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Whats you choice, drifting or anchor?

I target snapper and grouper(in season) and I favor anchoring. I've fished the drift boats out of jupiter prior to purchasing my own boat and I never really liked the drift concept. However lately my anchor theory has not been very fruitful. I fish a 15 ft 40 to 60lb leader with whatever weight I need to hold bottom. My bait of choice is live sardines when there around, if not greenies. If no live bait the I'll use either live or butterflyied grunts. When drifting I'll used a double hook with a dead sardine but I've never produced using that method. I don't know but about 5to 8 years back there seem to be a lot more snapper and grouper action between the SLI and Jupiter inlet. My last couple of trips have been disapointing and I,m wondering if maybe drifting would give me a better chance with my catsh ratio. Does anybody rift for muttons(my fav), I've got a decent bottom machine and try to fish the 70 to 90 ft areas that have some structure Whats your choice?

Replies

  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,804 Moderator
    Rondo wrote: »
    I target snapper and grouper(in season) and I favor anchoring. I've fished the drift boats out of jupiter prior to purchasing my own boat and I never really liked the drift concept. However lately my anchor theory has not been very fruitful. I fish a 15 ft 40 to 60lb leader with whatever weight I need to hold bottom. My bait of choice is live sardines when there around, if not greenies. If no live bait the I'll use either live or butterflyied grunts. When drifting I'll used a double hook with a dead sardine but I've never produced using that method. I don't know but about 5to 8 years back there seem to be a lot more snapper and grouper action between the SLI and Jupiter inlet. My last couple of trips have been disapointing and I,m wondering if maybe drifting would give me a better chance with my catsh ratio. Does anybody rift for muttons(my fav), I've got a decent bottom machine and try to fish the 70 to 90 ft areas that have some structure Whats your choice?

    My preference for bottom fishing would be going out of Jupiter. But if your specifically talking about SLI, I would prefer to drift until I find an exact location holding target species and not Seabass, unless they're in season. I'll always make several drifts and mark the spot when we catch our target species. Each drift, move a little east or a little west. After 4-6 drifts, you'll have an idea of where the target species is, and can more accurately place your anchor drop/know how long of rope to let out. Again, until Seabass opens up, I prefer to target bottom fishing out of Jupiter inlet.
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Most of my fishing in Stuart was for Mahi and Sails, I never really could get a good groove bottom fishing there… Since moving to Jupiter, 75% of my fishing is for Snapper, and Muttons are my fave as well...

    I prefer to anchor up on several of my best spots, but seas don't always allow that...

    When I drift fish, I very very rarely just drift… I do 1-2 drops (assuming chicken rigs or standard leader Carolina rigs) and run back up current/wind to my spot, pass it about 50-75 ft, and re-drop, and I do this incessantly, never doing more than 2 drops per drift, maybe 3. It’s more work for sure, but delivers more fish

    When I do anchor up, it’s usually for long leader work, but I do sometimes drift fish with long leaders as well…

    Here is a thread I posted back in July that has great info from other forum members as well..

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?67205-My-Approach-to-Snapper-Fishing-(Jupiter-Area)&highlight=approach+snapper
  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Posts: 1,352 Officer
    Last Mango, in the other post you put up a link to you spoke of the Zoo, where is the Zoo?
  • RondoRondo Posts: 764 Officer
    Thanks for the responce, don't understand why the snappers don't come a little north tho, fished out of Ft.Pierce for a couple of years and got some nice mangroves, seem like SLI is the dividing line. I re-read you postmango, now I,m hungry.
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    Really depends on the winds..SE wind fast drift and terrible anchoring. NE wind great slow drift easier to spool out line while enticing a bite from a stationary bait.(less chance of getting snagged) NW wind usually is a cold wind and you will get vermillions as they mover in from deeper waters. West winds = well you know hit or miss..I think October can have some of the best bottom fishing(slower currents).. Trying to anchor in the 110-130ft ledge and you are going to need a lot of weight to hit bottom.
    When i was a kid i bottom fished the crap out of jupiter. I have been busy chasing pelagics for years and using electric reels(lazy lol)..I will get back into as gas prices keep surging. May is a good month when the Kings move in the muttons tend to lurk and pick up scraps. This is when cut bait is very effective at dusk.
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  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Roc N Rol wrote: »
    Last Mango, in the other post you put up a link to you spoke of the Zoo, where is the Zoo?

    I thought The Zoo was a fairly publicly known ledge ESE of Juno in about 85ft of water, I worked it a few times and it didn't deliver much, so I don't fish it much since... But, there are some nice ledges in that entire area that we work... Just working the edges and ledges of the entire Juno Hump can be quite productive...
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    GT Fish wrote: »
    May is a good month when the Kings move in the muttons tend to lurk and pick up scraps. This is when cut bait is very effective at dusk.

    Bingo! I also think May - July are great for the bigger Muttons...
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Rondo wrote: »
    Thanks for the responce, don't understand why the snappers don't come a little north tho, fished out of Ft.Pierce for a couple of years and got some nice mangroves, seem like SLI is the dividing line. I re-read you postmango, now I,m hungry.

    I have a theory on this... From what I have learned, the coral reef from the Keys, generally runs all the way up the coast and ends in the Hobe Sound area and apparently, it's kind of a blunt / sudden change. And thus the Snapper bite tails off... That's the only thing I can think of... Sure, there are Snapper in Stuart, but they appear to be more work to target and obtain than here in Jupiter... At least that was my experience for the short period I lived in Stuart.
  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Posts: 1,352 Officer
    I fish the ledge from south of the pier to the inlet and done well. When you anchor up do you chum? We have most of the time and I am not sure if it is worth it or not. We are fishing bottom close to the boat and the chum line is stretched out a long way in the water column before it hits the bottom, so I dont think it is doing us any good because we dont have any lines in the chum slick.
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Roc N Rol wrote: »
    I fish the ledge from south of the pier to the inlet and done well. When you anchor up do you chum? We have most of the time and I am not sure if it is worth it or not. We are fishing bottom close to the boat and the chum line is stretched out a long way in the water column before it hits the bottom, so I dont think it is doing us any good because we dont have any lines in the chum slick.

    Personally, I don't chum here much, in the Bahamas & Keys with patch reefs, where you working waters 34-45ft, yes, but not much here... If I do chum here, I use a chum cage, not a bag (cage is grabbed by the water less, IMO) and I tie an 8lb weight to the chum cage and tie it off at the bow (assuming I'm fishing from the stern)
  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,110 Captain
    Some great info here guys. I pretty much follow tha addage that Long and Dave are talking about. I drift over a target reef or structure that I have in my GPS looking for action. Once I spot it and drift pulling up the target species, I can then anchor and get to work pulling in dinner.

    Just check out Dave's (LastMango's) and Eric's (E$'s) post. I think I mirror Eric's approach and chase dolphin, sails, wahoo.... for the first bit of the morning and then swith over to bottom. The couple of times I have put out the chum it seems to work for me. It pulled a nice bull to the back of my boat which I pitched a bait and threw him on ice as my buddy was working the bottom. You never know what it will bring in.
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  • onICEonICE Posts: 988 Officer
    LastMango wrote: »
    I thought The Zoo was a fairly publicly known ledge ESE of Juno in about 85ft of water, I worked it a few times and it didn't deliver much, so I don't fish it much since... But, there are some nice ledges in that entire area that we work... Just working the edges and ledges of the entire Juno Hump can be quite productive...

    I have fished that area plenty of times and done well enough, but when you say "work an area" what exactly does that entail? Drift, reset, drift? Also, How much structure do you need to spot on the sounder before you will w"work" it?
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,804 Moderator
    Shoeless wrote: »
    Some great info here guys. I pretty much follow tha addage that Long and Dave are talking about. I drift over a target reef or structure that I have in my GPS looking for action. Once I spot it and drift pulling up the target species, I can then anchor and get to work pulling in dinner.

    Just check out Dave's (LastMango's) and Eric's (E$'s) post. I think I mirror Eric's approach and chase dolphin, sails, wahoo.... for the first bit of the morning and then swith over to bottom. The couple of times I have put out the chum it seems to work for me. It pulled a nice bull to the back of my boat which I pitched a bait and threw him on ice as my buddy was working the bottom. You never know what it will bring in.

    That's exactly why I chum while bottom fishing. It's worked too many times. Don't forget to leave a flat line out in the water incase you don't see the pelagic swim by, or so you don't have to scramble looking for your live bait rod, lure or feather while the pelagic swims by.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Keeping busy while away from Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    onICE wrote: »
    I have fished that area plenty of times and done well enough, but when you say "work an area" what exactly does that entail? Drift, reset, drift? Also, How much structure do you need to spot on the sounder before you will w"work" it?

    I look for ledges, 5 to 15ft in 65-85ft, all around the Juno Hump, or High-Bar as some call it... Most ledges hold fish, the question is what are they and how big are they... When I'm not anchoring up, I work an area by running up current/wind, and drifting over it, and sometimes, depending on the actual location, wind, current, and water depth, I may only get 1-2 drops before I drive back up to my spot... The amount of lead I use is a function of wind, current and water depth... Anyone who has fished with me knows I'm not shy about lead... I want to get to the bottom quick, and hold, or just above it...
  • flatsfisherflatsfisher Posts: 1,381 Officer
    i always tend to drift and often times dont even have marked spots usually get 1 everytime i try but some days will produce large numbers and some days will produce only 1 or 2. That being said i usually only target muttons when it is early summer and the kings are usually around as well so if a bait does get by the kings the bigger 8-12 pound muttons will pick it up. That time of year live sardines are plentiful and i use a 10 foot 60 pound leader with about 4-5 ounces of lead, this way you may catch a mutton if it comes off bottom a little but the kings will still hit too, also i use a triple hook as well. If i am targeting the muttons under the king fish schools i will use 40 pound leader and 15-20 feet of it still with a triple hook but i will use a belly of a king or bonita, also i will use the guts occasionally as well.
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    This is turning into a good thread....
  • Not billableNot billable Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    I've fished Jupiter 6 or 7 times in the past year with a buddy of mine who has been bottom fishing there for the past 15 years. He only drifts. He never uses a leader heavier than 40lb fluro and goes as light as 20lb fluro, leader length of 15 to 25 ft. We use 3/0 and 4/0 circle hooks with dead sardines or fresh bonita strips. J hooks work better than circles if the drift is fast. Egg sinkers as light as possible to hold bottom. We do great on the muttons with that rig. Also have caught cobia, sailfish, kingfish and wahoo(lots of bite offs from kingfish and wahoo). The secret is to keep slowly letting line out as you drift and when you feel a fish feed em some more line. Have yet to see this technique not work.
  • captainsalcaptainsal Posts: 94 Deckhand
    Hey Ron, I have fished bottom out of st lucie inlet for a long time. As far as snapper goes I caught more vermillion out of st lucie than anywhere else. And they were biggg fish. Not small bait verms. Plenty of lane and muttons out by the loran tower. You just have to find your own little spots. The smaller the better. It seems to get better the further south you go from there. Out of jupiter mostly seems to be a drift fishery. Last Mango has it exactly right, once you find the fish, Short concentrated drifts. One or two drops at best, and that's if your fast at rebaiting. Remember different parts of the reef hold different fish. Inside ledge versus outside. The top rarely holds much. Porgies will be in the sand just off the ledges. And I mean barely off. Squid or small peices of cut bait for your lane, verms and porgies on a simple rig with a couple dropper loops. Live or fresh dead bait and long leader (jigs also work)for your more wary muttons. I use egg sinkers and circle hooks for this. Hope we are helping you!!
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Sal is correctomundo...
  • RondoRondo Posts: 764 Officer
    Love this thread! OK, I'm out of Jupiter now and my first trip was yesterday with my wife to explore the area. I headed ESE out the inlet to where I saw a concentration of boats along with a couple of drift boats. T my surprise the depth was 120 ft. usually I fish between 70 and90ft. I wasn't that far off the beach to realize the deep is a lot closer at Jupiter than SLI. Anyhow I road around but couldn't find any structure that looked fishable, yet a bunch of boats were drift fishing. Didn.t get any action so I decided to head north a little. Got into 80 ft of water about 2 mile north of the inlet and drifted up a couple of AJ"s short red grouped, a keeper mangrove and a bunch of other species. That area had some good structure and the machine showed good activity. I understand the concept of taking a couple of drifts over a spot before dropping the hook, and if I had some "fisherman" with me I would have dropped the hook at this spot. Years ago I fished the drift boat out of Jupiter but I'm not a fan of that sort of fishing. I love muttons and my experience, though limited, is a long leader with either a butterflied grunt or live sardine right on the bottom, really pumps my adrenaline up when you get that good bite. May and June are my months so if you see a yellow 252 wellcraft out there say hello.
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Rondo, didn't know you moved here... I too fished SLI, great for Sail and Mahi, but didn't really like the bottom bite there.. Although Scotty on Off the Chain proves me wrong on that quite often...

    I think you'll really like the bottom fishing here...
  • RondoRondo Posts: 764 Officer
    Hey Mango, yea. I think I'll like it once I get a little more familiar with it, are you still boatless? Looking for someone to fish with during the week.
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