Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words and if that’s the case then this one speaks volumes. We left out on Saturday morning with a live well full of pin fish, Cigar minnows, Croakers, Hard tails and some menhaden. Our first stop was as usual for some other kinds of offshore bait like small White snapper and Small Vermillion snapper. After getting the live well so full that you can’t see into it but about 6” we went on out to try some deep water bottom fishing. From this point on it seemed that we were on a mission that could do no wrong. When we stopped on our first hole the 4 pound Mingo’s (vermillion) Snappers were on fire. Everyone was catching 1 or 2 on each drop using a small piece of squid on a two hook rig. However, the best thing was that for every 5 or 6 Mingo’s we were getting a nice 6-8 pound Scamp on a live pinfish or croaker. Unbelievable, could it get any better than this? We did this on every hole we stopped on all the way out to my secret Amberjack hole. As we approached the AJ hole my guys rigged up quickly for the battle that was fixing to happen. They cleared the deck of the two hook rigs on the Electric reels and got out the heavy lined 6/0 reels. Once we pulled up into position and I gave the command, it only took 45 minutes to get our two day bag limit of the 35 to 60 pound Amberjacks. We never missed a beat. As everyone were high fiving each other I headed on out around 4:00 p.m. to the offshore deepwater oilrigs for some tuna fishing action.
We arrived with anticipation and excitement of what was to happen next. It certainly didn’t disappoint. As soon as the lines were in the water we were on. A small Black Fin Tuna and then another, and then another and another. After a few laps around the rig we saw what we came for, the Big Yellow Fin Tuna busting the water on top just out from the rig a little and heading right to us. As the tension built up we crossed over the school of fish and all eyes were on the lines. “Fish On, right rigger!” then “Fish on Left rigger!” OH Yea! They were biting! We fished into the night, jigging next to the rigs as the seas built to 6-8 feet. We got up the next morning around 3:30 a.m. and started it all over again. Before it was over we had 4 Yellow Fin Tuna, 25 Black Fin Tuna, over 40 head of Scamp, around 180 head of Jumbo Mingo’s and 24 Amberjacks Totaling a little over 2,000 lbs. Wow!
Once again we are riding the Emerald Spirit out for a day of fishing in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. We had 10 hours to get it done in the same fashion we usually have 12. The first stop was on the rocks offshore for some Vermillion Snapper and white Snapper with the chance of getting some other good bait fish with them. The first place I stopped was on fire. We caught real nice Mingos and whites one and two at a time. Before you knew it we had limited out for the Vermillion Snapper at 10 per person. After that we decided to go a little deeper and try some Amberjacks and maybe a Scamp or two. I traveled about 3 or 4 miles, just enough time to let everybody get something to drink and let the deck hands regroup for the jacks with heavier tackle. We arrived to the hole and prepared to drop four lines at a time. You are allowed to keep one fish per person so with seven anglers I figured it wouldn’t be long for each person to tag out and pass the rod off to the next guy. Boy do I love it when a plan comes together. We dropped four baits and immediately were on with four big Jacks. We tagged out with the rods to the next anglers as the fish came in and in no time we were done, limited out.
They brought up Yellow-edge Grouper, Snowy Grouper, Scamp and to my huge surprise some of the most Monster-size Mingos we’ve ever caught. No kidding. They were 5-6 pounds a piece.
So I told them to grab the two hook bottom rigs and drop them for some Scamp right there on the same spot. Sure enough we caught a few but it wasn’t what I knew we could do so we moved to our third hole of the day which was even deeper than the last, now we are in 290 – 310 feet of water. As I rode down to the next spot I was remembering the last time we fished there last season and it dawned on me that we caught some deep water Grouper there. I told the deck hands to get ready for some of those and we’ll try it. When we got there every one was baited up and ready to drop. You have to be ready to drop when I tell you, especially in the deeper water like this because it’s sort of like precision bombing, everybody has to go down at the same time to avoid tangles and to assure you hit the target. We dropped and it didn’t take long to see we hit the target good. Everyone got fish on and I knew we made the right decision. They brought up Yellow-edge Grouper, Snowy Grouper, Scamp and to my huge surprise some of the most Monster-size Mingos we’ve ever caught. No kidding. They were 5-6 pounds a piece. It was a good thing the deck hands used up some of the other b-liners we had for live bait earlier because I would have died to have to throw those back. That’s when I realized it was time to go home. Three stops and we put the mash down on them. It doesn’t get any better. I can’t wait till next week when we go on our first overnight Tuna trip. The reports are great offshore and there are plenty of nice fish, we’ll check it out.