May 4-6 YC S Atlantic - Grouper Pick?
The weather as we all know is the key factor in every trip was looking good after the blow on Monday. This also means fresh bait would be scarce and no one got to go out. We ran into a GI problem and with the generous support of Joe's group we got 2 doz to share among 3 of us. We stopped for fresh Bally but everything had been in Brine for 2 days, we had 5 doz (untouched), and 3 doz pins that produced well as chunks offshore.
At the dock we got the Don's advise to prepare for a short layover in the Marquesa, I slept thru till 5:30 and did not recollect laying over. We started fishing at 6:30 AM. Immediately, had a huge run-off and fish pulled open my 6/0 hook. Next one, hooked a small YT and was immediately gobbled by a grouper and got hung in the rocks, got him out once but could not pull him out a second time and busted off.
After sunrise we hung around the inside reef for all of friday where we had sargassum weed and did our pick here and there ( presume atlantic). Alex on his first YC trip, brought out the big stick and laid down a YT which ended up being a 43# AJ and he went on to pick up a decent Black to 14#. He had fun with a few Muttons and one that whip his a** which he could not turn on the Saltiga 4/0 that eventually busted off from rubbing on the bottom. I have to say these slob muttons over 15# were very strong and required a serious work-out to turnaround on 40# gear. A lone medium hog was also taken on mullet.
On Saturday morning we shifted out to test the offshore scene and it turned out to be the best part of the trip. We immediately had decent sized Yellow Eye, followed by a bunch of nice scamps, and jumbo muttons to 20lbs. We also had a decent chew of blacks to 40# with at least one per stop and in some places multiples. The sounder supports a good show of fish but they were shy as soon as the aggressive ones had been picked off. We did see and hooked sharks but did not loose fish to the tax man.
We did not finish with a big bang at sunrise as there was no current but did have a few mediums looking for GI steaks and would not eat a half GI. All fresh baits worked great, including a big black that ate a sun baked YT or blacks that ate a small spanish grunt. Kings were not targeted except for the last stop and a few was taken to 18lbs. We did have GI under the boat in a couple of stops, Flyers and squid showed up but was not thick, all of which produced excellent results. GI was the bait of choice on this trip. Each piece of fresh bait procurred offshore produced instantly except the Muttons had ignored big chunks of King fish on this trip and settleld for small steaks of GI or Pins with squid combo.
Both white boxes in the back were full and everyone had some fish including many that were first timers.
As usual the YC team took good care of all of us and went beyond.
The best part was my son asking me, are all the fisherman on these trip always this friendly! He had a blast talking and getting fishing tips from everyone on the boat. Killula's help in making the trip a fun experience. Thanks to Jackie, Jasmine Garden, FLL who brought lots of asian delights such as noodles, fried rice and BBQ duck, etc to share. That made my day. Had to say the temp was very pleasant and felt cool early in the morning.
Fishing can only get better with the opening of ARS. Now that the Yankee Capts is full time in Key West, enjoy, I know I will be back if SW has a seat sale.