ARS opener (Yankee Capts.)

What up fella's?I normally take a lot from this forum and return little , I'd say its about time to post up. I went out on the YC for a 3day limited load back in November and lets just say the weather Gods were less than good to us. Luckily Greg was generous enough and comped us all a 3day trip. I decided to to go on the ARS opener since last years trip was so productive .Well , the wind blew hard for 2 or 3 weeks leading up to the trip therefore making it impossible to get freshies for the trip, I tried every contact from north of Miami down to key west... Nada! Had 1 Capt out of Miami assure me he had all the gogs I needed pinned up for me . On the morning of the trip I called... And called ... And called again till he finally answered and told me he had no bait because the wind blew to hard and he couldn't get any . :banghead
So I gathered my gear and headed south , stopped at Don's bait and tackle in homestead , backed my truck up to the front door so I could keep an eye on it and went inside to grab a couple dozen fresh hoo's . Literally 5minutes later I walk out to find some one "accidentally" took my long dip net out the bed of my truck. I guess they needed it more then I did.:mad

So here I was headed to the DT's with no gogs no speedos no Mack's and no way of netting flyers... Does it get any worse? I took a deep breath and kept about as positive a state of mind as I could and proceeded to stock island. I pulled up to the Yankee at about 4:00pm and found a few regulars there already .Don and his crew were eating lunch next door and a few other guys were lined up at the entrance gear in hand like they were waiting to go on a fair ride or something. Anyway Greg came out and informed us we wouldn't be boarding the mutton killing machine till about 5:30. Just about that time Chad pulled up and as usuall we talked some trash and busted some chops, he suggested we played with the pet tarpons to kill some time and so we did. Before I new it it was 10:00pm and we were on our way with the largest crowd I'd ever fished on the YC.. 40+ . With all my tackle ready I hit the bunks to get some shut eye. Now before I continue let me just say I'm horrible with names , specially new 1's so I'll just call some guys by there rail #. By the time the engines slowed I was already up and ready to go ,we dropped anchor around 90' or so and started fishing. This stop produced only a couple mutts and few YT's for the boat in general ,nothing for me. So we hit up another shallow spot or two till it was almost time for the big sunrise show and Greg moved out deep to about 240' . This is where the action started ,now before we get into that let's introduce the guys that were around me. To my left at spot 9 was a jersey native fishing a spinner with some braid and some kind of a chicken rig with a cannon ball sinker thingamajigger. To my right in spot 10 we had a "Dude" with yet another spinner set up only this guy was spooled up with 50lb mono , as if it was not bad enough that he could hardly reach bottom with all the line his small reel could fit , the line had more curls in it than Peggy Bundy's red head! He dropped down his bait ,set his rod in the holder with an open bail and sat down to smoke a Marlboro lite! No joke I swear!:hairraiser

My jaw dropped for a second , just then I feel a tick on my line I engage the drag on my reel drop my rod tip and started to reel , soon I had a very colorful genuine red snapper on the deck.

I nailed another shortly after and then the bite slowed. I was using Bally hoo and as we'll as it worked for the ARS it simply was not the case for the mutts. So not only was I with out any good bait but it seemed as if every time I dropped down I had a new problem , if it wasn't dude's slack line all over mine it was his rod tip banging in to mine or jersey shore to my left catching me in his cannon ball chicken rig. Every time either of the two felt a nibble they swung there rods high in the air like they were Mark Sosin or Bill Dance. They some how managed to find my line and that of various other anglers more often than not specially every time the boat swung.I delt with this for the remainder of the day till We ran into some heavy rain and storms and got straight drenched . When I started fishing again I noticed dude was bring up his line after yet another tangle and found some one all the way on the bow had enough of his line tangling and cut it with out warning, I felt tempted to simply ignore him and hoped he'd go to sleep but the poor guy was frying more eggs than the Waffle House morning shift and looked like he was about to cry.:cry So I took him up two the top deck and showed him to my large spool of spare mono.

I managed to catch a Bonita for bait just in time for the night bite. I chunked it up and it quickly produced a nice yellow eye for me at a deep spot. Now these guys kept bringing in there line every 5 minutes or so to check there bait and I had just about had enough . Guy #11 to the right of Dude was fishing a closed bail and was bouncing more lead then an interstate battery truck. I was just too frustrated with all that was going on around me and decided to rest a bit for the sunrise bite since it was late by now. When I woke up and came out I saw a full tote and Lyndon said "you missed it man" a wide open bite had came and went. I got up to the rail and the guys said that every 1 around them had been catching fish except them. It was at this time that I decided I had to do something or my trip was doomed. I looked at jersey shore and told him he needed to change his rig to a fish finder, I told Dude he needed to hold his rod in his hand and leave his bait down there .Do not check it every 5 minutes I said! Then I turn to guy # 11 and told him he had to leave his bail open and keep his sinker silently still on the bottom they all seemed to listened to me. I helped jersey tie a top shot as he informed me he did not now how to tie braid to mono and just as I finished I saw #11 fighting a fish. He landed a solid pinky and the second it hit the deck he turned to me with a huge smile and said" I did exactly what you said and it worked !thank you!" What a great feeling that was for me. Jersey baited and dropped and also brought up a mutt later in the day. He too said thank you. Dude on the other hand was not as comprehending he kept tangling every 1 up and casting over a new angler ever cast. The sunrise bite was simply not there and Greg got on the horn and told us we would make an hour move to some other grounds about an hour away. The sun was out in full force by now and the day was looking just as beautiful as could be.

Chad suggested a little trolling so I grabbed 1 of those good old pieces of wood with a hook in it and we tossed it out. No more than a couple minutes passed by and the reel started screaming like a virgin on prom night! I mean this thing was smoking! I ran over and gave it a couple cranks tightened the drag some and it was like nothing , this thing was not stopping. So I went up to the top deck as Chad grabbed the rod out the holder and attempted to pass it to me , just then the unthinkable happened... The line went limp like way too much whiskey... We all nodded are heads and a couple of the guys that had been watching the circus show said " You know what that was right? There's only 1 thing strong enough out here to run against the boat like that... ??? "

Any Hoo , the remainder of the day was mediocre at best .At night Derek took us to a spot at 180' were the bite was good to us. Dude decided to grab a dip net with out asking any 1 and started swinging it in the water trying to hit flyers . He said he thought it belonged to the boat. He managed 4 flyers of which I claimed 1 and jersey another, I cut the wings off mine and sent it down . Not more than a minute did it last down there before a fat pink clobbered it. Jersey had a close eye on me and did the same with his flyer ,he as we'll was rewarded. Ironically Dude used both his flyers 1 after another with nothing to show for them... The poor guy just didn't get it. I nailed 3 more mutts at this spot and lost about another 3 to the big blue dogs that were patrolling , plenty of heads and half muttons came up at this spot. Eventually the sharks were landing nearly all the fish we hooked so we left this spot. We hit a couple more spots before calling it a trip but it just wasn't happening . Oh yea , almost forgot to mention on 1 of the day time deep spots a guy on the stern nailed a SAL of a genuine that weighed 28.5 lbs at the doc.

All in all I had one of the worst catches I've ever had on the Yankee , however helping out the couple of 1st timers that were around me and having them land there fish in front of my eyes was more fulfilling than a cooler filled with 30 muttons and a 30lbs Black. Now I know why guides love there jobs so much. I had a wonderful time and even if I new the outcome before hand I'd do it again in a heart beat. The crew as usual went above and beyond and fun and laughs were had by all. I'm already day dreaming of my next trip out. Btw I only had my iPhone as a camera and it was raining on and off so I only got a couple pics. I'll add a couple from last years opener at the end.

Final catch

Replies

  • rican1884rican1884 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    I was on this trip with you, i was with brandon the other guy that you were helping out with the trolling. It was a heck of a trip, pops and I had a hard time hooking up with the fish and mainly the guys that had the fresh bait were hitting it left and right. got a little frustrating at some points. I remember that Dude, should have saw him at the dock. he was pretty much set up for camping...lol. Glad you were able to come away with a nice catch, really wish you could have landed that wahoo.
  • HooganHoogan Right on the edge of the EvergladesPosts: 515 Officer
    Enjoyed the reading, the part about the guys with the coffee grinders and 50 lb. mono was priceless.
    I've had guys next to me fish with those K-mart bought grouper rigs made out of Dacron and red beads fish the whole three days and refuse the mate's suggestion to use one of the ready made YC snapper leaders. :shrug
  • TavernierGuyTavernierGuy Posts: 917 Officer
    Good read this morning. Never refuse the mate suggestions.
  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    That was really fun to read. It's cool how you turned lemons into lemonade and were rewarded for it. Undoubtedly you helped the YC's future biz by setting the example you did. Those guys you helped will always remember it.
  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 737 Officer
    wajiro sometimes in life you have to be a better man!you will be rewarded in the future :)
  • guitarmanguitarman Posts: 270 Officer
    Having to deal with one "that guy" is bad enough but 3, I cannot imagine. I never fish the stern because that's where all the garbos are. The glory image of stern spots seems never to die. Good report but over the years I have learned just to move.
  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,302 Officer
    Funny report but you made the best out of it. "bouncing more lead then an interstate battery truck"...love it.
  • PargitoPargito Posts: 48 Deckhand
    Great report I enjoyed reading.

    Its a shame you had issues with tangles. I will say this though the stern catches fish. Period. However if you have people that arent fishing properly you will get massive tangles. It happens, thats why its fishing. Fat ARS too glad you got one on deck.

    Glad you had a great time though. Thats what is important. One final note there is a reason why Art fishes the port stern at #8. Last time I fished with him he had 20 pinks or so with a 20lber. On that trip dad and I fished #6 and #7 we went home with 26 mutts. Stern isnt all "garbos" lol.
  • WajiroWajiro Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    rican1884 wrote: »
    I was on this trip with you, i was with brandon the other guy that you were helping out with the trolling. It was a heck of a trip, pops and I had a hard time hooking up with the fish and mainly the guys that had the fresh bait were hitting it left and right. got a little frustrating at some points. I remember that Dude, should have saw him at the dock. he was pretty much set up for camping...lol. Glad you were able to come away with a nice catch, really wish you could have landed that wahoo.

    What's up man? Yea they were definitely munching as long as you had the right bait. I kno there was a small group of guys that had fresh gogs and they were all in the double digits. Shows how important fresh bait is out there. We had fresh Bonita ,problem I had with it was the sharks were around and they sniffed it out like blood hounds more often than the muttons.
  • WajiroWajiro Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the positive comments guys.
  • cudamancudaman Kendal LakesPosts: 404 Deckhand
    Great report, enjoyed the read. There is always that one guy that is annoying, good thing you were able to help.:beer
  • Seachaser 2600Seachaser 2600 Posts: 32 Deckhand
    Nice report, even the worst days of fishing are better than working. Nothing like the deep blue sea. Thanks for the report.
  • dt-fishingdt-fishing Posts: 157 Officer
    Wajiro wrote: »
    What's up man? Yea they were definitely munching as long as you had the right bait. I kno there was a small group of guys that had fresh gogs and they were all in the double digits. Shows how important fresh bait is out there. We had fresh Bonita ,problem I had with it was the sharks were around and they sniffed it out like blood hounds more often than the muttons.

    Bleed the bonita next time and you will eliminate sharks a little better. Oh and make sure you bleed it right as it hits the deck while it is still alive.
  • dolfanjoeydolfanjoey Posts: 1,134 Officer
    great report
  • Bran4buenaBran4buena Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Wajiro,

    This is Brandon (the guy trolling with the gold shimano tiagra)

    Thanks for helping with the trolling and allowing me to use your cooler for the fresh bait That was a very good post. This was my first trip on the YC. I live in Tampa and normally fish the middlegrounds for my ARS. The downpours and the tangles do get frustrating not to mention not having the right fresh bait. I also managed to land a couple nice Reds and Mutts despite being behind the curve with no good bait.


    My brother landed a pretty nice mutt as well
  • WajiroWajiro Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Bran4buena wrote: »
    Wajiro,

    This is Brandon (the guy trolling with the gold shimano tiagra)

    Thanks for helping with the trolling and allowing me to use your cooler for the fresh bait That was a very good post. This was my first trip on the YC. I live in Tampa and normally fish the middlegrounds for my ARS. The downpours and the tangles do get frustrating not to mention not having the right fresh bait. I also managed to land a couple nice Reds and Mutts despite being behind the curve with no good bait.


    My brother landed a pretty nice mutt as well

    Good going Brandon glad u Guys made out ok. Shot me a pm next time you guys are gonna head down this way maybe we can do it again.
  • HooganHoogan Right on the edge of the EvergladesPosts: 515 Officer
    guitarman wrote: »
    Having to deal with one "that guy" is bad enough but 3, I cannot imagine. I never fish the stern because that's where all the garbos are. The glory image of stern spots seems never to die. Good report but over the years I have learned just to move.



    Charlie,

    i'm fishing right next to you next time you come out of hiatus, I learned a new trick it's called "mud pounding" it's used for tile fishing and basically you bounce your rock cod 3-4 lb. lead on the bottom and the cloud of mud atracks the tile fish, i think it's worth a try next time I go to Tortugas.
  • 24luguna24luguna Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    post made my morning....laughed my *** off....Those party boats do scare me with 40 different personalities all swinging rods and weights in different directions...again THANKS GREAT POST!!
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,398 Officer
    Hoogan wrote: »
    Charlie,

    i'm fishing right next to you next time you come out of hiatus, I learned a new trick it's called "mud pounding" it's used for tile fishing and basically you bounce your rock cod 3-4 lb. lead on the bottom and the cloud of mud atracks the tile fish, i think it's worth a try next time I go to Tortugas.

    Lol. I'm gonna have to try that technique.
  • guitarmanguitarman Posts: 270 Officer
    Hoogan wrote: »
    Charlie,

    i'm fishing right next to you next time you come out of hiatus, I learned a new trick it's called "mud pounding" it's used for tile fishing and basically you bounce your rock cod 3-4 lb. lead on the bottom and the cloud of mud atracks the tile fish, i think it's worth a try next time I go to Tortugas.
    Hey Art.You don't have to have bottom for tile. My friend who commercial them just drags in 600ft. Lewis and I have fished a couple of trips this year. One was the Anglers charter with numbers that cannot be mentioned here, Derek could do no wrong, straight down in 180 ft. I doubled up on the JP's (19LB mutt YEAH BABY!!!) Trip you dream about. We came in early. The next was the other extreme but I still wound up with 7. Can't wait to see the results of your trip to the "hall of pain". Hope it works out for you. I had my fill of that at the edge of the Desoto Canyon years ago ,and that was with bandits. I am getting the itch again, but it's getting hot. Take care and good luck ,Charlie
  • HeavyhitterHeavyhitter Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Who is heading down today? I had one of my guys leave a bag down there last weekend and was hoping someone could haul it back up from there! We are in palm beach so we can meet wherever! Let me know, thanks! Nick.
    You can email me at [email protected] or give me a call at 561-719-0047
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