Fishin' Wednesday

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Finally got a break from all of life's necessities and caught a break from the March winds to take a trip offshore. Didn't go too far out, only a few miles from the outer bar in ~40' of water to an artificial reef built from mostly the rubble of a couple of large old bridges that were replaced. Black Sea Bass weren't biting but got into a mess of Bluefish and some early Spanish Mackerels. Nothing very big but lots of em...
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Capn' Sam and my Bosun Cuzn Dave
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Used some chinesium jigs and they almost never made it to the bottom before being hit. Even had some doubles with fish taking both the forward and tail hooks. Poor Dave was spending most of his time dehooking em for me and didn't get a chance to catch many of em. Then they quit biting... but we already had plenty to clean. We were trying to get some Black Sea Bass on the bottom but the Blues and Spanish were stacked up in the midlevels. Used squid for many years and that was what Dave was using but I've been playing with jigs lately and it has paid off big time. Only had 1 BSB keeper.

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With No 4 treble hooks fore and aft. Also in Blue. 24" flurocarbon 40# leader on 80# UHMWPE braided line which is only 1/2mm dia. Need to go bigger on the leader for these toothy un's as they were shredding it. I like the braid as it doesn't stretch like mono and sets the hook faster.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Unfortunately, here the drop-off is 100 miles out. Too far for my 20' boat and most that go there spend a couple of days out there. About the farthest I go is ~25-30 miles and only when the seas are 3' or less. 2-3' seas are my limit and 1-2' or less for going far out. Even at the drop off it is only 100' and they can catch swordfish and bluefins.
 

Delta Prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
1,147
Oh yes I love the ocean to be like bath water when I go out and back in for that matter. Normally we stick around the shorelines,kelp beds, rock outcrops, things like that. Take a look at this guy he's ugly with poisonous spines I think it's a kind of rockfish it's called the sculpin
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The best tasting fish I have ever eaten
And you can't hurt it when cooking. Seriously I burned it over the grill and Cooked hell of it in the oven and it comes out great. 10 years ago there was no limit & no size limit it was considered trash fish.
And the only way you can hold them is by the bottom lip.
 
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Sounds like the Lionfish which is on the local search and destroy list as an invasive and highly dangerous species with poisonous spines although it tastes great.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Well it's been a couple of months. Our youngest son and daughter in law visiting from Seattle and James wanted to go fishing. Had to put the boat in the shop for a bunch of things after last trip and just got it out so we tried to go @ 7:30 this AM but the new battery was dead and had to be charged. Found out the auto bilge pump switch got hung up and bilge pump was running non-stop. Seas have been 3-4 feet and caught a break today with only 2-3 feet. Even with the late start we arrived at the offshore artificial reef by noon. Nothing special and caught a bunch of short Black Sea Bass and maybe a half dozen keepers. Then my autistic son announces he has to be home by 2PM for a phoned job interview. So, we only had about an hour offshore before I had to race back to the marina to get him home in time. Water temp up to ~77F so good for trolling but the stop in front of Sapelo Island to cast for pogies as bait to live troll was a bust. Good thing I guess, or we would have been 20 miles offshore trolling Gray's Reef before my son remembered to tell us he had to be home by 2. Arggghhh... Still early in the season and once the pogies show up in their huge pods (catch a couple dozen every cast of the 6' castnet) trolling for big King Mackerels will be our summer fishing targets. Some days we go catching but this time it was real fishing.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Pogies/Menhadden are kinda the bluegills of the ocean. Pretty small (4-5") when they first show up in scattered large schools but bigger and more concentrated and larger (6-8") as the summer progresses. Which is why we castnet for them and when they are thick, we can fully load the baitwell in only a few tosses of the castnet. Today we threw over a dozen times after spotting them breaking the surface and birds diving to feed on them and only caught 1 small one. Water temp ~77F and once it gets over 80F the trolling really gets going. Barracuda, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, and King Mackerel which my biggest has been 39 lbs (tournament contender) and the holy grail is 50 lbs (tounament winner) and world record ~70 lbs. We're far enough north that ciguatera poising from cudas is not a problem and they are decent white fleshed eating and a ton of fun to catch with all their leaping acrobatics. King Mackerel not the best eating but a good boneless slab on the grill ain't too bad. King's and Cobia not as showy but can strip the line off a reel in a hurry and put up a darn good fight. Well (>10 miles) offshore you run into large schools of "cigar minnows/anchovies" that can be caught with a Sabiki rig which is 8-10 small gold hooks strung about 8" apart with a weight clipped to the bottom to cast into the bait pod and catch several at a time. Not as sure a thing as catching pogies in the river or off the beaches.
 
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Spanish 10-18" (12" to keep) ~1-3 lbs. and much better eating than Kings. Kings not dark and bloody like Bluefish or Bonita (Tuna) but not white either. Great dip smoked and mixed with some mayo and a few other secret ingredients. Best eaten as steaks (I fillet and cut them instead of cutting them into chops with the bones) fresh out of the iced cooler but much more fun to catch. Lots of better eating fish than Kings. About a 5-7 on the 1- 10 scale. Spanish a couple points better. BEST is Trigger fish. Not much to them after filleting but as good as lobster! Black Sea Bass ~8-9 and Grouper, Snapper, and Sheepshead ~9-10. I don't fry fish anymore but sometimes pan fry up some hushpuppies to go with the roasted tater slices and slaw... Baked, grilled, or sauteed in butter. Or cooked into a fish stew if meaty like big catfish fillets.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Do you get wahoo up there?
Wahoo, Dolphin (mahi mahi), Swordfish, Sailfish, Amberjacks, big Grouper/Snappers on bottom, and Bluefin Tuna. But further out than I go my 20' boat. I regularly go up to ~20 miles out in 40-50' of water but even 100 miles out to the drop-off is only 100' water. Which is where the big fish are. Occasionally/rarely you hear about a Sailfish or Mahi getting taken where I go but not regularly. Guys who go to the shelf are in 30'+ multi engine boats and usually stay out there for 2-3 days. Georgia is the western most portion of the east coast and shallow. I live on the coast, and it is 7 miles of marshland and islands to get out to the beach. ~7 more miles to reach the outer bar (~12' deep on low tide in the channel) then drops to 30-40' and slowly deepens to 100' about 100 miles out then quickly drops over 1000'+.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
Wahoo, Dolphin (mahi mahi), Swordfish, Sailfish, Amberjacks, big Grouper/Snappers on bottom, and Bluefin Tuna. But further out than I go my 20' boat. I regularly go up to ~20 miles out in 40-50' of water but even 100 miles out to the drop-off is only 100' water. Which is where the big fish are. Occasionally/rarely you hear about a Sailfish or Mahi getting taken where I go but not regularly. Guys who go to the shelf are in 30'+ multi engine boats and usually stay out there for 2-3 days. Georgia is the western most portion of the east coast and shallow. I live on the coast, and it is 7 miles of marshland and islands to get out to the beach. ~7 more miles to reach the outer bar (~12' deep on low tide in the channel) then drops to 30-40' and slowly deepens to 100' about 100 miles out then quickly drops over 1000'+.
Ah, yeah that's a long haul to get to blue water. Here it's 3.5 miles or so. I don't envy your fuel costs!
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,648
I'm heading to San Diego this summer for vacation. One day is set aside for a fishing trip to the kelp beds and down south. When I was stationed there in the 70's my pal's and I would dead-head (take care of the tourist fishing poles, lines and fish) the Mission Bay fish tour boats for free fishing trips.

My last big vacation fishing trip was the Keys a few years ago.
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
Guys from here trailer their boats down to the keys and stay in motel/marinas for a week or two. I'm too old for that anymore.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
No pics but Cuz'n Dave and I went to Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary yesterday. Caught a nice break in the weather. Left the marina ~8AM with both sea and air temp ~80F and seas ~1' which meant we could do the 20+ miles offshore running at 4700 RPM instead 3700. Gray's is almost due east ~25 miles of where we exit Doboy Sound. Still a long and bumpy hour or so ride. No Pogies on the beach for bait but there is always a school of anchovies at the buoy out there. 3 other boats at the reef, some trolling and some bottom fishing. We trolled live anchovies and lures. Caught a small ~18" Cobia on live bait but have to be 36" to keep. Then caught a small 26" King Mackerel on live bait so the lures came off and all live bait went back in the water. Caught a nice larger King who gave a nice fight and stripped a lot of line off the reel before we finally gaffed and boated it. Left Gray's ~ 3PM and ~5 miles off the beach hit a huge school of Spanish Mackerel so threw a couple of Clark spoons over to troll around them but no hits so came on back in. Boat back on trailer ~5PM. Getting too old for this. Both Dave and I wore completely out even though the seas were good (usually 2-3') and temp not so hot as dead summer will be. I guess we're getting old and it's showing. Mackerel slabs on the grill tomorrow night! A lot of folks cut them like a chop but I fillet them so they are boneless and make a nice steak out of a 6" cut of the fillet.

Edit: Thought that was a pic of my boat on the Gray's site but upon closer inspection not us but mighty close.
 
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,483
I've got a buddy who fishes for Sheepies inshore with a cane pole. Big Henry is a sheepshead master! He catches a big mess of em a couple times a month. Has a bait delivery guy bring him a thousand fiddler crabs at a time on a regular basis. Love triggerfish! Not a lot of meat but top of the list for best eating fish for me.
 

Delta Prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
1,147
My first experience with a triggerfish! Fishing for rock cod my father my brothers would be bringing them up and I was always get hits on my line but nothing ever came up my gear stay down in the rocks this went on for a couple hours until I finally got a good hit and yanked as hard as I could as fast as I could the triggerfish came up with about 5 sets of hooks in his mouth all mine that sucker would grab the bait and the hook, jam himself in a rock and pull that trigger.
I let him go...I pulled all the hooks out of his mouth and threw him overboard. And then I got really seasick, but it was worth it. I got to go to bed good night Sir.
 
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