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Yankee Capts Halfway Ledge 05/20/19

XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer

The day started early, 6:30 am for a 6 pm departure.  I had to pick up Mike, my fishing partner, and make a couple stops to get bait on our 6-7-hour drive to Stock Island, home of the Yankee Capts.  Getting fresh bait lately has been tough.  Normally we’ll try to take 5-6 dozen fresh baits for the 2 of us on a 3-day trip.  Our bait guy was only able to get 2 ½ dozen fresh goggle eyes so I packed a cooler with 5 lbs of squid and about 2 dozen frozen gogs from a previous trip.  As luck would have it, when we met our guy, he said someone raided his bait pen and he only had 15 baits.  So we made a stop at a bait & tackle shop and bought a couple dozen ballyhoo, goggle eyes and speedos.  (All supposedly fresh).  The boat was already loading when we arrived so with the help of the mates, we transferred our coolers, tackle boxes, poles, sleeping bags, etc. to the boat.  I had over packed as usual.  Soon the parking lot was full as this process was repeated for the rest of the anglers and it was time to depart, rig a few poles, eat, and get a good night’s sleep.

About 5:30 am Greg pulled the throttles back and as soon as the sea anchor was deployed it was time to start fishing.  The way things started out I thought it was going to be a great trip.  By about 9 am I had 2 decent mutton and a big red grouper in the box.  There were fish coming up here and there around the boat.  Mike had a couple nice fish and Dudley, another regular fishing near me, had 3-4 nice mutton.  But as soon as the moon went down the bite turned off and it was tough fishing for the rest of the trip.  We tried different baits, lighter leaders, tried jigging, anything we could think of to entice the fish to bite but nothing seemed to work. The wind started to pick up the second day which didn't help matters any.  A group of 4-5 guys who were jigging the whole trip didn’t fare much better than anyone else.  Greg moved areas several times trying to find fish that wanted to bite with little luck.  In the end we had 12 totes for 18 -19 anglers, which is poor by YC standards.  I think I ended up with 3 mutton, 4 grouper, several almaco jacks, 1 large porgy and a nice black fin tuna.  Mike did about the same so we still ended up with plenty of fish to take home.  A very nice black grouper took the pool.  (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of it.)

Mike with a couple red groupers


Sunrise the second day.                                           

Brizo keeping an eye on things for Greg.


Mike with his King Fish and Black Fin.


Someone's catch laid out for cutting.

As I said, before Greg did his best to put us on hungry fish but as the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  The mates, Lyndon, Mikey, and Marshall were helpful as always and were right there if you needed anything. Mikey will have gone "back up north" by the next time I go. I will miss his help and, at times, his strange sense of humor.  As for Chad, I just can’t say enough about the food he puts out of the small galley and equipment he has to work with.  This time I made an extra score.  In the past, I have raved to him about how much I like his crab cakes.  He knew I was coming on this trip and had a whole container of his crab cake mix for me to take home. 

Chad's Chicken, rice & green beans


Score!  Chad's crab cake mix 


  • TugasTugas Posts: 207 Deckhand
    Great report . I’d heard about this oddball trip of the ones that have been really good . Sucks this had to be yours but at least you didn’t spend a ton on bait. When is your next trip?mine is July now .. and looking into a October November time to go 
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer
    I'm doing a Pulley Ridge on June 17 then probably take some time off until fall.  I have to get my house ready to sell and a few other related projects.  I find that I have a one track mind.  If I have fishing trips scheduled I tend to concentrate on them instead of other things that I need to do.  :)   
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,427 Officer
    What a fun trip! Great group of guys this time made for a lot of laughs and good times.  I fished bait the first day and jigged a bunch the second day.  Had 14 mutts, a big scamp, one tuna and a red grouper on bait.  Had to work hard for them though.  Long soaks, and pull out all the tricks.  The bite was off for whatever reason. All I got on jigs was almaco jacks.  Weird how it varies from one trip to another.
    I couldn’t agree more on Chads meals.   Outstanding!! 
    Greg always does a great job and always has a great crew.  This trip was no exception. I’m gonna miss my buddy Mikey! At least I got to fish with him one last time and on hump day as well!! “MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE!! What day is it? HUMPDAY!!! Lol good times!! 
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer
    Nice catch, Dudley (Snaphappy).  I enjoy fishing with Dudley.  He's a lot of fun and one of those guys who catches fish when no one else is catching anything.  I always try to figure out what he is doing different then I am but never can figure it out.  He fishes hard and puts his time in at the rail and his catches reflect it.  Looking forward to the next time we can fish together. 
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    I would really loved to be there! Gonna really miss Mikey, he is a one of a kind character. Sounds like a bit of an off trip, but Dudley wasn't paying attention and caught them anyway. LOL That's the Dudley I know! Great report Bob.
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 439 Deckhand
    edited May 2019 #7
    great report on a tuff trip, thanks.
  • tdericksontderickson Augusta, ME Posts: 82 Deckhand
    Are any of the regulars going on the August 15th Pulley Trip?  6 of us from Maine are coming down.  4 of us are driving  down to get there that Monday in order to get bait and "play".  I tried to rent a boat, but found out lobster season starts, and finding a canoe will be a challenge.  If anyone has an idea on where to rent a boat, or for that matter take some/all of us out to get kings/bonita or white bait it would be much appreciated.  Obviously expenses and if you wanted some $$$ would be included.  So happy to be going back after 15 years.
  • predator jrpredator jr Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Here is the pool winner. I got 2 mutton, 4 red grouper 3 huge porgy and the nice black grouper right at the end of the trip. That fish made the trip for me.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,551 Moderator
    edited May 2019 #11
    Xaf  I'll be on the June 17 PR trip with you, Rail 17.  With ARS open in the Gulf then, maybe Greg will come in to find them at night.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 1,003 Officer
    Xaf  I'll be on the June 17 PR trip with you, Rail 17.  With ARS open in the Gulf then, maybe Greg will come in to find them at night.
    Maybe on the ride out or ride home. 

    Depends where we head?
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 439 Deckhand

    Dang son that is i nice fish!
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    Xaf  I'll be on the June 17 PR trip with you, Rail 17.  With ARS open in the Gulf then, maybe Greg will come in to find them at night.
    Maybe on the ride out or ride home. 

    Depends where we head?
    Greg, I've been on lots of Pulley Ridge trips, PR lite and halfway ledge trips and haven't seen any ARS in the mix. Do you see any at Pulley Ridge while drifting through the right depths? I've seen lots on the Tortugas trips in the depths you frequent, just curious.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer
     There was one spot on this trip where I saw 3 nice ARS come up.  They had to go back of course.  I think this is the only time I have seen ARS on any of the deep water trips.  I'm sure they are out there some where and Greg knows where.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 1,003 Officer
    Xaf said:
     There was one spot on this trip where I saw 3 nice ARS come up.  They had to go back of course.  I think this is the only time I have seen ARS on any of the deep water trips.  I'm sure they are out there some where and Greg knows where.
    We were further west and north of Pulley. God if we run into and have to toss them back like the Tortugas I am gonna lose my mind.

  • tarponbro1tarponbro1 jacksonvillePosts: 296 Deckhand
    I have caught red snapper in well over 300 feet of water while commercial fishing in northeast Florida. The biggest one I caught was about 30 lbs. We weighed a big ARS on the water on that trip and it went 38lbs. I caught a 38 lb. Katy Mitchell grouper on that trip too. I just realized something: My biggest black grouper? 38lbs.!! what's this thing with 38 lbs? While on a fun trip to the **** out of Pensacola the boat's owner called me up to the bridge to look at something. It was a classic "snapper dome" on the depth recorder, and it was in more than 300 feet of water. We didn't drop on it because we were going marlin fishing but I would've liked to see if it was snapper that were marking on the recorder. ARS do, or least used to, live in some pretty deep water.
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