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REPORT: Yankee Capts: Look, Learn, Find - May 2 - 5

benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
A little over a month ago, the Yankee Capts posted that they were offering a new exploratory trip.  We would possibly fish in areas that have not been fished before, focusing on depths between 300 and 400ft, out somewhere near Pulley Ridge.  As anyone that knows me understands, I fish for the opportunity and little else.  This was the opportunity to get into some untouched areas, where the fish have never seen jigs before.  Sign me up.

As we got closer to the date, the weather forecast just kept getting better and better.  Ultimately, we wound up with vicious .5ft seas and a light breeze. The office shot out an email to get ready for deep water. Game on.  

The boat had about 17 men aboard, most were familiar faces, with a couple first timers intermixed.  Me and two other jig fisherman claimed the bow to avoid tangles with the rest of the boat, who were mostly fishing bait.  We headed offshore promptly at 2pm, with our eye on the first drop somewhere in the 2am range.  

As I say with every report, and I’ll say it again here, GET THE MEAL PLAN WITH CHEF CHAD.  Look.  I get it guys.  You like eating soggy PB&J three days into an offshore trip, or whatever concoction is getting microwaved in your Tupperware, but good Lord, for a little more than a C note you get three meals a day that are 100% better than anything you’re cooking at home.  In fact, I only got one picture of the food because I’m fat and scarfed it down before I remembered to take a picture.  Bacon egg and cheese on a bagel, stuffed biscuit sandwiches, PRIME RIB, pesto rice, steak tacos.  Just get your life and order the meal plan. Hell, just not having to bring cases of drinks on board is worth the money.  Anyway, here’s some prime rib for your face:




So we got to the first spot at about 2am, as expected.  Engines off and game on.  Let’s see what happens.  As with any trip, you’re always excited to get lines wet, and we got right to it. Tuna bite was on, bottom bite on.  My tally before sunrise was two muttons, two hambone and five blackfin.  I donated 2 blackfin for the ridiculous tuna/avocado poke that Chef Chad made (well worth it).  Oh, and by the way - these aren’t Fort Lauderdale hambones. These are 5-8lb hambones.  Here’s one that smoke a jig in the early morning:



After sunrise city, Capt. Greg got on the new PA system (which works great, btw - you can actually hear him clearly, which is especially nice when he tells you how lovely your fishing shirt looks - anywho....) and says “We’re going to make a move offshore into some deeper water. Anyone that has electrics, I’ll give you 5 minutes to get your stuff together before moving.  Going to be about a 30 minute ride.”

Well, we get out to the spot and we’re pretty deep.  About 750ft.  Let’s get ‘em down and see what bites.  The usual suspects of snowy grouper, blueline tile, and other misc. species come up.  We picked at ‘em for a while, nothing crazy, but a consistent bite.  Time for a move.   As we got to the second drift, Capt. Greg gets on the PA and says “Marking pretty good here, get them down quick!”  Well, when Greg says that you damned well better listen, especially when his new transducer can see a guppy in 800ft of water.  We rushed to get our jigs down, and I was first - instant hook up! And this wasn’t some little guy, this one pulled some drag and was very unhappy to be at the end of my line.  I look over and Bryan’s hooked up instantly, and so is Jim - all on jigs.  Awesome!  

Well, after hand cranking about 750ft, the line starts drifting out and I see an awesome Queen Snapper blow up in front of me.  I’ve been searching for a Queen on a jig for long time, and my first one was a pretty good one!  Anyone that fishes knows the feeling of accomplishment of getting something you’ve worked pretty hard for, and this was no exception.  Awkward high fives all around!




The drift wound up being a super productive one, and we landed many delicious deep dwellers.  Bryan even got the fish pool with his personal best Snowy!


The remainder of the first day out in the deep was just a consistent bite on the jig.  Usually we were landing fish once every three drops, which is a pretty good ratio.  All of the jig fisherman were out of fish tickets by the end of the afternoon on the first day!  After such a good first day, and after Sunset City, we crashed out (most people did) and got some good shut-eye.

Got up around sunrise the second day, and it was more of the same.  I put 3 quality muttons and a hambone in the box before we went back to the deep.

One we got there, it was game on - again.  Not the instant hook ups as in the first day, but more quality fish and a consistent bite.  I was able to land my personal best snowy as well, which was a little shy of Bryan’s pool winner.   Jim even pulled up some crazy sea monsters that I’ve never seen landed before:



The only issue was having to pick through AJs and full grown Almaco jacks in the deep. Nothing will crack someone’s spirit quite like landing a 50lb-ish AJ from 650ft.  I was unfortunately “lucky” enough to do it twice....oof.




We picked away at some more deep water fish, landing my personal best yellowedge, and personal best long tail bass:




By the time sunset was rolling around Saturday night, I was smoked.  We jigged hard for 2 days, and didn’t touch a bait the whole trip - hand cranking from the deep.  That being said, it was an absolutely banner trip. We had to buy some more coolers when we got back to the dock.  I’ve never had a trip where I was able to consistently land big fish like this one.  Just amazing. Until next time Yankee Capts - thanks for everything!








Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
Shimano
AFTCO
Slow Pitch Jigger
Occasional Fish Catcher
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Replies

  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,702 Captain
    dam! how deep? what was the eel?
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,963 Captain
    Nice trip. You must take notes to remember all that. I swear at the end it's all just a blur lol. Awesome report
  • Grouper GeniusGrouper Genius Posts: 1,486 Officer
    Great report and some really nice catches. That looks kinda like an oarfish.
    2400 CC Sea Chaser-Yamaha F250-Bad **** Tower (SOLD)
    Grady White 306 Bimini 300 Suzukis
    Hurricane 246 FunDeck
  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 991 Officer
    That was some great fishing. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,490 Captain
    Outstounding and thanks for writing that up!
  • JustDaveJustDave Jacksonville FlPosts: 194 Deckhand
    Great writeup and fish! I thought that long fish looked like a small ribbon fish at first but it has teeth and oarfish do not. I'm sure someone on here knows what the hell that is LOL. 
    1995 Stratos 2500WA Twin 2013 200HO ETECS! 
  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 2,052 Captain
    Kick a$$ jig trip - looked like tons of fun
    crazy ribbon/snake?? fish
    and yea - great eats
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Marathon, FL -- World Cat 320CC -- Charter Service cheaper than renting

    https://www.aokcharters.com/
    573-216-4078

    https://www.AOKRVs.com   -- The best prices on the best best brands everyday.

  • TONY_YNOTTONY_YNOT Posts: 83 Deckhand
    @benwah22 what rod were you using in this pic?
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
    dam! how deep? what was the eel?
    From 225ft to about 800ft and I'm not sure what that thing was lol
    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
    edited May 2019 #11
    TONY_YNOT said:
    @benwah22 what rod were you using in this pic?
    It's a prototype that I'm working on with Temple Reef. Should be available in September.  The one pictured here is a bare-bones model just intended to test the action of the rod.  The production version will be very different cosmetically. 
    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • Yellowtail 23Yellowtail 23 Posts: 131 Deckhand
    I don't know what's more impressive, the fish pics or that prime rib. Both are making me hungry.
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,427 Officer
    Lancetfish!   Nice report Benny!  I’m jelly! 
  • ThatsTodd2ThatsTodd2 Posts: 2 Greenhorn

    Great report.

    What size assist hooks are you using and for the deep drops are you using 30lb braid or going heavier? 

  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand

    Great report.

    What size assist hooks are you using and for the deep drops are you using 30lb braid or going heavier? 

    If I'm using single assist hooks, I'll use a single 8/0 Gamakatsu Tuned HD hook.  If I'm using double hooks (two top/two bottom) I use size 3/0 Gamakatsu 510
    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • predator jrpredator jr Posts: 4 Greenhorn
     is that reel a single speed accurate or the 2 speed. I am looking at putting a slow pitch combo together and that accurate 500n was the reel I was going to use. Any advice would also be great. I would use the combo on the yankee captain. Love those guys
  • TabooTaboo NJPosts: 8 Deckhand
    Congrats to an awesome trip Benwah22! Pics and your narrative top notch. And Hats off to Yankee Capts for searching "out of the box". Can't wait to slow pitch myself to soarness in July. And Chad's meals rival any 5 star restaurant! 
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,111 Officer
    A few more pictures from the trip.
    The coolers were overflowing back at the dock.
    I have to give it to the guys jigging.  If they didn't out fish anyone using bait, they matched them fish-for-fish. (I apologize for not remembering all their names.)  I would put Brian, Benny and the others in the pro category when it comes to jigging.  They had an assortment of rods, reels and jigs to meet the depth and conditions we were fishing.  Its apparent this was not their first rodeo.
    Greg and crew came through as usual and put together a top notch enjoyable trip. If it wasn't for their help I probably wouldn't be able to make these trips. Chad's skills as a chef can't be emphasized enough. The prime rib he prepared was better then I have had at any restaurant in a long time.
    Just a couple last items.
    1.  The crew works their butts off while on these trips.  Don't forget to tip them accordingly.

    2.  READ the website and any messages concerning your trip. Rumor has it that a few people missed the boat on this trip because they did not know the correct departure time. 
  • K-DawgK-Dawg Posts: 224 Deckhand
    Right before reading this thread, I had started flipping through the current issue of FS. Nice job on making the cover and feature story!

    I need more fishing gear like a hole in my head, but I might have to give in to this jigging thing. Thanks for sharing!
  • stewystewy Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    Great report and awesome catch. Chad is a beast of a chef...
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
     is that reel a single speed accurate or the 2 speed. I am looking at putting a slow pitch combo together and that accurate 500n was the reel I was going to use. Any advice would also be great. I would use the combo on the yankee captain. Love those guys

    It's a single speed 500n.  I personally haven't found a real need for a 2 speed reel, but if you're looking for a bit more torque, then you probably can't go wrong either way.  

    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
    Xaf said:
    A few more pictures from the trip.
    The coolers were overflowing back at the dock.
    I have to give it to the guys jigging.  If they didn't out fish anyone using bait, they matched them fish-for-fish. (I apologize for not remembering all their names.)  I would put Brian, Benny and the others in the pro category when it comes to jigging.  They had an assortment of rods, reels and jigs to meet the depth and conditions we were fishing.  Its apparent this was not their first rodeo.

    Greg and crew came through as usual and put together a top notch enjoyable trip. If it wasn't for their help I probably wouldn't be able to make these trips. Chad's skills as a chef can't be emphasized enough. The prime rib he prepared was better then I have had at any restaurant in a long time.

     
    Thank you for the kind words.  We fished hard and had a little bit of lady luck on our sides, Good fishing with you!
    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,702 Captain
    canu ete the eel
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 239 Deckhand
    canu ete the eel
    They brought it to our buddy that has a higher end Chinese restaurant and he was really pumped to see it. They made this and said it was excellent:


    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Shimano
    AFTCO
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 8,481 Admiral
    I have eaten ribbon fish before in the Philippines and they are very good. Looks like this is just a larger version. Very popular in Asia.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    Great trip, great report! Really missing all that extreme activity. Jealous!!!!!
  • oldbigbucksoldbigbucks Posts: 168 Deckhand
    Great trip, pics and story! Thanks for sharing.
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 439 Deckhand
    edited May 2019 #28
    Great report brother looks like an epic trip. thanks for the report.
  • PicmanPicman Posts: 312 Deckhand
    edited May 2019 #29
    Nice trip and report! What’s a hambone?
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 8,481 Admiral
    Picman said:
    Nice trip and report! What’s a hambone?

    Blackfin Snapper, The ones pictured are very, very nice.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Navy_Fishing2Navy_Fishing2 St. PetersburgPosts: 5 Deckhand
    benwah22 said:
    TONY_YNOT said:
    @benwah22 what rod were you using in this pic?
    It's a prototype that I'm working on with Temple Reef. Should be available in September.  The one pictured here is a bare-bones model just intended to test the action of the rod.  The production version will be very different cosmetically. 
    Was this the Levitate? 

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