Out With The Old, Make Room For The New. YC Dec 28-31, 2017

The game plan for my final fishing of 2017 was to have a blast, catch big fish and to feed about 60 people. My wife and I are going north for a couple weeks for kiddo and grand kiddo time and being planners, it was obvious that there wasn't enough frozen fish for the Jolly Roger January fish fry.
Well, who am I to argue with a glaring fishing opportunity? After all, I didn't really get a birthday present this year, (Or did I?) and the Yankee Capts had a light load and a decent weather outlook was on windfinder. So, off I trekked, Thursday, for a 10 PM departure, to take the final YC trip of the year. Lots of family type patrons on this trip. Several kids, teens, a mom, a young couple and the usual guys from far and near, plus five or six regulars.
I had a basic game plan, knowing that there is no such thing as three days of perfect weather this time of year. I would try hard to catch muttons in the shallower water, rest as needed, then slam the big fish hard if we got to deeper water. The wind was too strong Friday to expect Capt Greg to go deep and at the first stop, I nailed a very decent mutton and a porgie. Great start! But the yellow tails came in droves, some major sized flags in the mix and almost convinced me to join the frenzy that swept over the boat like a sand storm, producing a majority of happy, feverish, fisher-people, gladly bailing bait over the side, till midnight, yanking fish up so quickly that their swim bladders expanded, shoving stomachs out of mouths and spewing freshly gnawed bait all over every thing and everybody. What I call, Yankee Capts chumming.
And I slept through most of it.
Dawn broke and it seemed the wind had calmed a bit. Saturday might just be my turn to shine. Breakfast was a totally ridiculous bagel sandwich, I would call the "Show Stopper" if it were up to me. A massive, thick bagel, stuffed with three or four sausage patties, a couple eggs, with slightly runny yolks simply drooling out the edges, melted cheddar cheese somewhere in the mix. YUMMY! And as I was in no rush, I nibbled in delight and identified the unmistakable taste of honey and just to be certain, I checked with Chef Chad and, yes, he confirmed that there was a cinnamon donut of some kind crushed in there. The best part is that he has it wrapped in such a way, so it remains sanitary and not one ounce, drip or drool of goodness escapes. Whew!!! Don't even ask about his meat ball sandwich! I watched him assemble and cook those puppies!
We cruised a while and my ears could not be more pleased than when Greg said 200', put some lead on. I was rigged and ready, #7 circle hook, 8' leader of 60#line, 50# top shot line and 65 # braid mainline, 12 ounces of lead and a delectable goggle eye hanging from the hook. My two back up rods were rigged exactly the same, not a fray, or poorly tied knot to be found.
My preparedness paid off immediately with a healthy, deep water mutton, then not one or two, but THREE scamp groupers and then another mutton. :cool I was on my third rig before we moved, rocked up once by a sea monster and hooked on bottom a couple time. I knew there was big flesh coming over the rails elsewhere, but focus was the mission and rather than check out the fish box, I re-rigged the damage.
The next spots were 190-220 feet and the hurtin proceeded. I scored three big muttons at the next spot, Hilton, nearby, caught a bloated beast of a red grouper, making up for all of the lost line and tangles he had suffered through, with a smile. There were many red snappers released, I had two at the first deep spot.
Hooking a plump mutton at the start of the final deep water playground was a treat, but the real fun was tying into a beast, just before Capt Greg announced a move. He saw the battle in progress but was turned away for the gaffing. He announce on the forward speakers that in the long run it was only a fish, but a really nice fish, not knowing I had just caught a beast mutton and not an out of season red snapper he thought I had on. Might have been the biggest mutton on the boat, for the trip.
I realized that I already had enough meat to feed the needy and the greedy at the camp ground and try as I might, nothing of note would bite but sharks and bait robbers. Hilton and Aedel both turned things up a notch and came out with 9 muttons each. The yellow tail hunters scored totes of their quarry and many small to medium muttons too. Between sleeping, lackluster attempts to magnetize muttons toward my hook and watching Chad work his magic in the galley, the trip dwindled away. My last few bags of bait were donated to the stern people, still pumping lead over the rail and I was pleased to see that it actually created a mini mutton storm in the final moments.
Bob looked pleased, with a full cooler, topped off with a big red grouper and as you can see from the pictures, we will all be eating well. Scamp grouper is our choice for supper tonight and for many others, judging by the number of scamps I saw being passed out.
Thanks Capt Greg, crew and chef Chad, see you in the new year for halfway ledge!

Replies

  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 882 Officer
    Well what a way to finish up the the year. Many thanks for taking the time to post a report.

    Happy New Year!
  • NailerNailer Posts: 304 Deckhand
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post these reports.
    They really help when the winter blues are setting in up here in Mi.
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    I know that feeling. In need of a fishing fix...
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    I'm just realizing how different this trip really was. Normally, the rail is almost empty after midnight. Every time I went up to check the bite, there were lots of people fishing. Even when sharks took over, the game for many was to rig heavy and try to fight them. Not the game I want to play, but five people took turns fighting one, trying to get it to submit. No *****ing or complaining that I heard, about anything. Everyone just settled in and had fun, including the mates and I hope the captain!
    Happy new year!
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,029 Officer
    Cameron, great report, as usual. Next time I'm going to spy on you. You must be bringing some secret Canadian bait :stinkfish with you that you slip on the hook when nobody is looking. I watched Cameron catch three scamp in a row while everyone around him was catching big throw back red snapper or sharks.

    I started out pretty good. They first two fish I caught were decent sized mutton. After that it was the attack of the yellow tails on the first day. These were some of the biggest flags I have seen. I certainly didn't mind putting them on ice. First drop down on the second day after we had moved to deep water I felt the unmistakable thump of a fish inhaling the bait. As the fish was bouncing and fighting on the way up, I was sure it was a monster mutton snapper, but as it broke the surface my hopes were dashed. It was a big old sow red snapper. Then I caught 2 big AJs in a row. After that my arms felt like noodles and I had to take a break. There were a few short flurries of action when it seemed like everyone was hooked up but for the most part it was a slow consistent bite throughout the trip. The catch was a mixed bag; I saw several king fish, black fin tuna, groupers, snappers , margates, etc. come over the rail. There were also quite a few mystery fish that were hooked but couldn't be coaxed off the bottom. I'm guessing they were large sharks. Speaking of sharks, my fishing buddy, Mike hooked into 3 large nurse sharks. He couldn't break his line off so he had to bring them up. He was also bummed because he reeled in a big red grouper that had 2 hooks in it’s mouth and Hilton’s (owner of the other hook) was deeper. To add salt to the wound it turned out that the grouper was the pool winning fish. I don't remember a trip that I have gone through as much tackle as this trip due to swallowed hooks, sharks, bottom hangs, Tangles, etc.. But that's better then the opposite, soaking a line and not getting any action.

    All-in-all it was a great trip, fish in the box, good weather and a friendly group of people. Capt Greg put us on the fish and the fish cooperated. The crew did their usual fine job of untangling the few tangles there were, gaffing our fish, getting them on ice and helping however they could. Chad deserves a prize for providing some of the best meals I have ever had on a fishing boat.
    As Cameron said, I had a cooler full of fish.



    BTW, I think I discovered how to bribe Greg and get on his good side; Bring Brizo some good, health dog treats. :grin
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    Thanks Bob! I got lucky, somehow. All around there were tangles, American reds and big sharks. I did get two ARS that were small and easy to deal with. I had two backup rods ready and had to use them. Scamp tasted good!
    Biggest secret? I was using computerized "smart-bait". Comes equipped with a mini Go-Pro, thrusters and a joy stick. You swim it into the fish's mouth and pull. Coming soon to a store near you.....
  • MonelloMonello Posts: 46 Greenhorn
    Sounds like a blast. I love to fish but have never done an overnight trip. I might have to try it the next time I'm down this way.
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    Thanks Bob! I got lucky, somehow. All around there were tangles, American reds and big sharks. I did get two ARS that were small and easy to deal with. I had two backup rods ready and had to use them. Scamp tasted good!
    Biggest secret? I was using computerized "smart-bait". Comes equipped with a mini Go-Pro, thrusters and a joy stick. You swim it into the fish's mouth and pull. Coming soon to a store near you.....

    Priceless post. 👍
    Another trip I was unable to make. Hopefully the new year will bring health.
  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 1,893 Captain
    Great trip and report
    you got that boat dialed in
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  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 882 Officer
    Xaf wrote: »

    BTW, I think I discovered how to bribe Greg and get on his good side; Bring Brizo some good, health dog treats. :grin

    That is a negative. keep trying though!!

    LOL.

    Greg
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    C'mon out as an observer Art, tell me what to do better!
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    Keep in touch and we'll book one together!
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    Bring Greg healthy treats, works better.
  • MonelloMonello Posts: 46 Greenhorn
    That is a negative. keep trying though!!

    LOL.

    Greg

    What type of outfits are people using on these trips? What sort of tackle is necessary?
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,029 Officer
    Monello wrote: »
    What type of outfits are people using on these trips? What sort of tackle is necessary?

    If you go to their website, yankeecapts.com , they list the tackle recommended/required for all of their various type trips.
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 875 Officer
    Great report from you guys. As always, top drawer.

    What a wonderful way to ring in the new Year.
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 508 Officer
    Monello wrote: »
    What type of outfits are people using on these trips? What sort of tackle is necessary?

    I use the same gear as the day I too you out, on all tris excet the ulley Ridge deep drop.
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    Bring Greg healthy treats, works better.

    Cuban sandwich!
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