Avoiding jewfish while bottom fishing

Crazy FingersCrazy Fingers Posts: 73 Greenhorn
I’m getting really frustrated bottom fishing.  Every single time we hook a good bottom fish we get nailed by a jewfish which takes it.  Never the trash fish, always the quality fish.  For every decent bottom fish in the boat we lose twenty to jewfish. I am not exaggerating.  Sharks and dolphins are also a problem but not as bad.  This is on the southeast Atlantic coast.  Is there anything I can do to deal with this?  I’m to the point where I’m ready to throw the **** rods in the water and quit. 

Replies

  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    We all new what we were doing until DropTheHammer showed up.
  • Diego_sosaaDiego_sosaa Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Get a  20/0 hook some heavy mono and rope then drop down a jack or a mack and catch him it should scare him plus its fun unless there is multiple, other than that I don't think it is possible.
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 4,003 Captain
    If you catch a grouper, and get hit by a Jewish, reel really hard and fast and you will usually win. The Jewish will let it go from the belly.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,208 Captain
    Fish some different bottom. Get away from the big wrecks and find some small relief or live bottom
    You should have been here yesterday
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 654 Officer
    Best way to avoid them

    is to go ahead and open a season for them.  This is getting ridiculous.
  • tailwaterstailwaters Posts: 122 Deckhand
    Fish some different bottom. Get away from the big wrecks and find some small relief or live bottom

    Like he said. I have dove a lot of the spots I fish in the NW section and rarely see Jew fish on rock piles but they are all over the wrecks and artificial reefs. The ones I do see on rocks are much smaller too. They like structure they can get inside of. 
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,834 Captain
    I had one eat a large king fish, and one hit a 15 lb gag on the surface like a bass eating a frog.  Best bet is to beef up and catch a couple or move
  • hardwayhardway Posts: 111 Deckhand
    Try fishing for them.  That should stop the catching.  Capt. George  the voice of experience
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,425 AG
    Move to another spot, or hook/catch the fish.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,279 Captain
    edited July 3 #11
    If you catch a grouper, and get hit by a Jewish, reel really hard and fast and you will usually win. The Jewish will let it go from the belly.

    I've had pretty good luck getting fish back from them also. I just pull as hard as I can while whipping the rod around and reel in as fast as I can once the Goliath lets go. Maybe 50% of the time they let go. If you just keep up a steady pressure they will just move slowly back to the reef or wreck and cut you off. 

    And yes, they are only a problem around wrecks and high structure. We just move to another spot if they keep grabbing fish. 
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 470 Deckhand
    Fish some different bottom. Get away from the big wrecks and find some small relief or live bottom
    This this this this.
  • farside88farside88 Posts: 478 Deckhand
    Use better reels. Get the fish up faster. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,939 Captain
    Every wreck I know of in shallow water (down near the Gulf coast of the Everglades...) has a "landlord" that will come after anything you hook (and is perfectly capable of eating a 15lb permit like it was a small cookie..).  Once you know the game you start making your plans to outfox it or go somewhere else... One way is simply to entice the fish on the wreck away from it (the landlord won't stray far from the wreck...) by chumming or the moment you hook up - using the boat to pull your hooked fish away from the wreck or marker...  I have one friend who uses this technique - live chumming to draw the targets away from the wreck before ever trying to hook one (these are really big snook and they're fishing the wreck at night.... during the heat of summer).  He said it works pretty well until the landlords(s) get wise.. then you're out of business.  The big goliaths (or jewfish if you're an old-timer) simply leave the wreck -then station themselves underneath you skiff and wait until you release that monster snook.  Then, you can actually feel it through the hull as a big one nails the trophy snook you've just released (it feels like a "thump").

    As others have noted - you can fish somewhere else the moment you know you've been had by one or you can simply target other species entirely (that aren't hanging around wrecks...).  One thing is certain - as long as anglers hook fish on wrecks and supply a ready food source for the "landlords" -this will be a problem. 

    Jewfish are one of my favorite targets in and around the everglades from the tiny ones (at only six inches long one will attack any lure in range) or the juveniles (anything less than fifty pounds is a baby...) they're the baddest fish around - absolutely fearless, they'll hit lure, fly, or bait with equal determination - and they will fight all the way to the skiff, time after time...  They're also tough as an old rubber boot - no matter where you've hooked one - or how long the fight was -they swim away afterwards in good shape.... 

    For those that read this.... and aren't from this area... "Jewfish" was never a slur -it was simply a corruption of the original "jawfish" as it was called in the 1800's... When those academics up north renamed the specie "goliath grouper" a few years back they should have done some research with locals.  Folks in the Ten Thousand islands always called them mangrove grouper and that name was pretty appropriate since that's where every one of them spends its early years.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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