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Heat part II

Trip started out with me giving up on catching Pin fish due to the ratio of bites to the rise in surrounding temperature. I found there is a direct correlation between the numbers of baits I think I need with how hot it gets. 40 Pins / 95 degrees was the figure I settled on. Even though the heat was still an issue, it was not as bad over the weekend as during the week. I did have trouble convincing the weekend crowd they were lucky though. Trolling was pretty good on the way out with nice Kings and a few Bonita coming over the rail. Trolling between spots once in blue water has slowed a bit. It could be that my friend “Jig Head Ed” hasn’t made the last several as he always doubles the trolling catch on his own.

We started around 12:30 targeting Mangrove Snapper. The bite was never what I would call hot but it was fairly steady. The pattern was move get two or three short flurries and then move again. This particular trip of 49 people had the fewest experienced anglers I’ve seen in a while. This meant the overall number of Goozers caught was down a bit but the excitement of those that did catch fish was higher. I never get tired of seeing someone who has never been deep sea fishing catch a nice fish. That I might have helped them is very gratifying. There were several nice Gags landed and more than a few break offs. I personally had 10 -12 nice Goozers by sun rise.

As the sun came up the heat went up and the breeze died down. The lack of wind not only means it’s going to be hot but it impacts the anchor heading. The current was strong enough that it became the anchor heading. When I fished my commercial boat this wasn’t much of an issue as we usually had no more than three of us fishing but, it can be aggravating on a Party Boat. The problem is that when the current becomes the anchor heading all lines run to the stern which means TANGLES =(. The only way to combat this is cooperation of anglers with the weights they use. In an ideal situation the weight size would be staggered with the heaviest weights starting at the bow. This is easier said than done as it can be difficult to convince 50 anglers to adapt. The only thing you can personally do is control what you are doing. I was near the bow and I adjusted my weight choice as the current picked up. I started with a 5 oz and ended up using 16 oz. Tip: being able to cast any kind of reel (under hand only no overhead) in any direction is a huge advantage. Practice is the best way to learn. I suggest going some were like the Sky Way and practice different weights and reels. Remember you are not casting the bait (hook) you are casting the weight. Reel the weight up to the tip of your rod and sling it. This will also give you good practice at un-tangling “Bird Nest” Message me for more detail.

During the day we picked fish but the ones we picked were nice ones. Several nice Gags and “Fire Truck” Red Grouper were landed. The Gags were hitting the live bait and the Reds seemed to favor the fresh cut Bonita. Red Snapper came up on every stop but it was a challenge to get a keeper. Those patient enough to keep after it had success and many limited out. The bait of choice was Threadfins. I continued to struggle getting Gags to hit my bigger tackle leading me to two break offs of big Gags on my Mango stick. I decided to just be patient and use my Grouper rig with 100 LB test. I was rewarded with landing two nice Gags and two just short. On one stop I put down a medium sized Pin and caught a Red Snapper that was only about 8”. I said I can remedy that and put down my largest Pin (hand sized) I promptly got nailed by what I think was a monster Gag. I thought I had him turned but at the crucial moment he got me in the stuff and my 100 LB come back shredded to pieces. Oh well Lord willing I’ll be back.

See you out there!


  • aberkiaberki Posts: 29 Greenhorn
    Great report as always John, really enjoyed reading the level of detail you put into these. One question...you seemingly go every week, clearly know what you are doing and catch lots of fish..what in the heck do you do with all the meat? You must have a long list of very happy friends and family. Keep the reports coming.
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