Yankee Capt (3.24-25.12) Short Report

I didn't take many pics and the Mutton fishing was a little slow, so I'll keep this short. I hopped on this trip at the last second because the weather looked amazing -- which it was. It couldn't have been more than 1-2' at any point the entire trip, and on Saturday night it was glass all night. Very little current and calm winds -- it was amazing. But, the fish don't always like that.

When I reached the boat I couldn't believe how many people were on board. But, with the calm weather, I shouldn't have been surprised. I believe we left the dock with 43 patrons. The first few spots saw a few nice Muttons come over the rail, including one of my own. I had high-hopes for the trip right off-the-bat. There were two things that prevented this trip from being really good with the Muttons --- sharks, and yellowtails. Yes, that's right -- yellowtails. Never have I seen them as voracious and plentiful, and big as they were this trip. It got to a point where you absolutely could not get away from them. Any bait deployed for Muttons was immediately shredded by medium to large yellowtails. Those baits that survived the yellowtail onslaught and were gobbled-up by Muttons on the first morning, but most of those Muttons were eaten by sharks. In the ~17-years that I've been fishing the boat, I've never seen the sharks this bad. I'm not talking about the little Atlantic Sharpnose sharks that eat your bait, but rather 80-100# Sandbar/Caribbean Reef Shark/Hammerheads.

I wasn't affected at first, but heard that several people on the bow and pulpit were repeatedly losing Muttons to sharks. I would ask around about how many [Muttons] people had, and was consistently responded with "1/2, but lost 3 or 4" to the sharks. There's nothing you can do but hope the tax-man doesn't find your Mutton on the way up. Also, reel them in as fast as you can. This was my third trip in about a month and the other two trips weren't bad with the sharks at all, so I'm hoping it was an anomaly.

The daytime fishing for the Muttons was slow, but yellowtails continued to come over the rails. They went deep, but the Gulfstream was up on the reef in many of the places where Capt. Greg wanted to fish. Go in shallower and the yellowtails were like locusts. But, the majority of the fisherman switched over to yellowtail gear and loaded-up. Normally I would turn my nose at such heresy, but the yellowtails were pretty big and fun to catch. I don't blame anyone for filling up the fish box with yellowtails on this trip.

There was a lot of talent on the boat and several people from the forum, who can supplement my report. Jarbas has 8 or 9 Muttons, which for him is horrible. But, he was high hook. There were also a couple huge kingfish caught, and a cobia missed on the first morning. I finished with three muttons, one of them pushing 19# and the biggest of the trip. Team Nuespeed/Hialeah fished the pulpit and had a few Muttons too, but the fishing was tough. I lost several big Muttons to sharks/tangles on the final night, but that's fishing . . .

The highlight of the trip for me, was when Big Nick (hevhitters), his son Nicholas, and nephew Ben, all hooked/landed ~ 15# Muttons within minutes of one another. The bite was dead, and Nick hooked a big one, landed it. Seconds later his son hooked a big one, and landed it. A couple minutes after that, Ben did the same thing. No other fish were caught on the entire boat during that span, so it was really cool to witness. I know that Ben and Nicholas caught their biggest Muttons with those fish. Very cool and some very good up-and-coming anglers in Nicholas and Ben.

All-in-all, the trip was a blast. There was always something biting if you wanted it, mostly yellowtails, mixed-in with some very big Muttons and kings. Many big Red Grouper were caught and released as well. I would say half the boat caught at least one Mutton, with many in the 103 Mutton range. Countless fish were lost to the sharks, which is frustrating because I can't ever recall that being an issue before this season, and especially this trip. I recall one specific spot where people were consistently hooking nice Muttons, only to have them eaten a few seconds into the fight. Capt. Matt -- visibly upset -- had to move off the spot while the fish were biting. Not much they can do about that.

The trip was crowded, but there was always room somewhere to fish. My advice for anyone looking to do a trip like this: when you call the office and find that a trip isn't crowded -- GET ON.

Here are some pics

My 19# Mutton



SnookAddict's (Robert) friend with a nice Mutton


Big Nick and Nicholas with a pair of beauties


Big Nick's nephew, Ben with a fatty


My catch with some flag yellowtail and porgies mixed in.


The totes


And of course, the new tradition of stopping by Ballyhoo's for All-You-Can-Eat stone crab / snow crab


I'll be back hopefully in the next week or two and get my revenge. The fish are down there; I'm working on a shark repellant!


  • HialeahAnglerHialeahAngler Posts: 9,612 Admiral
    why's it gotta be short? i heard some of my Cuban friends were there.
  • jayseasjayseas Posts: 813 Officer
    Thanks for the report, sounds like a tough pick. I hope for a favorable change in conditions before my trip next week. Looking at the forcast the winds are going to pick up to 15-20, but maybe that will be a good thing.
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    As customary great reads Mars.

    That 36" Pink you landed is a perfect looking fish, as you know, not all big Muttons look alike... some are not so symetrical
    and some are just perfect looking, that one is close.

    Thank you Mars.
  • amighoamigho Posts: 776 Officer
    why's it gotta be short? i heard some of my Cuban friends were there.

    They were, they were very cool people especially Mike who didn't catch chit and took a lot of razzing from the rest of the guys. White boy farts? Got to meet Marsad on this trip, allow me to say Mister Q., you are a fine young man and good people! Overall the bite was off, way off. I still had a blast!
  • LitiGATORLitiGATOR Posts: 819 Officer
    Good fishing with you Brian, let's do it again soon.
  • copout@castaways[email protected] Posts: 5,779 Admiral
    tight work Marsad!
  • chicochico Punta Gorda and PennsylvaniaPosts: 537 Officer
    Some nice mutts there!!!
  • gruntkinggruntking Posts: 808 Officer

    Always great to read your reports!
  • HeavyhitterHeavyhitter Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Thanks for the pics Litti, you are dead on about the sharks!!! I dont know how many muttons I lost to those sharks!! I will send a few more pics in a while that I have, The boys have a couple good ones at the dock! The boat was packed but everybody had a great time as allways!! Talk to you soon Nick.:fishing
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,388 Captain
    Nice job as usual man.

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  • Michael RepperMichael Repper Posts: 4,897 Officer
    Awesome report! Looks like you will be eating well for a while! What kind of camera were you using? Those low light shots look great.
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 414 Deckhand
    Nice work.
  • RRRRRR Posts: 8,218 Officer
    kick-*** Marsad!
  • LitiGATORLitiGATOR Posts: 819 Officer
    Awesome report! Looks like you will be eating well for a while! What kind of camera were you using? Those low light shots look great.

    I use a Sony dSLR A850
  • HeavyhitterHeavyhitter Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Also if anyone mistakingly picked up a bucket with two clear tackle containers and a cast net inside could you let me know! You probably also picked up the dirty clothes bag that was with it! I hope you diddnt leave that bag in your vehicle, the fishy clothes would be very nasty by now! Thanks Nick
  • dolfanjoeydolfanjoey Posts: 1,173 Officer
    Nice job. I need to get on a trip this season.
  • wellcraftwellcraft Posts: 1,333 Officer
    hey Hialeah we sure were on this trip,, lots of laughs but def a slow bite and hungry sharks.

    hey Lit it was a pleasure meeting you again

    i was up on the pulpit with Mike84 aka nuespeed i brought in 3 muttons and lost 4-5 to sharks; big sharks at that!
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  • snappersnatchersnappersnatcher Posts: 134 Officer
    Nice report sir,I see some slobs there:grin... I'm going to fish the back this time i think there is more fish back there.
  • seanhev77seanhev77 Posts: 276 Officer
    Those Sandbars are ridiculous. I hate it when they show up. They do the same thing up here in NE Florida. Its almost like they move in as a school and hang out for a month and then scatter out and go away. They eat our Red Snapper/Mangos, Muttons up here like they eat the Mutts/YTs down there. They love Snapper lol. I think they move in to spawn and wind up crushing all of the snapper while they're around. Not positive on the last statement. I dont believe that the Shark Longliners are allowed to keep them but I wished they changed that rule.
  • Salty GatorSalty Gator Posts: 1,816 Captain
    That's a fine looking mutton Liti. The porgies and Yts in the totes had some size - good eating for sure. Keep working on that shark repellant - you'll make millions.
  • dandahundandahun Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I'm heading down tonight for this weekends limited load mutton massacre (or yellowtail massacre), what was the hot bait this trip?
    When I went on the Thanksgiving trip I had the best luck with ballyhoo plugs over fresh goggle eyes, it seemed the sharks took a
    liking to the goggle eyes over the ballyhoo but these were the little sharpnose sharks.
  • BobberBobber Posts: 928 Officer
    On last weekends 3 day MM, ( 19 totes, muttons to 20lb,blacks to 40lb) gogs and speedos ruled, but bally's brought in some quality fish too.
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