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Yankee Capts 6-22 Pulley Ridge Lite

Finally got back out on to get my jigging fix. 

So to start off, the new gig is these trips now leave at 3pm. We had some folks come in late and rushed to bring on their gear, one cooler after another. These where not your typical coolers but the largest of the large. I asked one of the guys what was in those coolers and he told me ice. I was thinking 500lbs of ice to keep your drinks cold is a bit excessive but who am I too say. Turned out to be a great call (more on that later). 

so we finally get off around 345 or so, it was interesting running out for that long in the day light. With out much to do and not able to sleep yet after a couple hours I put out some wahoo trolling gear. It was something to look at and I was thinking never know until Greg walked by and told me I am trolling in 30 feet :) 

I was hoping we had reached more like a 100 feet of water by then but what do I know. 

finally after Chad cooked his normal kick **** dinner I was off to bed with an ETA for lines in at 3am or so. 

got some sleep, not much and got up right at 3am. with in minuets engines pull back and we are setting up the first drift. 

I went for my normal plan of attack and started off with a 250 gram gangster stick in orange. 

the morning for me started off horrible, I was jigging away working different actions, changing jigs, changing the weight and could not buy a bite. Finally after 6 or 7 hours of jigging I caught what turned out to most likely be the smallest legal mutton snapper of the trip. Tony was kind enough to measure it for me and rip a tag from my belt. 

I have to mention that the whole time I am jigging super quality fish are coming over the rail on bait, I think some others caught some nice fish on jigs too, but it just not was happening for me. 

Around this point I can hear the guys talking about having an entire box already full and everyone thinking we are going to be going home early because we will have filled all the boxes. 

now I am really thinking I need to get something going. finally around 10am or so I caught my first red grouper. It was a nice one but left me concerned the fish did not try and eat my jig, I was actually landing a sand tile and was reeling that in when about 20 feet off the bottom it turned into the red grouper. When we gaffed the fish the sand tile was on the other hooks and although I had finally boxed a quality fish I was thinking it was pretty much a bait fish. 

finally the bite slowed down for the rest of the boat (it was already slow for me) and Greg moved us for about a 20 min boat ride. this time the crew put out the drift sock. the weather was so nice it would seem like it was not needed but there was a pretty strong current down deep and the sock made for absolutely perfect jigging conditions. 

all the sudden things changed drastically for me around noon, I started getting the bites and landing nice quality grouper and snapper. All of the fish where better then the average, from noon to dark I had done the damage I needed and had a huge haul of fish. several red grouper in the 12 to 20 lb range and several over grown mutton, I also caught the largest African Pompano I have ever seen. We never put a scale on him and they are hard to judge the weight on but the boys told me he was in the 30's. 

if was a pool winner along with a black grouper Jeff caught that would have been a good battle on the scale until I went to bed and found out my friends in the corner fishing bait caught a 45lb wahoo in the middle of the night (30lb leader no wire) great catch!!! 

so as mentioned with my box of fish in hand I did catch some sleep that night heading down around 1am and rising at 5am. 

when I got up I drop the jig over and first drop another big mutton. this process continued for the rest of the day. 

it turned out to be my best trip on the boat so far. 

around 10am with 2 boxes full and the front box starting to load up Greg came over the loud speaker and said the ice he had to load for this trip was from a different provider and turned out to be flake ice and it was not holding up like the normal stuff and we might have to head in early to protect the catch, but he also mentioned that a few passengers just happened to pack on board over 500lbs of drink ice in several giant coolers and if they donated it we could fish on a fill the last box. I dont know if they hesitated or just quickly agreed but I think the whole boat had already said take the ice lol. I can only imagine some one saying they need all that ice for their beer what kind of crowed reaction they would have gotten. But never the less the donations where made and we finally topped of the last box around 2pm. 

with that we headed in, this time my trolling shot would be great with several hours through the heart of the ridge. 

me and 2 other trollers got set up and although no wahoo to report, I did catch a nice blackfin on a high speed bonita bait along with a couple of cudda and one of the other trollers caught a huge bonita. 

back at the doc around 2am Greg was kind and left the lights off and let us sleep until around 445. 

boat unloaded and the fish started rolling out. It was then that I really got an idea of how good the trip was, so many big fire truck reds, over sized mutton and I forgot the mention earlier that the black fin bite for several hours was very good. At times at night I would just pitch the jig to the end of the lights and it was not making bottom. these where also very nice blackfin. I caught at least 7 or 8 and kept the 2 biggest both around 15 or 20. 

many nice black fin where caught with only a few footballs mostly solid gaff fish. 

all in all this trip had the best quality I have seen in my trips so far and my first where all boxes filled and happy to get home early. 

great bunch of guys as well, great communication and everyone friendly (except chad for the first 20 min after he wakes up in the morning, after that he is fine :) 

cant wait to go again in July! 

of and as far as pictures are concerned I am the worst, I never took a single one. i know many others on the trip did so if you read this please feel free to upload those to give the story some more justice. 

Tight lines and sharp hooks. 




  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 862 Officer
    Good report thanks 
  • InstaGatorInstaGator Posts: 248 Deckhand
    Great report Natural angler.  Thanks for taking the time to post.  Glad to hear it was a productive trip.  I hope they get the ice thing worked out soon as we are quickly approaching the hottest months of the year.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 1,003 Officer
    edited June 2020 #4
     I hope they get the ice thing worked out soon as we are quickly approaching the hottest months of the year.
    Ice isn’t a issue going forward. 

  • demersalangelerdemersalangeler Posts: 500 Deckhand
    edited June 2020 #5
     Natural, what SPJ rod, reel & line were you using? Just wondering what others are using.  

     My last trip up here I only got one contact on the firm action tone rod. Got out the medium action tone SPJ rod & it was catching fish. On the same jig. 
    The trip before all the action was on the firm SPJ on the suspension. Time before that all on the firm & the fall. 

     Oh, & thanks for the report.  
  • natural anglernatural angler Posts: 291 Deckhand
    I was using 2PE braid mostly with some PE3. the jig action that worked this time was a very subtle/short falling action. very small lifts, I felt like if it was just a little to aggressive on the presentation no grouper or snapper. the jig that ended up being the killer was a 230 gram FCLLABO. I basically cycle through about 4 different action types until I am happy with results based on conditions and contacts. Most the time I think what ever jig I am on when the bite picks up might make you think that is the jig that is working and maybe they would be jumping another jig type the same or better, but in this game if your confidence is not there in what you have down it is very hard. going with what you know to work from your own past work and building on that is what I think is key. that is why some times a jig style might get buried in the back of the bag. In fact if it was new, I maybe used it and was getting no contact so went back to something I know has produced for me in the past and all the sudden the bite picks up. that jig might not go swimming for a long time. Its interesting because if the bite is great then you stick with the jig you are doing great with, so I never really test new jigs when its already going well. this puts anything new at a disadvantage because if most of the time if I am going for something new, its because I am already struggling with what I am used to using and that struggle could just be the fish are not really onto jigs right then, or my timing is off etc. my last 2 trips where pretty much the same. Started off doing really bad, working through different jigs and actions and both trips ended up going really well and the FCLLABO jig ended up with 80% of all fish. I guess you never know. 

    my outfits are not really broken down by medium versus firm, but by jig weight. meaning they all should be about the same in terms of response provided the right jig weight is used. I use three rods for the most part, one for jigs up to say 200 grams or the next up to 350 or about and the last up to 500g

    all work with PE 2, 2.5 or 3. 

  • demersalangelerdemersalangeler Posts: 500 Deckhand
     Thanks fir the response.  I dont know many around here that SPJ, so I like to hear what others thoughts are on SPJ & what they are doing that works.  
     I find it interesting that you were getting bit on short lifts because I had to slow it down & was getting bit on the short lifts my last trip out. 
     Sometimes the bite is on the fall, lift, slide, suspension. I dont ever know what pattern it will be & always have to explore the possibilitys. 

     My rods are rated in jig weight as well & I'm running PE 2 or 3. Reels are torsa 16N, ocea jigger's. 

  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,427 Officer
    Nice report Chris.   See you in couple weeks. 
  • natural anglernatural angler Posts: 291 Deckhand
    you too Dudley! 

    Demersalangeler there are many who SPJ on these trips, many are new are trying to learn the trade and there are also some of the most expert SJP fisherman out there. 

    depending on the trip at times everyone can look like a pro if the fish want to really chew. other times those that have committed to the craft can rise above. 

    all in all it is a great sport and you cant find a better shot anywhere to apply this fishing style then these trips. 

    the "lite" trips, pulley ridge and half way ledge are perfect for this. staying under 300 -350 makes it to where baits and jig can cooperate well. 

    the deep water options are also super great, but you really need everyone jigging to be supper effective. trying to mix electric deep drop and SPJ can be troublesome unless the conditions are completely perfect, meaning wind and current.

    But I can tell you I was on a charter where we fished deep and it was 100% jigging, no electric reels and the entire boat worked together pitching and working down the rail like an assembly line and the results where amazing. 

  • demersalangelerdemersalangeler Posts: 500 Deckhand
     It is amazing when you're on a head boat & the crew all works together. It can be wonderfully simple. I can see how dd rods with heavy leads can make SPJ with lighter (in comparison) jigs difficult.  

     So the pully light/halfway ledge trips are in 300'-350'. How deep are the pully trips & is the current usally much stronger than pully L/halfway? 
    (I SPJ alot in the 200'-500' range here & occisunaly deeper)

     So on the light trips you guys are running alot of 250g-300g jigs. 200g-400g range? Depending on current & wind. 
     What about the pully trips?  250g-500g? (I would really like to get a queen, golden, or barrel.)

     A couple more questions.  
    Are you guys running a lot of stick jigs, or some wider jigs like rector, or cranky?
    Also is orange a go to color out there? Here in SE FL I like the blues/silver's & the gold/orange. Those are my go too's & as you mentioned I have alot of confidence in them. 
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 268 Deckhand
    General numbers:

    Pulley Lite/Halfway - most jigs are between 180-300g.  Depth is about 250ish, give or take

    Pulley Ridge - 300-600g.  Current depends on where the loop is.  Could be nothing, could be screaming.  Depth 400-700ft during the day, up on the bank 250ft ish at night.

    The boat fishes with a large sea anchor which slows the drift tremendously.  Colors on jigs are up to you.  Shape is conditions dependent. 
    Instagram:  @mrbennyortiz
    Slow Pitch Jigger
    Occasional Fish Catcher
  • natural anglernatural angler Posts: 291 Deckhand
    there is one of the experts now! What he said.... only thing I disagree with is the jig must be orange or you are not really doing it right :) 
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