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Hogfish Heaven

Headed out of Big Pass with the plan of fishing nearshore ledges for gags and hogs. The winds were once again pretty brutal so that kept us close to shore. We used our structure scan to find some nice ledges and large rocky areas. Our first spot we landed a few beautiful shallow water gags that were absolute monsters for being within sight of land. We then switched over to hoggin' and had a banner day, getting 20 keepers to the boat. We used shrimp on a variety of rigs- fishfinder rigs, knocker rigs, and jig heads- to get the hogfish. We also caught dozens of grunts, a couple nice keeper red grouper (all caught in state waters where they are open), and a half dozen nice triggerfish (released).

The total tally was 5 gags, 2 reds, a few mangos, 20 hogfish, and too many grunts to count. I kind of like this shallow water nearshore fishing... much easier on the gas bill!
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Replies

  • Baja280Baja280 Posts: 440 Deckhand
    nice catch ryan! thats how ya get it done on a windy day!!
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  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,452 Admiral
    Looks like a great day
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    god I'm jealous, still hunting for the elusive hogfish myself
  • ccriderccrider Posts: 578 Officer
    Your kill'n it on the hogs, great job you guys will be eating well!
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 617 Officer
    Awesome job! Hopefully the gags are on their way inshore.
  • frankiezfrankiez Posts: 397 Deckhand
    Nice Ryan. Them hogs gonna be nice eatin'!
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Nice! Good job
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,880 Moderator
    There are times, when high winds can be a real gift in disguise. How many times have we run past a good bite because the seas are calm and the beep blue calls.
    Thanks for sharing.
    larrywitt
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Thanks for the comments guys. Larry you are 100% correct- we get too consumed with going deep to fish for the monsters. This is a pretty good time of year to fish shallower - gags, hogs, flounder, and sheepshead pretty soon too.
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  • NailerNailer Posts: 326 Deckhand
    WOW!! Great catch.
  • West EnderWest Ender Posts: 145 Officer
    Great job but you guys up north off of the Tampa area keep posting your catches on hog fish and you will see it close soon. It is already in the works and this is not helping the rec cause. Don't think for one minute no one from NOAA or FWC does not monitor this site. So if you want to pat yourself on the back then post away but don't start *****ing when the season is closed for 6 months. Social Media is your worst enemy and just add in your ego and say bye bye. Red grouper comes to mind as of now.
  • Shakah BrahShakah Brah Posts: 31 Greenhorn
    You sold me on trying something new! The pictures don't lie. Were the shrimp live or dead, and how big of a hook to use when targeting Hogfish? Oh...and can I borrow your stucture scan?!
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 617 Officer
    Wow there's always someone to complain about someone's hard earned catch. Don't stop posting I love the offshore reports since I can't make it off that far in my flats boat.
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    West Ender wrote: »
    Great job but you guys up north off of the Tampa area keep posting your catches on hog fish and you will see it close soon. It is already in the works and this is not helping the rec cause. Don't think for one minute no one from NOAA or FWC does not monitor this site. So if you want to pat yourself on the back then post away but don't start *****ing when the season is closed for 6 months. Social Media is your worst enemy and just add in your ego and say bye bye. Red grouper comes to mind as of now.

    I've seen you post on numerous threads and in the vast majority of cases you are inciting some sort of conflict or looking for drama.

    I don't have any ego issues whatsoever. I enjoy fishing, and I've been able to enhance my skill set because I've learned from other people, some of which came from the forum. Just trying to share a good fishing trip and maybe help other anglers up their game.

    As far as hogfish goes, this is the first time we've ever got more than 1 or 2 in a trip. Not sure how that would lead to closures.
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  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    You sold me on trying something new! The pictures don't lie. Were the shrimp live or dead, and how big of a hook to use when targeting Hogfish? Oh...and can I borrow your stucture scan?!

    Live shrimp, smaller hook, like you would use for mangos. Structure scan is the real deal.
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  • frankiezfrankiez Posts: 397 Deckhand
    How far out were u Ryan? I am planning on going out this friday and am definitely taking live shrimp with me. Let me know where to meet you and I will follow u to the spot. :-D
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    Hi Frankie! We were hopping around between the 30-50 foot depths. If you're around ledges and rocky hard bottom, that's the best bet. We went through dozens of grunts before we started catching the hogfish. I brought about 200 white baits that I caught on the beach so that we could burn through those before switching over to the shrimp. Otherwise you'll be wasting a lot of money to catch grunts.

    I'm back home working now (unfortunately)- have the winds laid down yet?
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  • ComandanteComandante Posts: 290 Deckhand
    frankiez wrote: »
    How far out were u Ryan? I am planning on going out this friday and am definitely taking live shrimp with me. Let me know where to meet you and I will follow u to the spot. :-D
    Frankie, give me a call. Camille and I are trying to plan a trip later this week after the moon wanes some. Have room if you want to join us.
  • frankiezfrankiez Posts: 397 Deckhand
    Ryan. Thanks for the info. No they havent really laid down so much but I believe this weekend is supposed to be nice.
  • West EnderWest Ender Posts: 145 Officer
    RMD wrote: »
    I've seen you post on numerous threads and in the vast majority of cases you are inciting some sort of conflict or looking for drama.

    I don't have any ego issues whatsoever. I enjoy fishing, and I've been able to enhance my skill set because I've learned from other people, some of which came from the forum. Just trying to share a good fishing trip and maybe help other anglers up their game.

    As far as hogfish goes, this is the first time we've ever got more than 1 or 2 in a trip. Not sure how that would lead to closures.

    It might have been your first time catching more than 1-2 but there are guys limiting out up there in 20 minutes and posting all about it. I'll bring this back to refresh your memory when you cannot fish for them and maybe you should start eating the grunts to see how they taste. It's these exact post that brought on the closers of:
    AJ
    Red Grouper
    Gag Grouper
    Red Snapper

    Hog fish is going to be next so keep stroking your ego and don't complain when you cannot fish for them anymore.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,880 Moderator
    Keep the post coming It is what our FORUM is all about.
    Trying to figure out how they decide on closures, could make a grown man cry.:banghead
    larrywitt
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    West Ender wrote: »
    It might have been your first time catching more than 1-2 but there are guys limiting out up there in 20 minutes and posting all about it. I'll bring this back to refresh your memory when you cannot fish for them and maybe you should start eating the grunts to see how they taste. It's these exact post that brought on the closers of:
    AJ
    Red Grouper
    Gag Grouper
    Red Snapper

    Hog fish is going to be next so keep stroking your ego and don't complain when you cannot fish for them anymore.

    Do you even fish bro? I've seen you pick a lot of fights but I've never seen you post an actual report. Just curious if you are a fisherman or just a brave keyboard cowboy?

    And yes, I do eat grunts and they taste delicious.
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  • West EnderWest Ender Posts: 145 Officer
    I fish out here more than you could ever imagine but since I don't come on here and post look at me threads then I guess it doesn't count. I guess stating facts is starting fights, because that is all I have ever done. You know those nice people with the clip boards at the boat ramp, I don't talk to them either as do you really think that is scientific data they are collecting especially when if you claimed you filled the box then you are over fishing them or if you claim you didn't catch anything then they must be in decline.
    Here you go BRO,if they are regulating barracuda what's next. I want my kids to be able to fish out here but at the rate its going they will be able to fish 2 weeks out of the year. But keep up the great post BRO.

    Barracuda: New bag/vessel limits effective Nov. 1 in south Florida
    New recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda go into effect Nov. 1 for state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only.
    The new limits include:
    • Two fish per person daily recreational and commercial bag limit.
    • Six fish per vessel daily recreational and commercial limit.
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these new management measures at its Sept. 3 meeting in Fort Lauderdale after hearing stakeholder concerns about declining barracuda numbers observed when fishing and diving in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys. FWC staff gathered public input from stakeholders at workshops conducted earlier this year. The FWC is responding to concerns by creating bag limits to prevent further declines and conserve barracuda in the region. Further workshops on barracuda conservation measures are planned for early 2016.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    Grunts can be the difference in coming back from a 200+ dollar trip without meat to eat.

    With all the closures this time of the year, I think my next trip is going to be dedicated to catching some hogfish. RMD, do you find hogfish in most spots that hold red grouper, lane snapper, porgies, grunts, etc? I have a few spots in 60 feet that hold all of those. It's my understanding that you just really have to catch a hell of a lot of grunts and porgies till you can start getting the hogs to bite? Do you just anchor up and chum the hell out of the area? Guessing you prefer shrimp on a knocker rig?
  • billnbilln Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    How far off shore were you fishing?
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,880 Moderator
    My experience . If you invite them to the party and they are there, they will be the last to show up. Not sure what RMD does but we chum, smaller hooks work for us.
    larrywitt
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    I don't use chum very often in any sort of fishing. Maybe I'm just too lazy.

    I use a cheaper bait to weed through the grunts, like squid or white bait. My theory is the sauce from the squid combined with the fish puking as they are caught creates enough chum to go around. We use roughly the same size hooks as we do for mangos.

    Billn, we were inside state waters the whole time.
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  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    West Ender wrote: »
    But keep up the great post BRO.

    Thanks!

    I started fishing here 5 years ago and I knew absolutely nothing about offshore saltwater fishing. I was a total newbie on the forum, asked a lot of stupid questions, and pestered some of the experienced guys. Despite these facts, many of the forum members were very kind and generous and gave me a lot of great advice. Some even gave me offshore numbers.

    I am not posting reports because of any "ego" issues or to say "look at me". I'm posting reports because maybe I can pay it forward and help out some of the newer forum members in advancing their own fishing experience.

    I am fully confident the government will continue with their communistic ways and strictly limit our ability to fish and hunt. I don't think me catching 30 hogfish over a period of 5 years will really change that either way. When I have something interesting to report, I will continue to do so. Likewise, I hope the other forum members continue to do the same. I enjoy hearing about their awesome reports with friends and family, and I like to continue to learn from others so we can continue to make the most of our own trips.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • VeikxVeikx Posts: 611 Officer
    Nice consistency with the hogs! Ledges ledges ledges, that's what they're held on. They should start moving in closer, some freediving buddies did a trip out to 30' and nailed a few decent gags and mangroves. The nearshore bite is picking up and should expect it to really kick up shortly. Cobia have been moving through as well from reports of friends of mine.
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