip, I got a call from my daughter that, Devon, my mate and son-in-law took a permanent gig on a private yacht in the Bahamas.  I had an upcoming share charter through the website.  I had no mate so I just ran it myself like I used to in past years.  We did alright but once again we had problems locating any sizable Dolphins but I had the guys smiling and sweating on those “Donkeys”.

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With the onset of Cubera season and no more Devon to dive up our lobsters, I had to scramble to make arrangements to get lobster for upcoming trips.  Everything is good and the reports will follow.

Capt. Jim