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Any good Hog fishermen here?

I'm going to 'target' them next weekend in the Tortugas. Videos show that a Knocker Rig is the go-to rig to keep the bait ON the bottom. I'm bringing whole, large shrimp as well as some Conch meat.

We normally fish in 70-125 feet.

Any suggestions or techniques will be greatly appreciated as we'd love to put a few in the box!

Replies

  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 1,474 Officer
    Select live shrimp 🦐??
  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 1,474 Officer
    Blue crabs dollar size has worked good for me as well
  • FrydaddyFrydaddy Boynton BeachPosts: 658 Officer
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 9,559 Admiral
    edited May 4 #5
    Gary M said:
    I'm going to 'target' them next weekend in the Tortugas. Videos show that a Knocker Rig is the go-to rig to keep the bait ON the bottom. I'm bringing whole, large shrimp as well as some Conch meat.

    We normally fish in 70-125 feet.

    Any suggestions or techniques will be greatly appreciated as we'd love to put a few in the box!
    Save your receipt from where you purchased the Conch because if you get a overzealous FWC officer who knows what can happen.

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

  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,226 Moderator
    Put 3 or 4 red beads between your sinker and the hook
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 204 Deckhand


    The two on the right are the first two I ever caught on H&L circa aug 2008.   The most I’ve ever caught in one day is 19.   Florida style... that’s a lot of shrimp. How may grunts do you have to catch first? 

  • dihrddihrd Posts: 204 Deckhand


     Live sea urchins weed out the grunts... just saying.  

  • roletrroletr Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I've never caught one, never tried fishing for them, but a Captain at Sea Square said if you're going to try, bring 200 shrimp 🍤,,, to start with.

  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,242 AG
    edited May 5 #10

    Save your receipt from where you purchased the Conch because if you get a overzealous FWC officer who knows what can happen.
    Thanks. Didn't keep the receipt but the bag is labeled 'Tausha's Seafood'. And we have been stopped out there but they only inspected the boat's paperwork.

    One video stressed using a heavier weight than normal to 1) Get the shrimp past the other fish on the way down and 2) to pin the bait to the bottom where the Hogs like to look for food.

    I've been fishing with shrimp in the Tortugas for about 12-14 trips over the last 7-8 years and I catch very few grunts. I keep those over about 11 inches. I'll bite the tail feathers off the shrimp and fish it whole on the bottom and I do well on Snappers of all sorts and Groupers. I think that I have only hooked one shark using shrimp, whereas cut bait draws them in pretty heavily is some spots.

    Nice fish dihrd!!!
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Catch any tortuga hogs on those shrimp ?  I’ve been out west several times and never caught one. I know the west coast has a lot of people targeting hogs and a lot of grunts. 
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,242 AG
    Nope, I started bringing shrimp, hoping for some Hogs but never caught one.

    But after starting with silversides on a naked jig for Yellowtails, I found that half of a whole shrimp worked even better as the silversides did not stay on the hook past even a nibble. Now, the YT bites are almost violent and so far a 25.5 inch is my record and a 35 lb African Pompano is the largest fish I have caught on my naked yellow jig tipped with half a shrimp. Same with a 19 pound AJ a few years ago. Both on light spinners too, which was a blast!

    I think my mistake with Hogs is not keeping the bait ON the bottom. I might order this package to try out various weights and sizes.

    https://captainchappy.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=75&product_id=64
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,242 AG
    Yep, just ordered that Hogball Package!
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Definitely never caught one off the bottom. They are very curious when it come to sound. Bounce your weight a lot. I was nuts on catching them from 08 to about 14 when I started diving. Still catch a few but shoot many more now. 
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,242 AG
    My ex-father-in-law was USN at the end of the war. In the 50s in Miami, he had a salvage boat and there were still wrecks off of the very upper Keys. They would dynamite the wrecks, winch aboard the big chunks and sell that to the metal re-cyclers on the Miami River. After the blast, Muttons, Snook and Hogfish would float to the surface and they would scoop them up and sell them to the River fish houses!

    "Anytime I'd shoot a Grouper in a hole, the Hogs would always come over to investigate", he told me.
  • tdericksontderickson Augusta, ME Posts: 62 Deckhand
    I was on a tugboat in the mid 90's and we were dismantling an oil platform.  When they blew the legs, we were ready with milk crates ziptied to poles....best fishing of my life.  Best part was we were in "stand-by" for 2 days.  There was a 2 mile marine mammal/reptile safe zone, and this freakin turtle (yes, there was a helicopter in the air during daylight) kept going in and out of the zone that prevented the blast.  2 big tugboats, a supply vessel, and Derrick Crane Barge all with crew, that turtle probably cost Global marine $3,000,000.
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 204 Deckhand
     Don’t get me started on turtles. And don’t let anyone tell you they are vegetarians.  Had one destroy a 35 lb gag and 15 lb hog  Sunday.  The stringer they were on didn’t make it up so I went back to get it only to find a loggerhead setting on it. Nothing but the grouper head left. 
  • tdericksontderickson Augusta, ME Posts: 62 Deckhand

      They may eat vegetation, but primarily are carnivores.  We caught a few charter fishing in the Tortugas.....put up a hell of a fight.  All released unharmed:-)  Sorry to turn this into a turtle thread



  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,242 AG
    When my ex-father-in-law blew up old wrecks, they always kept any stunned turtles to eat!

    I've had it once in the Abacos about 20 years ago. There was some on a Fisherman's Platter that also had half a tail, fried Grouper and fried Conch!
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 9,559 Admiral
    Depends on the species of turtle loggerheads eat anything hawks  bills mostly anything the greens are primarily vegetarians.

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

  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 327 Deckhand
    we saw a turtle eating a blow fish on the surface about ten years ago in the upper Keys....don't know the species....
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