Topwater AJs and jigging advice


I've heard about a topwater AJ bite on the Gulf-side of the state and would like to find some additional info on this. I can't remember if this was in the West Central part of the Gulf or in the SW area, where I read an article on this. Can anyone provide me with anymore info, in regards to if they know of and capts that have experience with this type of fishing?

I'm also looking for some recommendations for some capts that are reputable in targeting bottom species like snappers, groupers, etc with jigs in the Gulf as well. I'm not looking to go 80 or 100 plus miles out. Just would like to fish within the 30'-60' or so depth range with slow pitched jigs. Any info, recommendations, or advice, would be greatly appreciated.



  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 543 Officer
    Most of the time when folks are catching AJ's on top, they get them fired up with live chummers before they start throwing topwater. Every now and then you will get the AJ's milling around shallow and you might get them to chase something up top, but if you are targeting some topwater action, you'll need some livies to pitch out and get them fired up. Another trick is to hook one deep and bring him up slow; a lot of times he'll bring some curious friends up with him and they'll chase a bait thrown in that direction. I've had a lot of AJ's come up while jigging and their buddies are trying to grab the jig out of their mouth.

    Steve Papen at Fintastic Charters has forgotten more than I'll ever know when it comes to this sort of stuff. He's out of Clearwater.
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 567 Officer
    Honestly, just go to any wreck past 70' off this coast, find the school of aj's, and start casting and making a crap load of noice on top. From my experience, if they are there, they will usually find the poppers. Chummers help, but for me aren't necessary unless they are finicky. It starts getting better once the water drops below 75 degrees as they get really hungry.
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,034 Moderator
    Steve Papen at Fintastic Charters has forgotten more than I'll ever know when it comes to this sort of stuff.
    ^^that^^, there's the Capt. you were looking for.
  • pescador83pescador83 Posts: 362 Officer
    Thank you guys for the info! It's greatly appreciated!
  • SaltyBrewerSaltyBrewer Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    We missed our bottom fishing with Captain Dave Zalewski because the skip bait enticed a 60# amberjack to hit a 30# outfit. My college athlete was worn out due to the long battle. Captain Dave get's er done.
  • Figmo89Figmo89 Posts: 66 Greenhorn
    Last year we were experimenting with kite fishing for kings. When in areas where AJ were present, we couldn't get kings because the AJ were greedy. Even though we weren't targeting AJ, it was pretty cool watching a big AJ destroy a 12 inch blue runner right on the surface.
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